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Reviews Written by
Mike Davey (St Georges, Telford)
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The Emperor Waltz
The Emperor Waltz
by Philip Hensher
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.91

4.0 out of 5 stars An impressive 'literary' novel, 26 Jun 2014
This review is from: The Emperor Waltz (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a very literary novel, in that it is very carefully designed with clear and precise language and with dialogue appropriate to the three scenarios that the author sets in different times and places.

I really liked the idea of the three parts, set at radically different times but with the common theme of groups of people seen as outsiders. Many such situations have obviously occurred over time and are very present with us now and I liked this as a construct and situation(s). I was a little less convinced by the device of the three groups making a satisfactory novel.

There is some very impressive writing, with beautifully structured sentences and then snappy dialogue and I like the use of language appropriate to the different situations and times. I particularly enjoyed the almost Proustian use of description and Proust is actually referenced in the novel.

I found some passages to be unnecessary and not adding a great deal but the work is a very well crafted and literary construct and in general it is superbly written but for me lacking the last degree of engagement I found myself as I read being more impressed at how it was being put together than what was actually happening.


Einhell GH-EC 2040 2000W Electric Chainsaw with Tool-Free Chain Tensioning
Einhell GH-EC 2040 2000W Electric Chainsaw with Tool-Free Chain Tensioning
Price: 89.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for home use, 26 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This chainsaw compares very favourably with the Bosch that we had before and has now given up the ghost, with parts breaking off.

With the Einhell it was quite easy to assemble the chain and the tensioning is also fairly straightforward to adjust. I would stress that if you are new to handling an electric chainsaw that you do read the instructions because it is vital to ensure that the chain is positioned the right way around and is correctly tensioned. It is also important to buy some oil and make sure that the reservoir is topped up. This is easy to do and again - read the instructions.

Altogether this is good saw, easy to maintain and it cuts through substantial wood easily - we have acquired a great deal of wood from a neighbour and cut it all up within an hour.

Highly recommended.


Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mine
Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mine
Price: 6.83

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Legendary compilation now on CD at last, 22 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is the only CD I have ever pre-ordered from Amazon and I could not believe that this was now being reissued on CD. I remember it coming out originally and buying it in my lunch hour and then leaving work 'a bit early...'. Although I have always been a Doors fan and had all the albums, i played it to death because it is not the most obvious of tracks chosen in some cases - but the tracks chosen are superb with a very successful running order, to my mind. The tracks just naturally flow like a proper album and I have always viewed it not as a compilation but as a Doors album proper. Simply a superb edition to the Doors catalogue then and now.

I would not recommend it to anyone new-ish to the Doors and would suggest the one CD Best Of. Then to The Doors (first album), Morrison Hotel and LA Woman.

So. I did not buy this in my lunch hour and bunk off work but had it delivered to my home (no more work) and played it loud - again. I felt a quiet excitement - like old times, to my wife's gentle but understanding amusement. She likes this too. The sticker on the cover describes it as 'revered' and this is accurate. Most Doors fans I know love it. It is also great value for money but this is less important with such an iconic re-issue.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 3, 2014 1:00 AM BST


Wahl Limited Edition Design Hair Clipper and Trimmer Gift Set
Wahl Limited Edition Design Hair Clipper and Trimmer Gift Set
Price: 32.15

5.0 out of 5 stars A great home use kit from a professional maker, 22 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Wahl is a long established American make, used by professionals and this set ls very professional in appearance, handling and the results you can produce with it.

The product comes in a lovely carrying case and contains all you need for superb grooming results. We have tried it successfully at home and it has all the trimming pieces you need for hair, sideburns, eyebrows etc in my case. A very versatile set and although quite weighty, it is easy to handle. You have to get used to it being mains connected but we did not find this a real issue.


PG tips Juicy Pure Green Smooth Green Tea Pyramid Tea Bags 28 g (Pack of 4, Total 80 Tea Bags)
PG tips Juicy Pure Green Smooth Green Tea Pyramid Tea Bags 28 g (Pack of 4, Total 80 Tea Bags)
Price: 5.16

3.0 out of 5 stars A reasonable green tea from a well known brand, 22 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
PG Tips is a very well known generic brand and they have made a good effort to produce a green tea bag.

However if this is your first venture into green tea I would suggest trying more specialist tea merchants because although this is a fairly refreshing, light, value for money green tea and pleasant to wake up ti, this would not compare favourably with more specialist companies.


As Time Goes By: THE VERY BEST OF LITTLE FEAT
As Time Goes By: THE VERY BEST OF LITTLE FEAT
Price: 4.68

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Selection, 19 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The negative reviewers do not like Little Feat - fair enough but, as has already been pointed out you should not post a negative review just on this basis as it is far from an objective review of the album.

