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OMG! It's got a plug! (Winchester)
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Blackstar
Blackstar
Price: £9.99

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Abstract, jazz influenced final album, 11 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Blackstar (Audio CD)
I always imagined David Bowie as a Starman from a distant galaxy who would live forever. Still challenging himself and his audience right to the very end, this is a fitting final album from an artist who provided the soundtrack to so many lives.  Recorded in parts with a jazz ensemble, it is, for the most part, more abstract than the 'The Next Day'. The jazz influence doesn't overhelm the overall sound, the percussion is wonderful and Bowie's voice sounds as good as it always has. Like most of his music there are plenty of hooks and it draws you in and it grows with repeated listens. Deciphering the lyrics in the aftermath of his death, it appears that Bowie was aware of his fate when he wrote many of them but, certainly from an artistic perspective, he approached it head on. The "Something happened on the day he died. Spirit rose a metre and stepped aside" lyric from the mid section of the stunning Blackstar single now takes on a whole new meaning.


Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 (SM-T810) 9.7in Super AMOLED Display Octa-Core Exynos 5433 Processor, 3GB RAM, Wi-Fi, Black
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 (SM-T810) 9.7in Super AMOLED Display Octa-Core Exynos 5433 Processor, 3GB RAM, Wi-Fi, Black
Offered by Gifts Box
Price: £347.54

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably fast and light with amazing display but some shortcomings, 5 Jan. 2016
After the performance of my iPad 2 deteriorated after each successive software update to the point where it was almost unusable, I decided it was time for something new. I've been using an Android phone for the past year and it heavily influenced my decision in buying this tablet - I've found the Google music, films, books and apps ecosystem an absolute breeze to navigate and use.

Build – exceptionally light with a very slim design, it looks good but it's not as robust as the iPad 2 and doesn't have a Gorilla glass screen so I definitely recommend fitting a screen protector and getting a case for it.

Connections – no problems whatsoever with good Wi-Fi speeds and Bluetooth connections.

Performance – it's unbelievably FAST, particularly Google's Chrome browser, and it copes with ease even when I have a lot of apps running concurrently.

Screen - very responsive with swipes and touches registering first time, every time.

Battery – it’s not a massive battery (5870 mAh) and it does take a sluggish four hours to charge from empty to 100%. I only use it at home so it’s no big deal for me but you can comfortably get 7-8 hours when surfing the web, about 10 hours for video playback and goes on for what seems like forever when playing music via a Bluetooth speaker.

Display – the display is amazing. Exceptionally rich and detailed, images literally leap out of the screen. It’s also good for reading especially given that it’s so light to hold.

Storage – this was a big selling point for me. 23GB of its 32GB capacity is available and it can be supplemented by a MicroSD card. I've fitted a 128GB MicroSD card and I can save music and rented films from Google Play direct to it and BBC iPlayer downloads too (you need to move the BBC app to the card to do this). Transferring existing media onto it is simple. Just hook it up to your PC and drag and drop folders and files onto the tablet or MicroSD card.

Camera & Video – they’re not jaw-dropping but I wouldn't expect them to be on a tablet of this size. The back camera is 8MP, the front 1.6MP and they are more than adequate for Skype and taking happy snaps for uploading to social media.

Sound – twin speakers that really sound exceptional for a tablet but you get the full experience using a Bluetooth speaker. There's a built in graphic equaliser with plenty of pre-sets or you can custom set it. The pre-installed Samsung Galaxy music player is very impressive and well laid out and I prefer it to PowerAmp app that I’ve used in the past.

Apps – it comes pre-installed with all the usual Google apps. There are also a few Samsung apps along with some Microsoft ones that I don’t really want or need, including the pointless Galaxy Apps store, that can't be uninstalled but it's not really a problem given the 32GB capacity.

Fingerprint scanner - very hit and miss and, despite re-scanning my prints a number of times using different fingers, it fails to recognise my print about 70% of the time and I have to type in my password instead. However, it's not a major inconvenience.

Overall this is an impressive device. It's very fast, the display is excellent, it's very light and it's capacity can be extended. It's not quite perfect with the slow recharging of the battery being the biggest drawback. There are plenty of cheaper and inferior alternatives available but it’s worth paying the extra for this tablet.

Finally, I would exercise caution before buying from overseas Marketplace sellers on Amazon. I bought mine from Currys/PC World.


