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Koncorde (St. Helens, UK)

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Green Wing Complete Collection [DVD]
Green Wing Complete Collection [DVD]
Offered by Quality Media Supplies Ltd.
Price: 19.49

5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite ever shows, 11 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It wont be to everybody's taste, but it is to mine.

Strong characters, excellent pacing and comic asides, with complex relationships. Throw in the surreal, the dark, and the plain strange and you get a very British hospital comedy.

It's not Scrubs - and lacks the punchiness of their jokes - instead relying on the viewer investing in understanding the characters foibles and many layers of neurosis.


Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Limited Edition (Xbox 360)
Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Limited Edition (Xbox 360)
Offered by Shop4World
Price: 9.92

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, if unfortunately a little predictable on the gameplay, 11 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Love the game, and would happily play expansions, additional missions, and sequels, with minimal changes - but that doesn't get away from the fact that the game suffers from some unnatural bottlenecks in terms of the ebb and flow of combat - with a significant learning curve. A few more take-down alternative / cut scenes and maybe a dose of Mirrors Edge parkour, or Splinter Cells genuine stealth would have spiced it up a bit more.

The plot is strong, the characters are well fleshed and the back story does not get in the way of enjoying the actual game. The graphics are good, and in-keeping with the theme, the music is excellent and the controls are otherwise fairly intuitive.


Samsung CLP-365W Wireless Colour Laser Printer
Samsung CLP-365W Wireless Colour Laser Printer

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite happy with it;, 23 Sep 2013
Got the printer from PC World during a nice sale and have owned it for over a year now. The print quality is excellent, and it took only a few seconds to set-up the wifi. Some people seem to be reporting issues here, but I've had no significant problems beyond my wifes Windows Vista laptop seemingly unable to recognise the printer if it changes IP address (which happens on occasion).

The WPS function, with a WPS compatible modem (my Virgin Media Superhub is one) really works quite nicely.

Toner wise I am still using the initial toners that came with the printer. Often these are not "full" cartridges. In any case I have used disproportionately more black - which is to be expected - and can't really give an estimate on the number of prints I have actually done. I haven't finished my first ream of paper - so less than 500, although I do print double sided often.

The eco mode I find is superb value, with the print quality (especially on black and white) producing more than reasonable results.

The double sided printing mechanism is a bit poor and really does detract from the process. An alternative feeder draw (or more clear instructions) would have been handy.


A Shadow On The Glass: The View from the Mirror, book 1
A Shadow On The Glass: The View from the Mirror, book 1
by Ian Irvine
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: 9.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Not sure where this goes wrong:, 9 Jun 2013
Bought the quartet as they came out starting in '96 or thereabouts when, as a teenager, I burnt my way through a lot of literature. I can remember having issues with this series of books but not having the means to express my feelings and ideas. During a recent discussion regarding fantasy I tried re-explaining my misgivings with this series to a friend (along with the Gemmell "Drenai" series and Weis & Hickmans "Sovereign Stone" trilogy) which prompted me to go back and re-read the novels to try and get back to the interesting elements that did catch my imagination enough to make the book a manageable experience.

After 8 chapters I am really resigned to the fact that perhaps my imagination is better than I thought.

The books are pondering at times, then rapid and blurring, characters are complex - but not to any ends. Flaws show up just to be flaws. Strengths emerge only when required. Simpering, whining, bullying, and obtusely motivated - there are few characters that you can draw a positive aspect out of that isn't immediately buried beneath the wealth of negatives. I can now remember that this series drags on painfully, with little resolution in sight (or experienced) by many of the characters.

I reserve particular contempt for the language. I'm willing to let slip poor editing (too many exclamation marks followed by odd "voice like butter" type statements that just jar) but I can't let the pronunciation guide slide. It is common sense to "Anglicise" the words rather than create a set of strange rules just for place names and people.

I've been asked by various friends why I keep novels I actively dislike? My reply is quite simple - these novels provide a wealth of feedback on how not to do things.


The Puppet Company - Long Sleeves - Penguin Hand Puppet
The Puppet Company - Long Sleeves - Penguin Hand Puppet
Offered by Cost Cutters UK
Price: 10.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great puppet, but better as a Christmas stocking!, 6 Dec 2012
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The glove puppet is well made, with plenty of room inside. The beak / wing arrangement isn't massively comfortable for my slightly stumpy man hands, but I was still able to contort and harass friends and family members (and cats) with "Mr Flibble".

As a long sleeve design, I actually found a secondary use which was to stuff it full of chocolate and other goodies for my Penguin obsessed wife for Christmas 2011.


Legend of Drizzt Board Game: A Dungeons & Dragons Board Game
Legend of Drizzt Board Game: A Dungeons & Dragons Board Game
Price: 40.26

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good product, 6 Dec 2012
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Being far from a fan of WotC and in particular 4th Edition, I was more interested in this product for the potential dungeon mapping / free-play random encounter stuff for our regular D&D sessions.

Firstly, the negative observations:
- the rules and play method is ungainly. Compared to HeroQuest this game is nowhere near as pick up and play. Compared to D&D however it's a little narrow and feels weakly defined with little personal player development.
- the actual campaign adventure modules are all very much of a muchness. No real detail and very little effort made to flesh them out or bring into the arena any lore.

