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Profile for M. V. Clarke > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
M. V. Clarke (Durham, UK)
(VINE VOICE)   

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The Redeemer: A Harry Hole thriller (Oslo Sequence 4)
The Redeemer: A Harry Hole thriller (Oslo Sequence 4)
by Jo Nesbo
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Typically complex and tense, 5 Feb. 2016
This is a typically complex and tense novel in the Harry Hole series. It revolves around the Salvation Army, and explores themes of loyalty, greed, honour, and jealousy. The eponymous Croatian hit man is a shadowy figure through much of the novel, and his back story adds a great deal of depth. Once again, Harry is battling his demons, and the personal portrayal is as rich as ever. Warmly recommended.


Go Stationery Coral Bloom A4 Notebook
Go Stationery Coral Bloom A4 Notebook
Price: £6.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Decent large notebook, 20 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
An attractive A4 spiral bound notebook. The paper is good quality and has wide-ruled lines. The cover design is fun, if you like your stationery to be something other than plain, but you pay for the privilege.


Go Stationery Hearts Lever Arch File
Go Stationery Hearts Lever Arch File
Offered by Home2work
Price: £4.97

4.0 out of 5 stars Decent file, 20 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an attractive lever arch file, though mine was slightly damaged in delivery. The materials seem fairly robust and the mechanism is standard. If decorative filing is your thing, then this might appeal, otherwise there are plainer options available more cheaply.


Understanding Italian Opera
Understanding Italian Opera
by Tim Carter
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent insights, 20 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an excellent book on Italian opera, taking the libretti as its starting point of an exploration of the relationship between words, music and drama. Carter writes clearly, draws on a range of examples from a wide timespan, and makes helpful suggestions for further reading. Musical knoweldge is assumed, but it's not a technical musical analysis of the operas by any means. A knowledge of the basic rudiments and theory of western classical music will certainly help the enjoyment of this book.


Mitre Calcio Hyperseam Training Football - White/Black/Silver, Size 5
Mitre Calcio Hyperseam Training Football - White/Black/Silver, Size 5
Offered by Equipe-Europe
Price: £12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good ball, 8 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a good quality football, ideal for older children. It's well made, as you'd expect from Mitre, and when fully inflated is a good weight. It's worth paying for something like this for someone who really enjoys playing football, as it offers a far better experience than a cheaper moulded plastic option.


Vax H85-GA-P18 Gator Pet Cordless Vacuum Cleaner, 0.3 Litre, Silver/Black
Vax H85-GA-P18 Gator Pet Cordless Vacuum Cleaner, 0.3 Litre, Silver/Black
Price: £57.63

4.0 out of 5 stars Decent hand-held vacuum cleaner, 8 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is handy cordless vacuum cleaner, ideal for small-scale jobs, such as clearing up crumbs under the dining table and around the kitchen or debris from shoes in the hallway. It feels fairly powerful, and collects most items on hard floors easily. On carpets, it requires a little more effort. The charge seems to remain good as advertised. It's also easy to empty without making a mess.


Simply Jesus: Why he was, what he did, why it matters
Simply Jesus: Why he was, what he did, why it matters
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging and stimulating, 5 Jan. 2016
This is a challenging read for anyone prepared to engage with Christianity with an open mind. Wright's central thesis, explored at length, is that Jesus has brought about God's Kingdom on earth already. This runs counter to much received theology of recent generations, and Wright contends that Christians need to understand this in order to work out their own role as builders for the kingdom. Steeped in biblical and other historical references, Wright nonetheless communicates with clarity and concision.


Maybelline Super Stay Keep Me Lipstick, Coral Number 450
Maybelline Super Stay Keep Me Lipstick, Coral Number 450
Price: £6.81

3.0 out of 5 stars Feels nice but not convinced it will last 14 hours, 5 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This lipstick goes on smoothly and feels moisturising. The shade (coral) was a little too bright for my taste/skin tone so I didn't leave it on for 14 hours to check whether it lasted - but given how easily it wiped off I'd be surprised if it lived up to its claims.


Life And Times Of Michael K
Life And Times Of Michael K
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and beautifully written, 5 Dec. 2015
This is a powerful and beautifully written novel about human nature, companionship, relationship to the physical world, and charity. It follows the life of Michael K, born with a hare lip in wartime South Africa, and destined for a life on the margins of society. Michael cares for his elderly mother until her death, and then pursues a solitary existence, trying to avoid capture and placement in a camp. This experience gives him time for philosophical reflection on the nature of human existence and survival, but malnourished and almost delirious, he ends up institutionalised. The second part of the novel is narrated by a medic who becomes fascinated by Michael. His attempts at charity are rebuffed, however, before Michael escapes. The medic ultimately comes to view Michael as a uniquely perceptive human being. The final part reverts to a third person narrative. After escape, Michael ends up where he began, still pondering, and making the reader ponder, the nature of life and relationships.


I'm Not Really Here
I'm Not Really Here
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking football autobiography, 2 Dec. 2015
This is an excellent autobiography. Lake was a highly talented footballer, seemingly destined to play for England, when his career was cut short by cruciate ligament injuries. He reflects on his career, the impact of his injuries on his physical and mental well-being, and his life after playing. It's a thought-provoking read, challenging the assumption that footballers have it easy. I couldn't help wondering, though, what a similar injury must be like for a player of lesser ability than Lake, whose star status at Manchester City ultimately helped him forge a new football-related career. Well-written and laced with good humour, this is an engaging read.


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