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A. Miles (Al Khor, Qatar)
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A Decent Ride
A Decent Ride
by Irvine Welsh
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.09

4.0 out of 5 stars Confessions of a Taxi Driver, 18 April 2015
This review is from: A Decent Ride (Hardcover)
In which Juice Terry, the sex-crazed schemie who has appeared in previous Welsh novels, finally gets his own book. Essentially, he's a Sid The Sexist who's awful chat up lines somehow work, and the book is (I think consciously) like an updated version of the 'Confessions' films of the 70s, with a guilt-free Terry rampaging around Edinburgh stopping at nothing to get his end away in the back of his cab.

This is all very good - and it is very good, it's a hilarious novel - but as a small criticism I'd perhaps say that Welsh's attempts to tie the humour with wider ideas - about the SNP, the Scottish economy, reality shows and others - are less successful.


Philips GC2045/26 Easyspeed Steam Iron with 120 g Steam Boost and Ceramic Soleplate, 270 ml, 2300 Watt, Blue
Philips GC2045/26 Easyspeed Steam Iron with 120 g Steam Boost and Ceramic Soleplate, 270 ml, 2300 Watt, Blue
Price: £29.50

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The box is the real selling point here., 10 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Despite the acres of tech-blurb on this iron's Amazon page, it's a standard mid-market product equipped with all the usual modern features, and thus will do the job as well as dozens of others.

The real USP here is the heatproof box you can store the iron in as soon as it's unplugged, which is one of those really obvious ideas that no-one seems to ever thought of before, and a genuinely handy notion: If you've ever been in charge of a toddler you'll know that the iron usually has to be stored away on a high shelf to cool down before you put it away, so being able to put it in a storage box immediately after it's been used is a small, but useful little help in the domestic day. As irons at this price point are all pretty much of a muchness, this feature might be enough to sway you over choosing another one.


iGadgitz IGX-450S Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Lightweight Stereo Sports In-ear Earphones Headphones (Music streaming and Microphone with Noise Reduction for Hands free Calling) - Black/Neon Green
iGadgitz IGX-450S Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Lightweight Stereo Sports In-ear Earphones Headphones (Music streaming and Microphone with Noise Reduction for Hands free Calling) - Black/Neon Green
Offered by iGadgitz
Price: £29.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why pay more?, 10 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Sound equipment performance improves by a lesser margin the greater it's cost: Thus whilst a ten quid pair of headphones might be ten times better than a set of earbuds from a pound shop, a pair of headphones costing a hundred quid won't be ten times better than the former. And so on. Add to this the fact that most people will use these headphones to listen to lo-fi MP3s from their phones, and you might agree that the only reason to buy expensive headphones is as a status symbol.

These 'phones then, are a generic product, repackaged under several brand names at around the same price point. They arrive in a foam travel case with a range of earbud sizes, a USB charger, and an instruction booklet

Bluetooth set up is quick and simple, and the phone is then controlled by tiny buttons on each earbud, enabling one to skip tracks, receive and answer calls and adjust the volume. The battery takes two hours to charge and, for me, lasted 5 hours on when timed. In use, their very lightweight, and about as comfortable as any other bud-type 'phone on the market, eg. a bit sweaty after an hour or two. They stay in, though.

Soundwise, a perfectionist might argue that they're a little tinny, but on the other hand, I'm not going to be using them to listen to 'Hergest Ridge' on vinyl, am I? And I've got some over-ear headphones for doing that already. For listening to old punk albums three times a week down the gym, these are excellent. Why pay more?


All Involved
All Involved
by Ryan Gattis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.08

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The LA riots from ground level., 10 April 2015
This review is from: All Involved (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As it's rare for crime novels to be as formally ambitious as 'All Involved' - a single day during the 1992 Los Angeles riots as told from the interweaving perspectives of 18 different participants,on all sides of the law - comparisons will inevitably be made to 'The Wire' and perhaps Wire writer David Simons' 'Homicide - Life On The Killing Streets', the non-fiction work on which 'The Wire' was based, both of which used a similiar multiple -viewpoint narratives.

That's pretty challenging company for any writer, but 'All Involved' doesn't disappoint, a thoroughly satisfying page turner, violent and reflective in turn, a compelling portrait of a pressure-cooker world of poverty and repression as it blows up. An intense read, thoroughly recommended.


Wahl Ultima Plus Shaver
Wahl Ultima Plus Shaver
Price: £42.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Quality shaver from the pro"s brand of choice., 18 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Wahl make the retro-looking hairclippers you see in old-skool barbering establishments, and it's this uncompromising 1950s industrial aesthetic that give them some cachet among design fans.

Unfortunately, that aesthetic doesn't seem to stretch to their home-use products, and this is a fairly standard contemporary razor design, perhaps a little more solid and reassuring than the norm. Good points are the 45 minute charging time and a feature where it'll power up enough for a single shave in 5 minutes. Bad point is that it comes with a 2-pin plug, so you may need an adaptor.

