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P. Patten (London)
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TREND FTS/CEG FTS CHISEL EDGE GUARDS 12 PACK
TREND FTS/CEG FTS CHISEL EDGE GUARDS 12 PACK
Offered by Toolsave
Price: £9.23

1.0 out of 5 stars Not very good, I'm afraid, 4 July 2014
Not very good, I'm afraid. These are hard plastic items that simply don't stay on if the correct size for the chisel. Pop the guard on, put the chisel in a roll, pull it out and the guard stays there. Rubber would be better, so I'm off to search for some now. Sigh.


Knight with Armour (Bello)
Knight with Armour (Bello)
Price: £0.59

2.0 out of 5 stars De Bodeham—what a ghastly prig!, 17 April 2014
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I really wanted to like this book. It ticks a lot of the right boxes: obscure, eccentric English author; Crusades; a 'workaday' hero. However, I didn't. And here's why.

For a story to work, you have to have some liking or feeling for the protagonist, to care what happens to him. I'm afraid Duggan inspires none whatever in me for his leading man, de Bodeham. He is dull, priggish, uninspiring, cowardly (but not in a fun, Flashman-ish way like the anti-hero of 'Conscience of the King'), inept, moralistic and unlikeable. The only reason I kept turning the pages was to hope either that (a) he would suddenly have a life-altering experience and change or (b) would die in some improbably noble and cathartic way. SPOILER ALERT........................He doesn't.

Duggan could have done with a tough editor over him on this one. Quite apart from the dullness of the main character, there is far too much detail on the squabbles after the taking of Antioch and on the rival views over the validity of the True Lance; these could have been dealt with at much reduced length. There is also little sense of the true horror and brutality of this expedition; little of the horrors of the sack of Antioch, no mention at all of the cannibalism (attested to by the Crusaders' own side) at the Siege of Ma'arra and the book stops mid-narrative as the sack of Jerusalem is about to start. If Duggan had wanted to paint an 'alternative' version of the Crusades (he was writing in 1950), then there was plenty of material he could have used.

For me, a dud.


Sorcerer's Apprentice
Sorcerer's Apprentice
Price: £1.53

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book BUT Kindle quality control is way off, 11 Jan 2014
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No comment about the content save to echo other reviewers--a fascinating, compelling and often humourous read.

However, the quality of transcription in the Kindle version is very poor. Oddly, it's also intermittent and episodic--you suddenly reach a section where, for about 12-15 pages, the spelling goes all over the place, then it reverts to acceptability. It's almost as if they sent a hard copy to a small copy-typing outfit run by Hakim Feroze in the back streets of Calcutta, who couldn't read it properly and guessed at words...

Come on, Amazon, pay attention!


The Old Man's Guide to the Virtuous Path: Pocket Edition
The Old Man's Guide to the Virtuous Path: Pocket Edition
Price: £0.77

3.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad rendition, but someone please proof the work, 21 July 2013
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It's not a bad version of the TTC, and I think the idea of putting the "Te" section before the "Tao" section is refreshingly different. Sometimes you open a version and get fixated on how they've rendered the 'tao tao not tao' verse. I think Ron Hogan's book is better as a modern take on the TTC, but there's no reason not to have both. Every version has its own flavours and insights.

Some things I wasn't sure about. The reference to "veteran" warrior etc at one point is slightly jarring and I wasn't too sure about the use of 'integrity' for te, though it's a notoriously difficult term to get across.

But someone please proof-read the book. There are typos on almost every page and even some plain mis-spellings ("nobelest"). I know it doesn't make a difference really, but it's odd that in the intro the author says he's been studying taoism for 20 years and yet the book's been allowed to go out in a pretty shoddy way. If I were him, I'd be a little disappointed and I'd give the editors a 'stern look'.


Jane Grigson's Fish Book
Jane Grigson's Fish Book
by Jane Grigson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.89

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best fish cookery book, 3 Nov 2007
Ignore the "it's too stuffy" comment about this book--it really is a wonderful, intelligent and practical book. With this and Alan Davidson's terrific book on North Atlantic seafood, you don't need much if any more.

And yes, herbs do play an important part in the recipes--it's just not nuovo Italiano of the Jamie Oliver school.


River Fly-fishing: The Complete Guide
River Fly-fishing: The Complete Guide
by Peter Lapsley
Edition: Leather Bound

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not terrible, but not the best, 3 Nov 2007
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I cannot quite agree with the glowing 5 star reviews for this book. It's not bad, but it's often a bit superficial and tends to fall slightly between two stools in that it is neither basic enough for the beginner nor advanced/different enough to help the more experienced angler.

There are better books on the subject, I think, but YMMV.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 13, 2010 10:25 AM GMT


The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within
The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within
by Stephen Fry
Edition: Hardcover

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 26 Oct 2006
The review from "regular customer" here is grossly misleading. The book is a gem. There is considerable erudition here, worn lightly and with much style. It's also a terribly useful book to get one into the mechanics not just of writing but also appreciating poetry. If "rc" was offended by one or two phrases, which I agree can strike one as occasionally off-putting, fair enough, but to rubbish the whole book and to suggest that Mr Fry does not know what he is on about is very wide of the mark.

If you have any feeling for or appreciation of poetry, this really is a book worth getting.


Influence: Science and Practice (International Edition)
Influence: Science and Practice (International Edition)
by Robert B. Cialdini
Edition: Paperback

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Influence review, 9 Mar 2004
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I have an absolute horror of self-help books, so picked this up from my father-in-law in the Philippines last New Year to read on the plane with zero enthusiasm. However, it is rather good. Cialdini is nicely self-deprecating and he certainly does not aim along the "Read this book and you'll feel great and have lots of girls" line. At times, he almost seems a little incredulous as to what he is saying and almost shrugs off some of his conclusions with a "you may not believe this - and I had a hard time too - but it seems to be kind of accurate". And there are some rather uncomfortable home truths in much of what he says.
He keeps it all pretty light-hearted, and the impression I had was that this was something of a side-show for him (though that probably is not the case). Layout is very 'self-help' but Cialdini is not too florid. Worth a look.


Tunnel of Love
Tunnel of Love
Price: £6.16

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best, 20 Sep 2003
This review is from: Tunnel of Love (Audio CD)
I have been a Springsteen fan for over 25 years. However, I rather lost interest at "the River" and certainly "Born in the USA" phase. If you appreciate thoughtful song-making, I think you may like this. It's one of my favourites.


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