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S. Moore "NewWave" (UK)

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Seinfeld - Season 9 (Complete) [DVD] [2007]
Seinfeld - Season 9 (Complete) [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Jerry Seinfeld
Price: £9.94

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rather a sorry end to a great show., 10 Aug. 2013
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Rather a sorry end to a great show. I had always avoided the last two seasons of 'Seinfeld' because I imagined that they would be disappointing. With Larry David gone, I had a hunch that the attention to detail, the humour rooted in character, the narrative credibility would have gone with him. In fact Season 8 is almost as good as before, with some terrific episodes; it's more zany - Kramer assuming the characteristics of a dog - and occasionally the friends behave out of character -would Elaine really go to a cock fight? - but it's very, very funny. Season 9 is a bit of a disaster - it does have one very funny episode, `The Merv Griffin Show' but it also has the worst, `The Betrayal'. The latter makes the error of prioritising concept above character. The problem with the rest of the episodes is that the plots are ludicrous to the point that you can no longer suspend disbelief. Character integrity has gone to the wall, along with the voices - the actor playing George, no longer sounding like George, just shouts the whole time - and Kramer is given almost no physical comedy just too many words and his pet projects are too self-consciously silly, undermining the character, and are unfunny. Worst of all is that nobody seems to like the characters any more, not even the actors. So why should we? We knew they were selfish but they were redeemed by being funny & because they were such failures in their personal and professional lives: that's why they hung out together. In Season 9 they come across as nasty and unfunny: exemplified by the awful double episode finale. (Why not just have Jerry marry?) And Elaine changes her hairstyle every five minutes: a sure sign that nobody is in charge any longer or really cares. Avoid.
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 26, 2015 10:50 AM GMT


Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead
Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead
Price: £0.69

47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely song............, 11 April 2013
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A lovely song for an unlovely ex-Prime Minister. It is perfect. The general election of 1979 was the first for which I was old enough to vote; I didn't vote Tory. Over the next eleven years I saw Thatcher destroy everything I valued and, yes, Glenda Jackson is right: within a short time of Thatcher's election homeless people began to appear in shop doorways throughout the West End of London on a scale I had never before witnessed. The result of her vile ideology. Enough! This song made me smile, as does the thought that so many folk have bought it.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 12, 2013 4:47 PM BST


The Big Music
The Big Music
by Kirsty Gunn
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable achievement..............., 25 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: The Big Music (Hardcover)
This novel, for my money, represents a remarkable achievement. It sets out to explore the stories of a small group of emotionally linked characters, their home 'The Grey House' - in the past a summer school for bagpipe music - and the landscape in which the house is situated: the remote region of Sutherland in Scotland. Kirsty Gunn also wants to replicate in words the way music can suggest qualities of feeling and location that might live beyond words, or just out of sight in the landscape, but which unify characters and place. The narrative structure and the prose style replicate the structure and sound of the `classical compositional form of the Highland bagpipe', the piobaireachd or pibroch, to achieve this: `the music that sits behind the words' (p.310). I didn't find the novel the least bit academic or arid and the footnotes and appendices draw you deeper into the novel's musical and emotional structure and into the history of the house and its occupants, giving the characters ballast and the location vividness. The novel is beautifully written, reading at times like prose poetry, yet is not difficult to read. The characters have depth, are convincing, and the elegiac final 'movement' of quiet loves, hidden love and love revealed in music carries a considerable, cumulative, emotional punch. If it didn't sound off-putting I'd call it a modernist masterpiece. Whatever you call it this is a novel which is compelling, deeply affecting and fully realised in its multi-layered richness.


Ricky [DVD]
Ricky [DVD]
Dvd ~ Alexandra Lamy
Price: £9.51

5.0 out of 5 stars Original and enchanting...., 1 April 2012
This review is from: Ricky [DVD] (DVD)
This film is a delightful romantic fantasy, which starts off as a gritty social realist film but quickly turns into a critique of the genre. The film suggests that to be poor and in a monotonous factory job does not exclude the possibility of happiness. That it is possible to come through pain and loss to experience the kind of intense happiness when earthbound as the baby (Ricky) experiences when in flight. Perhaps this film in its romanticism could be read as conservative or reactionary but it can also be read as radical, as a critique of consumerist materialism, in its insistence that it is who you are not how much money you have that matters. Whatever, it is original and enchanting. And the flight sequences are joyous and superbly realised.


My Queer War
My Queer War
by James Lord
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elegantly written and insightful....., 10 Mar. 2012
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This review is from: My Queer War (Hardcover)
Elegantly written and insightful in its candid portraits of Picasso and Gertrude Stein - the falling out with the latter is toe-curlingly described. A very, very entertaining queer, war memoir with many vividly drawn characters: there is a superb account of the Boston gay scene in the 1940s, which makes you wish you'd been around back then to enjoy it. I'm not sure that Lord was an especially nice person, but he must have been great company.


