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SaMurray (London)

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The Beautiful Machine: A Life in Cycling, from Tour de France to Cinder  Hill
The Beautiful Machine: A Life in Cycling, from Tour de France to Cinder Hill
by Graeme Fife
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.24

4.0 out of 5 stars Frankly, I'm surprised at the number of negative reviews, 15 May 2012
I thought this book was a riot. Engaging, witty (sarcastic, if you like), honest, passionate, and at times touching but never sentimental. Other reviewers have accused him of being self-indulgent and overly competitive. It's basically an autobiography - i.e. the author writing about his own life. That in itself is a pretty self-indulgent act. So what? The real point to this book is that it is a story about a life shared with, enhanced/challenged/hindered by, and lived on the bicycle. His absolute passion for this machine is hard matched. I never found him to be overly competitive - no more than your average experienced rider faced with a downhill chase - just honest. Indeed had people bothered reading on they'd have discovered that towards the end of the book Fife writes of experiencing the reality of fitness and youth slowly dissolving in the frame of an ageing man. Indeed, he is grateful to the assistance of friends, one of whom eases him up a hill by placing a hand on the small of his back. A self-indulgent egotist would have been offended by such an indignity.

The Wire: Complete HBO Season 5 [DVD]
The Wire: Complete HBO Season 5 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Dominic West
Price: 12.60

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great but ... sound out of sync, 2 Oct 2008
This is not a review of the Wire S5 but rather a review of the UK DVD version. The soundtrack on this is badly out of sync with the video image. i.e. characters talk but the sound which follows is late. Very distracting and unacceptable. I hope the company behind DVD production get on to this and issue replacements to those affected.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 24, 2008 11:50 PM GMT

Raising Sand (Digi Pack)
Raising Sand (Digi Pack)
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: 11.58

4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great and er ... really not so good., 23 Nov 2007
Great songs - agreed. T Bone Burnett - as well as being a fine left-field musician has done a wonderful job of sourcing material. Marc Ribot and Norman Blake on guitar - what more could one ask for? Robert Plant - does a decent job and nice to hear him go "wey hey hey hey" etc like he used to in Led Zep, for eg, and for it to work with less overblown or theatrical material. But ... Alison Krauss? I'm sorry, but at times throughout this album, I thought I could have been listening to the voice of either someone from Steps of Kylie Minogue. So 'pop' or 'surface' sounding is the tonal quality behind much of the vocal delivery. I find her simply unable to carry the weight of the words sung leaving me simply unmoved. Hear Waits/Brennan's Trampled Rose, for example. All in all I feel this should have been a great project but with such reliance on Krauss' vocal to jointly carry such potent material, the results can only be disappointing.

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