Umi Iron Eyeprint Metal Material 5.5 Inch FHD LTPS Screen Cell Phone 3G/4G FDD Cellphones Android 5.1 OS Sim Free Smartphones Octa Core (3GB Ram+16GB Rom) China Unlock Mobile Phones with 13.0 Megapixel Rear Camera-Silver
Umi Iron Eyeprint Metal Material 5.5 Inch FHD LTPS Screen Cell Phone 3G/4G FDD Cellphones Android 5.1 OS Sim Free Smartphones Octa Core (3GB Ram+16GB Rom) China Unlock Mobile Phones with 13.0 Megapixel Rear Camera-Silver

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High quality and fast phone with a big screen that's an absolute bargain, 30 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Considering its specifications and price, the UMI Iron is a seriously impressive smartphone. Running Android 5.1, it's rooted allowing owners to delete most apps and giving more technically minded users the option to install custom ROMs. It also means that a few apps will not install (i.e. Barclays Banking app). You can unroot it using the pre-installed SuperSU app but there's still no guarantee that those few apps will run on it. The layout is good but I installed the Nova Launcher app which gives the option to change the look and layout of the home screen and menus etc.

Setup – very straightforward. I inserted the SIM and MicroSD card from my existing phone, logged on to my Google account and selected to restore everything from my existing phone, left it for 30 minutes and everything from my old phone was on the UMI Iron (less my banking app).

Build – slim design, grey/silver aluminium back cover and a full gorilla glass sheet front, it's well built, looks good and is surprisingly light. There is a light strip at the bottom of the screen that lights up red or green when you’re charging or when there’s an incoming call etc. but I've chosen to disable it because it looks a bit dated and isn't really needed.

Screen – a big 5.5" screen. Taps and swipes register first time, every time.

Display – colours are detailed and well balanced and when watching High Quality BBC iPlayer downloads, the quality is very impressive even when you tilt the phone. It has MiraVision installed that allows you to fine tune the display but after playing around with it I found that it looks best using the 'Vivid' mode.

Battery – the 3350mAh capacity is impressive and it easily lasts a full day during relatively heavy usage. I can get approximately 6 hours use when browsing the web whilst simultaneously listening to music via a Bluetooth speaker. A full charge from empty to 100% takes in the region of 2½ hours. The back of the phone is non-removable so there's no option to change the battery.

Performance – Given the 3GB memory it copes with ease even when I have a lot of apps running concurrently with no noticeable pauses whatsoever. It really is very FAST.

Storage – 11.7GB of the 16GB capacity is available and it can be supplemented by a MicroSD card. I've fitted a 128GB MicroSD card and it works to its full capacity allowing me to carry around 900+ CDs worth of music around.

Phone – it’s SIM free, takes a nano SIM and the reception and call quality are excellent. I'm using it with a giffgaff SIM and I didn't need to manually configure the settings or anything. You can either fit dual SIMs or one SIM and a MicroSD card. There's a little slide out drawer on the side of the phone making it easy to swap and change cards. There’s a pin to release the drawer and I just keep it on my keying.

Wi-Fi and Mobile Data – It does support 4G but I can't confirm how it performs because I can only get 3G where I live. It holds the connection with both really well and I've been getting the speeds I expect to be getting. You can set it up to use your mobile data as Wi-Fi hotspot or via USB or Bluetooth tethering. I've no use for the USB tethering but the Wi-Fi Hotspot and Bluetooth tethering are a breeze to setup and they both work flawlessly with my Samsung tablet and PC.

Sound – the one built in speaker is OK as is the quality of the sound through headphones and speaker. However, be sure to setup the settings on the pre-installed ViPER4Android FX app because when you plug in headphones or connect to a Bluetooth speaker, the quality of the sound is staggering! The layout and functionality of the installed music player is decent enough but I prefer to use the paid for version of Poweramp.

Camera & Video – neither are jaw-dropping in terms of quality and you're basically looking at happy snaps for social media but I suppose it all goes back to the cost of the phone. There are plenty of settings to tailor it to your requirements.

Screen Security – you can unlock the phone using EyeprintID - it recognises your retinas - but I wear glasses and (unsurprisingly) it didn't work but the Voice unlock feature does. I prefer to use the 4 digit PIN option.

