Profile for S. Robinson > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by S. Robinson
Top Reviewer Ranking: 13,158
Helpful Votes: 106

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
S. Robinson "Read more at Amazon's S.C.Skillman Page" (Warwick, UK)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9
pixel
Prince William: Born to be King: An intimate portrait
Prince William: Born to be King: An intimate portrait
by Penny Junor
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a strong portrayal of William's character, 26 May 2012
I enjoyed reading Penny Junor's account of Prince William's life so far, but inevitably it cannot be as interesting as the biographies that will be written in many years' time, by authors who are not constrained by a need to consider their ongoing relationship with the royal family. I found the book sometimes annoyingly journalistic in style, and sometimes a rather tedious listing of activities and responsibilities. Indeed Penny Junor does reveal some information about the relationship between William's parents which makes us feel Prince Charles was much-wronged. During the lifetime of all the people involved we will probably never read a fully-balanced assessment. The key element to come out of this book is the portrayal of William's character; a young man of integrity, genuine warmth and caring sensitivity, who has been blessed with several periods in his life when he has been able to live a normal life. My sadness for him is that when that freedom stops in the future - when they both move to Kensington Palace - for him and for Catherine, there will be a great sense of loss and an even greater personal challenge.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 29, 2012 7:07 PM BST


The Remains of an Altar: A Merrily Watkins Mystery (Merrily Watkins Mysteries)
The Remains of an Altar: A Merrily Watkins Mystery (Merrily Watkins Mysteries)
by Phil Rickman
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars mystical, social & psychological intrigue leading to a crescendo of horror, 19 May 2012
I was fascinated to find so many disparate elements drawn together in this story: horror, religion, New Age mysticism, violence, English landscape,classical music,ghost haunting and social problems. There were almost too many elements for me to fully grasp in one story; which is why I have given this otherwise excellent book only 4 stars. Although I have a strong interest in each individual element and concede that Rickman's plotting wove them together ingeniously, this was a book I couldn't pick up again easily after I'd put it down. On a personal level, I found Rickman's range of interests akin to my own; the beauty of the Malvern hills; the sublime music composed by Edward Elgar in his Dream of Gerontius; paganism & earth mysteries, the Music of the Spheres, religion and ghost hauntings; woman priests and the Diocesan Deliverance Ministry. But now I have found Phil Rickman I will definitely read more of his Merrily Watkins mysteries and have already bought Wine of Angels.


A Painful Post Mortem: A Novel
A Painful Post Mortem: A Novel
Price: £2.26

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a compelling, but painful and heartbreaking read, 25 April 2012
This book was compulsive reading, but the story of Claire, her daughter Rosie, her new husband Richard and her ex-husband Mark was often painful to read. The story reminded me of how messy and complicated many of our lives can be; and Mel Menzies scrupulously examines the interpersonal relationships of every member of the family closely involved with the tragedy of Katya, who dies an untimely death following drug abuse. As the mother of a 17 year old girl myself, I must admit I found this story heartbreaking to read. I often felt angry with the boorish, insensitive ex-husband, Mark and his behaviour. I felt huge pity and empathy for Katya, and ultimately wish the author had written this story from Katya's point of view. It would then of course be a different book, and would probably come over more with the structure of a novel... it would also perhaps be trespassing on the territory of other writers whose main protagonist is the one who dies.


The Life: A Portrait of Jesus
The Life: A Portrait of Jesus
by J. John
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling account of Jesus in political, religious & historical context, 17 April 2012
J.John surveys the life of Jesus in a very clear and informative book, setting Jesus against his Jewish background, and focussing on specific areas, social, religious and political. J.John is particularly good when he examines the Resurrection. He gives the most comprehensive and up-to-date list of alternative explanations for the Resurrection that I have yet come across in any book. He addresses each one with integrity, penetration and insight, as well as humour when it is appropriate. A compelling account of Jeus which demonstrates why he remains the most challenging figure in history, and why you cannot 'just close the book on Jesus'.


Dear Paul...am I the Only One?: The Apostle's Response to Contemporary Problems
Dear Paul...am I the Only One?: The Apostle's Response to Contemporary Problems
by Bridget Plass
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing and thought-provoking read, 1 April 2012
If St Paul could defend himself against the accusations and complaints of those Christians who struggle with his controversial statements, this might be his response, as imagined by Bridget Plass. The characters who question him are either in distress, angry, or facing personal dilemmas and in the mood to back St Paul up against a corner. Some of the Apostle's most contentious statements are examined here, for instance: "All things work together for the good of those who love God" and "For when we are in Christ we are a new creation". An intriguing and thought-provoking read.


