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Reviews Written by
Jonathan Oakey (Brussels Belgium)

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Songs Of Mass Destruction
Songs Of Mass Destruction
Price: £5.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant but not gripping, 18 Jan. 2008
This album sounds very nice with a lot of attention obviously paid to the luxurious sounds and singing. Annie Lennox's voice has lost none of its majesty, and yet somehow it fails to grip me.
Part of it may be the typical evolution of older recording artists, who tend to produce more sophisticated and introspective music as they mature. This is fine, but it turns into music from the mind rather than music from the heart.
As I said, the album sounds good, but I have been more impelled to listen to music from younger artists who write and sing from their hearts.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 3, 2010 8:56 PM GMT

Tomtom ONE UK Car Charger
Tomtom ONE UK Car Charger
Offered by ChargerCity
Price: £11.45

35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Did the job perfectly, 18 Jan. 2008
I had problems with the original TomTom car charger not connecting properly to the unit, and therefore failing to charge in the car (a pretty serious shortcoming as battery life is no more than 2 hours). As it charged without any problems when connected to my PC, I decided to try buying a replacement charger.
The price of this unit (currently 1p) is unbelievable, and I was sceptical about it because of that. However, the cost of P&P is relatively high, and I guess that's where they hide the real cost. Whatever - it arrived, and it works perfectly, so don't be put off by that.
Good product (although it's hardly rocket science), but I personally think it would attract more people with a realistic (low) price and a corresponding reduction in the P&P charges. The way it's marketed at th moment does a disservice to a perfectly good product.

The Serrano Connection: Omnibus Two
The Serrano Connection: Omnibus Two
by Elizabeth Moon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great action sci-fi, 18 Jan. 2008
I'm a big fan of Elizabeth Moon, who writes excellent military science-fiction with very sympathetic and rounded main characters and great, action-filled plots in a very believable future universe.
This book contains books 4 and 5 of the Serrano series. The focus changes from the Serranos to new lead character, Esmay Suiza, which at first disappoints because of the fondness the reader has built up for the main character of the previous books, but in reality is a good idea to stop the series from becoming stale and repetitive.
Moon's own obsessions tend to appear in all of her books, particularly the military setting and horse-riding (neither of which I share). However, they are well written and generally great, classic-style science fiction.

Creative ZEN 16GB MP3 Player
Creative ZEN 16GB MP3 Player

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great player but some connectivity problems, 10 Jan. 2008
I generally have a high regard for Creative products. I have a Creative hard disk MP3 player permanently in my car which is over 3 years old and still works perfectly, and when I saw this product announced, I knew I wanted one.
In fact, I bought 2 - one for me and one for my girlfriend. The player itself is great - nice presentation, good screen and good, clear menus. The interface and buttons take a little getting used to, but work well, and I particularly like the "Album of the Day" feature which plays a random album (and selects another one upon repeated press if you don't fancy listening to the first).
Viewing photos and videos works fine, as far as they can on such a small device (if you mainly want it to view those, get something larger with a bigger screen!). I also like the fact that you can synchronise your calendar, tasks and contacts with Outlook - handy to have for reference, although you cannot add items, which makes sense as this does not have a keyboard or touch screen.
Management of the files on the device (music albums, photo albums etc) is all seamlessly logical - a point which seems obvious but which you appreciate when you have used other players with inferior interfaces. Album art is displayed too, which is a nice touch.
The only thing preventing this item from getting 5 stars from me is that I have had some problems with the connection to my PC. It does work, but when it is connected to charge up, it seems to frequently lose and re-establish the connection, which is annoying as it pops up the media manager software quite a lot (and I can't work out how to cancel the automatic action in Windows). I had some problems transferring files because of this, although the problem improved (but didn't disappear) after I upgraded the firmware.
That issue notwithstanding, it's a great player, and compares favourably to competing products that my kids have. It also has multiple choices for the interface language - a nice extra as my girlfriend is greek, and can have menus in her own language.

