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Fates and Furies
Fates and Furies
by Lauren Groff
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Groff writes like a painter filling in a canvas, with masterful and subtle brushstrokes, 21 Jun. 2015
This review is from: Fates and Furies (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Lauren Groff is a writer of great skill. She weaves depths, layers and colours into her natural gifts as a storyteller, one can quite understand all the accolades and prizes in her favour. On the strength of this book, I have ordered her previous bestseller works, _The Monsters of Templeton_ and _Arcadia_ as audiobooks.

_Fates and Furies_, ostensibly, a portrait of a marriage between Lotto and Mathilde, is in fact, novel as social commentary. The commentary here is of America: its obsessions with wealth, youth, looks and sex. It is a potpourri of poetic narrative meets Jonathan Franzen (for example, of _The Corrections_ fame, and who received similar accolades).

Groff paints her characters with insightful brushstrokes. We chart Lotto's parents and early childhood. The fall from riches to beach house condominium after his father's death, the generous allowance, his new friends and his coming of age. The all-American story.

We follow Lotto's ambitions as an actor, starving in the garrett, with long periods of rest. The parties, his entourage of exes, the progression and development of his marriage to the "predatory" Mathilde.

Groff's depictions of Lotto's relationship with his little sister reminds me of J D Salinger _Zooey and Franey_ : beautifully done.

Groff has a fine sense of metaphor and writes like a painter filling in a canvas, with masterful and subtle brushstrokes, with shade and light.

At nearly 400 pages long, you can read and read and read, to your heart's content.


AmazonBasics 100% Cotton Single Duvet Cover Set, Bold Checks with 1 pillowcase
AmazonBasics 100% Cotton Single Duvet Cover Set, Bold Checks with 1 pillowcase
Price: £30.10

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent good quality basic single duvet, 16 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Excellent good quality basic single duvet. Made 100% of good quality cotton, this is not the flimsy see-through polyester cotton mixtures, so often associated with this type of product.

Bravo, Amazon, with your Basics Value range!


UK Novelty Gadgets Universal Travel Adaptor - All in one - Europe - USA - UK - Asia - Australia worldwide usb Travel Adaptor/charger plug -works in over 175 countries
UK Novelty Gadgets Universal Travel Adaptor - All in one - Europe - USA - UK - Asia - Australia worldwide usb Travel Adaptor/charger plug -works in over 175 countries
Offered by Electronics-Depot®
Price: £4.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Fine. Perfect for the international traveller, 7 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Fine. Perfect for the international traveller. Speedy delivery. Arrived in time.


Rexel Mylar Index (Pack of 10)
Rexel Mylar Index (Pack of 10)
Price: £43.04

5.0 out of 5 stars Great product. Good quality stationery, 5 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Great product. Good quality stationery. A must for every home and office that files documents in ring binders or arch lever files.

Excellent, too, for students needing to comprehensively index their coursework according to topic or category.


Zero Zero Zero
Zero Zero Zero
by Roberto Saviano
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.60

5.0 out of 5 stars Cocaine Wars and Mexico's Murderous Madness, 5 Jun. 2015
This review is from: Zero Zero Zero (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Zero Zero Zero is an engrossing, fast-paced book, reflecting the cocaine trade underworld. In a parallel universe with governments, law and order, Interpol and the FBI, we have the phenomenal cocaine industry, as active and as investible as any stock market, such as copper, zinc or gold. Robert Saviano takes us through a world most of us are barely conscious of, from the peasant fields of poverty-stricken Mexico, to the drug cartels that control them, the raging feuds of the powerful mafia-like families that since 2006 has become a full scale war, with over 136,000 gang-related murders up to 2012, and its distribution to the consumer markets of USA, Europe, Africa and Asia. Saviano is even able to quote quasi-stock market prices for each country, like a parallel foreign exchange mechanism.

This was one industry my CIMA case studies never covered!

The author's detailed and vivid descriptions of the Mexican, Guatelmalan and even Italian Mafia "code of honour" is rivetting. The Knights Templar cartel is amusingly paradoxical in its proclaimed mission statement of "fighting against injustice, materialism and lack of patriotism for one's country", targetted against rivals, the notorious Los Zetas or El Familie, and juxtaposed against itself determined to control the drug territories for its own profits, equally as savagely.

