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Profile for Clive P L Young > Reviews

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Content by Clive P L Young
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Reviews Written by
Clive P L Young "Clive Young" (London, England)

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Gone Girl
Gone Girl
by Gillian Flynn
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

4.0 out of 5 stars Deep po-mo noir - doesn't disappoint, 20 Aug. 2015
This review is from: Gone Girl (Paperback)
Always a prob with highly hyped books, over-expectation can sometime undermine the reading. This is pretty good, though. A sort of noir-psycho procedural for a knowing CSI-sensitised readership. As billed, the structure and plotting is impressive, though far from problem-free, and you always as the get the feeling of being manipulated. This may be deliberate, of course. The beginning is certainly slow, then speeds up almost too much after the "unexpected" (er, right) key change mid-way. The end is a bit rushed and leaves some huge plot holes. The main protagonists are deliberately unlikable and flawed, but doesn't that distance the reader a bit? Do you really care in the end about these self-obsessed crazies? All the same, though, a real page turner and deservedly successful.


Der arme Millionär: A BBC Radio course in everyday German based on Erich Kästner's novel 'Drei Männer im Schnee'
Der arme Millionär: A BBC Radio course in everyday German based on Erich Kästner's novel 'Drei Männer im Schnee'
by Edith R Baer
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun read for intermediate German learners, 2 Aug. 2015
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Old-fashioned jape heavily adapted from the classic 1934 German novel "Drei Männer I'm Schnee". The language is delightfully antiquated and the episode structure makes it easy to skip though. The story is daft but fun and the lessons are interspersed with useful and not-too-challenging grammar points and vocal lists.


Nowhere In Africa [DVD] [2001] [2003]
Nowhere In Africa [DVD] [2001] [2003]
Dvd ~ Juliane Köhler
Offered by babsbargains *** WORLDWIDE SHIPPING ***
Price: £21.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Classy alternative take on German Jewish wartime experience, 2 Aug. 2015
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Had to watch this as part of a German course, but found it rather enjoyable and satisfying. By taking an oblique view of the German Jewish wartime experience, here as exiles in Africa, issues such as identity, culture and racism could be approached in a fresh way. The film is exceptionally well structure and the story, based on an autobiography, has a satisfying narrative of change and self-realisation. My only problem is all the characters (with the exception of the daughter and the African cook) were rather stuffy, joyless and humourless. I know that this was a deadly serious time but they could have dealt with most of their problems much better by, ahem, lightening up a little.


Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know
Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know
by Julia E. Sweig
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.68

4.0 out of 5 stars Useful and surprisingly readable story of US-Cuban relations, 2 Aug. 2015
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Not quite 'everything', as this is really an account of US-Cuba relations and the mad (and ultimately it seems pretty pointless) twists and turns of US policy since 1958. That said despite the academic-level detail it is an astonishingly readable book and certainly provides an invaluable historical and especially political background for anyone visiting this curious country.

As the author states, the US and Cuba are closer than both sides are willing to admit. Sweig remains fairly neutral but clearly the embargo/sanctions/whatever, driven by US internal politics rather than common sense, to her have been largely counterproductive and have only served to isolate and reinforce the Castro regime, so stalling Cuba's political development.

I left my own copy in a Havana hotel room, BTW, I wonder what happened to it?


Think Like a Freak: Secrets of the Rogue Economist
Think Like a Freak: Secrets of the Rogue Economist
by Stephen J. Dubner
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.74

3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, but less practical than I'd hoped, 11 July 2015
Entertaining modern spin on lateral thinking/think-outside-the-box approaches. The authors have challenged conventional and conservative wisdom and behaviours in previous works by pointing out the influence of non-intuitive relaltionships, uncovering untintended consequences in public policy and the power (positive and negative) of incentives on human behaviour. Can these genuinely insightful approaches be generalised into a systematic method of problem solving, "thinking like a freak"? Well, possibly, but alas not in this book, which is rather disappointingly just another string of loosely-related anecdotes. They are absolutely right that recent research especially in social psychology could help us solve big problems in more innovative ways, but the focus of the book was still I felt too general to make this a practical approach.


No Title Available

3.0 out of 5 stars Nice but too small, 21 Jun. 2015
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Nicely made simple jacket, but XL was way too small.


Anger Management (for Beginners)
Anger Management (for Beginners)
by Giles Coren
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing sweary posh boy vs the world, 6 May 2015
Self-dubbed “professional silly-arse” Coren channels his acerbic prose towards an eclectic range of targets; cycle helmets, James Bond, dancing, bad books, music, poetry… that sort of thing. And for the most part it is very funny, Coren can turn an exceptionally sharp vitriolic phrase and many of his pot-shots are bang on. He is obviously far smarter than the average yah and has a self-depreciating take on his own privileged background, confessing to being a bit of a pillock sometimes. Better in small doses, though, too much bile gives you indigestion.


The Miniaturist
The Miniaturist
by Jessie Burton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Deft but daft, 2 Feb. 2015
This review is from: The Miniaturist (Paperback)
Not difficult to see what this is popular: a pacy, well-written essentially modern coming-of-age/girl-power yarn set in pearl-earring era Amsterdam. After an arranged marriage Nella arrives at her new home ostensibly from seventeenth century rural Holland, though strangely with the mindset of a twenty-first metropolitan. Her new husband is oddly distant, the lovelorn single sister they live with is clearly bonkers. Making up the household is apparently the only black servant in the city and a feisty maidservant. The husband has business problems and Nella is pestered by the titular ‘miniaturist’ who in true magic-realist fashion sends tiny dolls of the main characters who may or may not have prophetic meanings. An original set-up, certainly, and the plot generally chops along quickly, aided by a pleasantly sensual writing style and interesting characters. Nella is the very opposite of an unreliable narrator, though, you know she will battle bravely though, you can often guess the plot ‘revelations’ and her modern liberal values seem a tad anachronistic. That said it is good fun though the magic realism element seems a bit pointless and there is a very odd continuity error at the end.


Thierry Mugler - Mugler Cologne Spray & Splash - 300ml/10.2oz
Thierry Mugler - Mugler Cologne Spray & Splash - 300ml/10.2oz

5.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff, 19 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Arrived promptly, big bottle of wife's favourite cologne. Very happy. And smells quite nice.


Disunited Kingdom: How Westminster Won A Referendum But Lost Scotland
Disunited Kingdom: How Westminster Won A Referendum But Lost Scotland
by Iain Macwhirter
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.74

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why the losers act like winners, and the winners like losers, 19 Jan. 2015
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Excellent account of the referendum, clearly from the Yes side but frank on the failings of their campaign. He reserves his ire for his fellow journalists though who he believes deserted both their professional duty and the democratic needs of the Scottish people by their blatant bias. He captures some of the energy and hope of the independence campaigners and compares it with the fear-driven negative propaganda of the No side. Although No won, the victory was narrow and many Scots, even No voters, felt cheated by the last-minute tricks of Westminster. Macwhirter clearly prefers a federalist solution, but the debate seems more polarised than ever. The unionists have their wagons in a circle with nowhere to go and the independentistas are circling, circling, waiting for their next opportunity.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 27, 2015 3:58 PM GMT


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