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David I. Howells "outlawcatcher" (UK)

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The Railway Man
The Railway Man
Price: £3.32

5.0 out of 5 stars A brave and forgiving man...., 19 Oct 2014
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This review is from: The Railway Man (Kindle Edition)
This is a remarkable story about Eric Lomax, a train buff who entered the army during WW2 and eventually was set to work on the worse train set of all time...the Burma railway. Mr Lomax was obviously a very intelligent man and the prose of the book is a statement to that fact as it is beautifully written. The author also comes across as being quite an ordinary man but his ordeal after his capture in Malaya at the hands of the Japanese is anything but that. After being involved in building a clandestine radio, its discovery led to Eric Lomax's brutal torture and incarceration, an all to common story as a FEPOW but this story has a remarkable twist in that Mr Lomax is apparently the only FEPOW who eventually met one of his main tormentors. This then is not only a story of untold brutality and of the lifelong suffering it entailed but one of reconciliation between good and evil. It is also a story of a very brave man who must have had an untold reservoir of mental fortitude but also a man of integrity and compassion. His eventual act of forgiveness is an example to us all in this troubled world.

I have also watched the film and it is worth comparing the book and the film. This is a great film and Colin Firth (Lomax) and Nicole Kidman (Patti-his 2nd wife) do a great job. The film is in the main accurate but it does get dramatised in places. There is no 'ambush' meeting between Lomax and his protagonist as portrayed in the film, they both eventually meet in real life after corresponding for a couple of years. The film also only covers up to the point that Lomax was tortured and not his incarceration for over a year in a squalid brutal Singapore jail. In fact this brave man endured far more than is portrayed in the film!

Overall a great and enthralling read but another damming indictment of the treatment of POW's by the IJA.


Biosync Finger Pulse Oximeter & Heart Rate Monitor w/ Instructions, Lanyard & Case - Dark Blue
Biosync Finger Pulse Oximeter & Heart Rate Monitor w/ Instructions, Lanyard & Case - Dark Blue
Offered by Dealstation
Price: £16.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Item, 11 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I am a mountaineer and I use this in conjunction with my climbs and fitness training. In this respect it does what it says on the box. It works very well and provides me with an accurate pulse rate and oxygen saturation reading. Normally it will provide me with readings within a minute and I have used it in conjunction with other Oximeters and the readings appear to be quite constant. When using it at altitude, between 5-6,000m it does take much longer to provide the readings. This however is due to the fingers being cold and not down to the fault of the machine in anyway. The saturation rates do drop down quite dramatically at altitude but this is as expected so I find that the device is quite essential to measure the progress of climbing clients or partners. I also use the device before and after my harder runs or bike rides. All in all I am quite amazed that a top piece of equipment like this can now be obtained at such an affordable price. This is an excellent value for money item.


Hama Lens Cleaning Pen
Hama Lens Cleaning Pen
Price: £10.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect lens cleaner, 21 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Hama Lens Cleaning Pen (Accessory)
This item is small and has a retractable brush. It is small enough to carry about with me everywhere and I use it all the time. Perfect...


TECHGEAR® HIGH QUALITY USB CABLE FOR APPLE IPOD SHUFFLE AND SHUFFLE CLIP 3G AND 4G - iPod shuffle USB charging and sync cable compatible with Macs and PCs
TECHGEAR® HIGH QUALITY USB CABLE FOR APPLE IPOD SHUFFLE AND SHUFFLE CLIP 3G AND 4G - iPod shuffle USB charging and sync cable compatible with Macs and PCs
Offered by TECHGEAR Solutions
Price: £3.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, 21 Feb 2014
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I use my shuffle all the time to go training here and abroad and this charger is just the ideal size to carry about with me everywhere, I have had it for some time now and it has never let me down. Just perfect....


Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent
Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent
Price: £6.64

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The rape of a continent and the making of banana republics!, 14 Feb 2014
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I liked this book as it gave me a perspective of how US, British and Spanish imperialism has affected latin America from a latin American viewpoint as the author is Uruguayan. I also read this book at the same time as I read the 'Untold History of the United States' by Oliver Stone. What I liked was how the the facts of the latter confirmed those outlined by Eduardo Galeano. The story of how western democracies have literally economically raped an entire continent is mind boggling and a shameful part of our history. Apart from the economic theft of its resources, the amount of direct and subversive political interference in the sovereign affairs of latin America by us and in particular the United States is equally scandalous. No wonder these countries have little love towards us. To read this book is to read about commercial, political and military exploitation of weaker peoples by strong nation states and it is a shameful indictment of our imperialistic past.

This historic unveiling is well referenced, well told and a good read. I do wish there was more political explanations held within and to some extent the economic facts got somewhat laboured at times. However it was an important read for me as I spend a lot of time in latin America and I regularly come across this historic resentment for deeds done in a bygone age...as well as in recent times. We made many a country in this geographical sphere into a banana republic, this book tells you how we did it, how much it cost us and how much we took away...


