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A. G. Lockhart (Northants, England)
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Vandoren Traditional Alto Saxophone Reeds - Box of 10 - Strength 2
Vandoren Traditional Alto Saxophone Reeds - Box of 10 - Strength 2
Offered by RST Music
Price: 22.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Play It Again!, 17 April 2012
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These are the best reeds on the market. They are precision made and stronger (my opinion anyway) than other brand products. I recommend buying one strength lower than usual.
I don't play the sax every day, so this box is going to last me a long time.


The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire
The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire
Price: 5.56

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Women behind the Throne, 22 Jan 2012
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Professor Weatherford propounds a most interesting theory which is very much in accord with my own thinking: while the men were away making war, it was the women who ruled. The women in the Mongol Empire were emancipated to an extent not found in other societies. Though their role was complementary to that of the men, they had a great deal of power and influence. By giving his daughters respect and position, Genghis Khan showed himself to have been less of the barbarian and more of the statesman than most people credit. Weatherford's book shows that there was another side to the peculiar Mongol marriage laws. My only regret is that he did not widen his study to other prominent Mongol princesses, for example, Sorqoqtani.


The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall - Double Play (Blu-ray + DVD) [Region Free]
The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall - Double Play (Blu-ray + DVD) [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Ramin Karimloo
Price: 10.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Phantastic!, 22 Jan 2012
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I've seen the show on stage but I think this special recording tops it. On the blu-ray, the colour and brilliance are amazing and unlike in the live theatre, you can see the sweat on the performers' faces without being in the front seats. I enjoyed the finale very much indeed. It was reminiscent of the 10th anniversary performance of Les Mis.
On a marketing point, what's the advantage of putting a blu-ray AND a DVD in these packages? If you have a blu-ray machine, you watch the former. If you don't, you buy the DVD on its own.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 2, 2012 8:51 PM BST


One Fine Day
One Fine Day
Price: 5.40

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One Fine Voice, 25 Nov 2011
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This review is from: One Fine Day (Audio CD)
These are not new recordings but it is a very nice compilation of Katherine's songs from the past. She really has a beautiful voice. The icing on the cake is the DVD of her live concert in 2007 at Margam Park. Katherine first appears on stage in pink wellies! But even those don't distract the eyes from the sexiest of dresses. She not only sounds good; she looks good.


The Shadow Of The Wind
The Shadow Of The Wind
by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

77 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enduring Classic, 30 Sep 2011
This review is from: The Shadow Of The Wind (Paperback)
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon is literary fiction in the truest sense. It is a novel about books - about one book in particular - and about the power of words to inspire, inflame and ultimately destroy.
10-year-old Daniel Sempere discovers `The Shadow of the Wind' in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and from that moment his life becomes entwined with and begins to follow a similar path to that of the book's author Julian Carax.
The drama is played out amid the horrors and uncertainties of Revolutionary and Post-revolutionary Barcelona, where class is everything and yet where power rests not only with rich families but with anyone sufficiently ambitious and unscrupulous to take full advantage of the vacuums that war has left. Daniel, the novel's narrator, is none of these things. He is just a normal boy caught up in events beyond his understanding and control, and which threaten to overwhelm him.
Amid the realities of time and place, however, Zafon's sense of humour shines through. He is able to see comedy in the grimmest settings and situations. Indeed, there are passages where the line between grim drama, comedy and even farce is finely drawn, as in many scenes featuring the novel's most endearing character, Fermin Romero de Torres, spy turned tramp turned bookshop guru. It is Fermin who shines a light on life's tragedy and shows us the real meaning of loyalty and friendship.
The Shadow of the Wind has its malevolent villain too, one who evokes shades of Hugo's Javert, though without Javert's morality or redeemability. Fumero is corruption and decadence personified, almost to the point of melodrama.
The novel is literary, for sure, but it is also an historical romance with gothic overtones. Julian Carax haunts its pages with an almost but not quite supernatural presence. Yet amid all the horrors and amorality of this war-torn society resides love that defies class and convention.
Daniel, vaguely reminiscent of John Ridd in Lorna Doone, is a self-deprecating hero. He confesses to being a coward yet he seems not enough of a fool to risk his life when the odds are so stacked against him. When it really matters - to the story - he comes through to his own cost.
Translations are tricky. The translator must not only translate the words but must also capture the mood, the emotion, the sense of time and place and the nuances of language of the original, and present them convincingly as the author's own. He or she must remove that `alien' feel and render the work as acceptable to the reader as a work in his or her own language.
In this translation, Lucia Graves manages to do just that. By the end, I felt I knew the Barcelona of the nineteen-thirties, -forties and -fifties; in her prose, I could feel the texture of the snow; I could be disgusted by the fetidness of the abandoned garrets or be awed at the ostentatious luxury of the upper-class villas; I could hear the clanking of trams as they made their way along the Avenido del Tibidabo or the peal of church bells across the city.
The Shadow of the Wind has all the elements of an enduring classic. It is a story that sometimes shocks but often makes you laugh. And just once or twice, it makes you shed a tear or two.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 23, 2012 4:17 PM GMT


