Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 70% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now Shop now
Profile for Mr. B. J. Smith > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Mr. B. J. Smith
Top Reviewer Ranking: 83,408
Helpful Votes: 291

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Mr. B. J. Smith

Page: 1 | 2
Relish: My Life on a Plate
Relish: My Life on a Plate
by Prue Leith
Edition: Hardcover

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A life lived with relish, 1 Mar. 2012
Nowadays many celebrities publish their autobiographies when they are still in their 20s, presumably to cash in whilst they are still famous. Thankfully Ms Leith's book is the 'real deal', detailing as it does nearly 50 years of cooking, loving and much else. Most of all, unlike the ghost-written products of those 'celebs' perhaps unable to string a sentence together, the writing is vivid, funny, poignant and exceptionally honest - one feels that this is the 'real deal', warts and all, with nothing swept under the carpet or concealed from view.

And what a life it has been - from growing up in South Africa, finding the love of food (and men !) in France, to opening up a catering business and having a lifetime relationship with an older man who was also a family friend. These are no sanitised snippets, but neither is it a "kiss and tell" in that the honesty of the authoress shines through. You can tell that the passion Prue has for food is part of her overall passion for life. She took risks, both in her personal and professional life, and ended up not only a well-known cook and restaurateur, but businesswoman, patron of the arts (she is the force behind the 'fourth plinth' at Trafalgar Square), wife, mother and lover. She catalogues her mistakes as well as failures, and one comes to the end of the book feeling that you now know Prue, and can fully understand why she chose the title she did for her autobiography. If you want a rattling good read, and are bored of reading bland memoirs devoid of taste - put some "Relish" on your plate. Like a favourite recipe, you'll want to share this with friends and family - my copy is already out on loan and my Mother's Day present dilemma is sorted.

Sid Meier's Civilization V
Sid Meier's Civilization V

25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Flawed..., 30 Sept. 2010
Right, ignoring the Steam issue / crashing as neither have affected me...

This game was obviously rushed out. "Little" things like the lack of any animation for any sort of victory, and completely idiotic and unreal AI. Ruins which can upgrade your stone age troops to tanks...troops which automatically become ships to move across the oceans...bugs in the game itself which don't cause crashes but which sometimes force me to save and which point I have to see that intro film was almost interesting once, but every frickin' time you load the game - no.

I got bored on my game tonight and decided to nuke the only other Empire left - who was, my military advisor said, much stronger than me. They reacted by sending one ship over rather than wiping me out. I had a big Empire which had no money - I could somehow function turn after turn making -190 gold each turn.

The "cultural policies" are badly thought out, the graphics are weak, the delays between turns on a quad-core unacceptable.

This obviously had the most basic testing before release.

This is not Civ as I know it. I'm going to free up space on my hard disc and get rid of it. Shame because like so many I really looked forward to it. Oh well.

HTC Hero Sim Free Android Smartphone
HTC Hero Sim Free Android Smartphone

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the reviews, 5 Aug. 2009
...well, don't believe the reviews that mention "lag" on this device.

This is my first smartphone, and I'm glad I've got it. I find it very responsive and fast. A one second lag maybe when switching orientation, otherwise it's fairly quick. Certainly once it has opened a web page, you can scroll text faster than you can read it.

Being without a physical keyboard *does* take getting used to. But I don't think that can be blamed on the phone !

Battery life - it's been on all day next to me with WiFi enabled, there's over 60% battery left. Not too bad.

I've had this phone for a few days now, and I'm very happy with it. Best use Googlemail if you get one (I've set up my existing e-mail to forward to a Googlemail account), that way if you use the Google contacts, they will appear on your phone within seconds. Very impressive.

