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Ian Hughes "ihu6297959" (Bridgend,U.K.)
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They Let Me Out!
They Let Me Out!
by Ms Fatima Blues
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.23

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 23 April 2013
This review is from: They Let Me Out! (Paperback)
Fatima has written a fast paced and witty little book that takes in cultural,mental health and marital issues in a funny and bright way. Fatima places her characters in fictitious names but describes how they all impacted in different ways on her life as she slides into a bipolar disorder.Fatima describes her despair at the way her life is leading brilliantly letting the reader into her darkest thoughts but often in a witty way. She recognizes how powerless she feels at times especially with her second husband,Jeremy who is able to manipulate her and has a not so secret gay love affair. Fatima describes them as 'two old pooftas'.Fatima describes how she coped with her powerlessness by taking benzodiazapines and alcoholHer first husband Duncan, Fatima feels was typical of that era of left wing masculine politics of the time in opposition to Thatcher and does how he does not do much for her confidence. One can see where Fatima was coming from an aristocratic upbringing in the Maldives who took a gigantic leap to emigrate to Britain and despite no help from either partners has managed to struggle through Ruskin College and then University plunge into despair get diagnozed with bipolar disorder and come out the other end all the better for it .The author has done herself proud on what i believe is going to be a successful writing carreer.


Kearny's March: The Epic Creation of the American West, 1846-1847 (Vintage)
Kearny's March: The Epic Creation of the American West, 1846-1847 (Vintage)
by Winston Groom
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.88

3.0 out of 5 stars kearney's march, 16 Nov 2012
Winston Groom is a good story teller but unfortunatelly never includes footnote for quotations nor for source material so one never knows whether its made up.Nevertheless the author tells a little known story of an army expidition to blaze its way through Navajo Indian lands so as to make it safer for white settlers to reach California. This tale is better told by Hampton Sides 'Blood and Thunder'which does include footnotes.I would give a higher rating if there were footnotes .I have bought several books by Winston Groom including Patriotic Fire,1942,Nashville and Vicksburg and have never been disapointed. His sense of history is accurate and he tells an absorbing story in an easy to read style. The author brings to life near legendary characters such as Kit Carson,Daniel Boone and describes the lands they pass through well and as it was then.Kearney was the General put in charge of the expidition by newly elected President Polk who then as today was using a military conquest to distract the American people away from economic woes. Polk used war with Mexico and Kearney's march to do just that. The Navajo Indians who stood in the way and fought tenaciously for their lands were brutaly dealt with by Kearney. Kit Carson although married to an Indian wife was very ruthless to Indians who he was told to deal with.It was Polk who used the theory of Manifest Destiny to impose America's will on smaller nations and use it as an ideology to brainwash the American people to believe in it in the context of the American peoples belief that it was their Manifest Destiny to conquer and occupy the entire West.The author fills a gap in our knowledge of American history and sweeps the reader along at a cracking pace. The author is a master story teller and uses his novelistic skills to great effect.


The Damage Done: Twelve Years Of Hell In A Bangkok Prison
The Damage Done: Twelve Years Of Hell In A Bangkok Prison
by W Fellows
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars sexed up story, 11 Aug 2008
The author has beefed up his account.As someone who has acted as a courier there are some glaring inconsistancies.Why not include accounts of his supposed many 'runs'to Thailand,India,South America.Warren does not provide details.Did they happen?The line about Avril,what was that about,other than to pad out the pages?The warning signs before the bust ,especially his taxi driver who apparently was his contact also who left a message that he could not drive Warren to the airport.That should have sent alarm bells.Why did he not clear out of the hotel,left heroin in left luggage and gone to another hotel to think it through.Why rope Paul into the scam?Either Warren is the slopiest courier around or he has embelished the story.The only part thats true,i suspect,is they were caught.Perhaps this was their first and only run,Thailand was notoriest at that time.Placing the heroin under a towel,not very clever?Using a pen to shoot heroin in prison,one would need a plunger to draw blood for a hit and there would not be any pressure by blowing into vein.Its possible to use a pen but not as described by our Warren.However it was a good read.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 1, 2012 12:15 AM BST