Apps – it comes pre-installed with very few apps and because it’s rooted, I was able to not just disable but delete the Google apps that I never use (Hangouts, Google+, Play etc.) that have been permanent fixtures on every other smartphone I've owned. Be aware that because it’s rooted you may not be able to install some apps such as banking apps.

USB connection – this is the only real problem. I don't know if it’s a software or hardware fault but when connecting it to my PC an alert pops up on my PC's screen with message "This USB can perform faster if you connect it to a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 port". Ultimately, this means that you can only copy data to and from the phone at USB 1.0 speeds. It's not a fault with my PC and copying across a CDs worth of MP3 files takes about 4 minutes. It’s not a major drama – I can just remove the MicroSD card and copy data onto it via my PC's card reader.

Radio – it has an FM Radio and the reception is very good. You can setup pre-sets and it has the capability to record and save radio programmes. You need to plug in headphones or a 3.5mm jack lead to act as the aerial to listen to it but you can still listen to it through the phone speaker or a Bluetooth speaker if you want.

UMI Rootjoy – If you like playing around with the Android settings, install this software from the UMI website onto your PC. It has some basic backup and restore options (contacts, SMS, call logs and apps) and you can flash it and install customs ROMs and other techie stuff.

In the box there's a USB cable, OTG Cable, SIM ejection pin and a continental plug. It comes with a UK plug inside the package it arrives in.

In summary, this is, given the price, a quality phone that does what it does very well and it is an absolute bargain. It's good that you can upgrade its capacity at a time when a lot of Android manufacturers are ditching the MicroSD card slot. I'm not a big camera user so the quality is no big deal to me as is the USB 1.0 transfer speeds. With the size of the screen and the speed of the phone, I most definitely recommended it if you're looking for a phone to go with a SIM only contract. Overall rating: 4½ stars. I received this from the manufacturer in return for this honest review.
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EasyAcc Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 Case Tab S2 NOOK Smart Shell - Ultra Slim Lightweight Stand Cover with Auto Sleep/Wake Feature for Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 Tablet (9.7 Wi-Fi SM-T810 / LTE SM-T815) / Tab S2 NOOK, Black
EasyAcc Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 Case Tab S2 NOOK Smart Shell - Ultra Slim Lightweight Stand Cover with Auto Sleep/Wake Feature for Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 Tablet (9.7 Wi-Fi SM-T810 / LTE SM-T815) / Tab S2 NOOK, Black
Offered by EasyAcc.U Store
Price: £39.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Very light and versatile case, 23 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
One of the best things about the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7" is that it's very light and I wanted a case that wouldn't add too much weight. This is a very slim and very lightweight case that holds the tab securely inside it. All the cut outs are in the right places, the magnetic sleep / wake feature when you open and close the cover respectively works perfectly and the tri-fold cover also acts as a decent stand. Considering the price, this is a bargain. Recommended.
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Samsung Galaxy TAB S2 9.7 T810 32GB SM-T810NZWEDBT 32 GB 3072 MB Android 9.7 -inch LCD
Samsung Galaxy TAB S2 9.7 T810 32GB SM-T810NZWEDBT 32 GB 3072 MB Android 9.7 -inch LCD
Offered by Wowcamera
Price: £339.00

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably fast and light with amazing display but some shortcomings, 14 Dec. 2015
After the performance of my iPad 2 deteriorated after each successive software update to the point where it was almost unusable, I decided it was time for something new. I've been using an Android phone for the past year and it heavily influenced my decision in buying this tablet - I've found the Google music, films, books and apps ecosystem an absolute breeze to navigate and use.

Build – exceptionally light with a very slim design, it looks good but it's not as robust as the iPad 2 and doesn't have a Gorilla glass screen so I definitely recommend fitting a screen protector and getting a case for it.

Connections – no problems whatsoever with good Wi-Fi speeds and Bluetooth connections.

Performance – it's unbelievably FAST, particularly Google's Chrome browser, and it copes with ease even when I have a lot of apps running concurrently.

Screen - very responsive with swipes and touches registering first time, every time.

Battery – it’s not a massive battery (5870 mAh) and it does take a sluggish four hours to charge from empty to 100%. I only use it at home so it’s no big deal for me but you can comfortably get 7-8 hours when surfing the web, about 10 hours for video playback and goes on for what seems like forever when playing music via a Bluetooth speaker.

Display – the display is amazing. Exceptionally rich and detailed, images literally leap out of the screen. It’s also good for reading especially given that it’s so light to hold.

