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russell clarke "stipesdoppleganger" (halifax, west yorks)

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Centrum Multivitamins for Men - Pack of 30
Centrum Multivitamins for Men - Pack of 30
Price: £6.25

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars These vitamins get a B+., 2 Jun. 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Blurbed as being formulated specifically as a mans nutrional support the Centrum Mens multivitamin comes in a small pack of 30 . These are blue shiny coated tablets to be taken once a day , preferably with food .They are also tagged as being energy releasing , heart & muscle healthy as well as being beneficial to overall immunity.
All very well and good , but there is no real way of knowing how true any of this really is. Here is a breackdown of what each tablet contains with its RDA levels.
Vitamin A (RE) 800 ìg 100 %
Vitamin E (á - TE) 18 mg 150 %
Vitamin C 120 mg 150 %
Vitamin K 30 ìg 40 %
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 1.6 mg 145 %
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 2.1 mg 150 %
Vitamin B6 2.1 mg 150 %
Vitamin B12 3 ìg 120 %
Vitamin D 5 ìg 100 %
Biotin 62.5 ìg 125 %
Folic Acid 200 ìg 100 %
Niacin (NE) 20 mg 125 %
Pantothenic Acid 7.5 mg 125 %
Calcium 200 mg 25 %
Phosphorus 105 mg 15 %
Magnesium 120 mg 32 %
Iron 3.75 mg 27 %
Iodine 100 ìg 67 %
Copper 500 ìg 50 %
Manganese 2 mg 100 %
Chromium 40 ìg 100 %
Molybdenum 50 ìg 100 %
Selenium 30 ìg 55 %
Zinc 5 mg 50 %
All i can say is that they are pretty much tasteless( though i tend to gulp one down everyworking morning with a mouthful of water therefore hardly tasting them at all ) and they go down easy peasy. I do not feel any better or worse for taking them and as is the case with most things, any benefits are left to work their magic ( or lack of magic) unsupervised.

Brabantia Built-in Bin, Recycling Bin Set of Two - Black and Green
Brabantia Built-in Bin, Recycling Bin Set of Two - Black and Green
Price: £42.53

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Try time travel instead., 27 May 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There are many mysteries in the universe. Where do we come from really? Is there really such a entity as god? Do ghosts really exist. Is time travel possible? Why are people still interested in what Peter Andre does with his life ( or more pertinently , why were they ever interested?) How did Ben Elton's new sit-com ever get commissioned? All these though , pale into insignificance against the greatest mystery of all .How the hell do you fit the Brabantia 10 litre Built-in Separator, Pack of 2? ( to give it it's full title)
With instructions that would have the greatest code breakers of the second world war waking screaming in the middle of the night , allied to an operating system that requires a degree in engineering to fit , all this led me to asking one more fundamental question .Do I really need a new kitchen bin thing that badly? Even it does separate your recycling from your normal rubbish.
To which the answer is a resounding NO. Rather than spend hours of my bank holiday wrestling pitifully with the mechanics of fitting the Brabantia 10 litre Built-in Separator, Pack of 2 I gave up and went to the cinema to watch the new Star Trek film instead.
The bin(s) will now suffice without being fitted as intended for which they do the job okay, as the actual bins themselves are a touch on the small side. They do look fairly funky though, and extra kudos for supplying some liners with them.
But honestly all that trouble just to have two separate bins. They might have a ten year guarantee but chances are you will end up destroying them yourselves in frustration as you try to decipher the hideous instructions and work out the complex algorithms in order to fit the darn thing. Next to these time travel is a cinch.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 5, 2014 9:49 PM BST