I would contend that no electric shaver can give as close a shave as a wet razor, and the Wahl is no exception here, but it was pretty good. I'll be using it with the the adjustable stubble comb and the detail trimmer, though, and it worked really well in these areas.

Overall a good, unpretentious shaver at an appropriate price point. There's nothing on the surface to differentiate it from hundred of others, of course, but I imagine it will sell on Wahl's reputation for quality within the barbering world


Braun SE810 Face Epilator and Facial Cleansing Brush
Braun SE810 Face Epilator and Facial Cleansing Brush
Price: £41.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Might be marketed the other way around.., 18 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
a handbag- sized 2 in 1 device for both facial epilation and deep cleansing.

As usual with Braun products, it's beautifully designed both visually and technically: It can be used under the shower, takes a standard battery and will need the cleansing brush changed every 3 months or so,. However, these are only a few pounds each.

The epilator's quite a powerful device, and you need to control it carefully. It almost feels like something that was designed to be used by a professional beautician, and probably needs a bit of practice before you can do a quick job with confidence, though there is a two-way switch to reverse the direction of the tweezers. It does sting a little.

The cleansing brush attachment is excellent, and used with a deep cleaning gel gives your skin a really good glow. In fact, I can see me using this as a cleanser much more regularly than as an epilator. Recommended.


ByteStor Pro 16GB 40Mbps Class 10 High Speed Micro SDHC UHS-1 Card with SDHC Card Adapter
ByteStor Pro 16GB 40Mbps Class 10 High Speed Micro SDHC UHS-1 Card with SDHC Card Adapter
Price: £8.55

5.0 out of 5 stars Good value storage., 18 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm using this card in my mini digital movie camera: There's no perceptible difference in it's performance from the name brand cards I have, so yep, go for it. Comes with one of those adapter doohickeys so you can use it in standard sized SD slots, such as those on laptops.


A Year in Suburbia
A Year in Suburbia
by Guy Bellamy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Lazy, even for Bellamy., 14 Mar. 2015
This review is from: A Year in Suburbia (Paperback)
You always know what you're going to get with a Guy Bellamy novel. This is because the plots of his books are all completely identical: A middle class writer or aspiring poet, struggling with money and a failing marriage, becomes wealthy and enters into a more successful relationship . Meanwhile, his wealthy friend loses all his money but then makes it again.

This story is always told against one of two backgrounds: A dormitory village in the home counties filled with twee pubs, or a Spanish resort. Both will be coloured by Bellamy's oddly dated ideas about what constitutes an aspirational lifestyle: In this book, published in 2007, posh restaurants still serve sliced melon as a starter, and the homes of wealthy people are defined by their chandeliers and cocktail cabinets. Men wear cravats. However, scarcely anyone owns a mobile phone or computer, communicating via letter and payphone.

On the odd occasions when Bellamy does arise from this 1970s reverie and makes a token attempt to appear contemporary, he never gets the details right, obviously not bothering to research anything. Quite a lazy writer then, especially as well as the endlessly recycled plot, quite a few of the same jokes reappear time and again.

'A Year In Suburbia' however, is even for this writer, a supremely indolent piece of work. Written as a diary by the main protagonist, the elements of the Bellamy plot are pretty much wrapped up by May, and in the most banal way imaginable. The male characters are introduced as worried about money and unhappily married, then a couple of months later, by processes to dull to recount, they've become wealthy and happily married to someone else. There's no drama, hardly anything in the way of tension or conflict, and the last half of the book dribbles off into a sort of extended homage to Bellamy's idea of the good life: Roast beef for Sunday dinner, champagne in an ice bucket, cosy suburban pubs.


Philips Satin Soft Wet and Dry Epilator
Philips Satin Soft Wet and Dry Epilator
Price: £50.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Good epilator at an uncompetitive price point., 8 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A perfectly adequate wet/dry epilator it , coming with a shaving head and cap and lasts for thirty minutes on a charge, plus a USP of a 'skin stretcher' - a plastic doohickey that fits over the head and makes shaving underarms, etc, easier. There's nothing at all wrong with it apart from the price point of just under a hundred pounds, which after a little research appears to be between twice and three times the cost of equivalent products from other reputable manufacturers. Phillips, in fact, appear to offer almost identical epilators at half the cost of this one. In summary, a perfectly good product which doesn't justify the price.


Braun Silk Epil 9 9-561 Wet & Dry Cordless Epilator with 6 Extras Attachments
Braun Silk Epil 9 9-561 Wet & Dry Cordless Epilator with 6 Extras Attachments
Price: £94.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Top rating epilating., 8 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A really well -designed product, the Epil 9 epilator and exfoliator has put an impressive amount of thought put into the practice of hair removal The main unit has a 45 minute charge time, a wide head and a little torch for checking your nooks and crannies have been done properly. The massaging effect does seem to make epilating less painful, and this was very bearable.It can be used in the bath or shower, too, which makes it even less so. Then there's a comprehensive range of attachments - shaver and epilator (with various caps), a microtweezer for brows, etc, a sonic exfoliating brush, .. all the bells and whistles. This does cost a handy chunk of change, but it really is a top quality item. Highly recommended.


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