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Westham (Brussels, Belgium)

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Simple Art of Murder (Vintage Crime)
Simple Art of Murder (Vintage Crime)
by Raymond Chandler
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.80

5.0 out of 5 stars "But down these mean streets . . ., 13 Feb 2014
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. . . a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid . . . He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world . . ." and so on - Raymond Chandler's wonderful description of the detective hero in "The Simple Art of Murder", his famous essay for Atlantic Magazine. The essay is accompanied by half a dozen or more of his early short stories, all quite beautifully written and filled with wit and charm; in fact typical Ray Chandler, the best writer in his world, and a good enough writer for any world.


The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection
The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection
Price: 0.77

5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless, 13 Feb 2014
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I've been (re)reading a mass of late nineteenth and early twentieth century popular fiction recently: Conan Doyle stands out as the best writer by a mile and, as a hero, Sherlock Holmes is simply streets ahead of the rest - from Bulldog Drummond to the Four Just Men. I particularly like the fact that although Holmes is drawn as a laid-back, arrogant intellectual to whom all things come easy, he is neither snobbish nor smug (which makes him pretty much unique among the heroes of his age). Perhaps that's because old CD was neither snobbish nor smug himself - I like to think so. All the old observational tricks still work (nobody's ever bettered them) and all the jokes are still good. I just wish CD hadn't pretended the poor chap was completely celibate - of course he wasn't, particularly when it came to that Adler lass.


Smashwords Book Marketing Guide - How to Market any Book for Free (Smashwords Guides 2)
Smashwords Book Marketing Guide - How to Market any Book for Free (Smashwords Guides 2)
Price: 0.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Must read this again, 8 Jan 2014
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I read it and enjoyed it - honestly. However, although I'm sure it contained lots of very good advice, I'm afraid I can't remember a damn' thing about it.


Birdsong: 150 British and Irish birds and their amazing sounds
Birdsong: 150 British and Irish birds and their amazing sounds
by Jonathan Elphick
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.00

4.0 out of 5 stars OK, 8 Jan 2014
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If you're a bird-watcher you already have far more field guides to British (and Irish) birds than you can throw a stick at. You probably also already have half a dozen CDs of their various songs and calls. This combination book and tape puts the two together, but in a format that you can't get into your pocket for field use.

That's probably just as well, because the temptation to play the tape of the bird of your choice in order to bring him closer must be almost irresistible. But we wouldn't do that now, would we?

As to the quality, both the guide and the tapes are entirely adequate without being world-shattering.


The Edgar Wallace Collection: 26 Novels and Short Stories (Unexpurgated Edition) (Halcyon Classics)
The Edgar Wallace Collection: 26 Novels and Short Stories (Unexpurgated Edition) (Halcyon Classics)
Price: 1.92

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good in parts . . ., 8 Jan 2014
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Discovered that it was Edgar Wallace, not Raymond Chandler, who first used the phrase "mean streets". What else was good? Well, to my amazement I loved the Sanders of the River stuff, particularly its staggering absence of anything in the way of political correctness. No doubt the works will cease to be unexpurgated in the near future - so sad! What else can I say? Well, none of the plots would fool our cat and they can be embarrassingly kitsch, naive . . . can't think of the word. He also seems to have only one heroine in all of the 26 works - she's a nice-enough girl mind, if thick (I think she's abducted about eighteen times - I mean, even I could see it coming). In one story, however, Mr Wallace is entirely believable and really interesting: he's talking about gambling at the time - wish he'd talked about it more often.


Oxford Rhyming Dictionary
Oxford Rhyming Dictionary
by Clive Upton
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive - shame about the plot, 8 Jan 2014
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Had trouble finding my way around it (but then, I have trouble with the OED), and haven't been back to it as often as I thought I would. Still haven't hit upon a rhyme they've missed though.
That said, the plot was a bit difficult to follow and the characterisation was thin!


Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

5.0 out of 5 stars Essential re-reading, 8 Jan 2014
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Well, everybody's read it at least once. This was my first RE-reading. It's still full of - very good - quotes, and still miles better than every tomfool TV and film version ever made of it.


Caged in Chaos: A Dyspraxic Guide to Breaking Free
Caged in Chaos: A Dyspraxic Guide to Breaking Free
by Victoria Biggs
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 8 Jan 2014
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Excellent book by a wonderful gutsy girl. Not a smidgin of self-pity, and perhaps that's why it brought tears to my eyes - my best read of the year.


The Lady in the Lake and Other Novels (Penguin Modern Classics)
The Lady in the Lake and Other Novels (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Raymond Chandler
Edition: Paperback
Price: 14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another untrustworthy review . . ., 8 Jan 2014
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I've just written a review of Raymond Chandler's "Trouble is My Business". It read as follows: "Sorry, you can't trust me on this. At least, I don't think you can. You see, there are those of us who see the three central pillars of English (and American) literature as Shakespeare, Milton and . . . Raymond Chandler. Of course, we could be wrong (particularly about Milton)."


Trouble is My Business
Trouble is My Business
by Raymond Chandler
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Ray Chandler! What can I say?, 8 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Trouble is My Business (Paperback)
Sorry, you can't trust me on this. At least, I don't think you can. You see, there are those of us who see the three central pillars of English (and American) literature as Shakespeare, Milton and . . . Raymond Chandler. Of course, we could be wrong (particularly about Milton).


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