Fame: Season 1 [DVD] [1982]
Fame: Season 1 [DVD] [1982]
Dvd ~ Debbie Allen
Price: £15.97

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable nostalgia, 7 Dec. 2007
This review is from: Fame: Season 1 [DVD] [1982] (DVD)
Fame was a fun series and a phenomenon at the time, although now it does show its age a bit. The series itself is entertaining, but there are absolutely no extras, which is a great shame - surely they could have tracked down a few of the cast members for some retrospective interviews or something?
And one minor problem - why on earth did they make Leroy sing so much? He was a great dancer, but a horrible singer!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 11, 2009 10:46 AM GMT

Tunturi C40 Cross Trainer
Tunturi C40 Cross Trainer

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good quality kit, 11 Sept. 2007
This review is from: Tunturi C40 Cross Trainer (Sports)
I bought a Tunturi C40 after much deliberation over my choice of cross-trainer. It cost me twice as much as I'd initially thought I would have to spend, but if you're serious about using it then I think it's worth the investment. Cheap machines feel light and unstable, and I have seen many of them in shops which are broken or have pieces missing, but the construction of the Tunturi is solid and it is very good to use.
It has a number of adjustable programmes and a reasonable LCD screen. It is very silent in use, with just a small noise from the motor when it changes the resistance, but it's not distracting if you want to watch TV while exercising, as I do.
The only problem with this machine is that it's a big beast, and you have to find a suitable place to put it, but that's unavoidable given the choice of machine and quality.
In summary, a good solid product and worth the money if you're serious about using a cross-trainer.

Forest Mage (The Soldier Son Trilogy, Book 2): 2/3
Forest Mage (The Soldier Son Trilogy, Book 2): 2/3
by Robin Hobb
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dreary and depressing, 20 Aug. 2007
I have enjoyed a lot of Robin Hobb's other books, but she seems to have taken a wrong turn with this trilogy. The first book wasn't great but at least had some variety, and a reasonable setting. This book is just dreary and depressing - I slogged through it but I wish I hadn't bothered. It is far too long and static - very little actually happens in it apart from the author trying to make the reader as depressed as possible.
In a sense, it is reminiscent of some of Stephen Donaldson's work, in that he is another author who likes to take the story through some very dark places in order to reach the redemption of the conclusion. However, Donaldson is, I think, a better technician and stylist, and manages to pull it off. I understand the author's desire to intensify the drama by squeezing the main character(s) as hard as possible, but he or she (talking in general, not just about Hobb) must also realise that the book-buying public reads for pleasure, and there is little pleasure to be gained from reading this book.
I won't buy the last book in the series. I will read a summary out of curiosity to see how the story is completed, but I'm not going to put myself through another 800 pages like that.
After such a diatribe, why two stars and not one? Well, there are some good aspects - the setting and overall storyline is quite imaginative, and some of the characters are well thought out. It is very unfortunate that the positive points are drowned by the overall negativity of this volume.

Alias - Complete Season 5 [DVD] [2002]
Alias - Complete Season 5 [DVD] [2002]
Dvd ~ Jennifer Garner
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £10.00

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is there a doctor in the house?, 7 Aug. 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Because I have a question. How many times does someone have to be shot in the chest before they actually die? In Alias, the answer appears to be infinity, and this for me totally ruined this season. Without mentioning names, various characters get shot multiple times in the chest and yet they can talk, get up, walk and - after a little medical attention - make a full recovery.
There are plenty of other examples of Alias falling further into farce this season, with unbelievable storylines (and I don't mean that in a positive way). If that doesn't bother you, and hasn't already annoyed you in seasons 3 and 4, then you will probably enjoy this season because there is a lot of action, new developments, some good new characters (particularly Amy Acker, coming over from Angel) and a lot of plot twists. The series is very well made and very dramatic, so there is still a lot to like and admire.
I just wish they'd consulted a doctor.

Roswell - Season 3 [DVD] [2000]
Roswell - Season 3 [DVD] [2000]
Dvd ~ Shiri Appleby
Offered by jim-exselecky
Price: £9.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Washout, 28 July 2007
I was very disappointed with season 3. The previous season ended very well, with quite a gripping storyline and climax, but from the start season 3 seemed to just turn into a soap opera. There are some good storylines, but generally it seems to meander through a bunch of tedious relationship dramas which have little to do with the more individual themes of the series.

Drop the Dead Donkey 3 [DVD]
Drop the Dead Donkey 3 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Susannah Doyle
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £14.97

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining, 24 July 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Drop the Dead Donkey 3 [DVD] (DVD)
Series 3 is a joy, and a lot of fun to watch. The characters are generally strong, and a lot is done in this series to make them three dimensional, even though they are a bit caricatured. Many of them show different sides to their personalities, and new girl Helen fits in very well.
There are some extras - the usual set of interviews and anecdotes - which are nice to see, although they could have made more effort (Dr Who and Red Dwarf DVDs are great examples of what can be done).
In this series, they had established themselves and managed to get a few politicians and other celebrities to make guest appearances, including Ken Livingstone and Neil Kinnock, all of whom do a creditable job.
I can't wait to get the next series - it's just a shame they are over so quickly!

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