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Profile for Clive P L Young > Reviews

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

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The Junior Officers' Reading Club: Killing Time and Fighting Wars
The Junior Officers' Reading Club: Killing Time and Fighting Wars
by Patrick Hennessey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Millenial war, 6 July 2016
What is it like to fight as a millenial soldier in a modern war? Hennessey takes us right into the heat and dust and blood of Afghanistan. For all the modern kit and internet and IED-proof vehicles, the emotional, individual impact of war seems timeless. The writing is impressionistic, though, even pomo, a fragmented, rushed, mash up of unglossed military jargon, random characters, chaotic unfinished stories, email dispatches, pop culture references and jarring boys-own, bayonet-led combat. A bit hard to get into initialliy, the cumulative effect is quite gripping. Hennessy was clearly a very good soldier but eventually Catch 22 madness of military life takes its toll.


Prague Fatale: Bernie Gunther Thriller 8 (Bernie Gunther Mystery 8)
Prague Fatale: Bernie Gunther Thriller 8 (Bernie Gunther Mystery 8)
by Philip Kerr
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Guther "does" Poirot, 6 April 2016
Kerr's original Berlin Noir trilogy and the post-war follow up The One From the Other were quite oustanding and the Marlowesque Bernie Gunther character a splendid invention. The addition to the franchise is OK, but Kerr sees to be over-working this literary seam. There is some serious shark-jumping going on as Gunter has to solve a bizarre locked-room murder in Prague at the behest of SS-General Heydrich. The writing is as good as you'd expect, but again needed some editorial tightening. The period detail and feel are still impressive (though the research now sometimes seems a bit forced), and the shocking brutality of Nazi occupation of the Czech capital is worth reiterating, but I hope Bernie doesn't outstay his welcome.


VEDONEIRE Mens Wax Jacket (3050 BLACK) waxed motorbike style
VEDONEIRE Mens Wax Jacket (3050 BLACK) waxed motorbike style
Price: £99.99 - £124.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Good looks and value, 15 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Good looking jacket, got admiring comments from pals. Quality seems fine, worn it now for a couple of months, no prob.
Waterproof but really has a more plasticky than a waxy feel to it. Not breathable either, gets sweaty in warmish weather.
So, not a Barbour or a Belstaff but pretty good value for money, I wear it a lot and and have no regrets at all buying it.


Classic Wool Handle Traditional Herringbone Style Tweed Waistcoat - Grey
Classic Wool Handle Traditional Herringbone Style Tweed Waistcoat - Grey
Offered by Kilts Wi Hae
Price: £29.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Really good, generous fit have been wearing it for a ..., 7 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Really good, generous fit have been wearing it for a while.
Not "false pockets", they just have to be unpicked (with care).


Ways of Seeing (Penguin Modern Classics)
Ways of Seeing (Penguin Modern Classics)
by John Berger
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £6.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Art and power, 5 Dec. 2015
Not surprising to see why John Berger's 1972 polemic is now widely regarded as a classic of visual culture studies. Art can "define our experience more precisely in areas where words are inadequate. (Seeing comes before words.) Not only our personal experience, but also the essential historical experience ofour relation with the past". He therefore opens with an attack on the academic "mystification" of art-as-object that conceals and decontextualises the underlying relationships between the subject, the artist and their social context. This is important, "A people or class which is cut off from its own past is far less free to choose and to act as a people than one that has been able to situate itself in history". The image of women in classical art, and especially "the nude" is explored as a case-study of both the unconscious and deliberate representation of power relationships. For me, however, the most powerful section was the economic foundations of oil painting. The technique was used to portray the solidity of posessions as symbols of power and status of a growing moneyed class. "Merchandise became the actual subject matter of works of art" and so underlined "you are what you have". The result was mostly banal, save the tiny group of masters such as Rembrandt who broke out of the stultifying convention (often to their financial detriment). Just as calssical oil paintings died out as a cohesive art form their consumerist banality, according to Berger led to the the bizare language of advertising with its product-led dreamworld that defines and dominates our capitalist "freedoms". Powerful stuff, don't miss!


The Girl on the Train
The Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £6.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping tale of "girls" off the rails, 5 Dec. 2015
This review is from: The Girl on the Train (Hardcover)
Righty praised as a "page turner", a claustrophobic almost misanthropic rollercoaster of damaged, half-demented people apparently unable to get their lives on track. The journey focuses on drunkard Rachel, the epitomy of the unreliable narrator who stumbles into a situation well beyond her haphazard control and drink-fuzzy undertanding. The author cleverly (and entertainingly - there is a very dark humour in there) structures Rachel's corkscrewing, alcohol-fueled trajectory as both passenger and participant, occasionaly exploring the other female participants' views to open the landscape. You just can't help but warm to daft, drowning Rachel but none of the "girls" come out too well, all seemingly driven by obsession and irrationality. Don't worry, the male protagonists are portrayed as even worse, uniformly vain and potentially violent. All credit therefore to the author for keeping the narrow focus so tightly gripping and still achieving quite a few unexpected turns on the route (well, I didn't see them coming, anyway).


iPhone 6S Case, Spigen  [Resilient] iPhone 6S Case Impact Protection **NEW** [Rugged Armor] [Black] Ultimate protection from drops and impacts for iPhone 6S (2015) - Black (SGP11597)
iPhone 6S Case, Spigen [Resilient] iPhone 6S Case Impact Protection **NEW** [Rugged Armor] [Black] Ultimate protection from drops and impacts for iPhone 6S (2015) - Black (SGP11597)
Offered by Spigen UK Store
Price: £19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good value, 27 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Not really a hard shell, but more substantial than a jelly case. Good fit for 6S, well finished, looks quite nice, reasonable quality for the price, provides a better grip of the phone. Edges maybe a little sharp but no real prob.


Carcassonne: New Edition Board Game
Carcassonne: New Edition Board Game
Price: £22.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Try this if you haven't already - simple but very engaging!, 8 Oct. 2015
Excellent tile-based board game, quick to learn but interesting enough to engage the whole family. I don't know why we hadn't heard of this before! Playing times quite short (30-40'), so easy to have a "quick game". Loses a star though because this new edition apparently is not really compatible with the older "expansions" (more tiles and pieces). It comes with two mini-expansions, though: The River (some extra tiles) and the Abbots (another type of playing piece) which are fine but now we're hooked would like to try the bigger expansions.


A History of Capitalism According to the Jubilee Line (Penguin Underground Lines)
A History of Capitalism According to the Jubilee Line (Penguin Underground Lines)
by John O'Farrell
Edition: Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars The image on the cover is the best bit, 8 Oct. 2015
A clever enough idea, using the Underground and the Jubilee Line in particular as a metaphor for capitalism and left-wing alternatives. The story itself is awful, though, a contrived "dream sequence" and to be honest almost unreadable. A few flashes of the O'Farrell wit but not enough to enliven the trite, plodding politics either. This is definitely not The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, but it is thankfully quite a bit shorter.


The Martian
The Martian
by Andy Weir
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars My new favourite book; better than literature, 13 Sept. 2015
This review is from: The Martian (Paperback)
A man is left stranded on Mars. To survive he must solve a series of problems; how to breathe, how to drink, how to eat, how to keep warm and ultimately how to escape. He has the equipment he came with, his training in engineering and biology, his ingenuity and his sense of humour. Utterly gripping from first page to last. So much literature I read concerns humourless, over-emotional halfwits dealing improbably with the tiresome problems caused by other humourless, over-emotional halfwits. This is a about a hyper-smart emotionally-stable scientist dealing with a real existential problem with humour and panache. Yay!


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