Herald of the Storm (Steelhaven: Book One)
Herald of the Storm (Steelhaven: Book One)
by Richard Ford
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The song of steel was not a pretty tune "., 25 May 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I am going to open this review with a comparison that is probably about as original as many of the recent comments about the death of Margaret Thatcher. Herald Of the Storm is a colourful melange of Joe Abercrombie and George R.R. Martin . If you like either of them you will probably find something to enjoy in the first book in Richard Ford's new trilogy: Steelhaven.
Set in the city of the same name, Herald of the Storm like Martins A Game Of Thrones has each chapter concentrate on a set of disparate characters that co-exist within the city. Certain characters inhabit the upper echelons of society while others inhabit the lower rungs , while others truly exist on the margins, members of secret cabals and religious cults.
The wider context of the story has the King of the Kingdom known as The Free States of which Steelhaven is the capitol defending it's Northern borders against an invading horde whilst the denizens of the city coexist in fretful ignorance of where their fate may lie.This is widely ignored by the author as well as by most the characters.
There's nothing particularly original about Steelhaven itself, but as the entire novel is set in its murky streets, Ford has managed to breathe life into something which could have become tedious quickly. Each of the characters are connected to Steelhaven in ways that go deeper than simply living there. By setting the entirety of the book in one city, Ford manages to tie the reader to its fate and invests it with a colour and personality that make it seem real.
Like the aforementioned Abercrombie Ford brings a vibrant contemporary edge to his writing with much breezy profanity ( anyone who quails at a fruity expletive better steer clear of Steelhaven ) and wince inducing violence. His writing style too is lively without resorting to too much depth of the palette , a criticism that could be levelled at Martin with his love of long evocative passage regarding helms & feasts.
Perhaps the biggest problem I had with Herald of the Storm was its lack of a cohesive central plot but I feel that further into the trilogy the various strands of the story will tie in together and the crucial central thrust of the narrative will become clear. Herald of the Storm takes the elementary parts of gritty, epic fantasy and puts the focus on character first. Thankfully the characters are terrific if not especially original. The most telling point about this book is ,if I had my hands on the next book in the trilogy I would put aside everything else on my "to read" shelf and move on to that first.To summarise i cannot wait to visit Steelhaven again even if her "song of steel" is not a pretty one.

Damaged Kids D-Ranged Stunt Scooter - Tangerine, Freestyle BMX
Damaged Kids D-Ranged Stunt Scooter - Tangerine, Freestyle BMX
Offered by Parkers of Bolton
Price: £54.94

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funky looking but a touch on the small side., 25 May 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a funky looking scooter with a white T handle with orange flashings & trim and a graphic montage style footboard( if that is what they are called?). So it is an attractive looking scooter, certainly more aesthetically appealing than the rather austere battered old stunt scooter my 12 year was using before.
It is also far easier to assemble , though the T bar does require a specific amount of manipulating to get it into the clamp and then the wheel guide sprocket. Once in it is easily tightened using the supplied allen keys.
Other than that not a lot to say other than the brake is not of the same quality as the one on my sons old scooter( Just a rather flimsy strip of orange metal) and it seems to be on the smaller side . I too ,am puzzled as to the BMX tag though.

House of Evidence
House of Evidence
by Viktor Arnar Ingolfsson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.64

3.0 out of 5 stars "She dreamed of nothing but trains the whole night long"., 16 May 2013
This review is from: House of Evidence (Paperback)
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On a cold January morning in 1973( is there ever any other kind in the Northern hemisphere ?), inside a foreboding old house in Reykjavik, Jacob Kieler Junior lies dying from a fatal gunshot wound to his chest. Detective Jóhann Pálsson, an expert in the emerging field of forensics, is called to the scene and soon discovers something more disconcerting than the murder itself. The deceased's father, Jacob Kieler Senior, a railroad engineer, was coincidentally shot to death in the same living room nearly thirty years earlier. The case was officially closed as a bungled robbery.
Pálsson rapidly uncovers diaries that portray Kieler Senior as an ambitious man dedicated to bringing the railroad to Iceland no matter the cost. Sensing a suspicious murkier mystery , the detective and his colleagues piece together .through the elder Kieler's diaries a family history rich with mendacity and deception.
Riding in somewhat on the coat-tails of the Nordic noir explosion House of Evidence none the less is an initially effective if rather tortuous read that starts off well but becomes flimsier and less enthralling as the narrative progresses.
If I may compare to a railway journey , as befit's a central plot point this is one where you are originally fascinated by the landscapes passing by but after a while realise that you are in fact looking at the same scene over and over again. Like the background in a Scooby Doo chase scene. Then all you want to do is find something else to divert your attention and pass the time. This book would in all likelihood not be on the preferred list.

