Profile for Sandford > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Sandford
Top Reviewer Ranking: 649
Helpful Votes: 1274

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Sandford "Sandy" (Kent, UK)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

Show:  
Page: 1-10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21-30
pixel
The Last Asylum: A Memoir of Madness in our Times
The Last Asylum: A Memoir of Madness in our Times
by Barbara Taylor
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.91

19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The necessity for asylum, 21 Feb 2014
This book has really struck a chord with me. It resonates with my life experience from 3 angles. I trained as a psychiatric nurse in the 80's during the time of the author's experience. I also have training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy which, as well as professional study, demanded my own "lying on the couch" twice per week over several years to try and suss out my own demons, as has the author but in a way that only good writing can portray.
This book therefore pulled out many memories for me, and the writing sings. I feel it has been written beautifully, and with my own history, it will stay with me. I have just also finished listening to the final episode from Radio 4's adaptation for Book of the Week. As well as being engaged with the reading of it by Maggie Steed, there is the added dimension of today's politics that I feel enraged by. Whatever politicians say, mental health services are being decimated whole scale. I know, because I have witnessed the whole sorry episode from that point of readily accessible asylum, to the very poor community and inpatient services of today. Needless to say, my disillusionment fits in wholeheartedly with the author's conclusions.

I thoroughly recommend this book, and a must read for anyone presently in the mental health services who may have a jaundiced and cynical eye as to the function of the Victorian Asylums, which are now all destroyed. In other words, don't be seduced by modern day political diktat as to what is the best service for those of us who will inevitably have mental health problems.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 22, 2014 1:29 AM GMT


The Lying Year
The Lying Year
by Andrei Gelasimov
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.64

3.0 out of 5 stars Lies Come Easily, 20 Feb 2014
This review is from: The Lying Year (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Experiences and events erupt spontaneously in this novel. Testosterone driven males feature prominently, notably Mikhail, the main character and minder to Seryzhov, the teenager with quite distinct autistic tendencies. There is one exception with the sole female character, Marina, the Audrey Hepburn look-alike, Marina, who acts as seductress.

Life is recorded as very much of the moment, with the characters having an inability to think of more than one thing at a time in their insular existences. Empathy is certainly a generally lacking quality for the characters. Their self preoccupation leads to a gullibility, resulting in some alarmingly comical situations when personalities collide with each other. There is always a degree of misunderstanding with everyone. Rarely on the same wavelength, and always out of synch, with no apparent consciences. Carrying a chip on the shoulder seems de riguer.

This is a fiction very much of the self and self interest. It is written with little emotional content, but has much action and reaction, the immediacy of events reflected in the rather staccato writing style. Mikhail, the minder is a particularly intriguing character. As minder, he acts as facilitator, the doer, the pivot really for the novel. Not the greatest for self reflection, his capacity to think beyond the here and now causes its own devastating but blackly comic consequences. To him, of course, lies come easy, hence the book’s title.

A fascinating book in many ways, that hovers between 3 and 4 star rating for me.


Bosch TWK8633 Styline Collection  1.5 Litre Cordless Jug Kettle, Black
Bosch TWK8633 Styline Collection 1.5 Litre Cordless Jug Kettle, Black
Price: 44.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A "Which" magazine Best Buy at 81%, 20 Feb 2014
This caught my eye in terms of fitting well with my kitchen décor. It is also a Best Buy in the UK consumer magazine, “Which” where it achieved 81% in performance.

I litre of water takes just over 2 minutes to boil, and switches off promptly, (which was a main flaw in my previous kettle). It tolerates just boiling a small amount, so especially good for one person. An unusual characteristic is that it can heat to 4 different temperatures, not just boiling, and also a keep warm function.

Very recommended


Deadlines and Disruption: My Turbulent Path from Print to Digital
Deadlines and Disruption: My Turbulent Path from Print to Digital
by Stephen B. Shepard
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 16.40

2.0 out of 5 stars A Bit Of A "Mish Mash", 17 Feb 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The first third of the book is autobiographical. It has a self congratulatory, indulgent tone, and I found it less than riveting. It lacks a required intimacy or depth of self reflection for this to be of much interest to the reader. There seems to be a puzzling emphasis on unnecessary details, which could easily be omitted, and not enough about the "inner man".

However, the following section does liven up when it gives a good précis of how corporate America was behaving in the recession period of the 2000's, exploring issues such as the consequences of insider trading. There is a slightly patronising feel in his descriptions in "Going Global", relaying information and details that seem pretty obvious taking into account the target audience.

It is not until in the rather condensed feel of the final section that I got a sense that the book was addressing its topic, that of a profession in transit, from the perspective of traditionalists vs. the modernists. For the author, his conclusion is that an ongoing fusion of business technology and journalism is essential, a so-called "mutualisation of news". I found it confusing though, as the perspective seems always about how revenue for the organisation is to be acquired, not really about the advance of journalism and professional adaptation.

