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Profile for Mr. K. Dawson > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Mr. K. Dawson "KFD" (Bristol, England)
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Men's TCA Fusion Pro QuickDry Long Sleeve Half-Zip Running Top Black M
Men's TCA Fusion Pro QuickDry Long Sleeve Half-Zip Running Top Black M
Offered by SportsShopUK
Price: £29.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great bargain, 29 April 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Fantastic quality, especially for the price. Feels/works as good as a Nike/Adidas top, which would be 4x the price! Well worth buying.


A Brief History of Seven Killings
A Brief History of Seven Killings
Price: £5.49

6 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tooo long..., 24 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
a noble project, but too long and too repetitive.


Reamde
Reamde
by Neal Stephenson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.99

5.0 out of 5 stars the best book i've read in years, 30 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Reamde (Hardcover)
i've read everything neal stephenson's written, and have been a huge fan since "snow crash". back then i'd have had him equally pegging with william gibson, and much as i've liked "zero history" and "pattern recognition" recently i don't think gibson has the breadth of vision that stephenson's shown in "cryptonomicon" and "anathem". a new neal stephenson is always a `doorstop' of a book, but length doesn't matter when you have the narrative drive and engagement with characters that "reamde" possesses. i just loved it. genuinely unputdownable. i'd find myself making excuses to get back to it. i'd put off going to sleep for just one more section, and then one more, and then another. great dry wit and description, especially through `sokolov's' eyes. the `set pieces', if one can describe them like that, truly are `cinematic'. not didactic in any way, but almost journalistic about a range of subject's, from china's coastal internet-savvy young, the truly global nature of terrorism/ists (and it's counterpart, the western ex-military contractors), the bureaucratic doldrums within which intelligence agents operate, to the growth of MMORPG's. there are `thrillers' and `thrillers'; "reamde" is thrilling in the real sense of the word. thoroughly recommended!


Divided Kingdom
Divided Kingdom
by Rupert Thomson
Edition: Paperback

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book - on a par with Huxley or Ballard, 15 Jun. 2007
This review is from: Divided Kingdom (Paperback)
This is a wonderful `alternate reality' book. Other reviews compare it with "Gulliver's Travels" and "Brave New World" and I couldn't argue with that. J G Ballard springs to mind as well. It's a book about ideas; ideas about who we really are, about how we let ourselves change, about memory. It's churlish to question the basic premise - that a government has decided that the only way to restore harmony is to divide the UK into areas populated only by people with the same personality type. One could do that with all such books. How we come to be in the situation the book describes isn't the issue, it's just a jumping-off point for an exploration of the ideas and effects. And the ideas, and the journey that the central character undertakes, are so interesting that you'll forget where you jumped off from. It also must be said that the book is beautifully written, and that's not something that can always be said about this genre. Thoroughly recommended.


Two-Lane Blacktop [DVD]
Two-Lane Blacktop [DVD]
Dvd ~ James Taylor
Price: £4.00

85 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A love-it-or-hate-it movie. Personally I love it., 22 Jan. 2007
This review is from: Two-Lane Blacktop [DVD] (DVD)
Read the comments on the IMDB site and you'll find plenty of people who obviously watched it thinking they were getting another "American Graffiti" or 1971 version of "The Fast And The Furious" and came away hugely disappointed - little action, monosyllabic and underplayed acting, no real story and a strange unsatisfying ending. But it's all those things that make the film so wonderful! It's a perfect late 60s/early 70s road movie. Two guys who just drive about in a 1955 Chevy (so stripped that it doesn't even have a paint job) challenging local hotshots to street drag races until they bump into a strange bullshitter who challenges them to race across the US, and off they go. James Taylor and Dennis Wilson beautifully underplay their parts. They just exist to race and so anything else, talk included, is really superfluous. A girl hitcher gets picked up at one point and ends up walking away from the pair of them obviously bemused and somewhat pissed off that despite her attempts to make one jealous of the other they really just don't care about her. And you get all the talk you need from the wonderful Warren Oates, who plays the GTO driver brilliantly - the character's just too old to have `gotten' the sixties and knows they he's missed something. Every hitcher he picks up as he races across the country gets told a different story, and his sense of jealousy for what he thinks Taylor and Wilson has is palpable. It's beautifully shot and proceeds at a langorous, leisurely pace. The ending is what one can only describe at "cinematic". If you want thrills-and-spills then give it a miss. If you want to see a cult gem, one of the coolest films ever made, check it out. I first saw it twenty odd years ago and it became my favourite film; the nice thing is, twenty odd years later it still is.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 18, 2012 11:47 PM BST