Three (Codename: Chandler)
Three (Codename: Chandler)
by J.A. Konrath
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.64

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Everybody dies.Life is all about putting that off for as long as possible.", 7 May 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
And so before you can say Triplets in a growly movie trailer type voice, here comes the third and final instalment in the "Codename Chandler " series. The three books in this preposterous but hugely entertaining series have been released with quite breathtaking haste ( George RR Martin could do with some of what the co-authors of these books are on ) , mirroring it would seem the high-octane action and amphetamine fuelled shenanigans of the plot.
Talking of the plot.. Chandler and her twin sisters , the psychopathic Hammett and the cripple Fleming are now the worlds most wanted after being put in the frame for assassinating the President . The former Vice President, now the main man , is plotting along with "The Instructor" in the global interests of the U.S.A. and have come up with a plan so irredeemably fiendish it would make Hussain , Gaddafi and Bin Laden virulent green with envy. The sisters , already exhausted and traumatised ( apart from Hammett who does not do traumatised ) must come up with a plan to foil their powerful enemies whilst fighting other elite members of the "Hydra" squad.
So it is pretty much business as usual for this trilogy. However the authors have fleshed out the final book to include the perspective of even more characters ,some from the less salubrious side of the equation and allowed more dialogue and character development. Consequently Three is an absolute door stop of a book running to 600 pages.
As ever Chandler is the only character who tells her side of things in the first person . Chapters are told from character viewpoints as with Flee and Spree. There are even back story sections expanding on certain character histories. Once again there are also cameos for Jack Daniels and Harry McGlade who provide much of the zinging dialogue that populates this book. There is also ,as ever ,far too much preoccupation with carnal activities . These segments are dull , pointless and slow things down .......with the notable caveat from two certain characters getting it on which is actually highly amusing. You'll know the ones I mean when you read this.
Three is a quality denouement to a ludicrously pleasurable trilogy . The sort of unadulterated superior pop-corn nonsense that makes absolutely no apologies or concessions for what it is. Rather like Hammett in fact.
There may be more to come as well. Given the speed at which these books appear I'd give it a week.......maybe two.

by Max Barry
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.94

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Desire is weakness. I'm sure i explained this. ", 26 April 2013
This review is from: Lexicon (Hardcover)
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"Remember death and life are in the power of the tongue" .That quote from Joel Osteen is especially pertinent given that in Max Barry's Lexicon words are as powerful as the most devastating weapon. They can wipe out an entire town so....Max Barry introduces us to a world that exists away from the norms of the rest of us. . A world where a elite group of people have honed the power of words. They are "Poets" and they can influence and manipulate people based on their personality type. They recruit those that have a gift with words, or can influence those around them and they are sent to study at an exclusive school where they study all aspects of language and its power.
Emily is one of those recruits but she would , if she were in a normal school , be a problem pupil. Taken off the street where her canny sleight of hand and clever wordplay were letting her grift for money she is overwhelmed by the academic side of the school but shows remarkable adaptive and nefarious talents to get around this. Words are powerful she learns, more powerful than she would ever had believed.
Now one of these "Poets" has discovered an ancient word. A word that has destroyed different civilisations for thousands of years. The word has wiped out the town of Broken Hill in Australia. One single word and three thousand people are dead. But one man escaped it seems. He is immune to the word. Which makes him very dangerous too. Depending on whose point of view you take.
Lexicon is basically a thriller but anyone who has read any of Max Barry's books before will know that there is always a serious underlying satirical message behind the story. The author makes salient points about social media , Government manipulation of our personal data, media misinformation and how the authorities exploit situations to chip away basic freedoms. The end of chapter point caveats about this are actually the most interesting part of the novel.
As for the thriller, well it starts out quite brilliantly and the first two thirds of the book are terrific. Once the action moves to Broken Hill it becomes less coherent , more amorphous and less absorbing. If I were being really harsh I would say it loses the plot. It is like the author knew where he wanted to go but was not sure what to do once he got there. His characters mirror that.
It is good to know Max Barry is now on the radar of film makers. Previous novel "Syrup" is "Soon to be a major film" so says the book blurb and this book has been optioned . Lexicon is not his best work though. Anyone wanting to read the author at his finest should read the aforementioned " Syrup ", or the excellent "Jennifer Government".