The Vampire Diaries: 7: Midnight
The Vampire Diaries: 7: Midnight
by L. J. Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: 4.93

3.0 out of 5 stars There's only one way to kill a vampire?, 27 May 2011
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In this, the last book of the series (for now anyway), LJ Smith seems to have tired somewhat of her characters, the too-good-to-be-true Elena and her wimpish vampire boyfriend Stephan. As a result, the plot flies off in new fantastical directions with only Damon becoming more likeable as time goes on. We have to remember this is a novel for young adults but, even so, it disappoints compared to the books written in the early 1990s. Having said that, there are some good bits/bites(?), especially towards the end.


Carmilla
Carmilla
by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.69

4.0 out of 5 stars It Bites!, 27 May 2011
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This review is from: Carmilla (Paperback)
Bram Stoker did not invent the vampire but he might well have done so. In the century or so since his Dracula novel was published it has probably spawned more copycats, spin-offs, parodies and sequels than any other novel of its genre. That is without a mention of the countless film adaptations of the work. Yet 'Carmilla' by Stoker's countryman Sheridan Le Fanu, great-nephew of the playwright, predates it by a quarter of a century. A girl befriends a mysterious stranger, unaware that she has a hidden agenda. To someone brought up on Hammer films, the action is predictable. 'Carmilla' is very much a novel of its time and the style is heavy by today's standard. However, because it it is short, it is less laborious to read and indeed is very enjoyable as an early example of the genre.


St Trinians 2: the Legend of Fritton's Gold [Blu-ray]
St Trinians 2: the Legend of Fritton's Gold [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ David Tennant
Offered by The Happy Zombie
Price: 7.28

4.0 out of 5 stars The Girls Are back, 16 Nov 2010
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I have all the St Trinians films on disc, including the early ones with Alistair Sim as Miss Fritton and this is one is funny as ever. It helps that it is Blu-ray because modern technology makes possible visual effects and audio that were beyond film makers fifty years ago when the originals were made in black and white. The momentum sags occasionally and there are moments when suspension of disbelief becomes strained, but that is so in all the St Trinians movies. David Tennant makes a brilliant villain and those twins are a delight.


Sale El Sol
Sale El Sol
Price: 9.20

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sun Comes Out, 16 Nov 2010
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This review is from: Sale El Sol (Audio CD)
Shakira rarely disappoints and here she is, crazy as ever, in her latest recording. And she likes it! So do we! 'Sale el Sol' has an exciting mixture of latin rhythms - including Waka Waka, the song Shakira wrote for this year's World Cup - and quieter, more sensual numbers like 'Lo Que Mas'. Most of the songs on this version are in Spanish but even if you don't understand the language very well, the meaning comes out in the music.


Doctor Who - The Complete BBC Series 2 Box Set [DVD]
Doctor Who - The Complete BBC Series 2 Box Set [DVD]
Dvd ~ David Tennant
Price: 13.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Which Doctor?, 29 July 2010
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After watching this series, and series 1, yet again, I'm still undecided between Chris Eccleston and David Tennant. Who makes the best Doctor? I just don't know! However,as fan of Doctor Who for as long as I can remember, I do know this - the imaginative SF writing and dramatic and visual presentation of the DW team only gets better. After watching 'The Age of Steel', the climactic last episode might be anticipated but knowing how it is going to end never spoils the drama. British sci-fi has come of age.


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