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Alastair Rosie "Alastair" (Scotland)

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300 [2007] [DVD]
300 [2007] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Gerard Butler
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.47

10 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring, 24 Oct. 2010
This review is from: 300 [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
300 may be based on a graphic novel but it's a good example of what happens when you let CGI artists out of their cages. They end up killing the writers! This is a poorly written script forced on quite capable actors who are then trying to make the best of what is an amateur effort. The attention to actual history is zero. Let's face it, the film is just a blood fest, the monsters we see are just not possible, the hunchback was just virtually impossible in real life. They've snatched odd quotes from history and thrown them into the script to make it sound good but ultimately it fails miserably. I picked this up in a bargain bin and to be honest it belongs in a bin, a rubbish bin.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 7, 2013 6:29 PM BST


The Spartans: An Epic History
The Spartans: An Epic History
by Paul Cartledge
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Spartans Review, 24 Oct. 2010
An interesting book that seems to suffer from a tendency to lurch from one biography to another and winds up repeating information we've already read, and read and read. It may even have been a series of essays at one point, at least that's the way it reads to me. These essays were then thrown together and finished off with a critique on fox hunting. The rant on fox hunting came at the end and you're left thinking what has that to do with Sparta? I agree with one reviewer in that it seems to suffer from a lack of editing.
By no means a definitive history of Sparta it does provide a summary for those who want to know more about Sparta but due to the disorganised nature of the book I have to give this three stars and I know he can do better with the material he's got, it's just that this book never really lives up to its name.


Boudica:Dreaming The Serpent Spear: A Novel of Roman Britain: Boudica 4
Boudica:Dreaming The Serpent Spear: A Novel of Roman Britain: Boudica 4
by M C Scott
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dreaming the Serpent Spear review, 24 Oct. 2010
Dreaming the Serpent Spear was the hardest book to read because you already know the ending before you start reading although her ending is a little different to the Tacitus account which was strongly influenced by Roman ethics, if indeed the Romans were ethical! As with the previous three the book is well researched and you find yourself drawn into a recreated world in living colour and yet stripped of the over sentimentalism of Hollywood type accounts. I've always loved British historical writers because only we know that shining armour doesn't work in Britain because we have too much rain. there's mud, blood, sweat, tears and pain, and every now and then a rainbow to brighten the sky. This series has provided me with a wealth of material to use in my own novel and forever consigned traditional Roman accounts to the dustbin of history. I would recommend these books to history students without a second thought as they have the effect of setting the imagination on fire. Whenever I'm asked by people for books about Boudica I always point to these books first, you can read the non fiction accounts afterwards but these are the first port of call for anyone wanting to know more about the ancient world of the Celts.
Thanks to Manda Scott for her perseverance and dedication, never before did I ever feel proud to be British until I read these books. We come from a great tradition of warriors both male and female who helped shape us.


Dreaming The Hound (Boudica 3)
Dreaming The Hound (Boudica 3)
by M C Scott
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Dreaming the Hound review, 24 Oct. 2010
Dreaming the Hound is the third book and takes up from Boudica's return to the Eceni (Iceni) and ends with the brutal rape of her daughters and her being whipped. It was perhaps the hardest to read from that point because up until now you have been conscious you're reading fiction but now we get to the hard facts, the pack rape of two children by grown men and the brutal savagery of Rome in all it's maniacal madness. Scott handled it well without labouring over the attack and we meet Valerius who has returned to Icenia.
Once again a great read.


Boudica: Dreaming The Bull: Boudica 2
Boudica: Dreaming The Bull: Boudica 2
by Manda Scott
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Dreaming the Bull review, 24 Oct. 2010
Dreaming the Bull is the second book in the series and picks up after the Roman invasion and introduces us to Julius Valerius (Ban) who had been captured in the first book. Boudica and Caradoc have retreated to Wales to continue the fight against Rome as Valerius leads the assault on the tribes. This story almost has a wild west type feel to it, the disarming of the tribes is hauntingly played out here and she has used Pretty Shield the Story of a Crow Medicine Woman as one of her sources. This tying together of ancient Celtic society and the Native Americans is a valid point that has often been noted by previous writers.
I found this book to be just as exciting and engrossing as the previous one and about as long as well, it switches between Breaca and Valerius and ends with a final confrontation on a ship. We are taken to Rome with the captured Caradoc and his family to meet mad Caligula and the final harrowing escape as Caligula meets his end.


Boudica: Dreaming The Eagle: Boudica 1
Boudica: Dreaming The Eagle: Boudica 1
by Manda Scott
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dreaming the Eagle, 24 Oct. 2010
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History was never kind to Boudica until the romanticism of the 19th century produced the statue outside Westminster station. What material has been produced tends to major heavily on the works of Tacitus and Dio Cassius who accorded her brief mentions. The fact that Roman writers mentioned her at all however is testament to the fear the Romans harboured of female Britons. The famed suicidal ending given her by Tacitus is possibly a Roman invention to give her an honourable Roman end.
But Manda Scott has overturned the fake sentimentalism and outright misogyny to create a new version of Boudica. Dreaming the Eagle is the first book in Manda Scott's quadrilogy which begins with the death of Boudica's mother and ends with the Roman invasion of Britain. Thoroughly researched using a variety of sources from written accounts through to modern day archaelogical finds, Scott has recreated a stunning world that has remained shrouded in mystery for nearly two thousand years. You almost get the impression she was really there running after Breaca (Boudica), Ban, her brother and Macha, Ban's mother amongst many others. The leader of the British forces, Caratacus becomes Caradoc and we are led south as they stand against the might of Rome.
Manda Scott's attention to detail is phenomenal, she says it is fiction and not to be taken as factual but even so it has the stamp of authority. Here is a Boudica stripped of the fake sentimentalism of the feminist writers and recreated as a real woman with real dreams and feelings, she is unmistakeably heroic in her actions, words and deeds. It's a long book at 600 plus pages but one of those books you just want to keep reading.