Storage – this was a big selling point for me. 23GB of its 32GB capacity is available and it can be supplemented by a MicroSD card. I've fitted a 128GB MicroSD card and I can save music and rented films from Google Play direct to it and BBC iPlayer downloads too (you need to move the BBC app to the card to do this). Transferring existing media onto it is simple. Just hook it up to your PC and drag and drop folders and files onto the tablet or MicroSD card.

Camera & Video – they’re not jaw-dropping but I wouldn't expect them to be on a tablet of this size. The back camera is 8MP, the front 1.6MP and they are more than adequate for Skype and taking happy snaps for uploading to social media.

Sound – twin speakers that really sound exceptional for a tablet but you get the full experience using a Bluetooth speaker. There's a built in graphic equaliser with plenty of pre-sets or you can custom set it. The pre-installed Samsung Galaxy music player is very impressive and well laid out and I prefer it to PowerAmp app that I’ve used in the past.

Apps – it comes pre-installed with all the usual Google apps. There are also a few Samsung apps along with some Microsoft ones that I don’t really want or need, including the pointless Galaxy Apps store, that can't be uninstalled but it's not really a problem given the 32GB capacity.

Fingerprint scanner - very hit and miss and, despite re-scanning my prints a number of times using different fingers, it fails to recognise my print about 70% of the time and I have to type in my password instead. However, it's not a major inconvenience.

Overall this is an impressive device. It's very fast, the display is excellent, it's very light and it's capacity can be extended. It's not quite perfect with the slow recharging of the battery being the biggest drawback. There are plenty of cheaper and inferior alternatives available but it’s worth paying the extra for this tablet.

Finally, I would exercise caution before buying from overseas Marketplace sellers on Amazon. I bought mine from Currys/PC World.


Sage by Heston Blumenthal the Kitchen Wizz Pro Food Processor, 2.7 L, 1000 W
Sage by Heston Blumenthal the Kitchen Wizz Pro Food Processor, 2.7 L, 1000 W
Price: £294.95

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Versatile, powerful and built to last, 13 Dec. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Build:

It’s VERY heavy, has a minimalist design and is primarily made to be sited permanently on a kitchen work top. It looks good and all of the bowls and attachments fit together seamlessly and easily. The smaller of the two mixing bowls sits inside the larger bowl (even when in use) and all the component parts are stored in a very useful storage container.

Functionality:

It has three buttons – Power, Start/Pause and Pulse. It has a very powerful one speed motor and the Pulse button more or less acts as an on/off button.

Performance:

The smaller bowl has a standard single blade and it’s ideal for ingredients that blend quite easily. I’ve used it for guacamole and humus and you can either go for a rustic finish or mix things until they have a creamy texture. You have to be careful though – it’s so powerful that things literally take a few seconds to blend, particularly softer ingredients.

The larger bowl has a lethal quad blade. It can chop two large onions cut into quarters in about 5 seconds. I’ve enclosed a couple of before and after photos of a Thai green curry paste I made. With my last blender I had to chop most of the ingredients manually before putting them in the blender in order to get a good mix and texture but with this everything goes straight in (except the ginger which I slice beforehand) and it produces a perfectly textured paste in under 15 seconds. You can also use the quad blade to puree food and there’s also a plastic dough kneading blade

The adjustable slicer cuts through carrots and potatoes with ease and although I’ve yet to use them, the shredder and grater seem ideal for making things such as coleslaw.

Summary:

Dishwasher friendly and with a 20 year (!) motor warranty, this is a versatile and powerful processor that's built to last. It is expensive but you get what you pay for and it both looks and acts the part. It’s not an issue for me, but it’s worth bearing in mind that it has a single speed motor.

P.S. I've added some photos. The first one with can of Coke is just to give an indication of its size. The other three show the ingredients for a Thai curry paste before and after chopping.
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Norton Security Deluxe 3.0 - 1 User, 5 Devices, 12 Months License Card (PC/Mac)
Norton Security Deluxe 3.0 - 1 User, 5 Devices, 12 Months License Card (PC/Mac)
Price: £24.00

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taking care of business (but some Edge browser compatability issues), 12 Dec. 2015
There are three different versions of Norton’s 2016 available and this review is for the Deluxe edition - installed on PC running Vista and a Windows 7 laptop - that provides five licences that can be used on any combination of PCs, Macs, smartphones or tablets. The standard version provides security for either one PC or Mac and the Premium version is the same as the Deluxe except that it provides 10 licences and includes some cloud backup & storage options and extra online security for kids.

