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David I. Howells "outlawcatcher" (UK)

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Sinking The Samurai: Memories of Admiral Yi
Sinking The Samurai: Memories of Admiral Yi
Price: £3.72

5.0 out of 5 stars Nelson of the East with attitude!, 21 Jan. 2015
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This book is set in Korea during the Imjin war from 1592 to 1598 between Korea and its ally China against the invading Japanese. The theme of the story revolves around the brilliant admiral Sin Yi Sun-Sin who despite being vastly outnumbered continues to tan the backsides off his Japanese foes. Despite all of the Japanese successes on land this famed and brilliant admiral just refuses to admit defeat and keeps on beating the Japanese at sea again and again, thereby restricting their re supply of men and material. The story is so remarkable...and unheard of...it is hard to believe it is true but true it is.

Admiral Yi is Korea's answer to Nelson and quite often had to fight against even greater odds and influences. Yi also had deficiencies in equipment that required him to invent one of the most remarkable inventions of the time the Kobukson or armour plated 'Turtle' ship. In fact Yi's similarities to Nelson are uncanny. Always in the thick of the action, Yi fights many battles always ending up on the winning side in brilliant fashion, he gets seriously wounded in one action early on and then dramatically looses his life in the last battle of the war leaving the whole nation grief stricken.

The story is brilliantly written with humour, humility and style but even the making of the story has a fantastic twist in it. The book is written from the transcripts of a humble Buddhist priest, priest Wonho, transcripts that had laid hidden in a temple for over four hundred years until being found by a young boy. Priest Wonho becomes a leading player in this story and the remarkable reasons why and his fantastic personal journey are amply explained in the book. The story of priest Wonho is worthy of a book in itself but what he wrote in manuscript form is now a Korean national treasure and justifiably so. If anything this is Wonho's book if anybody's but Mark Sawer has done an impeccable job in piecing together and translating this information into a vivid account of Korean history.

The book is full of history, action, battles and culture from cover to cover and it is fascinating that this is a true story from primary source material, material that has been verified as authentic. Koreans are justifiably proud of their admiral Yi and this book hardly does justice to his accomplishments and influence. I loved the book and want more on Yi's life and times and on Korean history but sadly there is very limited available in English. Go and buy the book, it's like reading about Nelson...with attitude!

*There is also a Korean film called The Admiral: Roaring Current that revolves around one of the central naval battles of the Imjin war. It's very dramatised but a good film to watch.


The legendary Admiral, Sunshin Yi (Volume 2): 만화로 다시보는 이순신 2
The legendary Admiral, Sunshin Yi (Volume 2): 만화로 다시보는 이순신 2
Price: £3.26

1.0 out of 5 stars Not in English as advertised...., 19 Jan. 2015
I haven't bought the book but the sample edition is in Korean....Not in English as advertised so don't buy if your expecting an English version?


The legendary Admiral, Sunshin Yi (Volume 1): 만화로 다시보는 이순신
The legendary Admiral, Sunshin Yi (Volume 1): 만화로 다시보는 이순신
Price: £3.26

1.0 out of 5 stars Not in English as advertised?...., 19 Jan. 2015
I haven't bought this book but really want a good book on Admiral Yi. I have viewed the Amazon sample of this book on here and my kindle....it's all in Korean. The product section states it's in English...so if your expecting an English book don't buy!


The Pacific (The Official HBO/Sky TV Tie-In)
The Pacific (The Official HBO/Sky TV Tie-In)
Price: £4.46

4.0 out of 5 stars A good balanced overview of the war in the Pacific., 25 Dec. 2014
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I have read all of Stephen Ambrose’s books and this is the first book I have read from the Hugh Ambrose library. Whilst numerous reviewers here are critical of the bullet point style of writing I quite liked it and can see why it was adapted for this book. I think it was the only way to follow four or five different personalities through a variety of different locations in different branches of the US services through the war in the Pacific. That being said I found that Ambrose junior’s style of writing did not match up to Ambrose senior. It’s not that I think that the book was poorly written, far from it, it is just that Ambrose senior is a hard act to follow.

The book itself, well it was the inspiration behind the HBO series THE PACIFIC and as such highlights the brutality and horror that was characteristic of the whole campaign. The book illuminates the war service of legendary marines such as EB Sledge and John Basilone, the inhumanity of being a POW of the IJA and the air war over the Pacific. In the main however the book covers the island campaigns of the marines as they traverse the Pacific covering the intense fighting on Guadalcanal, Peleliu, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The witness accounts of the dehumanising brutality displayed by both sides and the animal hatred that the marines had for their enemy reverberates throughout the whole book. In between the temporary lapses in the fighting the book describes what it is like to live under constant fear, fatigue and filth. The struggle of simply living in any of the combat zones sounds utterly debilitating.

The book in reality is a series of true life accounts involving the unimaginable horror that these brave US marines faced in their amphibious campaigns from one end of the Pacific to the other and how they raised to the occasion. These battles are what transformed the marines into a world class fighting unit…and justifiably so. The book loses a star as I feel it is simply not as well written as others on the subject but it still is an enthralling multi personality portrayal about courageous American servicemen struggling to stay alive in the horrific island battles of WW2.


America's Deadliest Export
America's Deadliest Export
Price: £5.39

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wars & subversion..., 30 Oct. 2014
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A radical but very biased account of what American foreign policy has achieved since the end of WW2. An account of how America has shamefully invaded, bombed or overthrown literally any country that has dared to display an alternative or not pay homage to its capitalist form of democracy. At the same it has built up the biggest network of world wide military basis in history, contravened conventions on torture and been involved in more indiscriminate or subversive killings than you can shake a stick at. It provokes the question 'are we really the good guys?' Shamefully I fear the UK is as culpable as the U.S.!


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: £17.95

2 of 2 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: £8.90

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: £3.95

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

2 of 2 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...


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