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Robert Frampton "Rob Frampton" (Dartford, UK)
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Tangos and Tantrums
Tangos and Tantrums
Offered by Leisurezone
Price: 5.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Old fashioned, 10 Nov 2013
This review is from: Tangos and Tantrums (Audio CD)
In the very best way, his is an old fashioned record. Not just in terms of its mix of 'styles' (chansons, jazz, tango) but in the simplicity of its arrangements and the almost classical simplicity of its song-structures. But this would all be for nought were it not for the fact that those songs are small masterpieces and they are sung in a warm and utterly committed way. This is 'her' album (and an album it most surely is, not just a collection of songs) and an antidote to the X-Factorization of popular music.
Buy it now.


Damocles
Damocles
by S.G. Redling
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.64

4.0 out of 5 stars First Contact, New Friends?, 16 July 2013
This review is from: Damocles (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm a sucker for a good First Contact story, and this is a very good First Contact story. Although my preference is for more high-tech, 'hard' SF than S.G. Redling offers here (the interstellar drive based on crystalline technology is a bit new-agey), the sociological and human aspects of the story more than make up for that. I also had an initial concern that the precept of searching for human-like aliens from the seeding project of an a common ancestor was just an attempt to make the aliens less... alien but, as it turned out the differences between 'us' and 'them' are subtly and convincingly rendered, especially the difficulties in building up a common language, the physical differences and how that affects each race views the other and the effect an almost-permanent daylight has had on the cultural development of the alien civilization.
But, having said all that, the heart of the novel is the growing friendship between 'Urfer' (Earther) Meg and alien Loul as they begin to understand and (with difficulty) trust each other. This is largely accomplished with a series of parallel/overlapping narratives from each point of view which allows us to empathize with their respective predicaments without seeming to tell the story twice.
In fact the book is a deceptively light read for one covering such weighty topics.
More, please!


Two Broke Girls - Season 1 [DVD + UV Copy] [2012]
Two Broke Girls - Season 1 [DVD + UV Copy] [2012]
Dvd ~ Kat Dennings
Price: 9.75

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite broke, but..., 5 Sep 2012
I've persevered with '2 Broke Girls' in the hope that it might eventually find its feet, but it's been a struggle. Despite charismatic performances from the two leads (especially the gorgeous Kat Dennings) and for all its superficial modernity (tampons! masturbation! drugs!) this is actually a pretty clunky, old-fashioned sit-com. The premise of the Girls saving up to establish a cupcake business seems to be going nowhere; the oddity of the horse in the backyard was abandoned a few episodes in; the introduction of a quirky upstairs neighbour... all of this smacks of a show that ISN'T finding its feet.
At the same time we have two other US sitcoms ('The New Girl' and 'Don't Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23') which are sparky and just surreal enough to make you sit up and take notice (and, indeed, laugh!). So all of this means I probably won't be making a date with Season 2 of '2 Broke Girls' (if there is one), but if somebody can find a good vehicle for Kat Dennings, I'll be there.


Earthfall
Earthfall
by Mark Walden
Edition: Paperback
Price: 4.89

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice cover!, 9 Aug 2012
This review is from: Earthfall (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
OK, it's more than a nice cover, but I wanted to point out that this really does have a strikingly-effective image to draw you in.
'Earthfall' is clearly a young-adult novel, and the first of series. The set-up and the plot moves along at a fair old pace but, for adult readers there's a bit of a sense of seen-it-all-before. To use a TV analogy, this is rather like 'Primeval' to 'Doctor Who'. Where 'Doctor Who' has complex writing and interesting characters and interlinking stories, 'Primeval' is entertainment that strives to emulate the style of Who but just never quite gets there. This is not to damn 'Earthfall' which, on its own terms, is a perfectly fine read... it just never stretches its readers in the way the best science fiction does.


The Mongoliad (The Mongoliad Cycle, Book 1)
The Mongoliad (The Mongoliad Cycle, Book 1)
by Neal Stephenson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.64

3.0 out of 5 stars Just the beginning..., 9 Aug 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A rather good piece of world-builing, this is clearly just the beginning of a major project for this collective of authors (and others?), and there's enough here to make further volumes an enticing prospect.


Chomp
Chomp
by Carl Hiaasen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 8.85

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars He gets there in the end, 22 April 2012
This review is from: Chomp (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
For half its length ths reads very much like a watered-down Hiaasen adult novel. It's only at that point that the insanity kicks in and the various plot strands start to tangle in that way that makes you remember why you loved Hiaasen in the first place. For young adults this is a good way in to the ecological concerns that pervade much of the author's other novels, but more importantly it's a reminder of the mix of the oddball (faux survivalist Derk Badger who becomes convinced he's turning into a vampire), the nasty (Tuna's violent father Jared) and the heroic in the face of modern stupidity (Mickey, Wahoo & Tuna - don't ask!) that power Hiaasen's other books.
So, not in the league of 'Striptease', but you'll get your quota of belly-laughs and a lesson in not trusting everything you see on TV wildlife shows, and that's got to be a good thing, right?


The Quantum Universe: Everything that can happen does happen
The Quantum Universe: Everything that can happen does happen
by Brian Cox
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.40

4.0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint-hearted, 22 April 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
For those of you used to Brian Cox's TV programmes and the sense of wonder he evokes so well with his mass-market tie-ins, this might come as a bit of a shock. Even as an avid reader of popular science books I found this pretty hard-going and my O-level maths didn't take me very far before I found my head spinning. However, that's not to say the journey isn't worthwhile and the complexity of quantum physics shouldn't always be reduced to soundbites and equation-less paperbacks.
So, approach with caution, but with an open mind and regard this book as the next step up in your induction into a more wonderful world!


The Reapers are the Angels
The Reapers are the Angels
by Alden Bell
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine debut, 20 Sep 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Amongst the plethora of vampire and zombie re-imaginings that has infested the publishing world over the last few years, Justin Cronin's 'The Passage' stands as a high-water mark. But now it has a serious rival in the shape of 'The Reapers are the Angels'.
A poetic 'alternative' to Cronin's epic, it centres on the journey of one young woman, Temple, in her journey through a strangely altered, apocalyptic landscape, it's less about the zombie plague than about how 'normal' people adapt, or, more pointedly, fail to adapt, to this new world. Temple's survival strategy of coldness and detachment is mitigated by her attempt to do one good thing in this new world, but it turns out that being a good person isn't easy.


The World At War: The Ultimate Restored Edition 2010 [DVD]
The World At War: The Ultimate Restored Edition 2010 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Peter Tiffin
Price: 19.50

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential viewing, 20 Sep 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Despite its age, 'The World at War' stands as a crowning achievement of documentary film-making. The hours of footage alone makes it absolutely essential viewing for every school child (and adult) who needs the reality of war brought home to them. The footage of emaciated, skeletal bodies of Nazi concentration camp 'inmates' being buried in huge mass graves remains shocking and heartbreaking nearly 70 years after it was shot and is a reminder that any arguments/comments about the restoration of this new edition is moot when it comes to the raw footage.
Absolutely essential.


Doctor Who: The Essential Companion
Doctor Who: The Essential Companion
by Steve Tribe
Edition: Audio CD
Price: 9.84

2.0 out of 5 stars The Inessential Companion, 20 Sep 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A collection of audio clips from the Eleventh Doctor's (and Amy's!) first season, loosely knitted together by narration from Alex Price, it's difficult to see the point of this project. It doesn't work as an audio book because it doesn't give a comprehensive selection from each episode, but neither does it truly work as an overview of the series. The conclusion, unfortunately, has to be that it's a cash-in.


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