The phone appears robust and looks good. The "chin" is unnoticeable when slipped into your jeans, so don't worry about that.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 31, 2009 6:00 AM BST

by Irvine Welsh
Edition: Paperback

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing but still worth a read, 14 Sept. 2002
This review is from: Porno (Paperback)
I think Irvine Welsh is one of the most important writers in the UK today, and I still enjoy re-reading what is universally acknowledged to be his masterpiece, Trainspotting, so I went out and bought this book on the day it was released.
There was obviously delight in seeing all the main characters re-assembling, and no-one could accuse Welsh of recycling the content or style of the original. Trainspotting's narrative is free-flowing whilst in this book the storyline is more cohesive, and Sick Boy rather than Renton is the central focus of the tale.
Where it breaks down to my mind is the re-introduction of the main protagonists from "Glue", who appear to have undergone major changes from when we last saw them - they seem to have been shoe-horned into the plot at the expense, in many ways, of the reader's credulity (in that way, fairly similar to the last section of Glue itself).
This 'two for the price of one' montage of protagonists means that we get less of the history of the intervening years of Spud or Renton, which I was personally looking forward to. Spud in particular is unconvincing in this book - his move from semi-junkie to would-be folk historian stretches credulity to breaking point.
Ultimately though, if you enjoyed Trainspotting you should still buy this book. Welsh's unique phraseology ("poof's porn") and capacity to portray the darker sides of life are still spot-on and worth the price of the book to existing fans.

Dead Air
Dead Air
by Iain Banks
Edition: Hardcover

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where's the story ?, 14 Sept. 2002
This review is from: Dead Air (Hardcover)
I've read all of Iain Bank's works, so I guess I'm a fan, but I found this book disappointing. The main character - as in Complicity - is left-wing, works in the media, takes drugs, is sexually active. Unlike Complicity, there is little or no real story, instead the vast majority of the book is spent listening to the narrator's views on what is wrong - and right - with the world.
Now, I'm a Guardian-reading liberal who would agree with over 80% of the polemic in this book, but listening to the main character's diatribes becomes tiring. I was turning the pages looking for a story, a twist, a revelation, and ultimately I was not rewarded.
Iain, if you read this, I think you are a wonderful writer and I share your viewpoints but please next time bring more of your story-telling arts and capacity for drama and humour to the party, and leave the rants at the state of the world behind.
Finally, why do I appear to be the first person reviewing this book ?

All Families are Psychotic
All Families are Psychotic
by Douglas Coupland
Edition: Paperback

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the return to form I'd hoped for., 9 Sept. 2001
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
By half-way through the book, too much has happened in too few pages for any semblance of credibility to be left, and one is left limping towards the end wondering what can come next. Characters seem to shrug off incidents that would leave most of us breathless for days with an easy insouciance, and then wander into the next wham-bang maelstrom, like refugees from a bad FX-driven film with little storyline, which is how this reads.
Coupland is no stranger to adding fantastical plot-twists to his stories - see "Girlfriend in a Coma" for an example of this - but in other books he has been more restrained than in this one, where he should have followed up one of the numerous dramatic events rather than piling them on indiscriminately.
I think some of Coupland's books are exceptional, but this, like "Miss Wyoming", is not one of them. Maybe middle-age is sitting uncomfortably on Coupland's shoulders - the Gen. X's are all baby-bound, the Net is old hat and he is no longer the messenger bringing us the news from the front line.
I would give this book less than 3 stars if it had been the first book he had written. Read "Generation X", "Microserfs" and "Girlfriend in a Coma", but don't bother with this unless you are a Coupland-lover (like I am) who needs to have the latest on your bookshelf.

Hook [VHS] [1992]
Hook [VHS] [1992]
Offered by Discountdiscs-UK : Dispatched daily from the UK.
Price: £1.79

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to Neverland with an all-star cast, 4 Dec. 2000
This review is from: Hook [VHS] [1992] (VHS Tape)
Robin Williams leads an all-star cast directed by Steven Spielberg in this imaginative extension to the original Peter Pan. Peter (Williams) has now grown up, and is Peter Panning, wedded more to his office than his wife and children. However, re-visiting Granny Wendy's house leads to his return to Neverland and a confrontation with his old nemesis, Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman). Spielberg was panned for this film, possibly because the original story is seen as sacrosanct. However, the sheer delight that the cast obviously had in making the film, plus a superb score by John Williams, makes this film a must-have if you have young children, or if like Peter himself you have never grown up. Bonus points if you can spot the cameo by David Crosby (also features Julia Roberts, Maggie Smith, Bob Hoskins and a mercifully brief appearance from Phil Collins).

Price: £13.70

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unheard masterpiece, 7 Aug. 2000
This review is from: Queer (Audio CD)
I was played this album; bought it, listened to it, played it to a friend; he bought it, played it, drove his partner mad with it.
It's hard to tell you how good this album is. Buy it. Honestly. It's amazing

Page: 1 | 2