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Thomas L. Jennings (Telford, England)

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Uncharitable Mischief: Barbarity & Excess in the British Civil Wars
Uncharitable Mischief: Barbarity & Excess in the British Civil Wars
by Charles Singleton
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant book, 9 July 2014
With so many modern historians writing books on social history in a "stripped of all mythos" sense, I often find myself reading history books for pleasure, rather than with a sense of dread at a looming deadline which, to be honest, helps with the enjoyment of the book.

When I picked up this book I wasn't sure what to expect, I was certain I'd heard all that could be said about the Civil War. Pretty much anyone who knows their British history will know all the tales of the Royalists and the Parliamentarians and the legends that surround the battles. But what about the average soldiers on the field? Few people seem to remember that it was, first and foremost, an armed conflict and like any armed conflict there were casualties, both on the field and off.

Singleton has written a great book here to introduce you to the radical notion that if you give a bunch of people weapons and tell them to go and fight there may be some mischief down the line. Especially in a British Civil War setting which has become very mythologized, he manages to strip back a lot of the mythos and introduce us to people of the time. He even manages to humanise Oliver Cromwell, no easy feat, with a series of letters penned by the man himself during the period discussed in the book.

Separated by case studies and excellent illustrations this book is a great little introduction to anyone wanting to know more about this period in a frank and honest manner.

The Adventures Of Young Indiana Jones Vol.3 (10-Disc-Set) [DVD]
The Adventures Of Young Indiana Jones Vol.3 (10-Disc-Set) [DVD]
Dvd ~ George Hall
Price: 16.25

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 14 May 2009
This show is great, not only for fans of Idiana Jones, but also for people who are interested in history. It's accuracy of historical events is quite accurate, apart from Indiana Jones, a fictional character, metting up with the famous people presented in the shows, the accuracy of events depicted is very well done. The documentaries are good enough on their own even without the show but with the show they create a brilliant roundign effect to watching the shows. I bought this DVD under the impression that, perhaps, this boxset wouldn't be as good as the other two but I was soon proven wrong. The stories are fast with blends of horror, Masks of Evil, comedy, Hollywood Follies, music, Mystery of the Blues and Scandal of the 1920's, and adventure, Treasure of the Peacock's Eye. I think, however, that the key to this whole boxset is Winds of Change, it may show Indy is a more relaxed mood after the war, until he meets his Dad, but it shows a human side to Indy that would have been totally lost if the writers had gone straight from war to high adventure stories. I recommend this boxset to fans of Indiana Jones and lovers of history as both these groups of people can appreciate this series for what it is; a fun look at historically relevent tales from the viewpoint of one of fictions greatest adventure heroes.

Planet Hulk Omnibus
Planet Hulk Omnibus
by Greg Pak
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.49

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 6 Sep 2008
This review is from: Planet Hulk Omnibus (Paperback)
This is truly a brilliant graphic novel.
First off the setting. The Hulk went on a rampage in Las Vegas after being sent crazy by another gamma bomb and only the intervention of The Thing and The Human Torch of The Fantastic Four managed to stop him. Next Nick Fury of SHIELD sent the Hulk into space to destroy a space station called Godseye which could destroy any position on the Earth if it wished, what Nick Fury hadn't told The Hulk was that the space station was built by SHIELD. After The Hulk had defeated Godseye he was extracted from the Moon by SHIELD but he wasn't going in the direction of Earth...

This leads us to the beginning of Planet Hulk where a secret group, formed by; Black Bolt of the Inhumans, Mr Fantastic of the Fantastic Four, Tony Stark AKA Iron Man, Stephen Strange AKA Dr Strange, Professor Charles Xavier of the X-Men and Namor The Sub-Mariner, called The Illuminati. Only Black Bolt, Iron Man, Mr Fantastic and Dr Strange are behind the plot to send The Hulk away, though because of the events of House of M, Charles Xavier is unavailiable and The Sub-Mariner doesn't agree with the plot.
The four remaining Illuminati explain to The Hulk that he has constantly threatened the Earth with his power and they can't have that any more so they have sent him away to a "lush planet. Full of vegetation and game. But no intelligent life forms." so The Hulk can "finally find peace". But of course that plan doesn't work and the ship in knocked off course and sent through a wormhole to the planet Sakaar. What follows is the epic Planet Hulk storyline.