Escape: The True Story of the Only Westerner Ever to Break Out of the Bangkok Hilton
Escape: The True Story of the Only Westerner Ever to Break Out of the Bangkok Hilton
by David McMillan
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.99

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Western collusion in Thai misery, 25 July 2008
The author develops his story with litery skill,a real page turner.Smuggling is one of the Worlds oldest proffession,where there is a demand there is always someone ready to fill it,no matter what the risk.The chances of getting caught are minimal.David manages to stay objective,the horror he witnesses would traumatise most people.The Thai junkie who gets beaten half to death by the guards,then left to die in agony and then his murderer makes a joke at the victims sisters expense truly exposes the brutilising underbelly of Klon Prem.The collusion of Western Embessies and Police agencies is appalling and needs to be exposed for what it is,a blind eye to murder,all in the name of this barbaric 'War on Drugs'.This book should be required reading in all schools and included in the National Curiculum and a copy in every library.Well done David,good luck for the futore and if you manage another smuggle send something my way.


Suez 1956: The Inside Story of the First Oil War
Suez 1956: The Inside Story of the First Oil War
by Barry Turner
Edition: Hardcover

21 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suez: the untold story, 11 Aug 2006
This book is rightly described as the first oil war. The auther has done well to write a gripping tale backed up with authoritive facts.He describes the backcloth of clumsy British policy in the Middle East and Egypt in particular,the racism and paternalism that bred a hatred for what were occupiers,similar to Iraq and Afghanistan today.MR.Turner indicates quite rightly that the British public if given the oppurtunity would much prefer higher living standards,better public services,than fritting away our wealth on massive amounts on arms ,an aggressive foreign policy and prancing about on the world stage telling other countries what to do or impressing the Americans,similarly what a Blair regime does today.Democracy is o.k. until the people request it.MR. Turner describes the events following the completion of the Suez canaland links British policy to domination of the Middle East and control of oil supply in hindsite we can see there was nothing to worry about ,however the mindset of the British political Establishment were concerned at carrying on Britains Imperialist traditionin a Post War settlement, much as today Blair is trying so hard to maintain Britain as a World power at a terrible cost.As MR.Turner so eloquently descibes all came crashing down with Suez,as Blair will one day find out .The book is a must read besides its historical importance but also for its understanding of todays happenings in the region.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 26, 2009 4:08 PM BST


Gangland Britain
Gangland Britain
by Tony Thompson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.99

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good start for british gangs, 13 Feb 2006
This review is from: Gangland Britain (Paperback)
The author has some good connections in the underworld and comes up with a fairly accurate picture of criminal gangs in Britain, although a bit dated today, Iread MR.Thompsons followup first,Gangs which is much better.My only complaint is that the author treats the use of drugs as something that needs to be stopped at all costs not that adults should not be crimilised for their behaviour. The vast majority of drug users do not engage in crime[95%].The sting operations by customs on those guys from Cali was an indicator how corrupt Law Enforcement gets.The topsy turvy values of prohibition ensures they get promotion,carreer enhancement, more funds for their Dept.,publicity all because they created a crime.Little thought for Francisco who was deceived by them and who probably paid the ultimate price.A thought provocing little book.


Attila: A Barbarian King and the Fall of Rome
Attila: A Barbarian King and the Fall of Rome
by John Man
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars attila, 31 Dec 2005
The author,john Man, has produced a superb book.The Huns had a history that Mr. Man has traced to its origin,the Hsiung-nu, who plagued the Chinese before being defeated and then the long trek and a metamorphisis into the Huns. As the Huns they collided with Germanic peoples such as the Goths,Alans absorbing some forcing others to flee to the Roman frontier on the Danube. The Huns must have been ferocious warriers as the Goths having initially negotiated apeacefull crossing of the Roman border to be resettled turned on their erstwhile benefactors and heavily defeated the mighty Roman army at Adrianople,killing the Emporer Valens to boot.Initially the Romans used the Huns as auxiliaries.Later Attila saw how weak and divided Rome was and swept through the Empire ravaging the countryside even using seige engines to take towns. Attila suffered a reverse atOrleons by Aetius,a Roman general.With Attilas death his Empire fell apart. Mr. Man produces a good story that needs to be told anew.One error his photo following page 196of Aetius is actually Flavius Stilicho.On his shield are the images of the boy emperorsHonoriusand Arcadius a slightly earlier period.