The author's passion for investigative reporting is very evident, and his fervour for maintaining vigorous journalistic standards shines through. However there is too much bias towards the autobiographical in the book, and the expected subject matter is crammed into the final section. The 2 star rating is because I had no real sense that the book was accurately addressing the expected subject matter, lacking focus and proper direction.


Almo Nature Daily Menu in Tetra Chicken & Turkey
Almo Nature Daily Menu in Tetra Chicken & Turkey
Offered by Capital Stores
Price: 18.88

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm not psychic, but he seems to love it, 11 Feb 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
How can one review a dog food? This product certainly smells as if a human could eat it, (reminds me of corned beef, although no beef in it). My dog knew when I was opening this, and from gathering all the non-verbal clues, I am sure he appreciated it wholeheartedly, and it was a pleasure to witness his drooling face. He wolfed it down without doubt, and no digestive problems experienced feeding something different. A nice treat for a varied diet, although I will still stick to my normal feeding regime. If I had just one dog, then I might incorporate this regularly into his feeding regime, but too expensive for me in regular use


Ozeri Precision II Digital Bathroom Scale (200 kg / 440 lbs Capacity), in Ultra Sturdy Tempered Glass with Blue Xbright LCD & StepOn ActivationOzeri Precision II Digital Bathroom Scale (440 lbs Capacity), in Ultra Sturdy Tempered Glass with Blue Xbright LCD & StepOn Activation
Ozeri Precision II Digital Bathroom Scale (200 kg / 440 lbs Capacity), in Ultra Sturdy Tempered Glass with Blue Xbright LCD & StepOn ActivationOzeri Precision II Digital Bathroom Scale (440 lbs Capacity), in Ultra Sturdy Tempered Glass with Blue Xbright LCD & StepOn Activation
Offered by Ozeri UK
Price: 29.95

1.0 out of 5 stars Very poor results, 11 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These scales are just not consistent. It always reverts to the "lb" weighing when turning on, and when trying to get the more acceptable "kg" it seems to fail in accuracy.


Weetabix Oatiflakes 550 g (Pack of 5)
Weetabix Oatiflakes 550 g (Pack of 5)
Price: 10.90

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Avoid the Seduction, 11 Feb 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I get a bit p...d off with this constant attempt from companies to seduce the consumer into buying breakfast cereals that are just too expensive, and don't give anything extra. Just look at the cereal isles in the supermarket to verify this. The bottom line is that they are all variations on cornflakes, porridge, and "weetabix" kind of products.
Manufacturers might take into account that many of us shoppers now use reverse psychology, and actually avoid buying such products.


Subliminal: The New Unconscious and What it Teaches Us
Subliminal: The New Unconscious and What it Teaches Us
by Leonard Mlodinow
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 17.00

3.0 out of 5 stars New clothes for Old, 11 Feb 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was expecting something far more enlightening from this book. The idea of the “new” unconscious drew me in. I am tooled in the trade of the “old” unconscious in my previous training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy, so I thought I was in for a treat.

I did like the very many appropriate examples of studies and scientific experiments which did hold my interest but nothing in the book surprised me. There are only small allusions to the “old” unconscious, and the author refers to the old stager, Freud, to make comparisons. He does so using clichéd examples of his work, such as all but in name, the Oedipus complex etc.

I was left with some pure validation of my own awareness of the unconscious, (excuse the pun), so I am grateful for that. For anyone new to the idea of there being an unconscious element to our lives, then I would give this a 4 star rating.


CleanAural Dog Ear Cleaner 100ml
CleanAural Dog Ear Cleaner 100ml
Offered by Black Cat Medicines
Price: 9.12

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saves Vet Fees, 11 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was shocked on a visit to the vet to be charged almost 80 for consultation about my dog's scratchy ear. OK, this includes the medication, (antibiotics plus this product) but I did begin to wonder what my money was being spent on. Now I am treating these symptoms prophylactically, and treating my boy with this cleaner once per week to try and keep any infection at bay. This approach does seem to be working, less scratching, and less hassle to the vet.


Brabantia Profile Line Palette Knife - Non Stick
Brabantia Profile Line Palette Knife - Non Stick
Price: 5.75

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Branbantia Palette Knife, 11 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I use this utensil regularly, and it is OK, but not quite deserving of 3 stars. The length of the palette knife doesn't feel weighted enough, so I don't feel at one with it. The bevel at the tip is also not thin enough to release pastry from around a pie tin, and the plastic is also rough at the tip. If these 2 criticisms could be ironed out, I would willingly pay 50% more for this item.


Page: 1-10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21-30