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Reviews Written by
A. Miles (Al Khor, Qatar)
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   

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Airfix 1:48 Scale Folland Gnat Model Kit
Airfix 1:48 Scale Folland Gnat Model Kit
Price: £16.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic fun, 25 Jan. 2015
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
World War Two left a long shadow over pre-teen culture in the second half of the twentieth century. Right up until the early 1980s, British boys played board games based on escaping from POW camps, collected action figures dressed in detailed replicas of obscure Yugoslavian paraskiing regiments, and read of the adventures of decidedly austerity-era comic book heroes like Alf Tupper, Tough Of The Track. And we all made Airfix kits. We all made them very badly, too, as the average 10 year old had neither the patience to wait for paint and glue to dry, or the financial wherewithal to buy the many shades of enamel and the extensive range of fine brushes, magnifying glasses and titchy little g-clamps needed.

Revisiting the pastime after many decades, one had forgotten just how well manufactured these kits are. This 93 part kit is beautifully detailed and engineered and can be completed in the liveries (If that's the correct term) of two RAF training schools. It has several moving parts and a footprint, when completed, of about 7 by 5 inches.

Making the model was a lot of fun, especially as these days I have the funding for the aforesaid modelling apparatus and the patience not to leave permanent fingerprints on drying enamel. As absorbing and interesting as I remembered it being, right down to the fiddling about with a saucer of warm water for the decals at the end. All in all very enjoyable, even without the 1970s ritual of soaking it in lighter fluid and throwing it out of the bedroom window in flames upon completion.


Childs Farm hair & body wash in organic sweet orange 250ml
Childs Farm hair & body wash in organic sweet orange 250ml
Price: £2.66

4.0 out of 5 stars Gentle cleaning, lovely scent., 25 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Aside from the perhaps misleading claim to be '98% natural ingredients' - Shampoos typically being about 85% water - I really liked this product. It's very gentle but cleans well, and the lovely orange oil scent stays in my little boys hair for most of the next day. You only have to use a little so this is a very good price for such a quality product. Recommended.


McAfee Internet Security 2015 - 3 PC (PC) [Frustration-Free Packaging]
McAfee Internet Security 2015 - 3 PC (PC) [Frustration-Free Packaging]
Price: £20.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent as always, 31 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A short review, as there's almost nothing a reasonable person could find to complain about Macafees' products. Does everything you need it to do unobtrusively and at a good price.


This Book Just Ate My Dog
This Book Just Ate My Dog
by Richard Byrne
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and original interactive book., 31 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A clever and original idea for an interactive children's book - the titular dog and other objects literally disappear from the page (into the spine of the book) then, when the book is shake, reappear on other pages and must be found. As much a game as a book then, and utterly engaging to my little boy. Highly recommended.


Doozers - Meet The Pod Squad [DVD]
Doozers - Meet The Pod Squad [DVD]
Price: £7.25

3.0 out of 5 stars Unexceptional CGI for toddlers., 31 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A spinoff from "Fraggle Rock" in which The Doozers, the race of handymen who lived in a radish patch, are given their own show.

For myself, I thought it looked like an extended toy advert (it is an extended toy advert) with some Eurovision-reject level pop songs, However, given that my own little lad likes some right rubbish, as well as some very good shows, I'm aware that it's a mistake to try and judge the toddler aesthetic. So, on a scale from 1 (wanders off to traumatise cat) to 5 (Rapt attention, gets stern if you get in the way of the telly) , he gives this a 3. I concur. Its a cookie-cutter cheap CGI children's animation with nothing to distinguish it from dozens of others.


