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CARNACKI: The New Adventures
CARNACKI: The New Adventures
by Josh Reynolds
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.04

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh, no..., 1 May 2014
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As with most collections these stories are of varying quality, ranging as they do from the rather ordinary to the downright execrable.
I won't bother outlining the plots of the various stories , because they all share the same characteristics-little imagination, no wit, heavy on cliché and poorly written.
And when I say poorly written I mean at a very basic level. Bad grammar, clumsy sentence construction and even wrong vocabulary. If you don't know what a word means, don't use it.
And the voice is all wrong. It's a fake 'old Englishness' with archaic vocabulary and convoluted sentences that has Carnacki sounding like the Hollywood idea of a pretentious, slightly demented seventeenth century fop; certainly not an Edwardian Englishman.
It feels to me like a book put together in a hurry, written by people who'd only skim-read the originals.
The only good thing about it is that struggling through it did prompt me to re-read the William Hope Hodgson tales. Tales that show that even 'mere' ghost stories can have real literary quality.
Accept no imitations!


American VI: Ain't No Grave [VINYL]
American VI: Ain't No Grave [VINYL]
Offered by marvelio-uk
Price: 17.47

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodbye Mr Cash, 3 Jun 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Let me begin by saying that the record I recieved had none of the problems the previous reviewer seemed to have. It plays without distortion, noise or any other technical problem.
And what you get is a stunning collection of songs. Some old, some very simple but all delivered with such a mix of emotions, -sadness, hope, anger and holy joy- that it leaves you reeling.
The performance is spare and stark. And ,thank god, the arrangements and production do nothing to detract from this. The final recordings of a man facing loss and death with humanity and hope.
Buy it. If you're worried by the previous reviewers problems with the vinyl release, then buy it on CD; just buy it.


MINOX MD 50 W Spotting Scopes with eyepiece 16-30x (not removeable)
MINOX MD 50 W Spotting Scopes with eyepiece 16-30x (not removeable)
Price: 259.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic little 'scope, 13 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Lightweight but solidly built, this compact spotting scope is difficult to fault. For the price the optics are excellent, giving a clear undistorted image even at its highest magnification (x30). The zoom is smooth, and all in all it's a very comfortable and easy thing to use. The focus mechanism is quite stiff so it can be a bit of a strain on my old arthritic fingers on a cold day, and maybe would be a bit tricky for a child to operate. But given the overall quality of the 'scope this is a small gripe indeed.
OK, it's not top-end optics, but it's not top-end price either.
Image quality- four stars.
Build quality- five stars.
Value for money- five stars.


Eldritch Tales: A Miscellany of the Macabre
Eldritch Tales: A Miscellany of the Macabre
by H. P. Lovecraft
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 21.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NOT the Necronomicon's baby brother, 28 Mar 2012
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Reading some of the reviews of this book you may get the impression that it is a lesser work than its companion "Necronomicon- the best weird tales of H P Lovecraft". In my opinion, not so.
True, "Necronomicon" contains HPL's most well known, influential and (I agree) best fiction; but as such, these are stories easily found in a hundred other collections and anthologies . The joy of "Eldritch Tales" is the variety of othewise hard to find material that it contains. Sure, some of the early writings included are far from being the author's best works, but they give a fascinating glimpse at the way his style and content developed.
The revisions of other writer's work are similarly fascinating.
For me, the poetry was the most enjoyable aspect of the book. "Fungi from Yuggoth" is a collection of gems. 36 sonnets ranging from wistful homages to his New England home, to little nuggets of the sinister. Some, like "The Well" and "The Familiars" manage to condense a whole horror story into 14 rhyming lines!
The volume also contains his excellent essay "Supernatural Horror in Literature". Who could ask for more.
(This volume is also mercifully free of the many spelling mistakes and other typographic errors that blight "Necronomicon").


Shadows Over Baker Street: New Tales of Terror!
Shadows Over Baker Street: New Tales of Terror!
by James Lowder
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.46

3.0 out of 5 stars Jolly nonsense!, 15 Mar 2012
The rule seems to be that if you can't write a decent, imaginative and convincing Holmes story, then write a "Holmes meets ..." story.
I've read recent stuff in which Holmes meets Freud, H G Wells (he meets him again in this collection), Dracula, the phantom of the opera, etc. etc. (If you want to see how tedious and grim this can be I recommend "The tangled skein" by D Stuart Davies)
Now he meets Cthulhu!

Oh Elder Gods!

To be fair, Neil Gaiman's "A Study in Emerald" is a gem. Witty, imaginative and showing a deep knowledge of the works of both Doyle and Lovecraft. Also "The Weeping Masks" by James Lowder I found honestly creepy and rather moving (Maybe helped by the fact that Holmes is not in it, so the narrator Watson is not forced to be the limited stereotype that most of these pastiches make him.)

The rest of the stories- well, don't set your sights too high, keep your tongue shoved into your cheek and accept it as the lightweight mish-mash it was bound to be. If you can manage that, then it's an enjoyable, if forgettable, few hours.


Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales of H.P. Lovecraft: The Best Weird Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales of H.P. Lovecraft: The Best Weird Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
by H. P. Lovecraft
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 18.40

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great collection, but..., 14 Mar 2012
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A collection of the best of H P Lovecraft's tales, in a book which is well crafted and beautifully presented.
But the proof reading and sub-editing are abysmal.
Mostly just irritating typos; 'this' instead of 'his', 'flight' instead of 'light' and the word 'he' omitted in error. These 3 examples from one short story alone (The Haunter of the Dark). But in other places the errors are much more serious.
For example, this sort of sentence from 'Cool Air' "My amateur efforts, however, proved of no use; and when I had new piston would have to be obtained." (sic). Shoddy.
Although HPL wrote mostly for the pulp magazines he was a meticulous craftsman. It is as much his style and precision as the sweep of his imagination that make him the important, influential and popular writer that he remains.
He deserves more care than this.


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