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Kenneth Hosick "junkmale" (UK)
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The Queen's Promise
The Queen's Promise
by Lyn Andrews
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

3.0 out of 5 stars STUNNINGLY AVERAGE, 3 Dec 2014
This review is from: The Queen's Promise (Paperback)
I must first confess that this novel was purchased solely on it's subject matter. I have never previously read anything by the author and am lead to believe that this is her first in the Historical Fiction genre.
Considering that, it's a reasonable enough effort and is an enjoyable read.
I would imagine that most admirers of the late British Queen will read almost anything with her name on it or anything regarding the subject. I am as guilty of that as anyone else.
It's strange considering that the novels real focus is not on Anne. She is, obviously, a main character but it's focus is more on the life of Henry Percy and the authors fictional manservant Will Chatton.
The authors writing style has some faults as does the novel in general -

1. She spends way too much time and seems to have an unhealthy obsession with what her characters are wearing. Every other page there is a lengthy and very dull full description of her characters outfits.

2. I found Chattons meteoric rise from a servant to a prosperous businessman somewhat hard to believe although i did generally like the character.

3. Some of the language used is also a little difficult to comprehend. Did the author really believe that two people, in the comfort of their own home, had private conversations in such a formal manner?

4. The ending is very, very rushed. It almost seems as if Ms.Andrews simply got fed up with up and rushed off the last few chapters just to be finished with it?

It may seem that i'm being a little harsh which is not my intention. I did enjoy it but it's nothing special, i won't read it again and would find it difficult to fully recommend.

It's stunningly average in every way.


Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette
by Antonia Fraser
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint hearted?, 3 Oct 2013
This review is from: Marie Antoinette (Paperback)
I'm happy to admit that i'm a fairly slow reader generally. It's taken me almost 2 years (on and off) to read this book which will probably provide a subtle hint as to how the rest of this review is going to pan out.

If, like this reader, you approach this Biography with very little previous knowledge of Marie Antoinette you are going to struggle. It will also help if you have an understanding of French, the French Revolution, Regency French Politics and other related subjects. If you don't you are really going to struggle.

Antonia Fraser is a historian of some repute and the book is obviously meticulously researched and is full of minute detail on the life and times of the tragic Queen of France. It is very sympathetic to her cause and sticks quite firmly to the positive aspects of her life . It is clear that history has not been kind to MA and she certainly does not deserve the reputation that ignorant public opinion has given her.

For me, however, the book was, for long periods, dry and unremarkable. The author has several irritating writing habits which went some way to ruining the experience for me. One prime example is her habit of referring to a character by their title on one page and by their given name on the next. It's extremely difficult trying to keep track of who's who, who's related to who and in some cases (as many of the titles are written in French) what gender the character is. In a few short chapters there are so many different characters with so many different agendas that it feels like an over complicated mess. I would also strongly recommend keeping a dictionary close to hand as you will be referring to it on a regular basis.

The most readable section is left to last and the story surrounding the trail and execution of MA is a moving and emotional recollection.
There are some very nice photographs and prints contained in the edition i own.

All in all i can't recommend it for the casual reader who is simply looking for the main story of MA. It's much to confusing and detailed for that.

You have been warned.


Mercury Rising
Mercury Rising
Price: £5.93

3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful........, 16 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Mercury Rising (Audio CD)
Awful track and a bizarre selection as a single release.
The worst track from the mediocre latest 'Giants' album.
Good reviews are from those that deny the truth and see everything by the band through Rose Tinted Glasses.
It's just a poor track.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 28, 2014 2:04 AM BST


A Different Compilation
A Different Compilation
Price: £13.91

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A different kind of music in another kitchen?, 5 July 2011
This review is from: A Different Compilation (Audio CD)
The big question is?
How do you go about 'fixing' something that isn't actually broken?
Kudos to the band for trying to do something different from the usual depressing round of compilation after compilation.
It's a resonable enough effort and good value. Sometimes it works and at other times the new versions don't quite hit the mark.
A lot of the tracks appear to me to be simply speeded up. The guitars are louder and there are considerably more cymbal crashes.
That's not to say that i don't like it or don't appreciate what the 'Cocks were trying to achieve with this album.
It's just that there is nothing whatsoever wrong or that needed tampering with on the original versions.
Buy it?
Yes.
It's still great to sing along to when doing the washing up.


Doctor Who - The Green Death [DVD] [1973]
Doctor Who - The Green Death [DVD] [1973]
Dvd ~ Jon Pertwee
Price: £9.53

5 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia? Best leave it in the past., 10 Feb 2010
For me it's always been Jon Pertwee and Jo. No contest.
It's also always been the 'one with the Giant Maggots'.
I first watched these episodes as a 9 year old in 1973 and have remembered them fondly ever since. When i seen the DVD's for sale at this price i quickly made a purchase.
I haven't actually watched The Green Death since 1973 and i'm sorry to say that time has not been kind to it.
To call it disapointing is a bit of an understatement.
The dialogue is poor as is the acting. The special effects are dreadfull and believe me, it hurts to say those things.
The extra's are also 'hit and miss'. Some of the features are genuinely interesting but others such as the 'spoof' documentary are very poor. The audio commentary is again very disapointing. Katy Manning giggles her way through them and the commentators appear to relish exposing every weakness of the script and the effects.
I can't give this more than 3 stars as at the time and as a 9 year old these episodes were brilliant but as an adult and over 30 years later.....um.
If, like me, you remember it from your youth then leave it there, with affection, in your memories.
As the title says Nostaligia is better left in the past where it belongs.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 23, 2012 4:26 PM GMT


