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Timothy Bushell "timothybushell"

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The Secret Value of Zero
The Secret Value of Zero
Price: 2.54

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable and thoughtful novel, 8 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I would like to add how much I enjoyed reading The Secret Value of Zero.

At its core is a message about individuality; about following one's own path. Meke's journey of self discovery is relatively easy and occupies the first part of the adventure. Despite being a "zero" in society, she instinctively understands the value of self when well-meaning people try to speak and act for her. That she is unable to directly communicate with many is a stroke of genius. So Meke's biggest hurdle is not in the discovery of self but in the consequences of not allowing other people to dictate her fate - the difficulties and challenges that she needs confront in order to be herself. On many occasions Meke deliberately takes the hardest route available in her determination take control.

What Victoria Halley delivers is a pacy, sci-fi thriller with just the right momentum. Containing enough surprises for even seasoned readers of the genre, and a good dose of uncertainty, I was fully engrossed in the tale. The unfolding relationships carried enough surprises but lacked any sentimentality. Right up until the end I could not predict the book's conclusion.

The book is not long, and is perhaps the perfect novel for commuting - easy to get back into. No space opera then - but the book is no less epic for not requiring a glossary of character names.

In summary I would recommend "The Secret Value of Zero"; it's a such a pleasure to read.


Bulworth [DVD] [1999]
Bulworth [DVD] [1999]
Dvd ~ Warren Beatty
Offered by Discs4all
Price: 4.65

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars political satire - not subtle - but significant, 9 Sep 2003
This review is from: Bulworth [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
This is great political satire. Its central character, a sleep deprived senator, becomes the honest voice of US politics and its reliance on funding. For a UK watcher it's a fasinating warning - for an American, hopefully a little more.
In the plot, the senator adopts black culture, and "rap", to germinate a new type of politics. (Sleep-deprivation is a condition that historically combines insanity with clarity of mind.) This provides some of the best comedy and ultimatly the film's best scene (a TV interview). Nevertheless this is not a film about black issues (although it presents some of them with great clarity) in this way its biggest strength is also its weakness: to some degree it merely 'uses' these issues as a way of presenting other issues.
Nevertheless I love this file for its honesty, risk and fun. It is very watchable and a film that has not been given the serious consideration that it deserves.


A Cry from the Heart (Live)
A Cry from the Heart (Live)
Offered by O-V-G Germany
Price: 8.95

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a superb example of a great artist's work, 9 Sep 2003
At one point (it may be still true) Barbara Thompson was said to be the only sax artist who could genuinely play 2 saxophones at the same time, independantly of each other (as opposed to the same tune from 2 saxes).
Forget that though.. it's not important except as an intro. Barbara Thompson is the band leader and composer of Paraphenalia... a great jazz band. I have seen them live: once in Bristol at a Heineken Festival (with Paraphenalia and a young brass band, Moving Parts) and again in a small venue in Plymouth.
Not all her compositions are memorable, but her musicianship (and that of her bands) always is. Some of her best writing, and the best performances of her music can be found on this album (I have all her early works on LP). I first got a copy of this 2nd hand on vinyl. The 3rd side captivated me so much I didn't stop listening to it (and the other sides!) for 2-3 years... even today I can hum along to any part after 13 years. Now owning it on CD I love to play it without the pops! I wish other albums in her back catalogue were available (Wilde Tales for instance)... Temple Music please take note!


Live Art
Live Art
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: 20.43

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb musicianship, 9 Sep 2003
This review is from: Live Art (Audio CD)
I first heard of this particular artist listening to (I assume bootlegged) tracks of the Dave Matthews Band - with whom he has occasionally sessioned live.
The banjo may not be a contempory instrument (read. fashionable) but in the hands of this artist you cannot but help fall in love with its sound. The banjo of Bela Fleck combines harmony and percusion to stunning effect:- "I don't need no drums", the artist declares on 'More Luv'.
However this track, like others, does have drums, plus a full rock band line up. This is not an album of solo banjo - but of great musicianship across the board, with the banjo often playing lead instrument. This is the sort of recorded, live music that makes you wish you'd been there - not in the way of a live Madonna concert but - because you'd really been part of the event in an intimate way.
Well worth a listen if you like great (live) music and do not feel restricted by genre... or if you like folk/rock.