The Handbag and Wellies Yoga Club
The Handbag and Wellies Yoga Club
by Lucy Edge
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful and uplifting, 28 Mar. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The soft green and pink cover-design prepared me for an engaging light read. Like Lucy, I practise yoga, and have sought the mystic Indians and swoony swamis she described in her previous volume, "Yoga School Dropout". But Lucy's autobiographical account touched me on a far deeper level than I had anticipated.
Lucy spent many years as an advertising executive in London. Marriage and babies could wait - long-term. Then, in her early 40's, she followed her inner yearnings and headed to rural Norfolk with her new man. She wanted to become "fully secure in herself" for the first time in her life.
I spent a similar number of years as a single woman living and working in London. Then, at Lucy's age, I too moved out to the countryside to become what she would describe as "an earth mother".
But Lucy longed for children. And this, ultimately, after an agonizing hunt through fertility options, was to be denied her. Some parts of her story, where she accepts that this is one dream that is not going to come true for her, moved me to tears.
In sharing her experiences, Lucy not only made me laugh, in recognition and empathy; but also she inspired me. At her wedding, she thanked her father because "he taught me the importance of holding out for what I wanted - even if it took me more than forty years to find it."
Lucy's accounts of female friendship (her après yoga sessions over the Pinot Grigio with `the Cappuccino Gurus' - her London yoga friends - and `the Bad Ladies' of Norfolk) are a joy - and in part reminded me of "The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" by Rebecca Wells.
As she advises her yoga teacher friend Kate: " `I suggest you do a Four Corners Collage - each corner represents an aspect of your life - relationship, home, family, work. I did one the year before I met David... and guess what,' I said triumphantly, `I got everything I wanted'. I stared into my glass of Rioja. `Well, almost everything....'"
Lucy's honesty and gentle humour make her story one to love.


The Lighthouse
The Lighthouse
by P D James
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

5.0 out of 5 stars masterful, challenging, brilliant, 22 Mar. 2012
This review is from: The Lighthouse (Paperback)
P.D. James's scrupulous examination of this closed community of characters rivetted me. The phrase "late-night page-turner" has never been more accurately used. This is a novelist who compels you to overcome tiredness, as you read through to the end. In the character of Nathan Oliver she challenges us with the chilling juxtaposition of a brilliant novelist and an unpleasant, universally-disliked personality. James is masterful in her use of the murder mystery device upon which to hang her examination of a group of people in a closed community - all but one we know to be innocent yet every character behaves in ways that make them seem guilty. I loved the clever twist which came when I thought, "Hang on, Dalgleish is the main protagonist but he's out of the action with a dreaded disease!" And yet the breakthough came though him and precisely because of his being in enforced solitude and contemplation. P.D. James ia a master of many things, but I can single out the pacing and the intensity of the terrifying confrontation with the killer near the end.


Wild Goose Chase
Wild Goose Chase
by Annie Heppenstall
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars excellent resource for reflection on the journey of life, 5 Mar. 2012
This review is from: Wild Goose Chase (Paperback)
I found this an excellent resource for reflection upon the journey we take through life, using a structure of bird imagery, such as the goose and the raven. All illustrations are by the author. This book is not intended to be read straight through from beginning to end; it is intended to be used interactively either as an individual or with a group. The author's empathy with Celtic spirituality shines in this book, as she leads us through her understanding of our life-experiences, drawing upon biblical texts with originality and sensitivity. I would thoroughly recommend this as a resource for groups.


The Sixty Minute Family
The Sixty Minute Family
Price: £7.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars entertaining and accessible guide to good relationships, 16 Jan. 2012
Rob Parsons has beguiled,moved,and doubled me up in laughter several times on this subject, both in person as an inspirational speaker, and in writing. Now he has again appeared in print on a topic that should be closely studied by policy-makers. If you're a parent, and you'd sooner your child achieved their critical acclaim and professional success in a couple of decades time by some other means than publishing their misery memoir, Rob Parsons sets it out in very simple,clear terms in this book. One of his answers is as simple as a father spending ordinary time with his child - just "being there". And behind that is a truth: "relationships matter more than money". I expect many more books will be written in more complex terms, saying the same thing. Within classic story structure, what is the one most familiar trope a writer can always rely on? It's the Dysfunctional Parent/Child relationship. The Disney story writers trade on it, the psychiatrists and counsellors make their living from it; the radio interviewers and TV chat show hosts recognise it as their most fruitful area of analysis.Reading what Parsons has to say now (the book was published in 2010)I feel his stance has toughened since I first heard him on this subject. This book gives strong clues to the powerful influence of physically and emotionally absent parents upon the society we live in. But to end on an uplifting note, it may be, as Parsons says, that "most of us are doing a much better job of parenting than we think - and it normally turns out better than we dared hope".


Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting (Methuen Film)
Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting (Methuen Film)
by Robert McKee
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars wish I'd read it years ago!, 12 Jan. 2012
I nearly signed on for Robert McKee's "Story Structure" workshop in London years ago, but was held back by the cost. When I recently found this book in Waterstones Piccadilly, the inner voice said "Buy me!" And I obeyed. Now I have absorbed all that McKee has to say about story, it will transform the way I work on the second draft of my new novel. Story saturates our lives, through books, plays,the theatre, TV and radio drama, films; and we all respond to story instinctively. And yet if we were asked to explain why we respond as we do, and why something works or not, many of us would fall silent. But Robert McKee does explain. One thing that has long mystified me is: How is it that we are satisfied by a story where the protagonist does not achieve his desire? As McKee says: "the flood of insight that pours from the gap delivers the hoped-for emotion, but in a way we could never have foreseen." This book is equally important for a novelist as for a screenwriter. McKee illustrates his points with many references to famous movies. "Story" is a huge challenge; dense and even overwhelming, its author acknowledges this perfectly at the end: "You have pursued "Story" to its final chapter and, with this step, taken your career in a direction many writers fear... I know that when confronted with a rush of insights even the most experienced writer can be knocked off stride." I hope that, having studied thoughtfully, as I "follow the quest for stories told with meaning and beauty," I too may "write boldly" and produce stories that "will dazzle the world."


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9