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Alciato (Central Europe)

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A Worldly Art: The Dutch Republic, 1585-1718
A Worldly Art: The Dutch Republic, 1585-1718
by Mariet Westermann
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars this is a really good book. Fans of Michael Baxendall's 'Painting ind Experiece ..., 30 Oct. 2014
For the comparatively un-informend, this is a really good book. Fans of Michael Baxendall's 'Painting ind Experiece in 15th Century Italy' will recognise the methodology immediately. Although, it somehow lacks Baxendall's panache, but it is a solid, comfortable read. The better informed enthusiast will find it a little superficial and the format and reproductions, whilst good, are not of sufficient interest other than to illumuminate the text.


Utrecht Painters of the Dutch Golden Age
Utrecht Painters of the Dutch Golden Age
by Christopher Brown
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ... is a thin book which didn't arrive in the best condition, the pages were stiff, 30 Oct. 2014
Ths is a thin book which didn't arrive in the best condition, the pages were stiff, as if damaged by water. The content is interesting enough though, and the reproductions certainly good enough, although these days with advances in origination and printing, no better than is to be expected. Fans of the Utrecht Caravaggisti will no doubt want to own it, after all it is cheap enough.


G0312T Mens Tan Leather Lace Up Brogues Smart Gents Hiking Boots Size UK 11
G0312T Mens Tan Leather Lace Up Brogues Smart Gents Hiking Boots Size UK 11

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Splendid shoes, but definitely NOT for hiking, 30 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Much lighter in both colour and substance than they appeared in the photo, but that isn't a bad thing just beware they are more beige than orange. Fit is good. The soles are a rubber composition. On the picture they look like they would be the heavier, less flexible commando style. They aren't. I very much doubt that these boots would be suitable for any amount of serious hiking either. The lining is synthetic too, so beware the bromhidrosis sufferer who wishes not to make others suffer, Fine for city wear though, especially if you want that 'up from the country' look.


What Do Women Want?: Adventures in the Science of Female Desire
What Do Women Want?: Adventures in the Science of Female Desire
Price: £5.22

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting research, marred by excruciating writing style, 31 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I ordered this book on the basis of an interesting review in a prominent English Sunday newspaper. Wanting to read more, it was easily downloaded and that was probably a mistake. As highlighted in the review, the actual research by the various scientists which forms the subject matter of this book is extremely fascinating, and deserves, not only more funding but a wider audience and the author’s slightly perfunctory examination of why it has had neither could have been expanded to make a much more interesting book.

This, however, is not my principle objection to what would have been a really interesting read. Having to read past the annoying ‘new journalism’ (surely, by now Old Journalism and with none of, say Tom Wolfe’s panache) was a chore. Descriptions of the individual scientist’s personal appearances and office spaces and the experimental subjects’ tedious sexual fantasies have clearly been included to literally ‘sex-up’ what the publishers obviously feared might otherwise turn into a dry tome. The are very distracting and in my opinion this strategy had precisely the opposite effect. As the author points out, this research is at best ‘fringe’ for respectable, academic peer review, and whilst it may be of considerable interest to the pharmaceutical industry, the opportunity to simply re-brand an existing product for it’s side effects as in the case of Viagra, occurring again is expecting lightening to strike twice in the same place. As the book makes clear, this is a much more complex; less mechanistic system for psycho-chemical tinkering and the interests for either interference or non-interference are equally myriad and complex. Bergner, has, however, in my opinion, done no end of disservice to his subject matter by dumbing it down to the level of a soft-core, airline pot-boiler and the scientists whose earnest and serious work has formed the material of the book, will see themselves further trivialised and marginalised as a result of its publication. Although it is in no way intended as an academic text, it is also missing any kind of intelligent critique of the research methodology and the conclusions drawn there-from, except that paraphrased from the participating researchers. This was another missed opportunity.

I realise that I was perhaps expecting too much and that if a pleasant diversion from say, a morning commute, is required, then this book will do as well as anything else.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 11, 2013 10:29 PM BST


Sinister Forces—A Warm Gun: A Grimoire of American Political Witchcraft
Sinister Forces—A Warm Gun: A Grimoire of American Political Witchcraft
Price: £6.17

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The closest thing I have seen to a unified field conspiracy theory., 28 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These books are the closest thing I have seen to a unified field conspiracy theory. And whilst he doesn’t cover all bases Levenda’s research is exhaustive and detailed. Some of his conclusions are highly speculative and he occasionally looses some of his ‘scarlet threads’ wandering off in pursuit of the implications of his discoveries but he never leaves the reader far behind and the effort of following is always well rewarded. His prose style is lucid and clear and his citations are, for the most part, comprehensive. He is particularly good at summarising complex belief systems and drawing clear, elegant distinctions between political and spiritual beliefs and practices which is essential given the enormous scope of his chosen subject. It is doubtful that his application of quantum mechanics to historiography will gain acceptance in academic circles any time soon, which is a pity, because it is an interesting way of contextualizing the kind of synchronicities which overarching studies of this nature can and frequently do present.

Sad to say that this book will find the majority of its readership among the paranoid lunatic fringe, among whom I, of course, count myself a loyal member, we should all wear our tin-foil hats with pride. This is a shame because its audience could be that much greater simply because it is sufficiently well written to be enjoyable even to those who will chose not to believe a single word of any of it. This latter should not, however, be taken as a devaluation of the content - all history is fiction, it succeeds or fails in the quality of the historian’s analysis of material and the capacity of their conclusions to generate thought and further debate. In neither criterion is Levenda’s work lacking
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 28, 2013 7:03 PM GMT


George Barbier: Master of Art Deco: Fashion, Illustration and Graphic Design
George Barbier: Master of Art Deco: Fashion, Illustration and Graphic Design
by PIE Books
Edition: Tankobon Softcover
Price: £24.00

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful book, 21 Feb. 2012
This is a truly charming book, and I am absolutely delighted with it. I have other books about Barbier which touch on his work from Dover Publications but this is the one I think I have been waiting for. I have the Martorelli catalogue on order and when it comes, it is going to have to go to a long way to beat this, just in terms of the pleasure it seems to take in itself. It is not a scholarly tome and those looking for penetrating, contextual analysis should look elsewhere, maybe the Martorelli book, I will have to find out. But this is a book very much in the spirit of its subject matter. The whole way that it has been put together, the layout, the binding and the paper quality as well as the printing represent a total commitment to the subject matter. Soft paper, with a loose slip cover, printing that suggests screen printing rather than more modern processes. It is ever so slightly `camp' and that is entirely appropriate. This book actually has a character, something about the weight and balance of it seems to make it belong on a sun-drenched, linen table cloth next to a hammock in Sergei Diaghilev's garden. Everywhere in my home looks a bit too grubby for it. I know, by now I must be sounding pretty camp, but anyone who buy's this book will understand exactly what I mean the moment it comes out of the Amazon box, especially if they have an interest in Graphic Design. And, let's face it, who else is going to buy it? It is very much a book to inspire rather than instruct. It presents a detailed and colourful cross section of the work of an artist whose output remained pretty constant in both quality and style though out his relatively short lifetime. There are a lot of things that I have never seen before even online, where it seems one finds most Barbier stuff these days. The number of elegant vignettes and details which have been pressed into service to illuminate the pages makes it look like the designers had a lot of fun putting it together. The original text is in Japanese and as I am not a Japanese reader so I cannot comment on the authorship and style but I will say that English text as, far as I have read, is well enough redacted, to present a smooth read, although the content won't offer any surprises to anyone with even a passing acquaintance with early 20th century European art or graphics. But it isn't that kind of book, it is a celebration and its fun and I love it.


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