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Sweary "Sweary" (Cork, Ireland)

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American Idiot
American Idiot
Price: £6.66

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enough, begrudgers!, 29 Aug 2005
This review is from: American Idiot (Audio CD)
I've had quite enough of those who harp on about being "true Green Day fans" complaining that this album isn't Dookie. Fair enough, if you prefer the punkier Green Day, listen to Dookie again, but comparing this album to their earlier stuff is ridiculous. Bands change and mature, and are all the better for it. With American Idiot, Green Day prove their reluctance to be crammed into a rut.
The band have also been accused of jumping on a bandwagon in order to sell to new fans, which I would think a silly statement seeing as Green Day are so well established. The album focuses on issues important to American society today, and forgive me if I'm wrong, but Green Day have always written tracks that put American life under the spotlight.
The album is excellent. Stand out tracks include Jesus Of Suburbia (wonderful lyrics on the isolation of youth) and Holiday, while Whatsername is an evocative close to a stirring and emotionally rich album. Again, Billie Joe's lyrics are heartfelt and affectingly delivered. The music may be as "power-chordy" as ever, but what matter when the album sounds better than a "greatest hits" from many lesser bands.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 1, 2010 3:04 PM BST

The Virgin Suicides
The Virgin Suicides
by Jeffrey Eugenides
Edition: Paperback

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Haunting, 25 Aug 2005
This review is from: The Virgin Suicides (Paperback)
There's not much more that can be said for this modern classic: if I could say only one thing about it, it would be that the end of the book, although we know the happenings are inevitable, is the most disturbing, unsettling, frightening thing I've read in a long time. For all those that like their horror psychological, and are more taken with heavy foreboding than gore, this book is one I would recommend with a hand on my heart.

The Killing of the Tinkers (Brandon Originals)
The Killing of the Tinkers (Brandon Originals)
by Ken Bruen
Edition: Paperback

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Im Unsure..., 25 Aug 2005
There is something compelling about this book; that the hero is flawed beyond what some authors would chance for their characters, that the story is pacy, and punchy. I suppose my major gripe is Bruen's writing. To my mind, portraying a world where the characters are fighting for time doesn't necessarily mean leaving out half the words... I've heard of editing, but this is ridiculous! It's as if the author, in trying to create an in-your-face protagonist and some snappy dialogue, ended up with a narrative voice bundled with every conceivable noir clichè. It gets extremely irritating:
"Went out. Bought cigarettes. Malboros. Had pint"
At times it's like some sort of delusional diary.
Very black and white in its characterisation too... like I said, I'm in two minds. While I admire the author for not flinching away from exploring the darker side of human nature, I want to hit him over the head with the Oxford dictionary.

Junk (Puffin Teenage Fiction)
Junk (Puffin Teenage Fiction)
by Melvin Burgess
Edition: Paperback

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating, 17 Aug 2005
I 1st read this book as a fifteen year old and was astounded by it; many other young adult books I'd read seemed twee, but this one got me right between the eyes. What is still powerful about this book is how Burgess makes no judgements, no excuses, and often gives no reasons for his characters to behave the way they do. This is something sorely lacking in many young adult books: the idea that not everything happens for a reason. Burgess allows himself no easy ways out. He doesn't make it easy for the reader to like his characters, and yet by switching viewpoints throughout the tale he makes sure we different glimpses of their lives as we read. Gemma, for example, has a very particular view of herself, Vonny has a constrasting opinion on her!
What is astounding is how the characters change so drastically while still remaining "themselves" at heart, and that Burgess can manage this in a realistic way proves his prowess as a writer. At the start of the book, we are encouraged to feel sorry for Tar, and it is to Burgess' credit that he holds the reader's sympathy while showing the character's moral breakdown.
A wonderful book, bleak, tough to read, but utterly essential.

White Chicks [VHS]
White Chicks [VHS]

4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good fun, 5 Aug 2005
This review is from: White Chicks [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I wasn't expecting to like this movie at all, despite having enjoyed the no-brainer laughathon that was the Scary Movie series. However, I must say I was pleasantly surprised!
The story looks deservedly ridiculous on paper; two black partners go undercover as white society girls in order to crack a case. The Wayans brothers look suitably demented as a couple of priviledged rich gals, although... they are also oddly convincing. The comedy comes from the expected sources; the guys trying to convince "their" friends that they are indeed the same girls they've spent every Hamptons summer with; how they deal with the men who fall in love with them; how they deal with the women they fall in love with! Despite the plot being wholly predictable, much belly-laughs ensue, and you even find yourself cheering on the boys in dance competitions and saucy girls-only slumber party challenges!
Suprisingly hilarious, even the wary should give it a try as a popcorn comedy.

Brotherhood Of The Wolf [DVD] [2001]
Brotherhood Of The Wolf [DVD] [2001]
Dvd ~ Samuel Le Bihan
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.74

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastical, ridiculous and utterly brilliant., 31 July 2005
At last, a leave-your-brain-at-home movie for those of us with brains!
The sheer audacity of this movie is enough to merit it 5 stars in my opinion, for this is truly a film with everything. It's a movie of kung-fu, romance, thriller, horror, period drama, political intrigue... I could go on. The main characters are wonderfully over the top, from the smooth, suave yet vicious hero to the villain dripping OTT cool. Of course it's silly! But it's also an extremely enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours!

People Like Us
People Like Us
by Chris Binchy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A non-book, 30 July 2005
This review is from: People Like Us (Paperback)
Silly as my title may seem, that's how I felt about Binchy's novel.
The writing is pedestrian, and the plot... non-existant. The book seems to be a collection of themes, thoughts on life that the author would like to get across without thinking too much about creating a story. Having said that, the themes are interesting... isolation in modern super-estates, the ever-widening generation gap... The main problem is the characters. Paul, the protagonist, although realistic in his actions, is someone I could never truly feel for. Perhaps too realistic? Not everyone cares for the daily thoughts and actions of someone so "like us" that he doesn't deserve to be a work of fiction. The teenagers are abhorrent... bags of nastiness without any redeeming qualities. Funnily enough, although the blurb on the book suggests Binchy is trying to challenge our prejudices directed towards the nameless youngsters we find gathering on street corners, he seems to be creating characters anyone really WOULD want to stay away from! Clare, in particular, is a nasty piece of work, the stereotypical sullen teenage daughter. Better characterisation would have made her likeable along with rebellious, but in my opinion, Binchy fails to make her anything more than a horrid clichè.
As for the home troubles Robbie is having? They seem to be simply thrown in at the last minute so we can get some sense of where the boy is coming from. Unfortunately they seem forced; too little, too late.
The only character who we learn enough about to feel for, Joe, is dropped completely at the end of the novel... perhaps Binchy shouldn't have given the reader so much back story in order to generate sympathy wasted on such a minor character?
I was expecting great things from Binchy; there aren't enough contemporary Irish authors writing urban stories. However, at the end of the book, I felt let down, and sorry I'd wasted my money on something I could have borrowed from the library.

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