Auberge
Auberge
Price: 7.87

6 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The usual Rea-mush, 13 Aug 2003
This review is from: Auberge (Audio CD)
I was a great fan of Chris Rea's music and highly rate albums like "Wired to the Moon" and "Shamrock Diaries"; the slightly earlier ones.
I stopped buying his albums because his work became derivitive: basically he'd just ran out ideas. The track "Road to Hell" is an excellent example... unmistakably Rea, but ultimately undistinguishable in style from earlier pieces, and what's worst, lyrically puffed-up with little content. The unnecessary compilations and remixes he produced in the late 80s are also an indication of a lack of original output. How glossy and dull was "New Light Through Old Windows"? Whereas Pat Metheny and Bruce Springsteen can sit at home and lay very simple but powerful tracks onto a home studio to great effect, it seems Rea can no longer produce anything with substance, even in a professional studio.
On reading other reviews on this page I wondered whether Aurberge really was an album of note that I'd missed (I really wanted to like Rea's work again), but unfortunately it's not.
The orchestral arrangements suck (cf. Joni Mitchell's "Travalogue"), the lyrics are "tabloid" and, well, stupid. Take "Gone fishing". He sings: "So I'm goin' fishing; It sounds crazy I know; I know nothing about fishing; but just watch me go". For a start why would going fishing sound crazy? It's no more crazy than going for a walk, a drive, a film, or a drink at the local pub when you have things to get of your mind. Lyrics like this diffuse the main idea in the song and do little more than fill up time. "You're not a number" tackles a theme that has already been handled well in other places and Rea does nothing to add to it... he is simply "borrowing" the concept to wrap around his usual guitar whinings.
So... if, like me, you think this might be a way back to Rea: it's not, in my opinion. It's just like listening to another one of his albums, which you might as well do and save your money.


24: Season Two DVD Collection [DVD]
24: Season Two DVD Collection [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kiefer Sutherland
Price: 9.75

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 is highly stylised, yet hugely watchable, 12 Aug 2003
Television rarely gets better than this! 24 is highly stylised, yet hugely watchable, a combination as rare as quiet moments in this series.
For me, this second series lacks only because I was not taken back by the unprecented quality; but some of the most stunning moments are found in 24:2 - for instance in the last five minutes of an episode in a plane over the nevada desert. Having said that 24:2 does have some flaws, so do expect them.
Of course you'll already know that it's set in real time.. but it doesn't rely on this device to create dramatic tension. This is created by (mostly) brilliant performances, an amazing attention to detail and perfect scripting: things which are perhaps more important than ever because it's real time. What I'm trying to say is that 24 is not all gimic and no substance. If you want a yard stick to good television, this, in my opinion, would be a good start.
If you've never seen 24 before I recommend watching the first series first. 24 season 1 and 2 are highly "plot-centric" and to see an episode out of sequence would be a mistake (i.e. where perhaps you could more easily fall into the middle of season 2 of Six Foot Under?). Also those of us who had to wait 7 days between episodes will be deeply jealous of any one who watches this for the first time on DVD when it's quite possible to watch the whole thing in 24 hours!


Winter Chill
Winter Chill

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars yep, 30 July 2002
This review is from: Winter Chill (Audio CD)
Truth is Hed Kandi rarely fail to totally impress. I often get tired of other comps - regardless of how good a reputation they have (Real Ibiza, Cafe Del Mar, Another Late Night, Back to Mine, Ministry) - but Hed Kandi manage quality collections across a good range of genres (Chillout, Nu Cool, Back To Love, Beach House & Disco Kandi). They also manage to avoid the repetition found in the above mentioned collections.
So... if you're having any kind of gathering ... these are CDs you can bung on without a seconds hesitation.
Now Hed Kandi have started a television advertising campaign perhaps we will see more people buying them and (fingers crossed) a drop in price.
The leader in their field - collect them all!


