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Matthew Cliff (Seaford)
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Perfect Strangers Live  [2CDs + DVD Set]
Perfect Strangers Live [2CDs + DVD Set]
Price: £9.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Maybe you had to be there., 26 Mar. 2014
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Paice, Lord and Glover have their usual top-notch outings, their performances give the music on this CD all it's structure and make the songs recognisable.

Blackmore and Gillan.... Not good.

I'm obviously not hearing what the other reviewers are hearing. They're bladdy awful on this.

It's a curiosity, nothing more. I had to buy it because I'm a completist, but I would never play it to demonstrate the titanic power of Deep Purple. That's coming from a nutty fan of Richie Blackmore (The Man, End Of).

Gillan sounds ill, Blackmore plays like he's plastered... Or, he is just exploring the very outer reaches of expression, interpretation and improvisation... And I'm not getting it.

Not even remotely comparable to Made In Japan. Not a patch on the Stuttgart and NEC '93 recordings.
In The Absence Of Pink is better (to my ears).

In short; if you're a hardcore Purple fan, you have to buy it. If you're looking to buy your first Purple reccud... This would just baffle you.


Aftershock
Aftershock
Price: £7.79

5.0 out of 5 stars No Nasty Surprises, 15 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Aftershock (MP3 Download)
Can you wear out an MP3 file?
My new habit is to go out for a two hour blast in my car at six on Sunday morning, listening repeatedly to Until the End of Time and Crying Shame, Absolute belters.

The whole album is good, but those two are up there with Ace of Spades, Bomber and One to Sing the Blues.


The Hunted
The Hunted
Price: £4.31

3.0 out of 5 stars Elmore Goes To Israel, 19 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: The Hunted (Kindle Edition)
I've read almost all of Elmore Leonard's 'modern day' books. This (In my opinion) is one of the weaker efforts. As many other reviewers have probably asserted previously; a weaker Elmore Leonard effort is still far superior to a great percentage of other crime writing.

I think that Elmore Leonard's work is often lumped together by critics, as if to give the idea that the tone and atmosphere of his work is constant, as much to say it is always of the same quality and type of story, or that you can always be certain of what you are going to get. I think that this is not quite true. What remains consistent across all of the books I have read is the style of writing and generally strong characterisation through dialogue.

My personal feeling is that the pleasure of reading one of his books is more about enjoying the flow, observing the characters, listening to them speak, rather than strong, compelling plots. He is no Chandler or Hammett. His stories are almost always pretty 'small' and is very rarely edge of the seat stuff. He's good at setting a scene and sketching up an atmosphere, but he (in my opinion) lacks the subtlety and intelligence that a great writer puts to use conjuring a character that assumes a life in the reader's mind when the book has been long closed [Kem Nunn, is a good example of a writer that can generate this resonance].

That may sound like a harsh or unfair criticism, but it should be taken in light of the enormous praise that has been heaped upon his work. He has made the transition from being little known and underrated to very well known and overly praised, which will leave a lot of readers new to his work feeling a little nonplussed. He is not a Great Novelist, he's just an entertaining writer and there is nothing wrong with that. The outlandish praise diminishes the enjoyment of the work.

I think I had the best introduction to his work because I just happened to read one of his books, knowing nothing about him and having never heard of him. When his books come to you unheralded, you will almost certainly go and buy more. You will almost certainly enjoy them, as well.

You enjoy Elmore Leonard books in series consumption, he hasn't written any Great Books, he has written a lot of good reads.
None of them have the kind of monolithic, tome like qualities of The Big Sleep or Farewell My Lovely.

After you've read, say four or Five of his books you will start to see the gears moving in the background and you'll start to realise that most of his 'Great Characters' recur with different names.

But they are always full of good dialogue and they are entertaining enough.

To me, his best books are: LaBrava, Glitz, Swag, Freaky Deaky and Maximum Bob.

The Hunted is one of the rare books he has written that seems slightly clunky and forced. This one also seems a little obviously researched but manages to convey no atmosphere. It also has a set of characters that appear to be Elmore Leonards attempt to do it differently, and they never quite ring true. For better or worse, he has an ability to make 'his people' real, but they are always the same people, when he steps outside his comfort zone of his stock characters the result is not that good. This is one of those.

If you read the five books I've listed, you'll meet all his characters and have fun doing it.


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