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Impossible Joyce: Finnegans Wakes
Impossible Joyce: Finnegans Wakes
by Patrick O'Neill
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £37.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and fascinating cross-cultural look at Joyce's impossible book, 18 Dec. 2014
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A superb book for fans of Wakean. I've always wondered how such a book like Finnegans Wake (which some argue has yet to be translated into English) could be translated into other languages like Russian, French, German etc. The answer, apparently is, quite well. In fact, as this book demonstrates, some of the translations actually add further meaning and dimension to Joyce's famously abtruse text, sometimes improving on the original; sometimes not - including Joyce himself, who translated parts of it into Italian. I came to an appreciation of James Joyce by way of Umberto Eco, who has written a few books on the writer. The Wake in particular lends itself to Eco's views on the 'open work' - the flexibility of language and meaning, interpretation and over-interpretation. The book can be a bit droll at times, as you would expect, but the author has made the correct choice by concentrating on only a few small fragments of the Wake, the material for which is extensive. As far as I am aware, Patrick O' Neill's book is the only one to deal exclusively with the difficulty of translating Finnegans Wake, but by adopting a specialist angle he illuminates key aspects of the book, which other, larger tomes often miss.


7dayshop Portable High Resolution 35mm Film & Slide Scanner. Colour LCD Screen and 8GB SD Card - Use for your old Kodak, Fuji, Agfa, Konica, Ilford Colour Negative, Black & White and Colour Slide Films!
7dayshop Portable High Resolution 35mm Film & Slide Scanner. Colour LCD Screen and 8GB SD Card - Use for your old Kodak, Fuji, Agfa, Konica, Ilford Colour Negative, Black & White and Colour Slide Films!

8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Overpriced for what it is - effectively a cheap light box masquerading as a 'high resolution' scanner, 6 Nov. 2013
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Each slide takes approx 2-3 seconds to 'scan' and the results are as you would expect - very low. We're talking slides here, folks - the whole point of a slide is its exceptional picture quality. Compare this scanner with my Canoscan 5600f, which can take up to 10 minutes per scan, depending on the detail you want. When I received the box it was so light, I immediately realised this was not going to do the job. It is not worth over £60 - it is cheap. If all you want is a very basic imitation of your lovely slides (for the purposes of showing family members) then this might be okay for you. But if you value your photography just a little bit, I urge you not to go for this. I have now purchased an £18 slide holder for my Canoscan (I lost the other one) and now have much better quality slide scans. DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT - IT IS BEING MISSOLD AS A 'HIGH-RESOLUTION' SCANNER. IT IS NOT.
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 14, 2014 10:39 PM GMT


Diesel Only The Brave Eau De Toilette Spray for Men 50ml
Diesel Only The Brave Eau De Toilette Spray for Men 50ml
Price: £31.96

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't perform its most basic function, 24 Jun. 2013
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Diesel's 'Only the Brave' is a good brand (I have one of their watches, which is so up itself it came with its own pillow), so I thought I'd try their stench, expecting the same kind of kick-ass, Persian bizarre effect of many of their other products. Apart from the wonderful 'you lookin' at me, mate!' fist-shaped bottle, the product fails in its most basic duty - i.e. it leaves female pheromones cold. More than that it wears off after about 5 minutes so that only the heightened olfactory senses of the local canine population can appreciate it, and no one (and by 'no one', I mean chicks) notices it. Compare this with the comments I received upon dousing myself in Gucci Envy. When I used Gucci it was like being on the Serengeti; I could hardly walk down the street without being attacked by female wildebeest. It was quite violent actually. But with 'Only the Brave' the only thing I attracted were flies.

There is some suggestion that this is a young man's perfume; it is certainly marketed that way. I think the under 25's will generally like it. When you get older you'll kick yourself for being so stupid, but they say pain is a good teacher.