This choice of tracks from the great band almost selects itself as it contains some of the best Rock from the 70s, in my opinion. I remember Lowell and the guys on The Old Grey Whistle Test and was blown away, having failed to pick up on them before. I subsequently collected their albums, to join The Allman Brothers, Doobie Brothers (and The Mothers...).

The tracks here are pretty much what I would have selected to showcase the best from before and after Lowell. How can you go wrong with Dixie Chicken, Rock n' Roll Doctor, Fat Man In The Bathtub, Sailin' Shoes and Feats Don't Fail Me Now- all full of the band's unique blend of blues, rock, funk, country etc. OK - I tend more towards the Lowell George era but as an album of some of their and Rock's best music this is unbeatable. Also great value for money - and a typically superb cover, which was almost always worth the price of admission alone.


L.A Woman
L.A Woman
Offered by Media Vortex
Price: 15.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Evocative and sublime album, 24 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: L.A Woman (Audio CD)
As I recall it, Jim Morrison had just died and my mate had bought this wonderful album. Expectations were high anyway and so we played it on a hot day - over and over etc.

It sounds as fresh, original and magical today as it did then. One of my all-time favourite albums because of the sublime music, the evocation of time - can't ignore this and good to have a new CD of it. I seem to have had it in so many formats through the years, just as many others will have done.

This is essentially a blues album, witness the drenched, intense music of 'Been Down So Long', 'Crawling King Snake'.'Cars Hiss By My Window' - all brilliantly atmospheric - and so on to the 2 real showstoppers- 'LA Woman' and 'Riders On The Storm' both also heavily based on the blues.

I particularly like the words of the critic who said that during 'LA Woman' itself, the wheels leave the runway and the band really take off. I also liked a recent documentary on the Doors where Ray demonstrated his amazing cascading downward run during 'Riders On the Storm': for me one of the most evocative passages in music - any music. My wife was equally spellbound.

Favourite album ever? - probably because of the time, place, Jim's passing. Oh - and the sensational music.


5 High Quality Professional Double 10mm Spine CD Jewel Blank Empty New Plastic Replacement Case / Cover for 2 CDs
5 High Quality Professional Double 10mm Spine CD Jewel Blank Empty New Plastic Replacement Case / Cover for 2 CDs
Offered by Atronica
Price: 4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent quality and value, 24 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was very concerned when I ordered these cases because like many other people I have had flimsy broken cases before.

But lo and behold these are superb. They are not broken in transit, each one opens easily - and shuts again when the discs are inserted and they seem quite sturdy. They are also superb value for money.


The Profligate Son: Or, a True Story of Family Conflict, Fashionable Vice, and Financial Ruin in Regency England
The Profligate Son: Or, a True Story of Family Conflict, Fashionable Vice, and Financial Ruin in Regency England
by Nicola Phillips
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 16.00

4.0 out of 5 stars A detailed and clear account of a very sad tale, 24 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a balanced, even handed account of the slow descent of the son of a self-made man, who had worked for the East India company and run into problems himself concerning bribery and corruption. The author's account is set in Regency England and is based on the copious archived letters and memoirs of the father

The sources listed at the end show in itself what a formidable amount of work has been put into researching this harrowing tale of depravity, debt and worse and it is all credit to the author that she has clearly ploughed through this important archive - which apart from relaying the sad personal history also tells us a good deal about the times themselves: we do get a very well drawn insight into society of the time, debt, lending, penal colonies, prison.

We also are shown the prevailing attitudes of the time of a father to a son in this position in society and it is good to have an insight into a personal history that is not about aristocrats or the Prince Regent himself.

However, worthy as it is and well written, it did not really hold my attention because I just did not really care enough for the main characters - father and son. That said, i did appreciate the immense scholarly work that the author has put in and that it is a clearly presented story.

I was also interested to see that it is dedicated to the author's own son and It stands as a very cautionary, historical tale that also relates to modern day life. There are a myriad of modern examples to rival this account. Life does not seem to have changed so much in many respects.


The Doors
The Doors
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best ever albums, 18 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Doors (Audio CD)
I remember the thrill of hearing this for the first time and have owned it on vinyl, cassette and CD, as will many fans of my age.

Every song has become a classic and it flows like a force of nature. Morrison Hotel and LA Woman are for me in the same league but it is always LA Woman and The Doors first that I come back to over and over for the sheer initial magic that they gave me and many other listeners.

I have been filling in one or two gaps in the CD collection lately and with LA Woman this has pride of place. It may be from 1967 but, for me it still sounds fresh and Jim seems to mean every word, The musicianship is exemplary and complements the lyrics perfectly. Sheer genius.


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