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redhotchilli (United Kingdom)

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Darkside Zodiac
Darkside Zodiac
by Stella Hyde
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars I really love this book – many observations are so true and ..., 2 April 2016
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This review is from: Darkside Zodiac (Paperback)
I really love this book – many observations are so true and I laughed out loud on more than one occasion. My partner’s zodiac could have been written for him and you can see people you know in these descriptions. Not all are true however – I guess personalities depend on other planets when you’re born not just the sun sign (which the book also mentions). My one criticism (which lost it a star) is that the background colours of some of the pages are so dark/garish that it is hard to read the writing on these pages and I can see easily – heaven help people whose eyesight is not so good. The producers should have chosen lighter more subtle colours so the text can be seen easily.


Yakuza Moon: Memoirs of a Gangster's Daughter
Yakuza Moon: Memoirs of a Gangster's Daughter
by Shoko Tendo
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poorly written and shallow, 14 July 2015
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A bit disappointed in this book and agree with other reviewers who have given only a few stars for their reviews. The writing style was very immature - it was a bit like asking a child to write down what they have done in a particular day or week. Very much the style of I did this, I did that, this happened, that happened etc. In addition, although undoubtedly she's had a difficult life - many of her troubles were brought on by mixing with unstable, off the wall people at a very early age and being easily led astray. As the old saying goes "if you play with fire expect to get burned". I know people say that all youngsters mix with the wrong types and are led astray but I have to say that the majority don't and aren't. Given that her father belonged to the Yakuza - she seems to have had a reasonable upbringing - particularly from her mother. Sad that she was bullied at school - but there again loads of children are so this was nothing new.

I had also hoped to learn more about the yakuza but sadly I don't know any more after reading the book than I did before.


DVD Inspector Gamache - Still Life : A Three Pines Mystery
DVD Inspector Gamache - Still Life : A Three Pines Mystery
Dvd ~ Nathaniel Parker
Offered by MMRSALES
Price: £7.99

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wrong on so many levels, 13 April 2015
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I was more excited than a six year on Christmas morning when I received this DVD. However this excitement turned to massive disappointment when it started playing. Jane Neal's murder wasn't the only crime committed.

I understand that it must be difficult to cast people who are similar to how they appear in books and I know it's "on trend" to cast people differently from how they are written in a book or play and producers like to put their own "stamp" on things - but for me it just doesn't work. The writer describes a character as they are for a reason. Therefore it just doesn't work when someone is written as being middle aged yet the producer casts them as someone younger etc.

I know there has been criticism of Nathaniel Parker being cast as Gamache. I don't think he was an ideal choice although I think he did a reasonable job - plus of course Gamache is supposed to sound like a "hereditary peer" (as described in one of the LP books) as he spent time at Cambridge University. I agree with a previous reviewer in that Gamache is a thoughtful Quebecois gourmet and that didn't particularly come across in the film.

Leaving many bits out of the book made the film appear rushed and one dimensional. I think maybe the book should have been made into a mini series (as they did with The Killing) - perhaps that may have been better than rushing things and squeezing everything into a film. Tbh the film itself had the feel of "Murder she wrote" and I half expected Angela Lansbury to burst in at any moment.

The absolute worst mis-castings (bordering on the unforgivable) in this film were of Clara, Myrna and Reine-Marie. Myrna in the book is a large, middle aged black lady who wears colourful kaftans and scarves etc. The actress in the film is a super skinny younger model (in her late 20s) with nary a hair out of place, wears conservative/bland clothes and barely has 2 words to say at all. She looks as though she's just stepped out from the Stepford Wives. It was wrong, wrong, wrong on so many levels. In fact it took me a while to realise she was Myrna and not just a background extra. Myrna's bookshop didn't even make an appearance in the film. Clara was cast as a younger blonde person which didn't do justice to the character at all and all credibility was lost. Reine-Marie in the film was a statuesque long haired brunette whereas in the books she is short and grey haired. Even poor Lucy, Jane Neal's Golden Retriever, morphed into Hooch and was even acted by a male dog. How difficult can it be to get a female Golden Retriever that can act - it's a fairly common breed ?

To be fair many of the castings were very good (or at least passable) as the characters in the book including Jean-Guy, Agent Nichol, Isabelle Lacoste, Matthew and Suzanne Croft, Gabri and Ruth.

I also felt that Three Pines in the film didn't have a cosy village feel. The impression you got was of a small town where bits of filming were taking place in the suburbs. Hadley House which is described as creepy looking in the book just looked like an average home in the film. Surely they could have found a large, eerie (perhaps gothic) house somewhere? The one major plus was that the scenery was stunning throughout.

It's the sort of film you can watch on a cold winter's afternoon or evening. It's OK but doesn't do justice to the book. Louise Penny is described as being in tears when she saw the film being made. So did I - but for a very different reason.


How The Light Gets In (Chief Inspector Gamache)
How The Light Gets In (Chief Inspector Gamache)
by Louise Penny
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read but terrible ending, 7 April 2015
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Like all Penny's books I really enjoyed this one. Both the murder and the plot were well written and kept me in gripped in suspense throughout. Some things were pretty unbelievable - such as setting up computers in the old schoolroom, 2 Catholics (Jean-Guy and Annie) getting married in an Anglican church - but overall that didn't really matter.

