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Sir Furboy (Aberystwyth, UK)

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There is a Happy Land
There is a Happy Land
by Keith Waterhouse
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Snapshot on a Bygone Era, 23 Aug 2010
This review is from: There is a Happy Land (Paperback)
I forget how this book got on to my reading list - and it was hard to get a hold of. I ended up making an inter library loan owing to the astronomical second hand prices - even on Amazon. Luckily inter library loans in Wales are free and Rhondda Library had a copy.

The story is a snapshot of life in Yorkshire. Written in the 1950s, it harks back even further and one of the best things about the book is the atmosphere it evokes of the bygone age. Something of a coming of age story, there is a nasty twist but ultimately not one that it gratuitously dwells in.

Keith Waterhouse was a wonderful writer, who is at his best when he writes about his childhood. He sadly passed away a while back, and that is our loss.


GP 2000mAh AA ReCyko Rechargeable Ni-Mh Batteries 4 Pack
GP 2000mAh AA ReCyko Rechargeable Ni-Mh Batteries 4 Pack
Offered by Go Green Batteries UK
Price: £6.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Batteries, 23 Aug 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It is tempting to pay extra money for branded batteries, because you know what you will get. However I do not regret buying these ones. They work just like branded batteries of the same capacity, and none have failed yet. Buy these and pocket the savings.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 7, 2011 2:10 PM GMT


The Inferior
The Inferior
by Peadar Ó Guilín
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting, and Unusual, 23 Aug 2010
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This review is from: The Inferior (Paperback)
Stopmouth is an unlikely hero - he stammers and lives under the protection of his high status and brave brother. He is overlooked by those around him, but his stammer hides a keen intelligence.

But what becomes clear early on in this book is that the tribe of savage humans who are at cinstant war with alien neighbours is not quite what it seems at first. This is not some primitive fantasy world, but in fact some kind of high tech arena, and the humans are not quite fully human either.

This book was highly original. It explores various issues in the setting of an expanding sci-fi universe that begs further exploration.

Nevertheless this is also a butal book in places. It does not pull its punches, and some of the themes in it are quite dark. Young adults will cope with it, but some may not enjoy it. I would also hesitate to give it to pre-teens.

Like so many books these days, this one sets up a sequel, and it does so nicely. The story of this book wraps itself up, but in doin so it leads into so much more. there is a world to be explored and changed here, and readers will want to be involved in that.

All in all this is a great novel from a new writer. Not the lightest read ever, and if you dislike dark themes, your mileage may vary, but this is an author I will be watchong with interest.


The Possession Of Joel Delaney [1971] [DVD]
The Possession Of Joel Delaney [1971] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Shirley Maclaine
Price: £7.38

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seminal Horror Movie, 23 Aug 2010
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This movie should have cult viewing status. It is wonderful in the way it slowly but surely cranks up the tension, and keeps the viewer rivetted to their seats. It is obviously a little dated, but so many modern horror movies could learn so much from the psychological terror that builds in this one, without relying on gratuitous gore.

Sadly this movie seems all but forgotten. A few reviewers here raise issues of whether it is cut or not (this is the full, uncut movie. It may be that scenes have been cropped, but if they have, few people will notice or care). Other than that there is not nearly enough discussion of how good this movie is.


Understanding Theology, Vol. 2
Understanding Theology, Vol. 2
by R.T. Kendall
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.94

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Bible Study Aid, 23 Aug 2010
This set is a great introduction to theology, but not a readable one. It is set out like a set of Bible Study notes, and the reader has to do some work to actually fully understand the subject. That, however, is a good thing when considering what this book is about.

There are systematic theologies out there which will go into many of the issues in a similarly systematic way. However, R T Kendall's books are prehaps more practical than the systematic theologies, as they positively lend themself to small group use.


Under A Blood Red Sky
Under A Blood Red Sky
Price: £5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic U2, 20 Aug 2010
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This is classic U2 from way back in the early 1980s. A live recording, so the vocals and backing are less polished, but much more real. I actually prefer the live vesrions over the studio ones, although others will disagree.

Essential for all collectors of everything U2, or anyone wanting to understand where this band came from. Aslo for anyone old enough to remember the 1980s!


Black Hearts in Battersea (The Wolves Of Willoughby Chase Sequence)
Black Hearts in Battersea (The Wolves Of Willoughby Chase Sequence)
by Joan Aiken
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Adventure in an Alternate History, 20 Aug 2010
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This is the sequel to the excellent "The Wolves of Willoughby Chase". My daughter read that book in school and then I read this one to her at home. It was a good fun night time read as I got to practice my rather terrible rendition of a French accent, and my daughter got to giggle at me.

