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Profile for Bill Sykes > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Bill Sykes "buffer" (Richmond,Surrey UK)

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Dead Lagoon (Aurelio Zen Book 4)
Dead Lagoon (Aurelio Zen Book 4)
Price: £3.79

3.0 out of 5 stars Venice in the shadows., 2 July 2015
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Dibdin's Aurelio Zen and Donna Leon's Brunetti are both Venetian, both senior detectives, and both solving crimes in a Venice full of atmosphere, full of the city's unique geography, and full of food and wine. I don't know which of them came first, and Dibdin's book is intriguing and well plotted, but for my money, Donna Leon does it better.


Pinnacle Studio 18 (PC)
Pinnacle Studio 18 (PC)
Price: £37.34

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too complicated., 7 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Pinnacle Studio 18 (PC) (DVD-ROM)
Too complicated. - I found the instructions too complicated as well. The ideal editor should provide easy assemble, easy sorting, easy transitions and title insertion. This system was difficult on all counts.


The House of Twenty Thousand Books
The House of Twenty Thousand Books
Price: £10.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Glimpse into a teasure trove., 21 July 2014
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Fascinating picture of an intellectual's political and moral journey - son of an Orthodox rabbi who becomes a leading Marxist theoretician, but also the collector of a huge and unique library of rare manuscripts, first editions, etc.
Affectionately written by his grandson, but too often repetitive and certainly too long.


Rates of Exchange
Rates of Exchange
Price: £4.68

5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarity behind the Curtain, 14 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Rates of Exchange (Kindle Edition)
This tale of a naÔve academic on a lecture visit to a fictitious Eastern European country - it could be Czechoslovakia or Bulgaria - was written before the Cold War ended. All the political conformity, all the mystery and secrecy, all the austerity and shortages, its all there, and as I remember it personally in Prague or Sofia as a visitor in the '60s. But its there in an hilarious confusion of language, misunderstandings, clandestine sex and Marxist dogma, with at least a chuckle on every page, as Petworth (Petwurt,Pitwit, etc) is entertained (in more than one sense) by his official and unofficial hosts. I relived some of my own experiences, but this time with brilliant wit and humour.


Jessica Mitford: Churchill's Rebel
Jessica Mitford: Churchill's Rebel
Price: £2.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Best of the Mitfords, 24 Dec. 2013
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Lengthy and wordy, with long quotations from sometimes trivial letters, nevertheless this tells the story of the most worthy of the notorious Mitford daughters. Nancy achieved fame as a writer but not a nice person to know.
Unity and Diana (Mosley) were Hitler's most devoted admirers. Deborah merely wanted to be a duchess (and did). But Jessica (Decca) was a woman of principle, and the book tells in lavish detail her political development and her romantic marriage to a fellow socialist, Churchill's nephew Esmond Romilly.
A tough read, but worth it in the end.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 25, 2014 11:01 AM BST


Higher Duty, A (Ben Schroeder)
Higher Duty, A (Ben Schroeder)
by Peter Murphy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ponderously tedious, 2 Nov. 2013
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I'm a retired lawyer with much the same experience at much the same time as the author. I know I haven't the talent to write a novel, but nor has he. Unsurprisingly, the picture of life at the Bar and in court is drawn with reasonable accuracy, but the plot is scanty and ludicrous, and oh!! the writing ! I cannot recall another book with quite such ponderous and pedantic writing. I struggled through to the end in the hope it might improve, but it didn't.


Going South: Why Britain will have a Third World Economy by 2014
Going South: Why Britain will have a Third World Economy by 2014
by L. Elliott
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.43

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The men who told you so., 4 Dec. 2012
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The authors are economists with a remarkable flair for explaining complex issues in a crystal clear but unpatronising style. They have co-written previously - in "Fantasy Island " the perceptive analysis foretold the double dip recession and the reasons for it. In this later book, we are led through the detail of the economic ravages of the Second World War, the demise of the Empire, and the rise of new economic powers in Asia, the Middle East and South America. We are taught a convincing lesson - Britain's posturing as a super-power is past. We can't afford, nor do we need, to spend billions on nuclear submarines, to send troops and aircraft into bases and battles all over the world - we must learn to live within our means, as a modest and modern European democracy, capable of keeping all its people employed, educated, fed and healthy, with the benefits of innovation and enterprise, as do our neighbours in the Low Countries and Scandinavia. This authoritative and forceful book should be on the shelves of everybody interested in our political and economic future, but it would be of particular value to the blimps who still hanker after an Imperial past.


The Uncommon Reader
The Uncommon Reader
Price: £4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Charming little story, 8 Nov. 2012
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Alan Bennett's novella is a charming tale of the Queen acquiring a taste for reading and the consequent implications, whilst at the same time a sly satire on the attitudes of our royals.


Radio Times Guide to Films 2012
Radio Times Guide to Films 2012
by VARIOUS
Edition: Paperback

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The movie lover's Bible., 14 Oct. 2011
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This is an annual publication, and we last had the 2008 edition, It was time to update, and though we try to support our local bookseller, the low price offered by Amazon was too tempting.
As usual, our purchase was delivered promptly, so now we have immediate access to brief reviews of thousands of films - extremely useful for us as users of Lovefilm.


Miele Compact S2111 Bagged Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner, 1600 Watt, Autumn Red
Miele Compact S2111 Bagged Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner, 1600 Watt, Autumn Red

28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Swift replacement, 14 Oct. 2011
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We had a Miele vacuum cleaner for quite a long time until something went wrong. Having in mind the cost and time spent in repair, we decided to replace it with an updated version of the same machine. We shopped around and found the best price on Amazon. It was delivered a few days later, in perfect order and immediately put to good use.


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