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Heff (UK)

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Haifa; or, Life in modern Palestine
Haifa; or, Life in modern Palestine
Price: £0.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Unreadable Kindle adaptation, 14 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Unfortunately, the Kindle version of Oliphant's book is completely unreadable. I am guessing that some kind of word recognition programme was used to convert the original into a Kindle text, but this has meant that there are strings of incoherent letters and undecipherable "words" in every paragraph. On many pages, there are simply too many errors to be able to make sense of what is being said. This really isn't worth spending your money on - and I say this as someone who is a collector of travelogues in Palestine, and only wanted a copy to mark up for Kindle: you will find it even worse, I think, if this is not a genre with which you are familiar, and if you haven't read this book before.


Bed Of Nails Pillow Acupressure Pillow Green
Bed Of Nails Pillow Acupressure Pillow Green
Price: £19.00

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky but effective, 18 Feb. 2011
I wanted to try out the bed of nails idea, but without committing to the price of the full mat, and as my problems are primarily in my neck and upper back, I thought this pillow would still prove effective. It has the perfect dimensions for using behind your neck, whilst you are lying flat on the floor, but it is equally effective behind your upper back or as a lower back support whilst sitting in a chair. You can also use it for your feet, again whilst seated (though you could stand on the pillow if you have good balance). It's firm but not rigid, and totally comfortable to use. It's advisable to follow the instructions, and try your first use with a T shirt on. However, I quickly found that I adjusted to the sensations, and it is extremely comfortable against your skin. At first, it feels quite prickly, but within about 30 seconds, this sensation is replaced by a feeling of warmth. It is incredibly comfortable to use, and has helped my back pain enormously:I noticed the benefits from the first time I sued it, and although I suspect you don't need to use it daily to maintain the effects, it is so relaxing that I do. Very highly recommended to all office workers and those who spend time hunched up and suffer with their backs as a result.


No God But God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam
No God But God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam
by Reza Aslan
Edition: Paperback

31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A generally excellent discussion and analysis of Islam past, present and future, 18 April 2006
A highly readable account of the origins, history and future of Islam, Aslan's book is suitable both for the interested observer and the serious student of Islam. Beginning with discussions of religious practices in pre-Islamic Arabia, Aslan lays the historical and theological bases for the development of Islam, before describing the life and time of the Prophet himself. Varying between present-tense narrative and detailed analysis, Aslan discusses the revelations themselves, whilst interweaving various historical facts into the tale.

Passing from the Prophet himself to the "Rightly Guided Caliphs", he explores the establishment of the hadith, presenting some interesting, though no doubt controversial, ideas on the inclusion of some of the apparently-more-contradictory of these hadiths. Presenting a full history of this interim period, he also describes the battles for succession in excellent detail, fully explaining the implications of these, and thereby lays the groundwork for a full discussion of Shi'ism. Using this as a springboard, he then analyses the leap between Shi'ism and Khomeinism, carefully interlocking facts and narrative to provide a thoughtful and in-depth critique of Islamic democracy in Iran. He also examines Sufism, explaining its connections with aspects of Islam, but also why some more mainstream thinkers believe it to involve aspects of associationism, rather than to see it as a pure mainfestation of Islam.

Aslan then looks at the rise of nationalism, primarily, though not exclusively, within the Arab world, and gives an excellent overview of the teachings and ideas of the main thinkers and movements of this period. He also examines some more contemporary thinkers, and discusses several ideas that are current within so-called political Islam today, including the nature of the state and the permissibility of democracy.

This book provides a comprehensive and accessible account of both Islamic history and Islamic political thought. The only disappointment in an otherwise meticulously researched and presented work is Aslan's treatment of the Indian Mutiny. Though admittedly one of the less glorious episodes of British history, he fails to do justice to the British victims - no mention is made of the brutal murders of women and children, which gave rise to the incredibly brutal executions he discusses at length, and he repeats the fallacy that cartridges were greased with pig fat, one of the rumours used at the time to encourage mutineers. That aside, though, his analysis of the British attitude is refreshing and intelligent, and thoroughly thought-provoking, but the combination of glaring error and serious omission meant that in good conscience I couldn't quite award five stars. This notwithstanding, I highly recommend this book, with the above caveat, and have given several copies to both friends and colleagues.


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