But my lack of skill with accents aside, this book was an interesting and engrossing adventure by a first class author. My daughter loved it, and so did I. Suitable for any age from children to adult (although older teens may skip it because it does not look cool to read children's books. That is their loss though, if they do).

Before this book, when I thought of Battersea, it was of the old power station and inner London traffic filled streets. This book paints a picture of a very different Battersea, and one that was very engaging.


What the Bible Really Teaches: A Challenge to Fundamentalists
What the Bible Really Teaches: A Challenge to Fundamentalists
by Keith Ward
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Considered but Sometimes Flawed Polemic, 20 Aug 2010
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This book is a much more considered polemic against fundamentalism than the last one I read, and makes some good points about our approach to the study of the Bible - giving some good principles of biblical interpretation, and warning against the dangers of confirmation bias (where we only read the books by the "sound" writers). However as he was discussing the lack of consensus on issues such as those surrounding the existence or not of a "Q" manuscript, I was actually reminded not of fundamentalists so much as Bruce Bawer, who - in his own polemic against fundamentalism - stated quite unequivocally that scholars now agreed that there was a Q manuscript (and other equally definite statements in defiance of the uncertainty).

My conclusion therefore is that fundamentalists have no monopoly on confirmation bias and bad practices in Bible interpretation!

Nevertheless the principles suggested are sound and useful and Ward makes some good arguments that deserve to be heard. It is sad that it is precisely those people wrapped up in confirmation bias who are least likely to actually give this book a go.

I did find some of the points were a little stretched and others were sketched over too briefly. For instance, the assertion that Jesus' words on marriage to divorced people must be meant to be symbolic seems to me to ignore another excellent principle of exegesis that Ward does not mention - that we must understand how the original hearers would have understood the teaching when performing our exegesis of the meaning of the passage. We may feel that there is much more to be said on an issue and a case to be made for a broader understanding on an issue - but to deny the original intention of the words as recorded seems to me to be importing our views back into the text. That is surely illegitimate.

But I agree with Ward that fundamentalism picks and chooses which texts it treats as literal and which it chooses as symbolic (or ignores altogether). This is an intelligent book that makes an excellent case that fundamentalism is not quite the bible based Christianity it claims to be. As a thesis, this deserves consideration.


The Road to Rome: (The Forgotten Legion Chronicles No. 3) (Forgotten Legion Chronicles 3)
The Road to Rome: (The Forgotten Legion Chronicles No. 3) (Forgotten Legion Chronicles 3)
by Ben Kane
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.39

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, Mystical, Good Read, 20 Aug 2010
Ben Kane chose a theme that would always give him a hard act to follow in this series. Basing his story in the Roman empire at the same time as Conn Iggulden's excellent "Emperor" series, the comparisons between the two series would be inevitable. And as Conn Iggulden's stories are so engrossing, it is equally inevitable that people might feel some dissapointment with this series. At least, I did. In my review of the first book, I gave the book just three stars, but having read through to the end, I have to say that it is worth persevering with this series.

This is an adventure set in the days of Pompey, Crassus and Caesar and following the legion that Crassus lost on his ill fated expedition into Parthia. The second book introduced some strong mystical elements and this book brings all these threads together and places them in the context of the battle of Zela and other key battles of history. It's a good enough story, and I was impressed by the effort the author has put into understanding the history and setting. The battle scenes are well written and the action fast flowing. Kane's characterisations are not quite up to Igguldens, but he has developed his characters in this book nonetheless.

Pacing was a problem in the beginning of this series, but this book moves along well enough. I still find some of the dialogue a little odd, but it has grown on me and again I suspect the real problem is comparison with Conn Iggulden's books. Had he not written those, people would be speaking much more about this one.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 21, 2010 4:04 PM GMT


Enlightened: Little Boy Lost Novel Series (Volume 1)
Enlightened: Little Boy Lost Novel Series (Volume 1)

4.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening, 19 Aug 2010
I bought this by mistake on the kindle store. I was looking for another book called "Little Boy Lost" about a soldier returning from the war! Despite my surprise, and the fact I don't generally read this kind of book, I did not hate it.

The Amazon blurb says "No matter what your sexual orientation, you will be drawn in by these genuine and relatable characters."

To be honest, I don't agree. I was somewhat drawn in by the sympathetic writing of the characters, but at times there was really too much information, and the story read in places like soft porn. That being the case, I suspect sexual orientation matters to one's enjoyment of it. Moreover there was not a real soul searching of a moral compass here.

Nevertheless the book was not insensitive, and described some very real problems, and evoked genuine sympathies.

Personally I will not buy any more by this author, and if I was rating the book on my own personal feelings about the story, I would rate it lower. However, my four star rating is based on this: if this is the kind of book you can relate to, and particularly if you are gay, this one is well written and not preposterously unrealistic!


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