Red Moon
Red Moon
by Benjamin Percy
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The world is a sewer of lies .", 22 April 2013
This review is from: Red Moon (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Monsters as allegorical signifiers are nothing especially new but rarely has the monster as an alienated outsider arousing suspicion and paranoia been so eloquently written as it is in Benjamin Percy's Red Moon. Using Werewolves, or Lycans as Percy mainly dubs them, as the disenfranchised minority of post-9/11 America ,the book asks serious questions about identity and xenophobia. Here, the werewolf is the ominous Other--unknown, separate, and therefore feared.
When a flight from San Francisco to Portland is infiltrated by a lycan who transforms and slaughters all the passengers ( a brilliantly described scene -"The rear of the plane is splashed with blood that oozes from the walls in strange cave painting designs Bodies are strewn everywhere in various poses of death like a garden of ruined statues" ) bar one the survivor, Patrick becomes an unwilling celebrity .His fate is intertwined with that of Chase Williams, governor of the state and anti-lycan activist and Claire Forrester, the lycan daughter of two prominent, retired lycan revolutionaries.
Red Moon is an ambitious novel that fuses the horror genre with something far more socio-political ,distilling it into a potent parable concerned with the tyranny of the majority and the stigmatisation of a minority. It is also quite brilliantly written , expertly plotted and thoroughly believable in it's clandestine machinations and escalation of terrorist led events. Unlike some other reviewers I did not find it the conclusion rushed either , feeling it built up expertly to a climax that leaves plenty of room for a sequel.
Indeed the one criticism I would make of this book is that it is a tad over-written , though the narrative is convoluted I felt that 500 plus pages is just too much. The plot could have been established and pursued just as well with some salient editing .
Still Red Moon is definitely more than a genre specific novel and as such deserves to reach beyond the horror tag it may well be lumped in with and get hold of a much wider audience.