CaseCrown Tidal Sleeve Case (Black) for 11 Inch Apple MacBook Air
CaseCrown Tidal Sleeve Case (Black) for 11 Inch Apple MacBook Air
Offered by Senyx

5.0 out of 5 stars Good Mac Air cover, 12 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Use it all the time as it fits my mac air perfectly. It has adequate cushioning but not enough that you want to drop it on a hard floor. However as a general cover it does the job and I cannot fault the item. It is a very simple and practical product. However in the product description it says that you can put an iPad in the front pocket and your mac air in the main compartment. Well my item is as per the product pictures and it only has one compartment and that fits my 11' mac air perfectly. There is no second pocket to this product....


Sennheiser PMX 685i Sports In-Ear Neckband Headphones
Sennheiser PMX 685i Sports In-Ear Neckband Headphones
Price: £44.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Great little headphones, 12 Feb 2014
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I have had these for about a year now. They have a nice sound, are comfortable and are excellent for wearing out on runs, training etc. The only gripe I have is that the little black earpiece covers have a habit of coming off and if you don't see them come off you will lose them. This then lets in the sweat and over time (as has happened before) they do not work or work with that irritating crackle. Apart from that they are great....


The Korean War: History in an Hour
The Korean War: History in an Hour
Price: £0.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gem of a book!, 12 Feb 2014
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This is a great little book for those that know very little about the Korean War or for those that need a quick and accurate refresher on the topic. It is actually very accurate in its content, well written and a very enjoyable read. It gives you a very concise overview of the military and political context of the war along with the main campaigns, battles and offensives and much more. I will be keeping an eye out for more such books from Mr Mulholland. Excellent little book, buy that man a pint!


D-Day: A Very Brief History
D-Day: A Very Brief History
Price: £0.77

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Diabolical book on D Day!, 24 Jan 2014
This is a hard review to write as one always tries to temper one's sympathy to the efforts of the author. However in this case it is hard, very hard, as this book is of such poor quality.

First of all contextually the overall prose of the book does not read well. There is no easy going flow, drama or fluidity but a simple regurgitating of facts and very often those are terribly disjointed.

Secondly the content is not even up to par of an accurately endorsed Wikipedia entry. In fact a straight lift from Wikipedia would have availed the author to a higher degree of accuracy. He desperately needs to re write his references to the codes used for D Day and beyond so that they mesh together accurately, correctly and in an easier more readable format.

Finally, the grammar, it is simply appalling. I highlighted 62 grammatical errors. These ranged from words simply left out, spelling errors, lack of punctuation, poor use of punctuation, no spaces and many poorly written sentences.

In short the author could not have proof read this book or for that matter given it to another to do so instead. This is diabolical considering the short length of the actual book itself.

In addition the inclusion of the disclaimer against errors or omissions at the end is also insulting. In my view if you are selling a book for money you have an implied responsibility that it achieves a basic standard. This book does not!

In short, this book is the worst book I have 'ever' read let alone reviewed (91 to date). As for the 5* reviews on here, guys/girls you simply must be friends or family! My advice-avoid at all costs!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 6, 2014 1:39 PM GMT


The Untold History of the United States
The Untold History of the United States
Price: £5.03

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The indispensable nation, 22 Jan 2014
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This is a powerful socio-political history of the most powerful nation that has ever graced the planet. A country that will have us believe...and we would like to believe...that it is the bastion of freedom and democracy. This has been the 'American century' and this book tells us how they achieved this platitude. It is not I might add with any sort of diplomatic grace, humility or democratic panache. This book will outline to you how they got it so wrong?

The authors present a well referenced, researched and informed viewpoint that is hard to ignore. The evidence is overwhelming, the western world, with few exceptions, has been run by what can only be termed as a cacophony of self seeking, arrogant, racist, sub intellectuals for the last hundred years. That Regan used to fall asleep during his morning briefings just about sums up the quality! Those who have occupied that most esteemed of political offices over the last hundred years have left a US democratic legacy that is battered and bleeding, maybe mortally so. A legacy that has seen the ruin of their international reputation and that is also catapulting them into a financial meltdown. It is a story pitted with political, financial and military disasters on such a grand scale that it beggars belief.

I will say however that the fact that they also did a lot of good is hardly highlighted at all in the book. In any case, the good is totally overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of bad. They made decisions that left millions dead, destroyed entire countries and nullified what should be basic world commodities, that of a reasonable amount of world peace and stability without the threat or risk of an armageddon. The lies, deceit and sheer arrogance practiced by most of these historic figures (and administrations) belies belief. Here we find the true reasons behind the unlawful or unwarranted sovereign interventions in Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Grenada, Iraq and Afghanistan, the clandestine and bloody subterfuge involved in supporting rogue states and dictators, state authorised assassinations, the common use of torture by government agencies and the lack of conformity to domestic and international laws. In turn there are lost opportunities to shackle the growth of nuclear weapons, the eternal shame of their unnecessary use and the basic system incompetences involved in alleged near misses.

The list is endless and it makes very sad reading. Sad because most of us know that it is true and that the people of the US deserve better. Sadder still is that I could write the same review about the UK. A very comprehensive and authoritative book brilliantly researched that is superbly written. One of my best reads ever.


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