I've been using Norton on my Windows laptop and desktop for years and this year for the first time ever it was cheaper for me to renew online with Norton’s than buy it from Amazon (but the price has now gone up again on Norton’s website). Norton runs silently and unobtrusively in the background effortlessly taking care of business and I more or less forget about until I get a prompt to renew my licence. Set-up your options for when you want it to update virus definitions, run scheduled scans, carry out background tasks, etc and it all just happens effortlessly with no noticeable impact on my PCs. If you just want peace of mind against nasties lurking on the web, opt for this - that little Norton logo with a green tick displayed in the task bar is VERY reassuring.

I'm also using it on my Android smartphone and as well as the usual anti-malware, you can block calls and websites, back up your contacts and there are Anti-theft tools that enable you to locate your device and lock or wipe it if you need to. There's also an App Advisor that's checks the security of apps. To be honest, I wouldn't purchase this solely to use on an Android device (I only installed it because I had a spare licence) because there are free alternatives that are just as good and Google's Android Device Manager covers the Anti-Theft functions that this offers.

This year Norton are providing a "100% Virus Protection Promise" where if you get a virus and one of their experts can’t remotely remove it, you’ll get your money back. However, if you buy this from Amazon you’ll have to subscribe to their automatic renewal service to be eligible. I’d advise against signing up for auto-renewal because you’ll be at the mercy of Norton when it’s time to renew. I suppose you could sign up for it and get the extra cover and cancel the auto-renew a few weeks before your licence expires.

*Windows 10 Edge browser compatibility*

"If you're using the Edge browser in Windows 10, there are issues. Here's an extract from the Norton website:

Compatibility of Norton Toolbar and Norton Identity Safe with Microsoft Edge browser

Based on information Microsoft has provided to date, several browser-based protection and identity features that are provided in Norton products are not compatible with Edge, including Identity Safe, Safe Search, Safe Web, Anti-phishing, and Scam Insight.

We are investigating alternative ways to deliver these features for Microsoft Edge. In the meantime, we encourage customers using Norton security products to use Internet Explorer or another supported web browser like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox to enjoy these features.

Microsoft has indicated that it will continue to improve Edge and will allow browser extensions in the near future."
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 15, 2015 4:03 PM GMT


Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7" Gold Octa-Core 3Gb Ram 32GB HD Android Lollipop 5.02 SM-T810
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7" Gold Octa-Core 3Gb Ram 32GB HD Android Lollipop 5.02 SM-T810
Offered by Gifts Box
Price: £347.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably fast and light with amazing display but some shortcomings, 11 Dec. 2015
After the performance of my iPad 2 deteriorated after each successive software update to the point where it was almost unusable, I decided it was time for something new. I've been using an Android phone for the past year and it heavily influenced my decision in buying this tablet - I've found the Google music, films, books and apps ecosystem an absolute breeze to navigate and use.

Build – exceptionally light with a very slim design, a subdued gold (it actually looks more grey than gold) back, it looks good but it's not as robust as the iPad 2 and doesn't have a Gorilla glass screen so I definitely recommend fitting a screen protector and getting a case for it.

Connections – no problems whatsoever with good Wi-Fi speeds and Bluetooth connections.

Performance – it's unbelievably FAST, particularly Google's Chrome browser, and it copes with ease even when I have a lot of apps running concurrently.

Screen - very responsive with swipes and touches registering first time, every time.

Battery – it’s not a massive battery (5870 mAh) and it does take a sluggish four hours to charge from empty to 100%. I only use it at home so it’s no big deal for me but you can comfortably get 7-8 hours when surfing the web, about 10 hours for video playback and goes on for what seems like forever when playing music via a Bluetooth speaker.

Display – the display is amazing. Exceptionally rich and detailed, images literally leap out of the screen. It’s also good for reading especially given that it’s so light to hold.

Storage – this was a big selling point for me. 23GB of its 32GB capacity is available and it can be supplemented by a MicroSD card. I've fitted a 128GB MicroSD card and I can save music and rented films from Google Play direct to it and BBC iPlayer downloads too (you need to move the BBC app to the card to do this). Transferring existing media onto it is simple. Just hook it up to your PC and drag and drop folders and files onto the tablet or MicroSD card.