Disco Kandi 5
Disco Kandi 5
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: 4.54

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars yep, 30 July 2002
This review is from: Disco Kandi 5 (Audio CD)
Truth is Hed Kandi rarely fail to totally impress. I often get tired of other comps - regardless of how good a reputation they have (Real Ibiza, Cafe Del Mar, Another Late Night, Back to Mine, Ministry) - but Hed Kandi manage quality collections across a good range of genres (Chillout, Nu Cool, Back To Love, Beach House & Disco Kandi). They also manage to avoid the repetition found in the above mentioned collections.
So... if you're having any kind of gathering ... these are CDs you can bung on without a seconds hesitation.
Now Hed Kandi have started a television advertising campaign perhaps we will see more people buying them and (fingers crossed) a drop in price.
The leader in their field - collect them all!


Lotus Smartsuite Version 9.5
Lotus Smartsuite Version 9.5

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not an option, except for the smallest of budgets, 30 July 2002
There is some seriously good software here. For instance Word Pro & 123 are excellent packages and compare favourably with Word & Excel. The downfall is Approach & Freelance. Certainly if you'd never heard of PowerPoint and Access you'd probably cope quite well, but if you are looking for a cheap alternative to all these products, you should test it first - I suspect you'll be unpersuaded as I was.


Cryptonomicon
Cryptonomicon
by Neal Stephenson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.75

55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing read, 15 May 2002
This review is from: Cryptonomicon (Paperback)
It's funny to see another reader declare this as the best book they've ever read. I agree. Whenever you see such overblown praise it's easy to dismiss such comments, but this truly is a brilliant book in so many ways.
There are many threads to the novel (I often go back and just read one of the threads) but two main settings. A modern, eastern world with paranoid, clever people setting up a technology business. The other half is set in the Second World War and also has paranoid (for much more obvious reasons), really, really clever people (like Alan Turing) trying to win the war by breaking codes and then disguising that they have. Both worlds are hugely different and Stephenson manages to keep them apart, whilst of course, also showing that the past is ultimately responsible and connected to the present.
The main characters are incredibly well drawn and there is little romanticism on the authors part. They are clearly products of their time and this fits neatly into the main themes of the book.
And the themes are literally huge. The books is about the distance and connections. The novel's world is huge... not only is the book setting global (virtually every place on earth is visited by one character or another at some point, except perhaps South America) but there is also the generation distances. As you read you begin to realise that all the characters are connected, usually by the thinnest of threads. Good examples are the relationship between Alan Turing and his German counterpart. Having once met, they continue a relationship on opposite sides of a war. Without directly communicating to each other what they do is carefully watch the other, analysing every action with mathematical accuracy. A simple analogy would be two spiders at different sides of the web.
Another good example is between the two main chracters.. Lawrence Waterhouse (a collegue of Turing) and his grandson. Having never really met, the connection between them gets stronger and stronger until it ultimitely drives the plot of the book. Again the theme of distance and connection is strong here. As the connection gets stringer the distance seems to diminish.
I'm not saying the book's main point is to say "What a small world", but that's on the right track.
If I've managed to make the book sound boring, then forgive me. It's a cracking read and there's something for everyone: war, technology, political intrigue, business espionage, sex, love, travel, programming, and of course cryptology.
I love this book and go back to it again and again...It's not necessarily for sci fi/cyberpunk fans. If you like war stories you will love this book. If you like family sagas you will love this book.
If you like beautifully written and researched books you will love this book.
If you like modern literature you will love this book.
In short... you will love this book.


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