And now the positive:
- the board pieces are robust, versatile and there are plenty of them providing plenty of scope for regenerating your own dungeons.
- the models are well moulded and have a lot of variety. The character models are probably the weakest, but the monster models are all almost universally excellent. For D&D gamers the box set gives you 30 plus core models for your D&D gaming either in or outside the game box itself.

It's a very expensive product for the content and limited replay ability - but the models alone would likely set an avid gamer back a similar (if not greater) amount of money and their versatility to be used in our normal D&D sessions means that even though we will likely never ever play the actual campaign mode with any zeal, the box will provide us with many years of resources.


Ultraviolet
Ultraviolet

5.0 out of 5 stars Great album, inventive and still fresh sounding;, 19 Jan 2011
This review is from: Ultraviolet (Audio CD)
Have long appreciated this mans talents, and nothing quite sums his technique up as much as listening to Ultraviolet. Neither strictly classical, nor pop, this is the kind of stuff you only see once a decade or so when someone gets a little bit obsessive with their instrument of choice. Ed fits somewhere into the same category as the likes of Tomita, Mike Oldfield and Jean Michel Jarre with his heavily mixed and layered soundscapes - but his instrument rather than being the tried and trusted Moogs and Rolands is a hand crafted electric violin.

About Ultraviolet:
Where later albums from Ed have served to show how the electric violin can be used to thrash and burn through contemporary rock and pop music, Ultraviolet is a far more traditional exploration of the instruments tones.

The highlight is without a doubt the many textures of "Orange". A mellow and soft string arrangement that ascends into an extended virtuoso violin solo only to return to its milder roots. Towards the end Ed plays counter to his earlier arrangements as three or four separate component melodies are layered.

For me the other strong tracks are the middle range Green (a deep droning tone with a complex arrangement over the top), Blue (with echoes of lilting murder mystery tones) and Violet (very Jean Michel Jarre). Other tracks are interesting, but not quite as crisp or fluid to my ear - though no doubt some would disagree.

Well recommended for those that like a little experimentation in their prog-rock-classical collection.


The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
by Michael Chabon
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read., 25 Sep 2010
I'm not sure how much time I should dedicate to this book beyond pointing out that it's very well put together and engrossing tale. Perhaps a shade too long, and meandering in the middle, unable to tie off loose ends, and perhaps just a little confused by the final hundred pages. However the subjects are all interesting, the characters are strong and clearly defined, the events are well recorded and realised in loving detail.

A brilliant novel, and exceptionally enjoyable.


Timeline
Timeline
by Michael Crichton
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: 5.59

3.0 out of 5 stars Not his best, but still entertaining;, 15 Sep 2010
This review is from: Timeline (Mass Market Paperback)
I enjoyed Timeline when I first read it many years back, and facing a long flight to the US I purchased a new copy of the book at the airport after making the dumb fool mistake of leaving my current novels at home.

The familiarity of Crichtons charactes, prose, and pacing is instantly reassuring. He is nothing if not an authorative writer on any number of technical subjects, able to craft characters to fill specific roles and dismiss them with ease once they have fulfilled their duty. This pace of action, and simplicity of direction, leaves you free to concentrate on enjoying the winding tale.

This book is not as good as efforts such as Airframe and Jurassic Park, but it is probably a good deal less complex and flutters enough of its historical detail to gloss over the limited substance of the plot: go back in time, save professor, avoid badguys.

I read it all in the first half of my flight (so 4 to 5 hours) with regular breaks, so this is a really easy effort for everybody to enjoy if you need something to fill your time.

At times it does read like a book already set for a movie deal, and you get the feeling that it is unnecessarily drawn out, but the text remains lively even if randomly dropping in and out various characters and diverging from what promised to be a far more complex and insightful novel to start with.

Worth a read.


Thirteen
Thirteen
by Richard K. Morgan
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A very average title;, 15 Sep 2010
This review is from: Thirteen (Hardcover)
The book unfortunately fails to tick many boxes convincingly, and then completely derails itself with a made for TV movie feel to the plot. The lead characters are universally bland, unlikeable and full of trite remarks and familiar, redundant and overused tropes.

I'm not exactly sure what the book is angling at, being neither a ripping read nor in the same detail or complexity (other than through confusing prose) as many better books in the same genre.

The K.W. Jeter offerings of the Blade Runner sequels were doing all of this a long time ago, a lot better, with infinitely better structure and dynamics - and they were still exceptionally derivative pulp novels that owed less to Philip K Dicks tense cyber-social drama "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" and more to Arnold Schwarzenegger style moves of the 80's.

In the end this feels like I'm reading the halfbaked plot of a floundering computer game looking for ways to stretch out the gameplay by visiting as many locales as possible, with as many one dimensional AI structures. At over 500 pages, the first hundred are passingly interesting. The next three hundred are redundant (with gaggingly poor and unnecessary sex scenes). Finally we get the plot back on track in the final hundred or so pages.

If you have an 8 hour flight to or from the US then this book will pass the time, but better if you try his more highly recommended efforts, or pick up something by Jeter, Dean Foster or Crichton - they all do this much better.


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