Camera & Video – they’re not jaw-dropping but I wouldn't expect them to be on a tablet of this size. The back camera is 8MP, the front 1.6MP and they are more than adequate for Skype and taking happy snaps for uploading to social media.

Sound – twin speakers that really sound exceptional for a tablet but you get the full experience using a Bluetooth speaker. There's a built in graphic equaliser with plenty of pre-sets or you can custom set it. The pre-installed Samsung Galaxy music player is very impressive and well laid out and I prefer it to PowerAmp app that I’ve used in the past.

Apps – it comes pre-installed with all the usual Google apps. There are also a few Samsung apps along with some Microsoft ones that I don’t really want or need, including the pointless Galaxy Apps store, that can't be uninstalled but it's not really a problem given the 32GB capacity.

Fingerprint scanner - very hit and miss and, despite re-scanning my prints a number of times using different fingers, it fails to recognise my print about 70% of the time and I have to type in my password instead. However, it's not a major inconvenience.

Overall this is an impressive device. It's very fast, the display is excellent, it's very light and it's capacity can be extended. It's not quite perfect with the slow recharging of the battery being the biggest drawback. There are plenty of cheaper and inferior alternatives available but it’s worth paying the extra for this tablet.

Finally, I would exercise caution before buying from overseas Marketplace sellers on Amazon. I bought mine from Currys/PC World.


Hamilton Beach .7L Glass Bowl Mini Chopper
Hamilton Beach .7L Glass Bowl Mini Chopper
Price: £9.25

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and near perfect chopper, 11 Dec. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Compact, reassuringly heavy and with a glass bowl, this is an ideal mini-chopper for when you've only got small quantities to chop and / or blend. It's so easy to use – just press and hold the bowl lid down and it starts whizzing away. With a powerful motor and a sharp blade, it cuts through onions with no problems whatsoever. I mostly use it for onions and given its size you do need to quarter them first and if using large onions you’ll need to chop them in two loads. It’s also very good for making dips such as humus – just keep the lid pressed until you get a nice smooth consistency. Dishwasher friendly (we get on very well), the only real downside is the size of the spindle that takes up a lot of space inside an already small bowl.


Beyond Belief: Racist, Sexist, Rude, Crude and Dishonest : The Golden Age of Madison Avenue
Beyond Belief: Racist, Sexist, Rude, Crude and Dishonest : The Golden Age of Madison Avenue
by Charles Saatchi
Edition: Flexibound
Price: £19.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Christmas morning she'll be happier with a hoover...", 29 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This coffee table book features print advertisements from the late nineteenth century through to the early seventies, with the vast majority being from the mid twentieth century. Accompanied by text from Charles Saatchi explaining the thinking behind the adverts, there is no doubting that all are, as the book title implies, Beyond Belief and they would provoke widespread criticism, outrage on Twitter and would most definitely be banned if produced nowadays.

Each advert is either racist, sexist, rude, crude or dishonest and some 50 plus years later they do provoke laughter along with a disbelieving "Oh my God!" exclamation. Soap adverts claiming that a dirty black child could be scrubbed so clean that it would become a white child, babies being fed 7Up instead of milk, a young girl in her bed cuddling a revolver and teddy bear, a group of five men wearing "Broomstick" slacks laughing as they man handle a scantily clad woman, doctors recommending Camel cigarettes - the mind boggles and the jaw drops as you flick through the pages.

For the most part it's the attitudes towards women that amazes the most and it's clear that Madison Avenue's 'Mad Men' from the period covered believed that women belonged in the home cooking and cleaning, keeping themselves free of body odour and bad breath (paying particular attention to their "feminine hygiene"), keeping their complexion "schoolgirl fresh", their figure slim and slender and pumping themselves full of tranquillisers and chain smoking to cope with the daily demands of housekeeping. If they didn't keep up to the required standards then they were a failure and their husbands would administer a spanking (!) and leave them for a woman who was slimmer, more beautiful, could cook and clean better and smelt nice in all the right places. You really couldn't make this stuff up...

With a flexibound cover and just shy of 300 pages, quite a few of the images featured have been doing the rounds in the blogosphere for years but it is good to have them gathered together in this single volume alongside Saatchi's pithy comments.


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