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Jonty "Jonty" (England)

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Blue Box Boy: A Memoir of Doctor Who in Four Episodes
Blue Box Boy: A Memoir of Doctor Who in Four Episodes
by Matthew Waterhouse
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, Funny, Well Written and Poignant, 6 Oct. 2014
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Matthew Waterhouse, one of the people I'd most like to meet in the world, played the part of Adric, my favourite ever "Doctor Who" companion. He writes brilliantly about his Doctors - Tom Baker and Peter Davison - and other Doctors he's met (e.g. Jon Pertwee).

He gives a more detailed account than any other "Who" actor of what it was actually like doing each and every story. In your mind's eye you can see John Nathan-Turner smiling as he suggests that Matthew is the inventor of alcohol, you can hear Michael Robbins talking about his "fer nuthing"s, you cringe as you witness Dudley Simpson's being taken out to dinner by the show's producer and saying how lovely it is that he's finally been recognised for his work... only to find out that the dinner is a way of Nathan-Turner's telling him he's sacked!

He also covers issues like racism, being a young gay man in the 1980s and feelings of loss.

It's a really well-written account which is both funny and poignant - I'd recommend it to anybody.

The Woman of Knockaloe: A Parable
The Woman of Knockaloe: A Parable
by Hall Caine
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.95

5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Story on the Pointlessness of War, 10 April 2014
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This is a work of fiction but based on real events.

The author has set the book in Knockaloe, which was in real life an internment camp for enemy aliens during the First World War. Camps in the Isle of Man during the Second World War have been much discussed but the ones on the First World War were a lot harsher and are a story that has largely been buried.

In the book a young woman works on her father's farm at Knockaloe and when it becomes an internment camp for Germans she grudgingly serves the new occupants. She falls in love, however, with a fine young German man, earning herself and her lover the combined wraths of his German family and of her friends on the Isle of Man, both of which communities see the other as being a barbaric race.

The book is brave as it was written shortly after hostilities ceased and when tempers - and jingoism - were still riding high. Mr. Caine's book was certainly not the flavour of the month with everybody!

I think its message still has a lot for us today and I should recommend this short but disquieting read to anyone.

Checkmate at the Beauty Pageant (The Dov Shamir Adventures Book 2)
Checkmate at the Beauty Pageant (The Dov Shamir Adventures Book 2)
Price: £2.32

5.0 out of 5 stars A fun adventure with Dov Shamir, 20 Jan. 2012
The author makes no bones about the fact that this short, briskly-plotted adventure is pure escapism. But the important thing is that it is GOOD escapism. I'm not sure that it is the best book to read in the dead of winter or the depths of a recession. All this talk about a tropical island paradise or a luxurious mansion might well make the reader jealous or miserable. But if you turn up the central heating and close the curtains, you can imagine you are there and THEN the book takes on a real feelgood factor. It's good old-fashioned fodder for the young. Rescuing beauty queens from the clutches of a mad genius is the stuff of schoolboy fantasies!

The author - whose other work tends to be more literary - has clearly written this book for fun. And I suspect he had a lot of fun writing it.

I think it is fair to say that the Dov Shamir brand is intended to be aimed at the young reader - or at least those who are young at heart. It is also aimed at those who like a quick read. If you're planning a winter break, this is the book to read on the 'plane to get you in the mood. If not, it might just be the book to cheer you up.

Masters of Architecture Sir John Soane
Masters of Architecture Sir John Soane

5.0 out of 5 stars Good solid review of a great architect, 28 Nov. 2011
This well-written review from the 1920s gives a good insight into Sir John Soane and his architectural constructions. There are plenty of good black and white photos, too. That's most helpful in that not everything Soane built and that made it to 1925 has survived to our day, eg the interiors of the Bank of England that Herbert Baker started to replace shortly after this book was published.

The Wimbledon Common Murder
The Wimbledon Common Murder
Price: £3.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How justice faltered... but regained its footing, 4 Oct. 2011
The murder of Rachel Nickell in 1992 went unsolved for many years for a number of reasons - chief amongst them being the fact that the police still thought they knew who the right man was all along and just hadn't been able to make it stick. In fact they were quite wrong. But it took a new police team many years later, free of the emotional baggage that the others were carrying, to be able to look at the case with fresh eyes, aided also by advances in science.

