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Amazon Customer "man of tofu and limes" (Botswana)

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Apocalypse for Beginners
Apocalypse for Beginners
by Nicolas Dickner
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hooray! We're alive!, 21 May 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
When I was a teenager, everyone was obsessed with the threat of nuclear annihilation; even today, religious wingnuts keep popping up declaring that the apocalypse or the rapture is imminent. Nicolas Dickner turns this persistent facet of human delusion into a drolly entertaining, if ultimately slight bildungsroman-cum-romcom. Didn't love it, but certainly liked it quite a bit.

Being Wrong:  Adventures in the Margin of Error
Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error
by Kathryn Schulz
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars The rightness of wrongness, 20 May 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Schulz is clearly looking for a slice of the Blink/Freakonomics/Black Swan market, but don't let that put you off. Her core proposition - that error is an inevitable, even necessary, part of being human - at first seems perverse, but actually makes her musings seem more real, more accessible to the non-expert, non-academic reader. These days, education seems to be based on jumping through hoops to provide the "correct" answer that has been drummed into the student by rote. Schulz suggests that such superficial perfection is undesirable. Give a copy to your kid's teacher.

When Ronan Met Burt
When Ronan Met Burt
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.97

9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A foul, mouldering stain on the reputation of one of the giants of popular music. (Not Ronan.), 7 April 2011
This review is from: When Ronan Met Burt (Audio CD)
Maybe you thought Ronan and Lulu's Harold-and-Maude take on We Got Tonight plumbed the depths of weird; or maybe it was his simpering emasculation of Fairytale of New York. But no, The Bloke Who Danced Slightly Less Badly Than The Others When They Did The Gay Byrne Show has outdone himself in incongruous badness. Some of the most awe-inspiring songs of the past 100 years are played in the background while a drunk Wookie bellows football chants over the top. It's not just that Ronan seems unable to respond to the exquisite melancholy of Hal David's lyrics; he seems to have English as his third or fourth language. Is he just reciting the words phonetically from an autocue?

The most charitable explanation I can give for those who gave this a high score is that they've never heard the original versions. If you want to know how these songs ought to be done, listen to Dusty, Dionne, Karen, to Tom Jones and Scott Walker - damn, even Herb Alpert made a better job of Burt's music, and he was just a trumpeter. Then listen to this again. If you still prefer Keating, you don't deserve ears.

According the the witless PR guff video that so many of Ronan's more gullible fans appear to have swallowed, it was Burt who made the initial approach to the Whitest Man In Showbiz. Either the great man desperately needs the money, or he's going senile. If the latter, I hope his wits fade completely before he realises what an abomination he has allowed to happen on his watch.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 8, 2011 11:25 AM BST

Aluminium Foil 18" (450mm x 75m) - industrial size for your kitchen or professional establishment
Aluminium Foil 18" (450mm x 75m) - industrial size for your kitchen or professional establishment
Offered by Rinkit Ltd
Price: £15.99

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy now, 2 April 2011
For many years, I have carried with me a terrible secret - a deep, profound yearning for the silvery charms of Folly, the foil-based girl in The Amazing Adventures of Morph. I had relationships with normal girls, but there was something missing - mainly the chance to see my own blurry reflection in their bodies while we were in the throes of passion.

But now, with SEVENTY-FIVE BLIMMIN' METRES OF FOIL I had the chance to build my own Folly. And I did. And she was magnificent (and, false modesty be damned) so was I.

Even better, after the deed was done, I used her foot to wrap up a baked potato.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 2, 2011 2:20 PM BST

Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health
Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health
by L. Ron Hubbard
Edition: Hardcover

35 of 51 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Would be funny if it weren't so dangerous, 30 Jan. 2011
This is the sort of book that persuades people to despise psychiatry, divorce Nicole Kidman, make Battlefield Earth and write starry-eyed positive reviews on Amazon.

One Day
One Day
by David Nicholls
Edition: Paperback
Price: £2.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disposable fiction, 29 Dec. 2010
This review is from: One Day (Paperback)
It's interesting how careful some reviewers are not to reveal The Twist, and how angry some people are when there's a so-called Spoiler. By definition a twist can only work once per reader, which suggests that this is not a book to be re-read, analysed and treasured - a true classic - but to be consumed once, then discarded. If the twist is such a significant element, it's not a very good book - or maybe you're not a very good reader.

And essentially that's what One Day is, despite the acclamations of people who should know better that it is some kind of modern-day successor to Thomas Hardy. It's a disposable easy read, for the easily pleased. It would be unfair to compare it to McDonald's or KFC - it's more like one of those middlebrow chains, like Cafe Rouge or Pizza Express, that are pleasant and satisfying, but once you've had a real meal at a real restaurant, you understand what you've been missing. The comparisons with Parsons, Hornby, Keyes, etc are apt. It's competent, nothing more, and anyone who ascribes any other qualities to it needs to read a few proper books instead.

Chased by an Elephant: The Gospel Truth about Today's Stampeding Sexuality
Chased by an Elephant: The Gospel Truth about Today's Stampeding Sexuality
by Janice Barrett Graham
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A peculiar book for peculiar people, 19 Oct. 2010
A moving story of a mother who struggles with delusional feelings about sexuality and religion, and the son who is unable to help her overcome them (probably because his psycho mother is intent on making him hate himself). I'm not quite sure where the elephant comes in, because by that point I didn't know whether to laugh or vomit.

If someone you know believes this ghastly drivel, walk away slowly.

After.Life [DVD] [2009]
After.Life [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ Liam Neeson
Price: £3.25

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Waste of a good idea, 23 Sept. 2010
This review is from: After.Life [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
A neat, thought-provoking idea that plays on the ultimate unknown - what does death feel like? - should be a great starting point for a clever, scary, affecting movie. Unfortunately, the writer and director couldn't be bothered to take matters any further, leaving the plot in the hands of Liam Neeson (embarrassed), Christina Ricci (sulky, often naked) and a gentleman called Justin Long, who reminds me of Keanu Reeves, but not in a good way. Ho hum.

Going Back
Going Back
Offered by MasterDVD
Price: £2.78

10 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Well, what did you expect?, 23 Sept. 2010
This review is from: Going Back (Audio CD)
Phil Collins is a good drummer. Not, obviously, as good a drummer as those who worked at Motown in the 60s and 70s, the likes of Benny Benjamin, Pistol Allen and Uriel Jones. But a good, inventive drummer in a range of genres.

However, from the mid-70s on, being a good drummer was not enough for Phil. He wanted to be taken seriously as a singer, his whiny, suburban voice, echoing with fake soul, clagged up the wine bars of the 80s and still leaks from oldies stations to the present day. If Mick Hucknall was a poor man's Luther Vandross, Phil Collins was a poor man's Mick Hucknall.

So what you've got here is a collection of very good songs, with slightly less good (but still OK) drumming than on the originals, and far worse singing.

Buy the originals. They're far better, and a bit cheaper too.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 6, 2012 12:16 AM BST

The Canal
The Canal
by Lee Rourke
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Existentialism meets the real world, 16 Sept. 2010
This review is from: The Canal (Paperback)
The existential anti-heroes of the past 100 years, the creations of Kafka and Camus and Beckett, have been characterised by their distance from the world - but that world always seems to be stylised, unreal, literary. Lee Rourke's unnamed narrator is firmly in their tradition, but the rough world he tries to avoid, with its simmering violence, is all too recognisable. As he sits by the canal, wallowing in his own boredom, he becomes a Meursault or Krapp for the 21st century. Very thought-provoking stuff.

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