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feline1 (Brighton, Sussex, UK)

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The School Recorder Book 1: Bk. 1
The School Recorder Book 1: Bk. 1
Price: £2.84

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful - just a scan of the paper edition, the text isn't electronic, 10 Aug 2014
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I was rather surprised to stumble across the recorder book I had at primary school in the 1980s available for Kindle (even then, this book was 20 years old - the "revised" edition was originally published in 1962, and the original a quarter of a century before that). However it turns out this old book hasn't really been converted to electronic form at all: the whole this has just been scanned as a bitmap (i.e. photographs of each page) - there's been no OCR done to convert the text to electronic form. A very poor effort and a total con, really.


Four Counties & the Welsh Canals No. 4 (Collins Nicholson Waterways Guides)
Four Counties & the Welsh Canals No. 4 (Collins Nicholson Waterways Guides)
Price: £6.02

2.0 out of 5 stars Maps won't zoom in Amazon Kindle App for Windows., 5 July 2014
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Nicholson's Waterways Guides are the gold standard for practical canal info, but there seem to be a few teething problems in bringing them to eBook format. Obviously, these guides contain a lot of maps and photos, so are best viewed on a device with a hi-res colour screen, rather than one of Amazon's black & white Kindle devices.
Whilst this Kindle edition works fine on my Kindle Paperwhite (in that I can tap on photos and maps, then pinch to zoom), this is not the ideal way to view them - instead I'd expect them to come into their own on Amazon's Kindle App for Windows. However I've found that I can't zoom on the maps in the Windows Kindle App. Bit of a non-starter as regards practicality!


Grand Union, Oxford & the South East No. 1 (Collins Nicholson Waterways Guides)
Grand Union, Oxford & the South East No. 1 (Collins Nicholson Waterways Guides)
Price: £6.02

2.0 out of 5 stars Maps don't seem to work properly in Amazon's Kindle App for Windows, 5 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Was pleased to see an eBook version of this excellent canal guide available.
However, there seem to be some technical problems.
Obviously an book like this is full of colour photos and maps, and so is best viewed on a colour tablet device or laptop (or even desktop PC). I regularly use Amazon's own Kindle App for Windows 8 for reading my Kindle library on my tablet. However, the maps in this Guide don't seem to respond to clicking and zooming on the Kindle App, meaning they're too small to be of any use.
Curiously, they work absolutely fine on my Kindle Paperwhite device (tap a map, punch and zoom to your heart's content) - but a the Paperwhite has a relatively low-res black and white screen, designed for reading novels on, obviously this is a bit useless!
Hopefully the publishers can look into this issue.


Guide to the Historic Monuments of Northern Ireland in State Care
Guide to the Historic Monuments of Northern Ireland in State Care
by Northern Ireland Environment Agency
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars This is a really well put together little book! ..., 5 July 2014
This is a really well put together little book! It's got enough photos and clear interesting descriptions to work as a guide for curious tourists, but also enough rigorous reference information to serve as a starting point for those interested in the archeology.


Calling Juliet Bravo: New Arrivals
Calling Juliet Bravo: New Arrivals
by Mollie Hardwick
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars 'From the Top Ten TV Series!', 14 Jun 2014
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Ah, the 'TV tie-in' novel – before the invention of home video, it was the only way to relive your favourite TV show, or catch up on that episode you missed because your mum made you go to Scouts that night.
Mollie Hardwick was something of a veteran of pulp romance paperbacks and TV-ties (she also did 'Upstairs Downstairs'), and was given the job of tackling the BBC's new flagship police procedural drama, Juliet Bravo. Devised by Ian Kennedy Martin (creator of the none-too-politically correct 70s cop show The Sweeny), Juliet Bravo was a whole new take on the genre for the brave new world of the 1980s, where thanks to a certain woman running the country, it was more grim up north than usual. And so, in the fictional former mill town of Hartley, we find there was also a woman running the police station, a certain Inspector Jean Darbly.
This book was Hardwick's third (and final) Juliet Bravo novel, released at the time of the TV shows second series. Unlike her first two books, it makes far less attempt to novelise the on-screen episodes: only the events of the series opener, 'New Arrivals' are covered, where Jean is beset with aggro from her new chauvanist pig of a boss, Superintendant Hallam. (A further chapter contains material that made it into Series 3 as 'Cause for Complaint', whilst Jean's successor Inspector Kate Longton would later face a stalker not unlike events occurring in this book.) Meanwhile Jean and her team tackle a variety of incidents from rape and robbery to poltergeists.We also follow Sergeant Beck to Ireland to visit his daughter.
A novel like this has no pretensions to be anything other than a bit of light reading, but it was a good page turner and nicely faithful to the characters from the TV show. A secondhand copy also only cost 1p, so it would be churlish to complain!


