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Mark Rupert Webster (London)
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The People's Songs: The Story of Modern Britain in 50 Records
The People's Songs: The Story of Modern Britain in 50 Records
by Stuart Maconie
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 20.00

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just like a great song, 15 Aug 2013
Stuart Maconie has done a great job of doing what a clever pop song does: capture something pithily, astutely and wittily, without being too pompous or overbearing, yet without compromising on opinion and passion, and with an occasionally brilliant turn of phrase. This is to music what Andrew Marr's History of Britain Since 1945 was to modern British history; easy to enjoy, of course open to criticism from those who like to see everything as much more complex than the general public can cope with, but (to use a very British phrase), really rather good.

Yes, there will be some who feel that he should have focussed on the miners strike more, or that x or y's significance is underplayed and z's overstated, or that some of the links between song and topic are a bit questionable (though nothing like as tenuous as some of the generalisations and interpretations occasionally made by some of the more serious music journalists out there).

If you are the kind of person rarely if ever buys one but would be very happy to find a discarded copy of Q or Mojo magazine in the seat pocket on a long flight, then you will probably love it. If you are the kind of person who has subscribed to the NME for more than 5 years and have used the word 'important' when talking about pop music in the last three months, then you probably won't.


Lepai TA2020+ Tripath Class-T Hi-Fi Audio Mini Amplifier with Power Supply
Lepai TA2020+ Tripath Class-T Hi-Fi Audio Mini Amplifier with Power Supply
Offered by Kr-net
Price: 26.49

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lot in a little for not much, 19 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I needed something discrete to connect two bathroom speakers to a music source in another room (in this case an iPod or iPad), and didn't want to spend very much or get something very big. For the price, the sound is excellent and the tiny footprint has persuaded me to get another one to power two desktop speakers for my workspace. You wouldn't use this as a replacement for a full hi-fi amplifier, but for domestic purposes it is hard to fault. Highly recommended.


Tell the Truth: Honesty is Your Most Powerful Marketing Tool
Tell the Truth: Honesty is Your Most Powerful Marketing Tool
by Sue Unerman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 16.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be afraid to tell the truth, 17 Jun 2012
`Tell the Truth' proposes that in this age where consumers can directly access and influence information and opinions about a product or service, the `truth', or certainly the public perception of it, will out. However, rather than be fearful of exposure, the book provides a number of practical strategies that enable the modern business to exploit this as an opportunity to forge a `truthful' relationship with the consumer or client. Numerous examples are cited to support the authors' research and ideas, such as the John Lewis store chain whose respectful attitude towards their workers as partners rather than just employees so successfully underpins their straightforward attitude to their customers. This clarity (or truth) is sometimes overshadowed by superficially more sophisticated, amusing or `clever' branding, but ultimately superficial branding proves less sustainable than honesty.
There is enough substance in the book for the professional intent on establishing the best way forward for their business; `Tell the Truth' issues checklists and instructions for engaging with customers or clients. However, it is also an enjoyable read in its own right for the interested non-specialist, like me. There are enough anecdotes and everyday examples to keep the pages turning, and most important of all, it makes you think.


A Moveable Feast
A Moveable Feast
by Ernest Hemingway
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: 4.79

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Paris avec extra Fromage, 14 Feb 2007
Evoking in writing the spirit of Paris in the 1920s, like Soho of the 1950s, it is always going to be difficult (as a knowing 21st century reader) not to see cliches in the landscape or become weary of the numerous chance encounters with literary icons. Hemingway manages to capture a Paris that we would all like to believe once existed.

However, a word of warning. Some of the dialogue is so cheesy as to jar heavily with our modern sensibilities. If you can stomach this excerpt from the 'Shakespeare and Company' chapter, there is much to enjoy in this book.

"We'll come home and eat here and have a lovely meal and drink Beaune from the co-operative you can see right out of the window there with the price of the Beaune in the window. And afterwards we'll read and then go to bed and make love"

"And never love anyone else but each other"

"No. Never."

Thank goodness for postmodernism.


Hidden (cache) [DVD]
Hidden (cache) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Daniel Auteuil
Price: 4.89

3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mouton dressed as lamb, 7 Jan 2007
This review is from: Hidden (cache) [DVD] (DVD)
Strong acting, some interesting thoughts about colonialism, honesty in relationships and how horrible children can be to each other, but ultimately the end credits left me thinking "so what" and more significantly, "is that it?".

One (very) moving moment and a few modest questions do not make a good film; this was neither an art movie nor a thriller, but fell neatly in between, satisfying neither discipline.


Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia
Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia
by Chris Stewart
Edition: Paperback

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hardship 'lite', 1 Aug 2006
This is a very pleasant book and if you are in need of balm from the sort of modest drama that is provided on television by Monarch of the Glen or Michael Palin's travelogues, then this is the book for you.

Chris Stewart does a decent job of describing beautiful countryside, ubiquitous local 'characters', delicious simple meals and frustrating tradesmen. However, in terms of insight into what it is really like to go through the challenge of building a life in a land you don't really understand (and which doesn't understand you), you might be disappointed. This is hardship 'lite'.


The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band
The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band
by Tommy Lee
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.39

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Fun, 29 May 2006
Though the only Motley Crue song I can recall hearing is the terrible 'Girls, Girls, Girls', having read this book it seems amazing that they ever managed to survive long enough to make it to a studio.

If you lead an outwardly respectable life there is great vicarious pleasure to be had in reading about the depths of excess enjoyed and endured by the band. Rather surprisingly, however, there is also a certain depth to the character studies which, though no doubt slightly embellished and over-dramatised for the purpose of posterity, describe four guys who were lucky/unlucky enough to meet each other and find out what happens when you really do get the chance to live the rock and roll dream. Sure, it isn't Dostoyevsky, but it is closer to a 'good book' than many might instinctively presume.

Favourite part? The almost teary-eyed respect for Ozzy Osbourne, the one rocker even 'the Crue' found disgustingly depraved. Rock on!


The Historian
The Historian
by Elizabeth Kostova
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Importance of Being a Character, 1 May 2006
This review is from: The Historian (Paperback)
Decent (if a rather long and contrived) plot; a good eye for detail; appealing turn of phrase; evocative descriptions.... spoiled by shallow and unconvincing characters.

With over 600 pages to play with my main regret is that Ms Kostova spends so little time revealing any depths to the protagonists, and at times they behave (literally) incredibly. About 200 pages in the father announces that "(he) would die for Professor Rossi"? Why? Just how good a tutor was this guy?

The continental characters fare even worse as if peopled from an Indiana Jones film. Fine if you are on screen for five minutes, frustrating if you are reading about them for 40 pages.


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