It is an upside-down-world of chivalry towards women, children and compatriots and competitively cruel ferocity against other cartels. No drugs are to be sold to its own, but push them hard to the Americans, Brits, Italians and the rest of the world! Business strategy was ever thus.

Saviano has fully immersed himself in the culture he himself labels, "Mexico's murderous madness" and recounts the tales of many of the shady characters he has met, from the Kaibiles to impressive-sounding El Chapos or El Fearsomo (I made that one up, but you get the picture).

This is an excellent book for those interested in how the global drugs trade works. It is fantastic for the ordinary reader who just wants to understand what the spiralling out-of-control drug-gang warfare in Mexico is all about.


Frederick the Great: King of Prussia
Frederick the Great: King of Prussia
by Tim Blanning
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.40

5.0 out of 5 stars A tour de force biography; comprehensive and entertaining., 26 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Tim Blanning has brought to us a magnificent biography of Frederick the Great, often considered the forefather of modern Germany. It would not be a cliche to say this work is a tour de force.

It commences by describing the structure of the then German states, known as the Holy Roman Empire, with each province under the control of the governor general. Prussia at the time was outwith this empire, thus father Frederick took full advantage of this to build up Prussia, this outpost of a few motley bands of peasant soldiers, through his son, the subject of this book, into one of the most powerful and respected military regimes Europe has known.

Blanning describes in florid detail the challenging father-son relationship, father Frederick by all accounts a bullying tyrant driven to rage by his son's perceived bisexuality and dalliances with the young men of his acquaintance. We are taken through Frederick's enforced arranged and loveless marriage to Elizabeth Christine.

Blanning has researched the correspondence between Frederick and his sister, Wilhelmine, who was his most intimate confidente into his true feelings, and view of the world.

Whilst Frederick's love interests are fascinating, and even amusing, I was more interested in the historical side of things, the wars, the conflicts and the growth of the empire.

Frederick had a great love of music, and Blanning charts this, together with other cultural aspects, such as the rise of lutherinism and the protestant church.

If you are more interested in one aspect over another, the author has made it easy to skip sections, in this thoroughly comprehensive, non-turgid and highly entertaining book.

The academic worth can be evidenced in its 130 pages of references and sources bibliography at the back.


FORZA Multivitamin for Dieters
FORZA Multivitamin for Dieters
Offered by Forza Supplements
Price: £7.49

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Attractive Packaging, Explanatory Leaflet, 23 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This product is well packaged. The ingredients are explained. Targeted at the female market, the pills are a pleasant pink colour.

It does not provide you with all your vitamin requirements, just enough to ensure you are not lacking.

It is important to remember that vitamins and minerals can never be a substitute for real food.

Anorexics have been known to die from depending on vitamin pills alone, so do take good care of yourself!


TRESemme Perfectly Undone Weightless Silicone-Free Conditioner - 500 ml
TRESemme Perfectly Undone Weightless Silicone-Free Conditioner - 500 ml
Price: £4.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 11 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Quite nice to use. Left my hair silky. Nothing all that special.


Amanda Knox: The Story of Amanda Knox
Amanda Knox: The Story of Amanda Knox
Price: £2.18

1.0 out of 5 stars Complete Rubbish; Very Short; Inaccurate, 9 May 2015
Meredith is referred to as Margaret. "Rafaela" becomes American.

Dreadful. Read it in less than ten minutes. Not proofread.

Waste of time and money.


Maclaren Balancing Facial Mist
Maclaren Balancing Facial Mist
Price: £15.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Luxury Packaging makes for a nice Gift, 20 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This comes in a tubular cardboard gift box with lettering in French and English. The bottle inside is an attractive design, obviously intended for the high end of the market at £15, for what is, basically a water spritzer, albeit with organic mandarin and geranium oils.

I got a delicious grapefruit fragrance which I love. However, it made my face quite wet. I also had to remove my glasses first.

Some got in my eye which caused it to sting a bit. After wiping down my face and dabbing my eye, my face did seem softer. This might be an illusion.

As I tend to perspire from my temples when overheated, perhaps on London Underground, I can see the attraction of this for heavily pregnant ladies, especially in summer.

I have only given it three stars as although it is a nice handheld size, unfortunately, because the bottle is glass, I would deem it too heavy for my handbag, as I prefer to travel as lightly as possible.


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