Steadicam Merlin Stabilisation System For Video Cameras
Steadicam Merlin Stabilisation System For Video Cameras

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Design fault - overpriced and over here!!!, 1 Jun. 2012
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There is a review here with the title 'Fiddly', which sums up the Merlin better than I can. Many of you buying this product will fiddle and fiddle and fiddle with the stabilizer levers, weights and curvature of the monopod until the cows come home but you will never, never, never, never ever get the camera to just stay put. THAT IS WHY IT SAYS IN THE INSTRUCTIONS THAT YOU MUST HOLD THE BOTTOM OF THE STABILIZER PLATE WITH YOUR OTHER HAND. ONLY IN THIS WAY CAN YOU GET MODERATELY STABLE IMAGES (i.e. your camera won't start floating off to the left or right or up or down or diagonally or just give up the ghost altogether and chuck a 180 so that instead of that lovely tracking shot you were after you end up with a great view of your crotch). Yes - it is frustrating beyond belief!! The upshot of it is is that the Merlin has a design fault (no other explanation will suffice). I had to re-sell mine because it just wouldn't work with my camera - a JVC Everio HD Camcorder(other cameras, blessed with more symmetrical weight distribution, may fare better). The Merlin itself is a glorified, bendable monopod, and has a few little weights you can add to the bottom and front. It is violently overpriced for what it is and worst of all, it doesn't actually do what it says on the packet. Just make your own or buy another stabilization system. Don't fall for the 'Steadicam' Trademark like I did.

Garrett Brown - you should be ashamed for peddling this piece of crap!!!!!


We Saw Lincoln Shot: One Hundred Eyewitness Accounts
We Saw Lincoln Shot: One Hundred Eyewitness Accounts
by Timothy Good
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.09

4.0 out of 5 stars Mass observation of a singular historical event, 29 Jan. 2008
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Surprisingly most people's accounts of the assassination of Honest Abe are pretty similar, but there are subtle differences sifting through all the myriad eyewitness reports, spread over a period of nearly one hundred years. This is a book that will suit assassination afficionados more than those after a more general history. Because almost everyone in Ford's Theatre on the night of the killing were extremely loyal and patriotic Northerners, deeply fond of the boys in blue and the President, the point of views are naturally biased toward Northern sentiments. Most revealing of all are the intimate portraits of two young boys who meet John Wilkes Booth (the assassin) in person. Booth comes across as a really nice guy, which is probably how it was, though he was supremely hated and villified for his crime. It would be good to get viewpoints from the Confederate side, but that is not the purpose of this book, and because it simply re-visits reports, letters and newspaper articles of those who were at the theatre on that fateful night in 1865, there is no intentional political bias. It is simply a mass observation by men, women and children of an extraordinary event. I fully recommend this book to those with a more particular interest in the history of the American Civil War. My only gripe (a small one) is that it could have done with a few pictures of the lead characters, such as Abe, Booth, Mrs Lincoln, Keene, Hawkes, etc, to give us some visualisation into the minds of the people whose words speak out to us from the grave. Like Lincoln their memories are now part of the ages.


The Cyberiad
The Cyberiad
by Stanislaw Lem
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining robot stories, both tongue-in-cheek and polemical, 9 July 2007
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This review is from: The Cyberiad (Paperback)
A great book by Lem, with his usual, fascinating word-play; reading some of the stories is like having 'jewels in the mouth' (to quote Frank McCourt). I did find some of the tales, particularly those towards the end, got a bit laboured (similar plot ideas, etc), but the penultimate story (Altruizine)should be required reading in all schools. Basically it's about forcing happiness onto other civilisations and the horrible consequences that come from such a policy (Iraq, anyone). Those races that have reached HPLD (the Highest Possible Level of Development) think otherwise and basically sit around in the sand all day, completely indifferent to the fate of other peoples and other worlds, because they have reached the apex of their evolution, and through a millenia of making altruistic mistakes have come to the realisation that interfering in other cultures, espcially those still developing (as we see in Africa) ultimately produces more evil than good; ie. people must be allowed to learn from their own mistakes and hence develop accordingly. I think there's a lesson in 'Altruizine' for all those do-gooders out there who produce so much bad out of being good. Why do humanitarians often make such lousy humans? But the idea of telling people to look away when half of Africa is starving is simply something most people can't comprehend. Another poignant tale in The Cyberiad concerns a planet with such massive over-population that the value of its citizens effectively becomes zero, up to the point where they are even used as confetti at weddings. Perhaps the aesopic style of writing, which Lem, like Solzhenitsyn, frequently employs to get his difficult message across really does slip by many readers. I'm sure there are many who would read 'Altruizine' and not understand the full implications of what it is trying to say. A great, great, book, but its irrationality will be best appreciated by the rational among you.