Unheralded Victory: Who Won the Vietnam War?
Unheralded Victory: Who Won the Vietnam War?
by Mark W. Woodruff
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good, admittedly partisan, MILITARY review of the war, 6 Sept. 2001
For anyone who still does harbour the received notion that the USA lost the Vietnam War to a tiny 3rd-World nation of peasant farmers, Mark Woodruff's book will come as a surprise. To his credit he does make clear at the outset that this IS a partial review of the war. He's an ex-Marine and is determined to make the point that - taken purely as a military operation between the years 1965-1973 - the US Armed Forces can justifably consider themselves `victors'. However, noble as that undertaking is, he'll also be aware of Von Clausewitz's statement that "war is a continuation of politics by other means". As he points out, the Vietnamese were fighting other foes long before the Americans appeared, and the Northern Vietnamese continued to fight their Southern counterparts for two, ultimately successful, years afterwards. He does a fine job of refuting many of the myths that have been handed down since the end of the war and is clear on exactly what the scope of his book is, and crucially isn't. But the reader seeking a wider view of S.E.Asian history and politics will be entitled to ask about just WHY the USA became as heavily involved as it did (particularly after having been so closely involved in financially supporting the abortive French attempts to `hold onto' French Indochina in the 1950s), why it allowed such a corrupt regime as Thieu's to develop, what ultimate effect Nixon and Kissinger's secret bombing of Cambodia had (unleashing the Khmer Rouge?) and why it did ultimately decide to pull out? Having said all of that, within its own narrow parameters `Unheralded Victory' is a welcome addition to the histories of the S.E.Asian conflicts.


The Restraint of Beasts
The Restraint of Beasts
by Magnus Mills
Edition: Paperback

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully plot-less book mirroring plot-less lives., 8 Feb. 2001
Some previous reviewers seem to have held it against the book that it `seems' to be plot-less, that it simply meanders. Well in one sense it does, but in doing that it's mirroring precisely the relatively `plot-less' lives of the two central characters, Tam and Richie.
I was taken straight back to my days as a student, labouring in the holidays building golf courses. I met, sadly, many `Tam and Richie's' - always skint (or, more often, in continual debt), always ready for an excuse to stop work, never looking any further forward than Friday night.
Think about it, it's a crushing life to look forward too - monotonous, back-breaking, with nothing to show for it at the end. Magnus Mills captures that hopelessness perfectly. The answers to most questions ARE "dunno", "nothing.." or "forgot".
Having just read another debut novel that was lauded for its `evocative and mesmeric' writing but which I found over-written and too clever-by-half I'd recommend "The Restraint of Beasts" every time. Writing clean, understated prose is a far harder job than its opposite. Call it a bonus that the book is also very dark and funny.


The Hiding Place
The Hiding Place
by Trezza Azzopardi
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Evocative first novel, 29 Oct. 2000
This review is from: The Hiding Place (Hardcover)
Having grown up with only brothers I was pleased to discover that sisters are no differnet. Sometime friends, sometime enemies; all of you united against capricious adults. Although "A Hiding Place" sometimes gets caught up in its own cleverness, as the time-frame shifts to-and-fro within chapters, overall its a fantastic debut. I can't vouch for how accurately Trezzopardi recalls the South Wales of the 40's, 50's and 60's, but I CAN vouch for how well she writes on childhood and memory. Seemingly insignificant details or events take on huge significance and lay dormant in the mind. The adult world seems almost incomprehensible. It may seem a corny thing to say but one feels that a male author would've dwelt more on the adult story, would've been drawn more into the criminal milieu. It would've been a poorer book for that approach. Thankfully the author deals mainly with the small glimpses afforded, with the effects of that criminality. A moving, effecting novel. A great debut. I've subsequently bought and given away a further three copies to friends.


Patrick Robertson
Patrick Robertson
by Brian Hennigan
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The odder it gets the funnier it gets., 1 Sept. 2000
This review is from: Patrick Robertson (Paperback)
Patrick is a modern anti-hero in the mould of Martin Amis's `John Self'. The modern universe revolves around him and the notion of his finding himself in any sort of moral dilemma is, happily, preposterous. As his situation becomes steadily more and more absurd (and, frankly, more and more implausible) it just gets funnier and funnier. Although there's a nice circularity in the ending I did think it a slight let-down. Taken as a whole though it's a great debut novel.


The Fanatic
The Fanatic
by James Robertson
Edition: Paperback

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary debut novel., 5 Aug. 2000
This review is from: The Fanatic (Paperback)
This is an extraordinary debut novel. The recreation of the vicious, internecine plotting and fighting that took place after the restoration of Charles 1 is fantastically well-done. At times one is almost forced to stop reading, such is the inhumanity that men heap upon other fellow men and women. As the book shifts to-and-from the late 20th to the late 17th centuries pertinent questions are raised about precisely what kind of society and nation Scotland now wants to become. Thouroughly recommended.


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