Guilty Gadgets ® - In Car Bluetooth Hands Free Kit For Samsung Galaxy S I9000, Plus I9001, i9100 S2, i9300 S3, LTE, S3 Mini, i9500 S4, S5, S4 Mini, Ace, Tab, 10.1, 2 10.1, 2 7.0, 7 Plus, 7.7, 8 9, Galaxy Note, 10.1, 2, 8.0, 8000, 4, 5 LG Phone, Apple iPhone 4, 4s, 5, 5s, 5s, 5c, LG Nexus 4, 5, 6, Sony Xperia, S, Z, Z1, HTC, one, S, V, X, M7, M8, Nokia Lumia, 520, 925, 950, 1020, 800
Guilty Gadgets ® - In Car Bluetooth Hands Free Kit For Samsung Galaxy S I9000, Plus I9001, i9100 S2, i9300 S3, LTE, S3 Mini, i9500 S4, S5, S4 Mini, Ace, Tab, 10.1, 2 10.1, 2 7.0, 7 Plus, 7.7, 8 9, Galaxy Note, 10.1, 2, 8.0, 8000, 4, 5 LG Phone, Apple iPhone 4, 4s, 5, 5s, 5s, 5c, LG Nexus 4, 5, 6, Sony Xperia, S, Z, Z1, HTC, one, S, V, X, M7, M8, Nokia Lumia, 520, 925, 950, 1020, 800
Offered by Guilty Gadgets
Price: £26.13

4.0 out of 5 stars Great value., 20 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This hasn't got the greatest finish in the world. And the styling is very 80s music centre. And the voice transmission is a bit tinny. But, it works, and its a tenner, complete with all the mounting gear and charger. Can one complain about a few rough edges at that price? One cannot.


Memory of Water
Memory of Water
by Emmi Itäranta
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.08

4.0 out of 5 stars Literary SF. More the former than the latter., 17 Dec. 2014
This review is from: Memory of Water (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The dystopian novel is well over a hundred years old now, so one would have to be a very original writer indeed to bring any truly new ideas to the genre. In the case of ', Memory Of Water' ,any reasonably well read SF reader will be familiar with most of the tropes here: After a period of war and global warming, mankind has regressed a low-tech society; Water has become a scarce resource; People dig amongst the detritus of a previous age, finding mysterious clues to the past. A Far Eastern country rules the world in a dictatorship. Japanese ceremonies persist unchanged through the centuries. As these ideas aren't really developed very much, it's tempting to see them as metaphors for female adolescence, reflecting the books narrative, a coming of age story about a young girl. It's a very beautifully written book, but in my opinion marketing it primarily as SF is an error. It's literary fiction.


Decorated: Sublimely Crafted Cakes for Every Occasion
Decorated: Sublimely Crafted Cakes for Every Occasion
by April Carter
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mistitled., 15 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As one of my fellow Vine reviewers has already pointed out, the title of this book might be misleading to the majority of potential buyers -it's not about cake decorating in the traditional sense of marzipan, modeling from royal icing and piping. So I'll have to buy another book to learn that.

What it is though, is the work of a clever baker doing contemporary updates of old classics, using modern flavours and a strong visual aeshetic in her presentation. There isn't a great deal of interesting baking going on here - if you can bake an iced sponge cake, you can bake anything in this book - but I do like the idea of these traditional ideas being given a breath of fresh air. Not an essential purchase, but a nice addition to the bookshelf.


What a Wonderful World Hardback & CD
What a Wonderful World Hardback & CD
by Bob Thiele
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.94

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What could be nicer than this?, 15 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Ahh, what a lovely idea. Put your child on your knee, stick on the CD of Louie doing the titular tune, and sing along as you flip through the beautiful artwork illustrating the sentiments of the song. What could be nicer than that? Wonderful.


The Book of Life
The Book of Life
by Stuart Nadler
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.92

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Smokin' Cheever Cheever.., 15 Dec. 2014
This review is from: The Book of Life (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Whenever I read something by a new American writer, they always seem to have at least three of the following in common:

1.They attended some prestigious, and no doubt expensive, postgraduate Creative Writing program.

2. They are indebted to the great American novelists of the 60s, especially John Cheever. (Possibly this ties to point #1)

3. The stories, though set in contemporary times, are somehow redolent of 1960s American suburbia (Possibly this ties to point #2)

4. Jewishness.

5. Extreme overhyping. (Possibly connected to point #1)

Stuart knocks it out of the ballpark here with 5/5. It's not a bad little collection of stories, at all, but there's nothing here to merit the praise given in the blurb. The sort of weighted suburban non-events that American writers have been concerned with since the late 50s.


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