Profile for C. McDonnell > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by C. McDonnell
Top Reviewer Ranking: 3,081,594
Helpful Votes: 45

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
C. McDonnell "cmcd"

Page: 1
Alice in Wonderland (Complete Classics)
Alice in Wonderland (Complete Classics)
by Lewis Carroll
Edition: Audio CD
Price: 9.65

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Audiobook, 4 Jan 2009
This version is unabridged (good). The style and pace of reading, and the use of different actors to voice the different characters, with short musical interludes between chapters, keeps it wonderfully light and easy to listen to. My 8 year old and 5 year old both love it, and so do I: a joy for children and adults alike. (I see no reason why anyone would want the 2-disc "children's version" instead of this 3-disc version.)

A Fire Upon The Deep (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
A Fire Upon The Deep (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
by Vernor Vinge
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the best tradition of SF, 20 May 2008
A very satisfying book, combining grand themes, a strong narrative, and excellent and thoroughly well thought-out ideas for alien races, societies and technologies. I particularly liked the approach to the predicament of a starship's captain, forced to make unaided decisions which will change the course of history - this was in the tradition of the best naval historical fiction, as it should be, with a good dose of espionage and treachery thrown in. The closest comparable book, for me, is Iain Banks' The Algebraist - high praise.

Market Forces (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
Market Forces (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
by Richard Morgan
Edition: Paperback

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars William Gibson's heir, 12 July 2005
Readers expecting a space opera along the lines of Altered Carbon and Broken Angels could be disappointed as the style here is somewhat different. But approach this allegorical tale of globalisation gone mad in the near future with an open mind and it is hugely enjoyable. It is also a more intimate and human story offering some insights into the gradual cooling of a relationship, which could be familiar to many modern males fighting to balance career with the demands of conscience and family life.
As with Morgan's other works, it contains dark humour, some well-depicted scenes of ultra-violence, and a wealth of ideas about the direction of future society. It also has something to say about business ethics; the unconverted could find this objectionable and the converted could find it unnecessary, but take it as a novelised version of Naomi Klein's No Logo and you should be just fine.
Richard Morgan quite clearly takes several ideas from William Gibson and runs with them - in this case mostly from Count Zero, one of the very best Gibson novels. (Identifying these is left as an exercise for the reader.) Morgan writes with the same outstanding clarity and precision and that is itself, to this reviewer, more than enough to make him truly Gibson's heir.
Possibly the whole book was sparked off by the geekly use of the expression 'road warrior' meaning a laptop-equipped corporate executive.
Some other potential inspirations:
Stand on Zanzibar (1969) by John Brunner
Gladiator-At-Law (1955) by Frederik Pohl and CM Kornbluth
Mindstar Rising (1993) by Peter Hamilton
Snow Crash (1992) by Neil Stephenson

Siemens TW91100 Porsche Cordless Kettle
Siemens TW91100 Porsche Cordless Kettle

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best kettle I've ever used, despite the high price, 18 May 2004
* Boils fast - faster than any other kettle I've tried
* Clean interior - no exposed element to get furred up
* Stable base
* Round connector - can place kettle on base from any angle
Some slight niggles:
* It pours fairly slowly - but maybe that is deliberate as a safety measure to protect the user from splashes
One big problem, which is why I rate it 4 stars not 5 stars, is that out of the factory, the electrical connections on the base were only just making contact. After one month's use I started to get intermittent contact and then the kettle stopped working altogether. (I think other users may have experienced this same problem - I suppose it could be confused with the on/off switch not working).
One solution would have been to send it back for repair (the 1 year guarantee will be honoured by the shop where you bought it also, unusually, by contacting the manufacturer directly - a nice touch from Siemens). But I decided to have a go myself, and it turned out to be quite simple - disassembling the baseplate (while it was UNPLUGGED) gave me access to the two springy electrical contacts and a very gentle bend to them both gave me a perfect connection every time. Obviously not a recommended course of action unless your DIY electrical skills are good, but I am very satisfied with the results, and frankly I prefer to have done it myself as I have also taken the opportunity to check that the connection to earth is sound..

Page: 1