Imaginary Magnitude
Imaginary Magnitude
by Stanislaw Lem
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.25

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My brain hurts, 2 July 2007
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This review is from: Imaginary Magnitude (Paperback)
Not to belittle myself but some of the stuff in this great book is pretty heavy - especially the speeches by Golem XIV. I can't imagine a book like this getting published today; nor do I think it will ever get republished, considering the backward movement mankind is generally making in the intelligence stakes. Golem has a thing or two to say about reverse evolution (frankly I agree with him). I would not recommend this book as an introduction to Lem, as I believe it is one of his more esoteric works. For those who are familar with Lem, particularly his more serious books, like 'His Master's Voice', you will find brain food on offer. My favourite introductions (this is a book about fictional introductions, though Golem, which was originally published as a novel, is not), were 'Bitvic Literature' (especially the stuff about prognolinguistics and metalanguages, and 'Eruntics'. Both deal, in large, with the issue of communication, as do many of Lem's novels. Golem XIV (which comprises more than half the book) is not an introduction to a fictional work - essentially Lem uses the disguise of a robot story (a conference at MIT between the computer and a number of scientists) to present his ideas about evolution, language, CETI, etc. His basic premise that Evolution basically screwed up, will probably be shared by a number of readers. I loved this book, but I am aware that non-Lem readers (and even some Lem readers) may find some of it a bit droll.


The Investigation
The Investigation
by Stanislaw Lem
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lem is food for the brain, 25 Jun. 2007
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This review is from: The Investigation (Paperback)
Lem is probably the only author who could get me to read a detective thriller set around Scotland Yard. This one sets up many, many questions, with each new discovery proving more tantalising than the previous. It really is a page-turner - at least for those who share similar interests to Lem. Here again he explores issues of chance (chaos, etc) which he dealt with, perhaps a bit better, in The Chain of Chance. I would not recommend this book for those who like Inspector Morse, Agatha Christie, etc, because there is no neat solution at the end of this - just a lot of questions, with a very Kafkaesque feel to much of the happenings. The point is, and Lem has made this in a number of his other works, is that there are many things in this world that are subject to laws beyond rational understanding, be it a string of corpses being invaded by alien microbes, or a message from the stars which no one can deciper. Ultimately the detective in The Investigation fails in his task (because it is simply non achievable). Likewise in other Lem books, like 'His Master's Voice', 'Eden,' The Invicible', etc, the protaganists fail miserably in trying to make contact with an alien race. People who like Lem will like him instinctively. People will like The Investigation for the same reason.


The Futurological Congress (From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy)
The Futurological Congress (From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy)
by Stanislaw Lem
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.79

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profound and at times frightening, 18 Jun. 2007
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Because so many (from Star Trek onwards) have essentially plagiarised (knowingly or unknowingly) many of the ideas in Lem's 1967 seminal work, one can see where all the ideas for films like the Matrix come from. Even an episode of Star Trek Voyager is in here (the section which deals with people being born old and gradually getting younger). Yes, it's all here. Apart from the extraordinary word play, double meanings, etc, which I admit can get a bit tiresome, this book deals with how we perceive reality (i.e. what is real?) and the problem of over-population, which is the fundamental problem of our times (not globabl warming). It is population explosion that will kill us in the end, and, as Dr Shockley, the inventor of the transister, warned, it will be a survival not of the fittest, but of the least fit.


Chain of Chance
Chain of Chance
by LEM
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.50

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hidden gem, 5 Jun. 2007
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This review is from: Chain of Chance (Paperback)
I put off reading A Chain of Chance by Lem because the idea of a pseudo-science-fiction detective story didn't really interest me, but having read it, I would say it is one of Lem's finest works, drawing as it does on chaos theory and patterns in life and nature. I recommend this book, wholeheartily, but only to those already well versed in the world of Lem; his body of work is not really for those on the low end of the bell curve, but for people who want to, and need to be, challenged by new and innovative ideas.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 3, 2014 1:32 AM BST


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