The tragedy of this case is that so many lives were ruined. Kessler certainly does not pull his punches when it comes to apportioning blame. But it is also clear from reading this book that in any complex investigation involving stranger murder, there are always going to be pitfalls and at least some mistakes are inevitable. It is only with regard to the more egregious mistakes that Kessler is judgemental. But he also recognizes that even some of those whom he castigates were sincere, albeit misguided. All in all then a well-written book that handles both the technical and emotional complexity with a degree of wisdom and sophistication that makes this book well worth reading by anyone who cares about justice in this country.

Price: £1.49

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 Hours to Save an "Innocent" Man..., 5 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Mercy (Kindle Edition)
The most amazing thing about this book is that the author manages to hold it together despite the intricacy of the plot. It starts as a simple case of a lawyer making a last-minute clemency plea for his death row client. But from there it launches into a frantic race against time as the idealistic lawyer belatedly comes to the conclusion that his client is innocent.

But gathering the evidence to prove it in such a taut time-frame is another matter. With the help of his physicist son and dedicated paralegal, he makes some headway, but the final goal seems tantalisingly elusive.

The ending is a stunner.

The Moses Legacy
The Moses Legacy
by Adam Palmer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Moses Legacy - Not to be Missed, 3 Jun. 2011
This review is from: The Moses Legacy (Paperback)
Daniel and Gaby are on the run.

The idea of an archaeologist and a linguist running for their lives from a homicidal maniac sounds an unusual premise for a book. Indeed this is a most unusual and thought-provoking book as well as being one of those thrillers you can't put down. It's like Dan Brown only much better: in amongst all the hunting and the framing for murder and the secret agents is a thoughtful understanding of the Middle East and the languages and religions which made it - make it - what it is.

A hit, sir - a most palpable hit!

Mertales: Short Stories of Water, Fin and Pearl
Mertales: Short Stories of Water, Fin and Pearl
by Dulcinea Norton-Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.97

5.0 out of 5 stars A thoughtful and varied mix with something for everybody, 22 Feb. 2011
This book is a collection of different writers' stories about mermaids - well, let's not be sexist here, merfolk. Each writer brings a different style, a different twist, a different voice.

The self-contained stories will take you to the world of a boy fearing his own death and prepared to do anything to save himself; you'll meet greedy pirates prepared to go to desperate measures to gain more money; you'll see one of the merfolk enter a church and fall in love with a congregant; you'll see England in a parallel dimension where females take priority over males and mermaids are worshipped... but where Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all looked upon with equal mistrust by the Pagans who live here!

Dr Who Companion Chronicles the Suffering (Dr Who Big Finish)
Dr Who Companion Chronicles the Suffering (Dr Who Big Finish)
by Jacqueline Rayner
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £11.89

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best "Doctor Who" audio I've heard for years!!, 22 Feb. 2011
This CD arrived in perfect order, unbelievably quickly and was an amazingly good price.

And now to the story on it itself: oh, that more women had written for "Doctor Who" over the years! The characterisations and the thought that went into this story were truly wonderful and made for something which - for me - is much more thought-provoking and enjoyable than endless special sound effects and explosions.

It was so great for me on a number of levels: the Piltdown element I greatly enjoyed. One of my friends reconstructed the skull of an Australopithecus Africanus and told me that it had taken him just ten seconds to tell that "Piltdown Man" was a fake!

My great-grandmother was a suffragist - someone we're immensely proud of in the family. It was really nice having a story which dealt with that period of British history and of the feelings that must have been there for millions of unenfranchised women all over the country.

And to have Maureen O' Brien, my all-time favourite female companion, reconstructing her character Vicki alongside the wonderful Peter Purves whose imitation of William Hartnell is a joy to listen to.

And the backroom chats with the actors about what life was like working on "Doctor Who" in the 1960s, right down to which restaurant William Hartnell used to take Peter Purves to lunch to (as Peter was one of Mr. Hartnell's "likes" rather than being on his long list of "dislikes" lol!) were all priceless.
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The Eye of the Sun God
The Eye of the Sun God
by Guy Blythman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thought-provoking read, 21 Nov. 2010
This review is from: The Eye of the Sun God (Paperback)
G. Blythman brings vividly to life a story of kidnapping, rainforest politics, extortion and the need for a new source of energy in our environmentally friendly world.

It's fiction, of course, but with a lot for us to ponder on in reality.

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