Doctor Who: The Krotons
Doctor Who: The Krotons
Price: £9.93

4.0 out of 5 stars The worst smell in the universe, 14 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Who: The Krotons (Audio CD)
'The Krotons' was a 4-part Dr Who (Patrick Troughton) serial from 1968/69, and is often regarded by the cognoscenti as basically being a bit dull, with ridiculous-looking monsters. Budgets were so tight at the time that the Beeb couldn't even afford any incidental music for it... so you might well ask why on earth anyone would want to hear a "soundtrack album" for it 45 years later!
A cynic might guess that it's because Doctor Who fans are often obsessive aspergic collectors, easily parted with their money. However, gurus of electronic music will be aware that the lack of a conventional music score on this Doctor Who story was made up for by the legendary BBC Radiophonic Workshop, whose Brian Hodgson concocted even more sonic alchemy than usual to accompany the on-screen action. So, what we have is a nicely put together little CD, albeit just over 25 minutes in running time. It's been lovingly curated and remastered from the original tapes by MArk Ayres (who reputedly rescued them from a skip at the back of the BBC carpark, after some philistine managers had closed it down and earmarked its tape archive for landfill).
There's twenty four of Hodgson's tracks on here. And if you're at all interesting in electronic sounds and wierd noises, you'll find some absolutely delicious stuff amongst them. None of them were created with what we'd regard as proper 'synthesizers', but instead with a motley array of electronic test gear, customised gadgetry and primitive tape effects.
About half the pieces are ambient textures and drones, used in the background of scenes to give them some 'atmosphere'. Several of these use a bizarre device known as the 'Cystal Palace', a transparent perspex box containing "a tangle of wires and rotating vanes, a Dictaphone motor and the gold nib of a Conway-Stewart fountain pen", which functioned something along the lines of an analogue sampler/sequencer/source-generator, capable of producing pulsing morphing soundscapes. Highlights include the eerie "The Learning Hall", the ominous "Entry Into the Machine" and "Machine And City Theme", and the brittle "Kroton Theme".
The rest of the sounds tend to be shorter spot effects, which would accompany specific happenings on-screen, lending credibility to some prop or other. These include the nasty electronic "Door Opens" drone, the visceral white noise schwoosings of "The Dispersal Unit", and a new variation on the Tardis "landing" sound.
Thrown in for good measure is the appropriate version of the Doctor Who theme tune (Delia Derbyshire's revamp of 1969, with its echoplexed bass line and additional spangles).
All in all, what we have on this CD was never intended to be listened to on its own as music - it was all designed for specific functions in the context of a television program, to support the drama. But it sounds awesome! I'm happy to own a copy. :)


Juliet Bravo: v. 2
Juliet Bravo: v. 2
by Mollie Hardwick
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars 'More cases from the gripping BBC-tv series!', 9 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Juliet Bravo: v. 2 (Paperback)
Ah, the 'TV tie-in' novel – before the invention of home video, it was the only way to relive your favourite TV show, or catch up on that episode you missed because your mum made you go to Scouts that night.
Mollie Hardwick was something of a veteran of pulp romance paperbacks and TV-ties (she also did 'Upstairs Downstairs'), and in 1980 was given the job of tackling the BBC's new flagship police procedural drama, Juliet Bravo. Devised by Ian Kennedy Martin (creator of the none-too-politically correct 70s cop show The Sweeny), Juliet Bravo was a whole new take on the genre for the brave new world of the 1980s, where thanks to a certain woman running the country, it was more grim up north than usual. And so, in the fictional former mill town of Hartley, we find there was also a woman running the police station, a certain Inspector Jean Darbly.
This, the second volume in Hardwick's novelisation, includes four more episodes from the first series of Juliet Bravo ):
- ''Cages'', where Constable Bently suffers the attention of a marxo-lenisist women's lib activist, whilst we find out what a Hungarian chip-shop owner has in his basement
- ''The One Who Got Away'', where an old flame from Crime Squad gives Inspector Darbly a special assingment
- ''Relief'', where a male Inspector comes to cover for Jean whilst she's on holiday, "with hilarious consequences"
- ''The Anastasia Syndrome'', where HRH is coming to visit Hartley and Jean has to stop an eldery French noblewoman from causing a ruckus.
Hardwick trots through these TV stories briskly, adding a few incidents of her own (scandal in the local theatre, and trouble wit' Asians).
All in all, not exactly a great work of literature, but nonetheless is a good page turner (and not a bad Stephanie Turner. Or something). anyways a secondhand copy only cost 1p plus postage, so I ain't complaing.