However the one thing that really, really let it down for me was the appalling ending and hence the reason why I can't give it 5 stars. I won't write to much as I don't want to spoil it for people who haven't read the book - but neither the wrapping up of the murder nor the huge fallout from the plot were even touched on. It skipped from the murder and plot to the twee personal "happy ever after ending" - with a). no thought as to how we got there with the bride/groom involved b) the implications and fallout of the plot and c). no proper murder wrap up.

I haven't read the next book in the series but am wondering if Penny touches on the above in the next book ? If it does - is it a ruse to make you keep buying her books?

I also admit to feeling slightly uneasy that this story was inspired by the real Canadina quints - much of the background being very similar i.e. poor farming background, taken into custody by the Government, being treated as a tourist attraction. The real quints probably had very little privacy and were paraded around with people profiting from them. As some of them are still alive - maybe the last thing they need is a fictional book with a story bearing a strong resemblence to their own lives. Interestingly enough one of the real quints is called Marie Reine.


Pao
Pao
by Kerry Young
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 29 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: Pao (Paperback)
I bought this book as part of a book club read. Ironically I met someone a few months ago who was part Jamaican and part Chinese - yet although the subject of the book should have been interesting i.e. the ethnic mix, cultural differences etc I found the characters to be so one dimensional that I found it tedious and hard to finish. I didn't particularly care about any of them and found the "patois" style of writing hard work.


Bury Your Dead (Chief Inspector Gamache)
Bury Your Dead (Chief Inspector Gamache)
by Louise Penny
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The best crime novel - fantastic, 1 Feb. 2015
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I thought this book to be one of the best crime novels I've ever read. The 3 strand story added a lot of depth (although technically it is 2 strands with the 3rd strand being a flashback)to the book. You can imagine yourself walking in old Quebec and the history that Penny weaves into the story adds yet another dimension. I agree though that you need to have read Penny's previous novel before reading this one. Absolutely fantastic!!!


The Brutal Telling (Chief Inspector Gamache)
The Brutal Telling (Chief Inspector Gamache)
by Louise Penny
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but not as good as previous books, 18 Jan. 2015
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I did enjoy this book, however I felt it wasn't as good as previous books Penny has written. As another reviewer has already mentioned, the plot seemed a bit too far fetched.

I also think the writer needs to "double check" what she has written before.In previous books the police "Incident room" is an old railway station now semi used as the fire department. In previous books the redundant station had been part of the Canadian National railway. In this book however the station was part of the Canadian Pacific railway. CNR and CPR are and were 2 entirely different organisations. Picky I know - but I'd prefer continuity.


Wuthering Heights [DVD] (2011)
Wuthering Heights [DVD] (2011)
Dvd ~ Kaya Scodelario
Offered by NextDayEntertainment
Price: £7.21

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It just ground me down, 3 Dec. 2014
I was really excited to see that this film was scheduled on TV - as I love the Yorkshire Moors and the Wuthering Heights book and was thoroughly looking forward to a true to life, gritty adaptation - where it rains a lot in upland areas to the dirt, grime and brutality of life in 19th century England for the average person. So what went wrong ? For the life of me I couldn't warm to the actors playing the characters and the sheer relentless grimness of it (the dark, the incessant rain etc) just ground me down in no time at all. All previous enthusiasm just seeped out of me under the relentless gloom and bleakness. It just made me realise that the minutiae of everyday life doesn't always translate into something watchable.


The Nordic Bakery - Bake your own traditional Scandinavian bread, savoury pastries, cakes, sweet buns, desserts and biscuits in your own home
The Nordic Bakery - Bake your own traditional Scandinavian bread, savoury pastries, cakes, sweet buns, desserts and biscuits in your own home
by Miisa Mink
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.48

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More Finnish than Nordic, 12 Oct. 2014
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I have tried several of the recipes and to be fair they turned out well. My one disgruntlement with the book is that it's basically Finnish baking with a few Swedish and Russian recipes thrown in. I therefore think the title is somewhat mis-leading as I had expected recipes from all the main Scandinavian countries in more or less equal numbers. OK the writer is from Finland but perhaps it should have been named "Finnish baking" rather than implying that it covers all Nordic countries. I'll be honest and say if I had seen/browsed the book in a bookshop I probably wouldn't have bought it. I may try "Scandilicious Baking" and "Scandinavian Baking" by Signe Johansen and Trine Hahnemann for a better book on Scandinavian/Nordic baking as a whole.


Fushi Japanese Camellia Organic Oil 100ml Extra Virgin, Biodynamic Harvested Cold Pressed
Fushi Japanese Camellia Organic Oil 100ml Extra Virgin, Biodynamic Harvested Cold Pressed
Offered by Fushi Wellbeing - UK's Leading Ethical Wellbeing and Beauty Brand
Price: £12.50

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I'd hoped, 3 Oct. 2014
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I have long blonde hair and due to the positive comments on here I decided to try the camellia oil rather than my usual argan oil. What a mistake!! Even though I used only a few small drops of the camellia oil and rubbed them onto my palms and then through my hair - it ended up as greasy, lanky and going into rats tails with a feeling of having a yucky residue. Unfortunately I had no time to wash my hair again and had to go to work with my hair looking as though I'd dipped it into an oil slick. My bad hair day made my hair feel dirty as though it hadn't been washed. I will stick to my argan oil in future which moisturises but soaks in leaving your hair looking and feeling normal. I'd only use this camellia oil again if I wanted to moisturise my hair but wasn't going out at all or I'd put it on my skin as an overnight moisturiser.


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