The Dieppe Raid: The Story of the Disastrous 1942 Mission
The Dieppe Raid: The Story of the Disastrous 1942 Mission
by Robin Neillands
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dieppe:Churchills other Gallipoli, 28 Sep 2005
This is one of Robin Neillands better books,he usually writes in a dry,factual manner but seems to make Dieppe raid a very lively account.He sets out the pressures facing the Allied High Command brilliantly.The Canadian troops kicking their heels,the Soviets demanding a second front,theUS wanting to get on with it,and the British people through their trade unions and Labour MPs demanding action.He gets it wrong when he states the Soviets threatened to conclude a peace with Hitler unless the Allies initiated a second front.There is no reference to this and no other Historian has said Stalin said this.The British people were rightly suspicious of their leaders at this stage of the war.Churchill had presided over a catalouge of defeats from Dunkirk to Tobruck to Malaya,Singapore and Burma. Churchill used the same pool of discredited First World War generals and pre-war Establishment figures who came out of the woodwork to fill the highly paid positions that became available because of the war.The British High Command and Govt.were seething with intrigue and overcome with ineptness that cost thousands of unavoidable lives like the wrong equiptment such as lightly armoured tanks,no suitable anti-tank guns and bickering Generals whose caution led to major defeat like Percival in Singapore. Churchill was responsible for de-nuding the British forces of arms and equiptment by sending war materials to Russia when the reallity was the Soviets did not need it.Churchill was playing the big man.This led to a crisis of lack of air cover at Dieppe,Singapore etc. British lives were expendable to the likes of Churchill.Dieppe was Churchills attempt to wipe the slate clean for GAllipoli.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 1, 2013 1:38 PM BST


White Gold: The Inside Story Of The UK's Largest Ever Drugs Haul
White Gold: The Inside Story Of The UK's Largest Ever Drugs Haul
by Eugene Costello
Edition: Paperback

9 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars poor effort, 20 Jun 2004
costello s research is scanty. he focuses on the bit players .no thing emerges about the columbians ,the spanish ,or the morrocans.costello misses the real story.his sketches of chadwick are pure hearsay content to parrot predjuces. ian rea was much biggerthan costello bothered to find out. most of the story is tied up in howarth s pub sessions or customs reports of sightings .what could have been a good piece of investigative journalism turned into a story any schoolboy could have written .it needs to be re-written by a more imaginative person


The Most Glorious Fourth: Vicksburg and Gettysburg, July 4th, 1863
The Most Glorious Fourth: Vicksburg and Gettysburg, July 4th, 1863
by Duane Schultz
Edition: Paperback
Price: 16.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars the most glorious 4ththe book, 22 Jan 2003
the book starts wellwith lincoln in the telegraph office. schultz takes the reader through a charged atmospheric period as lincoln attempts tokeep his finger on the pulse whilst two major battles are in progress,each of which could have ended in catastrophic defeat.the telegraph office was also a refuge for lincoln to escape the numerous visitors a presidential office has .lincoln had an amazing grasp of military logic and would often run rings around his generals much to mcclellans and hookers chagrin.in todays instant ly accesable information the reader is transported to an age when this was not so .schultz is one of those rare breed of historians who can bring figures to lifeand is able to make the reader feel they are there. the plot slows down as the auther spends too much time on charecter portraits of his main players ,unfortunately telling us little we did not already know.schultz describes the constant confict between the confederate eastern and western theatres over resources well.whilst lee may have had a tactical grasp of battlefield conditions ,he lacked an overall grasp of the big picture.scultz weaves the interplay between vicksburg and gettysburg well and demonstrates lincolns superior strategic thinking in seeing the importance of the two battles and also his humanityin concern for his soldiers wellfare by contrastdavies meddles constantly getting involved in his generals squables.the battledescriptions are good .schultz describes the impact of what must have been a collosal defeat for the confedderacy and its armies in graphic terms whilst drawing in the human story.for the union victory was sweet.this was a very good book ,an excellant read ,even for someone like me who has read an awfull lot of civil war books


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