Juliet Bravo: v. 1
Juliet Bravo: v. 1
by Mollie Hardwick
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars 'Now an exciting BBC-tv series!', 7 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Juliet Bravo: v. 1 (Paperback)
Ah, the 'TV tie-in' novel – before the invention of home video, it was the only way to relive your favourite TV show, or catch up on that episode you missed because your mum made you go to Scouts that night.
Mollie Hardwick was something of a veteran of pulp romance paperbacks and TV-ties (she also did 'Upstairs Downstairs'), and in 1980 was given the job of tackling the BBC's new flagship police procedural drama, Juliet Bravo. Devised by Ian Kennedy Martin (creator of the none-too-politically correct 70s cop show The Sweeny), Juliet Bravo was a whole new take on the genre for the brave new world of the 1980s, where thanks to a certain woman running the country, it was more grim up north than usual. And so, in the fictional former mill town of Hartley, we find there was also a woman running the police station, a certain Inspector Jean Darbly.
This paperback novelisizes five episodes of the first series of Juliet Bravo (all of which had been written by Ian Kennedy Martin himself):
- 'Shot Gun', where a particularly unhinged and bitter man, laid off after an industrial accident, abducts his daughter with a shot gun.
- 'Fraudulently Uttered', where an 81 year old tea lady appears to have managed to embezel £31,000.
-'The Draughtsman', a rather surley sergeant arrives from London to help deal with a murder investigation, rubbing his northern colleagues up the wrong way 'with hilarious consequences' etc etc.
- 'The Runner', a 9 year old tearaway goes on a joy-riding spree.
- 'Family Unit', a case of alcoholism and domestic violence puts Inspector Darbly and her social worker husband Tom at odds with each other in court.
The book sticks very closely to the television scripts, often using the same dialogue word for word (with, intriguingly, a few additions which make me wonder if we're reading bits that were cut from the TV show in the editing). However Hardwick also fleshes out the proceedings nicely with more info on the characters' feelings and motivations. There's also a bit of extra business where the Darblys acquire a cat (!) and have a bit of trouble with their home help and Tom's mother in low. It's unclear whether this stuff is entirely of Mollie Hardwick's invention, or came from Ian Kennedy Martin's briefing or unused script (intriguingly, Sergeant Beck's divorce and 'daughter in Ireland' is mentioned, something that would not appear on screen in the TV show for some years).
All in all, not exactly a great work of literature, but nonetheless is cracks along nicely and is a good page turner. And the secondhand copy only cost 1p + postage, so I reckon it was well worth that asking price!


The Nightmare Man [DVD] [1981]
The Nightmare Man [DVD] [1981]
Dvd ~ James Warwick
Offered by HalfpriceDVDS_FBA
Price: £17.98

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a watch if you like old BBC sci-fi shows., 3 Jun 2014
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This is a 4-part sci-fi/horror serial broadcast by the BBC in 1981. Never repeated, it seems to be largely forgotten amongst other more illustrious sci-fi shows of the era. It is fairly closely based (albeit with sex and violence toned down) on a 1978 novel by dentist David Wiltshire, which explains which the hero of the story is a dentist!
If you're a fan of British TV sci-fi, your interest will probably be piqued when you learn that it was scripted and directed by Robert Holmes and Douglas Camfield respectively - two men who often are cited as the among the best working in telly at that time (for instance responsible for many of the best episodes of Dr Who, Blakes 7, The Sweeny...and even Juliet Bravo ;)
I have to say that I don't think this serial ranks as the best thing either of them did. It's more "not bad" than "really good". Set on a Herbridean Island, the story starts as quite suspenseful, but perhaps turns into a bit of an 'info dump' when the resolution is revealed. The excellent Maurice Roeves probably gives the strongest performance as a Glaswegian police inspector, but I'm maybe less impressed by the heroic dentist who is a bit plummy and awkward (mind you, dentists aren't usually noted for their charisma, so maybe that's good characterisation! ;)
The serial was shot on location on outside broadcast video, which was never the most flattering or atmospheric of visual mediums, and this DVD doesn't appear to have much picture enhancement to help that - the quality is pretty 'adequate'.
All in all, not exactly top-drawer stuff, but if you're a fan of old British sci-fi you may well enjoy it.


The nightmare man
The nightmare man
by David Wiltshire
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars not a bad page turner, 3 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The nightmare man (Paperback)
This slightly obscure 1978 sci-fi/horror novel was made into a slightly obscure 4-part BBC sci-fi/horror serial in 1981 (the latter directed and scripted by Dr Who alumni Douglas Camfield and Robert Holmnes). Having watched the TV show, and discovered I could get a second hand copy of the book on Amazon for 1p, so decided to indulge myself.
Apparently the author was a dentist, and as a consequence he decided to make the hero of his novel a dentist too! Set on a remote Hebridean island, and despite its unlikely protagonist, it's actually a pretty good page turner, managing to keep up a pretty strong sense of menace and mystery about what it going on right until the last couple of chapters. It has quite a bit more sex and graphic violence in it than the TV serial did. All in all I rather enjoyed it - certainly worth a penny :)


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