Blood and Ice
Blood and Ice
by Robert Masello
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A modern gothic tale, 3 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Blood and Ice (Paperback)
I picked up this book because it was an adult vampire book and as much as I loved the Twilight series I was 'thirsting' for an adult vampire book as I'm currently working on my own vampire book. Blood and Ice is very much a modern Gothic romance that revolves around Lieutenant Sinclair Copley of the 17th Hussars and his lover Eleanor Ames, a nurse attached to Florence Nightingale, who makes a few cameo appearances. The book is a bit hard to take for the first half as it lurches between 1854 and the present day, usually a chapter at a time but I would encourage people to keep reading as once these two doomed lovers are freed from the ice block and awakened, the story suddenly takes on a Chricton type pace. At its heart it is a love story that spans centuries and poses the interesting and fascination scenario of 19th century characters being thrust into the 21st. The reaction of Eleanor to an African American female doctor is well within reason and totally believable. Masello has stayed away from the traditional vampire stereotypes and traced his vampire back to the Strigoi, a kind of beast that preyed on the dead and dying in the Crimea. The setting of Antarctica is fascinating and really takes you there, in the end you are forced to keep reading because you really do care about these two characters plucked from the 19th and thrust into the 21st century, where everything is both fascinating and terrifying. It was one of those books I read in a single afternoon and night. You almost want it to keep going into a sequel but I rather suspect that might ruin the story, it ends as it should end and leaves you feeling satisfied and hopeful.


Lakota Woman
Lakota Woman
by Mary Crow Dog
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking, 2 Oct. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Lakota Woman (Paperback)
Rarely have I bought a book and read it from cover to cover on the same day. This story of Mary Crow Dog is written in a conversational style and chronicles her life growing up as a child of two worlds, her rebellious teenage years, the abuses of the Catholic church, who really should hang themselves on their own crosses, the siege at Wounded Knee in 1973 when outnumbered Lakota took on the power of the most powerful nation on the planet, her marriage to Leonard Crow Dog, his arrest and her fight to free him. In a world of plastic heroes, Mary Crow Dog stands out as one of a kind, I found it an easy read and yet at the same time it made me almost ashamed to be white. The antics of the Federal Bureau of Incompetency (FBI) are a direct parallel of Hitler's Gestapo. Had they done that in Britain or even Australia the police would all have been in jail serving long sentences. It's frightening that in a country that champions itself as the world's global policeman that such abuses can happen right in their back yards and they pretend it's not happening.
And yet through it all Mary Crow Dog's courage and humour shines through, you find yourself cheering for her towards the end, this book will remain on my bookshelf and will continue to be reread if only to remind myself that as Edmund Burke once said, 'evil does prosper while good people do nothing.'
A stunning read and one guaranteed to kindle once again the flame of freedom, a nation will be judged on how it has treated its poorest citizens. Cry freedom and let freedom live through the words of Mary Crow Dog.


Breaking Dawn: Twilight, Book 4: 4/4 (Twilight Saga)
Breaking Dawn: Twilight, Book 4: 4/4 (Twilight Saga)
by Stephenie Meyer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.94

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great series, 26 Sept. 2010
Great ending to a great series. I don't know why this is marketed under teenage romance, I'm 47 and loved it but I'm a bit more open minded! I have read all four books now and can honestly say I haven't been disappointed. A minor grumble was the honeymoon scenes, could have been a little more graphic but that probably had something to do with the rating.
I can't understand why fans grumbled about this book. It had the kind of ending we expected but then Meyer is true to her characters, she just lets them go and there wasn't much anyone could do about Bella's choices. I loved the dual POV, Jacob and Bella and there were enough loose endings left at the end to justify a new series or at least a fifth book. It's one of those books you don't want to put down and now that I've read the fourth book I'm thinking of reading them all back to back just for fun. A great book and it deserves the five star rating. She gives you enough description about Forks and the landscape without crowding out the characters, enough internal dialogue without going in circles.
In the end it's just a well written love story. I loved the new character Renesmee or Nessie, Bella's daughter. It would be interesting to see how she develops if there is a fifth book in the series or even a new series.


The Diamond Frontier
The Diamond Frontier
by John Wilcox
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars There's a good book in here somewhere, 26 Sept. 2010
This review is from: The Diamond Frontier (Paperback)
There is a good book buried in here somewhere but it gets lost on the veldt and never seems to find its way. Granted it seemed okay as a travelogue but as a story it lacks character development. The landscape crowds out the characters and the ending sucks big time. The only interesting character, Alice, ends up doing the unthinkable, she at least had some colour and drive. I found Fonthill and Jenkins to be more cardboard cut out characters who could have been endearing and heroic but because the author couldn't or wouldn't give them room to breathe they stayed in a time warp. The girl they set off to rescue, Nandi, remains a pathetic wretch of a girl. Okay she got abused and kicked around before she was rescued but even afterwards you get the feeling she was just a bit of added colour to supposedly give Fonthill, 352 and Alice some kind of motivation.
Worse still is the epilogue where the author tries to justify Alice's choice of men and his distortion of history just for dramatic effect. In my opinion why bother? This book needs a serious rewrite, at best it's a good example of how not to write a book. Lots of landscape, running round the African veldt, a bit of history and no real point to the story, absolutely no motivation for Fonthill and 352 apart from doing the shining knight thing and even that seemed all rather pointless, Nandi hasn't got much to say and remains static in spite of her ordeal.
Alice was the only redeeming character in this story but her ending just left me cold. I never even had the heart to read the last five pages.


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