In The Shadow of Lady Jane (Richard Stocker)
In The Shadow of Lady Jane (Richard Stocker)
by Edward Charles
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite good...but must do better?, 2 Dec 2009
A tad harsh, methinks, from several of the reviews here.
Ok, it's not perfect but i didn't find it as bad as some of the other reviewers.
Considering that it is the authors first published novel it's not that bad an effort allthough it could certainly have done with some much better editing. There are several, irritating spelling errors and plot contradictions that any editor worth his/her salt would (and should) have found pretty easily.
Our hero Richard Stocker is an affable enough fellow and his adventures during the early life (and death) of Lady Jane Grey are an easy and fairly entertaining read.
There are numerous Historical inaccuracies but yet again it must be remembered that this book is a Novel and not a Biography so some artistic license has to be allowed by the author.
For fans of the aforementioned Lady Jane there is a lot to enjoy here. The writer certainly gives her a personality and its easy to emphatise with Stockers emotions throughout.
To summarise, yes it's not brilliant and may be an aquired taste but i enjoyed it enough to buy the sequel.


The UA Singles 1977-1982
The UA Singles 1977-1982
Price: £18.91

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ho...Hum...Here we go again!, 17 Nov 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Another day...another compilation as EMI continue to milk The Stanglers back catalogue for all its worth.
However, it's a good compilation and excellent value.
It contains every A and B side, 12" versions, foreign language versions and free singles from the UA label years and as such contains numerous fantastic tracks.
For completists only probably but a good introduction to the bands early recording career (as if anyone really needs one now!).
The booklet could be better but does a resonable enough job of listing each singles history and chart position.
It's hard not to recommend it as the songs it contains are ageless classics but you have to wonder when EMI will stop re-releasing these tracks and hurry the band up for new material.


Lady  Jane [DVD]
Lady Jane [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jane Lapotaire
Price: £3.50

4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent Historical Romance, 14 Sep 2009
This review is from: Lady Jane [DVD] (DVD)
Like many of the other reviewers here, i stumbled open this movie by accident, having never heard of it beforehand.
I'm glad i did.
Many people get carried away with the Historical accuracies/inaccuracies in such a film but it should be enjoyed for what it is. i.e. A work of fiction based loosely around the final years of the life of 'Innocent Traitor' Lady Jane Grey.
It achieves precisely what it sets out to achieve. To entertain. It's not a Documentary and if that is what you are looking for then look elsewhere.
There are some fine performances, especially from a very young looking Helena Bonham Carter and it's an emotional trainride from start to finish.
The final scenes of Jane's execution are particulary moving and even this 45 year old bloke was reaching for the Kleenex.
My only criticism of it would be that's it's not long enough. The transision from the bookish and shy Lady Jane to 'woman of the world' is slightly rushed but took very little away from my overall enjoyment of the film.
What it does do in a very powerful way, is peak the viewers interest to learn more of the 'real' Lady Jane and to investigate further the oftentimes very cruel and heartless world of the Tudors.
For that, if nothing less, it can't be faulted.


Decade: The Best Of 1981 - 1990
Decade: The Best Of 1981 - 1990
Offered by davehopetrading
Price: £2.99

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yet another pointless compilation?, 10 Aug 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As ever some great tunes from The Meninblack. Tracks that sound as fresh and new as they did when they were first released.
The question is however, why?
The Stranglers are quickly becoming the new Hawkwind. Just one totally pointless compilation after another.
It's difficult to know just who this is supposed to appeal to? Every fan under the sun will already have these tracks 10 times over.
New fans would be better sticking to Suite XV1. It's were the band are now and were they are continuing to be.
To summarise. Great selection of songs but an album for completists (like me) only.


The Best Damn Thing
The Best Damn Thing
Offered by rbmbooks
Price: £21.84

8 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One step up...and 3 steps back?, 17 Jun 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Best Damn Thing (Audio CD)
Oh dear....oh dear...oh dear.

Cast your mind back a couple of years.

Avril released 'Under My Skin'. An exceptional album. One that finally thrust her into the mainstream and showed the world that she was a very talented young lady. 'How does it feel', 'Nobody's home' etc. Great songs, great tunes, great lyrics.

And now this abomination.

Words fail me. Its very hard to describe how bad this album is.

Its pretty much clear that new Hubby has had a big influence on this album. Much of it sounds like the sort of pretend Amerikaan 'punk rock' of the likes of Sum 41, Blink 182 and Greenday. If you like that sort of thing (or your not yet a teenager) you might very well be impressed.

Some of the songs 'Girlfriend', 'I can do better', 'Hot', 'One of those girls' etc etc are actually embarassing to listen to.

Its not all bad. 'When You're Gone', 'Innocence' and 'Keep Holding On' prove that the talent is still there...somewhere!

Its that bad..

One final note...Avril. Swearing for the sake of it or just to show how really really 'streat' you are is not big and not clever.

Avoid at all costs.


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