I have tried to avoid giving away any big plot developments within Planet Hulk and can understand why it is an epic story. Not only because of the length (14 comics in total) but because of the quality of the story as well. There are too many comics nowadays who claim to be great simply because of the length but this graphic novel can boast a brilliant story to go along with its length that doesn't make it seem as if the story is monotonous and never-ending.
The events within the graphci novel are so earth-shatteringly (or Sakaar-shatteringly) inportant to future storylines that it grows in quality as it goes on.
I do have one criticism though. I felt a bit cheated by the ending and that it could have gone on for a bit longer but in this graphic novel the inclusion of the, epic in it's own right, 49 page "Gladiator's Guidebook" makes up for the quickly brought on ending. With an incredibly comprehensive study of all the fictional characters in the graphic novel ,that you would only normally get from an encyclopedia printed on its own, is very well done and only adds to the atmosphere of the comics.

Because this comic spans over the Civil War storyline (and everything that follows from it), that occurs in The Hulks absence, World War Hulk sees The Hulk returning to a very different world. The time difference isn't brilliantly explained in Planet Hulk or World War Hulk but this lack of exposition makes it seem even more realistic.

I recommend listening to "Jeff Wayne's Warr of the Worlds" whilst reading this graphic novel. It really set an atmosphere for me that complemented the story.

Brilliant story and impressive length I'm sure that Planet Hulk will soon be included in the sentence "There's loads of great graphic novels; The Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns and Maus."

Casino Royale
Casino Royale
by Ian Fleming
Edition: Paperback

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, 5 Jan 2007
This review is from: Casino Royale (Paperback)
This is a great book that kept me captivated from start to finish. This is the second Bond book i've read and i'm sorry I didn't start with it. I look forward to collecting the whole series.

My Name Is Earl - Season 1 [DVD]
My Name Is Earl - Season 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jason Lee
Offered by Champion Toys
Price: 10.99

11 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arguably Best Comedy Ever, 24 July 2006
My Name is Earl is one of the funniest comedy series to come out of America. It's up there with the classics like Scrubs, Will and Grace, Friends, Happy Days and Monty Python's Flying Circus (from England). O.K. people will argue that MNIE isn't as good as the insanely fantastic Monty Python or the still classic Happy Days but however in years to come small cartoon shows will be making subtle references to MNIE and people will say i remember that show, dust their D.V.D. copy and watch the whole collection until they laugh themselves into a coma. With so many bad shows on English t.v. like Big Brother or The new Simpsons My Name is Earl is a welcome relief to shouting at the t.v. that all the people on reality shows have half a brain cell which they share out randomly. I hope to see more of the Garcias work on British t.v. more often to balance out the absolute rubbish you see on t.v. right now (not counting Doctor Who which is still and shall always remain a classic).

The Simpsons: Complete Season 1 [DVD]
The Simpsons: Complete Season 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Dan Castellaneta
Offered by themediamerchants
Price: 8.95

3 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 24 July 2006
The Classic Simpsons are always the best to watch and to laugh at over and over again. Yet the newer ones have lost that magic touch that the classic ones had. The plots are predictable and the jokes are more insulting than funny. For example Homer Simpson called Prime Minister Tony Blair Mr. Bean. Now i'm not the most patriotic person in the world if there was a competition of patriotism i'd probably come second to last, or somwhere close, yet the fact remains that the Simpsons insulted our Prime Minister. They could have taken a knock at the working classes of England. I'd have laughed at that for a while until the joke died down and it would have been amusing to bring it up in cxonversations from time to time. But they had to go right to the top and it was funny for a while but it lost it's comedy effect 30 seconds after it was said. And sadly this is the case with many of the newer Simpsons episodes. Oh well at least we can watch the classics over and over again and laugh every time.

Brothers in Arms: Road To Hill 30 (PS2)
Brothers in Arms: Road To Hill 30 (PS2)
Price: 5.35

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Game, 13 May 2006
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
The graphics of this game were excellent and the playing of it was excellent also. The intro parts remind me of the t.v. show Band of Brothers however, but this is not a bad thing. I like the talky bits at the start which gives it a sense of personalism like you are actually Matt Baker who you play as. He also talks about his life before the war. Telling you about his parents divorce or telling you what he feels at the moment. This is a revolutionary game and Medal of Honour has taken on some of these aspects to make their games more real (like the fighting is more grim and realistic). Another good thing is that it doesn't promote war as it gives your team mates their own personalities like their are wisecracking people and serious people and people do change over the course of the game which makes it even more sad if they die at your mistakes or in the actual game. Brothers in Arms Road to Hill 30 is one of the best WW2 games out there right now and I look forward to playing Earned in Blood.

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