Perlasca: The Courage Of A Just Man:English Sub-titled [DVD]
Perlasca: The Courage Of A Just Man:English Sub-titled [DVD]
Dvd ~ Luca Zingaretti
Price: £7.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "He sent us his fire. To reduce us to ashes", 1 April 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Alberto Negrin's television film Perlasca: The Courage of a Just Man tells the unfamiliar story of a more unfamiliar man. An Italian national working as a cattle salesman in 1944, Giorgio Perlasca found himself trapped in war-torn Budapest and was witness to the violent round-up of Hungarian Jews, but, using his status as a veteran of the Spanish Civil War( where he fought for the Fascists so he was by no means perfect) terminated his own escape ,sued this companies money to buy freedom for many Jews and successfully posed as The Spanish Consul to help over five thousand people to safety.
Unsurprisingly, Perlasca's biopic has been regularly dubbed `the Italian Schindler's List,' and this extends further than the similarities between the titular men's deeds. Frequent nods are made to Stephen Spielberg's film, particularly in a homage to the girl in the red coat, and both effectively cover the sheer terror ,apprehension and uncertainty of living under the Nazi's. Negrin however is a tad more courageous in his depiction of war torn Budapest , indeed only Polanski,s excellent "The Pianist" has more effectively represented a city under war time conditions.
At the end of the film we see a tiny section of an interview with the real Perlasca , who astonishingly after the war, returned to his home in Padua to live out a humble, quiet life and never spoke about his war-time experiences. For forty-five years his heroism remained a secret and it was only the efforts of people he saved that means his memory has been properly honoured and quite right too.
Luca Zingaretti's portrayal of the eponymous hero is solid and believable and the film is at times shocking , tense, exciting ,affecting and occasionally very moving. It is however not quite the masterpiece it might have been. In places, the film's roots in television are all too apparent, with frequent slips into maudlin manipulative melodrama detracting from the sombre subject matter and veracity of some of the more resonant sequences. A few of the main characters Perlasca saves never seem to truly convey that element of constant impeding peril. The production values are skimped on at times with CGI planes and flames .The sub-titles are sometimes poorly translated.
None of this prevents this film being one I would recommend highly though . Perlasca,s deeds deserve recognition. He really was a quite extraordinary man, who though sheer force of will , remarkable mental dexterity , superhuman reserves of energy , moral courage and breathtaking altruism saved thousands of life's. Perlasca's son says that in real life, his father "just thought he was doing his duty as a human being.. He truly believed that any man that was in his position would have done the same thing." I think I will beg to differ on that point.

David Mitchell: Back Story
David Mitchell: Back Story
by David Mitchell
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "I was single and it was definitely my fault.", 18 Mar. 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I really only know David Mitchell from his various appearances on various panel shows and his hilariously acerbic rants on the "10 o'clock Show". I have never watched an episode of "Peep Show" or "That Mitchell & Webb Look" despite being an admirer of his strangely hypnotic tirades and an huge admirer of Olivia Coleman who appears in Peep Show.
Yet I was looking forward to reading Back Story , only to find that the pedantic subjective dissecting style of the author does not come across as well in print as it does in person ( as it were).That is not to say that this is a book without merit, it is occasionally very funny indeed , and in his own roundabout way David Mitchell makes many salient points but i often found it hard work and found reading it for any length of time quite wearing .This may say more about me and my ability to cogitate and digest such dense and contorted ruminations than it does about the author.
Of which much kudos for the way the author takes us through his life. The central concept is he has taken up walking an hour every day in order to alleviate a painful back problem ( the title obviously has two connotations ) and as he wanders around his patch of London it triggers memories of his past which bleed into the narrative. The inside jacket novel is very funny and original as well.
Born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, David is the son of a couple who ran a West ­Country hotel in the Seventies and then moved to Oxford where they became lecturers in hotel management. The young David started treading the boards at New College prep school in Oxford, before failing to get into Oxford University but was then offered a place at Cambridge to study history, becoming president of Cambridge Footlights, where he met Robert Webb. David struggled to make ends meet for some years after leaving university, hanging around with friends in shared digs in London's Swiss Cottage. His friendship with Robert Webb led to them performing a number of two-man shows at the ­Edinburgh Fringe and they were then given the chance to write for comedy duo Alexander Armstrong and Ben Miller leading onto their series Peep Show and fame and presumably fortune.
Many celebrities will try and make out how tireless and brilliant they were in pulling themselves out of the gutter, from poverty, deprivation, etc - in Mitchell's case he makes no pretence about his comfortable, middle class background and of having many lucky breaks. He's very honest about how hopeless he is at so many things - not least relationships. But then we find out that after meeting the very lovely Victoria Coren he waited three years till she was single before making his move ( the very idea of David Mitchell making a move on a women is somehow absurd ) and they are now engaged. I wish I was that hopeless with women.
Among the tremendous points made in Back Story is how the British, in the age of The X Factor and those hideous reality shows like Geordie Shore look at modesty and diffidence as failings that show lack of character. Where of course the opposite is true. David Mitchell is modest and unassuming .He has much to shout about. Unfortunately this book while selectively superb is not one of them,.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 4, 2013 9:05 PM BST

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