The Stranger's Child
The Stranger's Child
by Alan Hollinghurst
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sublime novel............, 26 July 2011
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This review is from: The Stranger's Child (Hardcover)
A sublime novel, beautifully written, plotted and structured. It's also totally involving - I haven't been so gripped by a novel since I read 'The Woman in White', and that's intended as a compliment to Mr Hollinghurst. The novel traces, over almost one hundred years, the story of a poem ('Two Acres') the poet who wrote it, Cecil Valance, and the girl who loved him, Daphne Sawle, and assorted other characters: one of the pleasures is learning which characters have survived and which have died in the intervals of time between the novel's five sections. Cecil, who dies in WW1, becomes a national treasure whose verses are learned at school, but he was gay and one of the novel's many themes is the way attitudes towards homosexuality change over time and how increasing openess means that the poem's secret gay subtext/history can be revealed and discussed publicly. There are many vividly drawn characters, some great party scenes, many literary jokes and a lot of enjoyable social comedy. There is also some pleasurable satire at the expense of literary biography. A realist novel and an enjoyably habitable one. The ending, in which an artefact of historical value & emotional weight is randomly destroyed by the stranger's child, is very powerful & affecting. At the novel's heart is a poignant account of lives ruined by homophobia and social convention - of lost loves and wasted lives.


The Tiger's Wife
The Tiger's Wife
by Tea Obreht
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overpraised....., 17 July 2011
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This review is from: The Tiger's Wife (Paperback)
Perhaps my expectations were raised too high given the awarding of the 2011 Orange Prize and all the ecstatic reviews the novel has received. Perhaps disappointment was inevitable. It is far from the finished masterpiece I was expecting. And I was bored by some of it, which was another surprise for me; the backstories of the Apothecary and Luka were tedious because they served the plot but were dramatically unengaging. The contemporary framing narrative of Natalia's quest to find the reason for her grandfather's journey struck me as perfunctory and Natalia is very thinly drawn - a hook on which to hang the folktale element. This element is very powerful at times but rather unbalances the novel and feels unintegrated into Natalia's story making the novel seem disjointed. There are some first-rate scenes (the grandfather's dinner with the Deathless Man in `Sarobor' immediately before the Bosnian Serb onslaught for example) but it never quite coheres. Lastly, I don't understand why such a fuss has been made about the fine prose style. Yes, it can be fine as in the `Sarobor' dinner but more generally is serviceable. Occasionally it is bizarre, reading like a bad translation: `While the villagers of Galina are reluctant to talk about the tiger and his wife, they will never hesitate to tell you stories of one of the lateral participants in their story' (p.237). What?!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 10, 2012 7:13 PM GMT


The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis
The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis
by Lydia Davis
Edition: Hardcover

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hugely entertaining........, 28 Nov. 2010
A hugely entertaining collection of stories which touch on almost every human experience from the most poignant to the most absurd. The writing is stylish, every word has its place, nothing is superfluous - Davis avoids adjectives as much as possible, along with descriptions of place. This can be disconcerting at first but, slowly, you are drawn into this new world that turns out to be the everyday one but seen in new ways. A single consciousness emerges that is loving, humourous, intelligent and original. Davis experiments with genre and there are some splendidly creepy gothic tales here.....I loved this book and, for once, unlike the new Franzen published around the same time as 'Collected Stories',the critics' praise is deserved.


Freedom
Freedom
by Jonathan Franzen
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A major disappointment........., 20 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Freedom (Hardcover)
Reading this novel was a major disappointment, especially after all the fantastic praise from reviewers. The prose is vibrant & readable, with some great one-liners, and the novel takes on some big themes, like freedom, but, sorry, doesn't really do much with them - in comparison with DeLillo's 'White Noise' or Updike's Rabbit novels this novel's politics - the inter-relationship between the public and the private worlds - struck me as unconvincing, facile and cartoon-ish. The biggest problem for me was that I never really felt close to the characters, a lot of them are little more than ciphers (Lalitha, Vin Haven, Richard Katz, et al.)and the rest, even Patty & Walter, seem to change as and when the plot requires: I just did not believe that a man like Walter would sign up to Van Haven's project! One other problem I had with it is that Franzen never lets the characters have any 'freedom', you feel that he is the puppet master, always in control; even Patty's first-person autobiographical narrative ('Mistakes were made') reads like it was written by Franzen and not by her. Franzen references nineteenth-century realist writers but, unlike them, doesn't seem able to embody ideas in believable, three-dimensional characters. And the ending is a class 'A' cop out.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 14, 2010 8:22 AM GMT


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Trilogy Book 1)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Trilogy Book 1)
by Stieg Larsson
Edition: Paperback

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull and tiresome..........., 29 July 2010
Dull and tiresome and very oddly structured - the thriller ends with the revelations of who did what and to whom (all of which was screamingly obvious because it was a melodramatic rehash of almost every serial killer/slasher thriller you have ever read) about eighty pages before the end. Those last eighty pages are an agony to read because they are so dull and wrap up a sub-plot which was forgotten about for most of the book: you think to yourself, 'Oh Gawd, we're back to this now and I couldn't care less!'. At least half the book is padding and Lisbeth is essentially Patricia Cornwell's Lucy character only more OTT...I, also, think the book's sexual politics are pretty offensive...Enough!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 1, 2010 5:20 PM BST


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