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Geoff KERSHAW

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Fellini's Casanova - (Mr Bongo Films) (1976) [DVD]
Fellini's Casanova - (Mr Bongo Films) (1976) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Donald Sutherland
Price: £12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Sutherland Sublime!, 28 Oct. 2015
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If you don't know Fellini, start here!
Fellini is exotic. Ok! But not inaccessible. This is a thoughtful and loving 'retrospective' of a life as much philosophical as erotic,as seen from the 'wrong end' of the telescope. There is a truly elegaic quality about it, perfectly captured.Think of it first as history, then as biography, then see where it takes you.
Donald Sutherland is sublime.


Fatal Frost: DI Jack Frost series 2 (DI Jack Frost Prequel)
Fatal Frost: DI Jack Frost series 2 (DI Jack Frost Prequel)
by James Henry
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fatal Frost, 28 Oct. 2015
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Everything you ever wanted in Frost is here!
The quality of the writing is 'indistinguishable from real, All the pace, the confusion, the sheer bloody-mindedness of events are in this narrative and of course Frost emerges bloodied but only a bit bowed, but still doesn't get the girl.
If you liked the originals, don't look at the name on the cover, just read and enjoy!


To the Lighthouse (Collins Classics)
To the Lighthouse (Collins Classics)
by Virginia Woolf
Edition: Paperback
Price: £2.50

3.0 out of 5 stars I just bought it out of curiosity and enjoyed it. Not sure what the fuss is about, 28 Oct. 2015
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I just bought it out of curiosity and enjoyed it.
Not sure what the fuss is about. The language is not difficult and the fact that nothing very much happens chimes with experience.
I'm not sure if this is the 'entry level' Woolf (maybe Mrs Dalloway?) but it was Ok.


Nosferatu The Vampyre [DVD]
Nosferatu The Vampyre [DVD]
Dvd ~ Klaus Kinski
Offered by jim-exselecky
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Nosferatu is a captivating and lyrical love story. Hey - wait a minute, 28 Oct. 2015
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This review is from: Nosferatu The Vampyre [DVD] (DVD)
Nosferatu is a captivating and lyrical love story.
Hey - wait a minute! It's supposed to be about vampires, isn't it?
But if the eternal theme of all literature is Love and Death, what happens if Death is taken away?
Only love and sacrifice remain.
Taking as a starting point the 1922 silent movie, Herzog reworks the story beautifully, from the 'trademark' opening sequence to the inevitable and maybe even regrettable end. Even under the make-up, Klaus Kinski is sublime and the use of colour contrasts wonderfully with the B&W original. This film should have an appeal beyond 'art house', and is highly recommended.


The Red Orchestra (Witnesses to War)
The Red Orchestra (Witnesses to War)
by Gilles Perrault
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars This was actually bought for a present. I first ..., 28 Oct. 2015
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This was actually bought for a present. I first read it (in French!) many years ago.
I've recently become interested in aspects of the internal resistance to the 'Nazis' in wartime Germany.
Guenter Grass' the Tin Drum describes the subculture of 'yobs' who beat up Hitler Youth in Danzig; 'Hans Fallada' writes of the grass-root protest of the little man in Alone in Berlin (Every Man Dies Alone), and here we have the story of the ultimate protest. A coterie of 'decent' Germans, manipulated and ultimately betrayed both by their soviet handlers and the German police service.
Worth buying and worth reading by anyone who thinks that idealism has its rewards.


The Tin Drum (Vintage Classics)
The Tin Drum (Vintage Classics)
by Günter Grass
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Evergreen Grass, 6 Aug. 2015
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Surrealism? Magic realism?, Autobiography plus?
This has been one of my 'must-reads when I retire' books since the first Penguin translation came out in the 1960's. I'm sorry I left it so long.
I'd been expecting a sort of 'Kafka-meets-Fellini' experience and found - a sensitive, even loving evocation of the vanished world of 'German' East Prussia. Seen through the eyes of an 'unreliable' narrator who twists a different narrative around the historical 'facts', Grass' Danzig is nevertheless every bit as 'real' as Joyce's Dublin. All commented through the rhythm of the protagonist's drum.
The 'Tin Drum' can be read (and re-read) on any number of levels. Please do!


Testament Of Youth: Film Tie In (VMC)
Testament Of Youth: Film Tie In (VMC)
by Vera Brittain
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Testament of History, 6 Aug. 2015
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I bought this not because of the TV series tie-in (I still haven't seen it) but in trying to understand the hinterland of Shirley Williams through the story of her mother.
What I found was something quite different. Not autobiography, not an autobiographical novel; more a memorial. 'To the lot of middle-class girls before WWI, the traumas (and petty idiocies) of war and the ideals of post-war internationalism (already lost by the time the book was written). It's not just primary source material - it's a real considered account of one person's small part 'in the larger destinies of mankind'. All very readable, in the style of a writer brought up in practical journalism rather than 'literary' prose. So there's something here for everybody - and a mini-series to watch as well!


Oz
Oz
by Bobbie Darbyshire
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars "If I walked under a bus....", 19 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Oz (Paperback)
This intriguing and captivating novel takes as its starting point the common cliché, "What would happen if I walked under a bus tomorrow?" When it actually happens, this random event is woven into a fascinating narrative linking forwards and backwards to explore the unexpected consequences for the apparently 'ordinary' lives of the people concerned by it, while working towards a sympathetic exploration of what might constitute a 'happy ending'.
The quality of the writing is excellent and deceptively straightforward, though the novel possesses layers of meaning and additional dimensions that merit further reflection and probably a second reading.
An altogether engaging read that left me wanting to explore more of her work.


The Black Cloud (Penguin Modern Classics)
The Black Cloud (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Fred Hoyle
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.48

5.0 out of 5 stars interstellar matter could create intelligent structures, which just occasionally encounter inhabited planets, 4 Oct. 2014
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Just occasionally the combination of imagination and intellectual rigour that produces a prize-winning astrophysicist can also produce a prize-winning novelist.
Not content with 'big-bang' theories (his own contemptuous term) for the origins of life or the universe or both, Hoyle's restless imagination was ever on the look-out for greater subtleties of interpretation.
Why should the image of alien life be confined to 'little green men' in flying saucers while in the infinitely old and ever-evolving universe, interstellar matter could create intelligent structures, which just occasionally encounter inhabited planets?
Supposing this might happen, the rest is a fascinating tale about how a society identifies, manages and - survives (?) such an encounter.
This is a scientific novel; a political fable and an object lesson in crisis management - all in one slender volume...


A for Andromeda (Story-Tellers)
A for Andromeda (Story-Tellers)
by Fred Hoyle
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars E for Excellent, 4 Oct. 2014
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I saw the television series when it first came out in the 1960's, and it has stayed with me more or less ever since. I bought the book partly to 'check against delivery' - and wasn't disappointed.
As in The Black Cloud, the sublime Fred Hoyle imagines a different and infinitely more subtle kind of alien 'invasion' than you could ever conceive.
For all the 'period charm' of its setting, the science is still frighteningly advanced, and you could fast-forward fifty years and not much would have changed. Combine radio-astronomy, advanced computing, gene sequencing and ethical dilemmas - give them a good shake....
Scientifically and politically It's just as challenging now as when it was first written. Try it!


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