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Treachery: Betrayals, Blunders and Cover-Ups: Six Decades of Espionage
Treachery: Betrayals, Blunders and Cover-Ups: Six Decades of Espionage
by Chapman Pincher
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading, 23 Aug 2014
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I have recently read a number of books regarding MI5, MI6 & the Cold War but this is without doubt the most compelling.

It's a big book & it took me some time to get into it, however I strongly recommend that you persist as it well worth the effort.

Once Pincher had started to build up a picture of Roger Hollis I was absolutely gripped & desperate to find out more.

There is still some controversy regarding Pincher's theory that Hollis was a Soviet mole, but given the overwhelming weight of circumstantial evidence outlined here it's possible only that Hollis was either completely incompetent (& his every mistake just happened to help the Soviet Union), or he really was the GRU's most illustrious spy ever.

I suggest you read this book & make up your own mind.


Blood Money: The Swiss, the Nazis and the Looted Billions
Blood Money: The Swiss, the Nazis and the Looted Billions
by Tom Bower
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating & Shocking, 1 July 2014
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A brilliant, well written book that completely blows a hole in the ludicrous concept of Swiss 'neutrality'.

How could a country sharing a land border with Nazi Germany have avoided invasion, whilst the rest of Europe was being overrun?
Read this book & find out.

The actions of the Swiss banks & insurance companies exposed by Bower are completely beyond my comprehension of morality.

Whilst the British lost an entire generation on the battlefield, sacrificed a once great economy & ran up huge debts that crippled the nation for the next 70+years in order to rid Europe of Nazism, the Swiss saw only an opportunity to enrich themselves from the misery of millions!

Make no mistake: without the financial services provided to the Third Reich by the Swiss, the war would have been brought to an end far sooner, without the associated loss of many thousands of additional lives.

The obfuscation & lack of contrition from the Swiss after the end of the war demonstrates just how vile, self-serving & greedy they really are.

The apparent unwillingness of the Allies to take any real action against the Swiss after the war is a mystery that would warrant further investigation.

Bower, unfairly in my opinion, singles out the British for criticism whilst painting the Americans as crusading heroes (& in fact describes them as 'crusaders' throughout).

However the situation appears to have been considerably more nuanced: There are numerous examples within the book itself of questionable actions by various elements within the US (e.g. the Dulles brothers, Daniel Reagan) that undoubtedly aided the Swiss & impeded restitution.

The British by contrast appear to have been primarily guilty of a lack of action (rather than proactively meddling on behalf of the Swiss, like the Americans listed above), which was no doubt a consequence of war weariness & bankruptcy.

By contrast, war weariness certainly hadn't affected Bower's American 'crusaders', most of whom appear to have spent the war 'flying a desk' in the safety of the USA!!!


Nazi Gold: The Sensational Story of the World's Greatest Robbery - and the Greatest Criminal Cover-Up
Nazi Gold: The Sensational Story of the World's Greatest Robbery - and the Greatest Criminal Cover-Up
by Ian Sayer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

3.0 out of 5 stars A Bit of a Disappointment, 1 July 2014
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I was keen to find out more about Nazi loot after reading Tom Bower's superb 'Blood Money'.

There is undoubtedly a fantastic story here & it would make a great film, but unfortunately the book was a bit of a disappointment.

It is just too detailed. The authors have clearly done vast amounts of research, but personally I would prefer to have the conclusions of that research concisely presented in the book, rather than having to read all the minutiae (much of which is of only limited relevance to the core theme: the fate of the loot).

Despite being fascinated by the subject matter, at times I found it quite an effort to keep pressing on.


Huawei Wi-Fi Repeater
Huawei Wi-Fi Repeater
Price: £21.20

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Unreliable, 24 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Huawei Wi-Fi Repeater (Accessory)
The instructions that come with this item are useless, but I set it up quickly & easily using the instructions that another user had posted on Amazon.

Having now had it in use for just over 6 months I feel I can accurately appraise it as rubbish:
The boosted wifi signal is always dropping. The problem is rectified by rebooting the repeater (i.e. switching it off & on again), but this process takes about 3-4minutes & has to be done several times a day.

If I am online for 1 hour, I will usually expect to have to reboot the repeater at least 2 or 3 times in that hour. It's very annoying.


Boomerang: The Meltdown Tour
Boomerang: The Meltdown Tour
by Michael Lewis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Really Enjoable Read, 21 Sep 2012
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Once again Michael Lewis takes a very important, yet potentially very dry, subject matter & turns it into an entertaining & gripping read.

Contrary to another reviewer, I think the book benefits immensely from being written by a non-European, as it gives everything a sense of perspective & allows the author to take a very politically incorrect (i.e. honest) position regarding Europe's "deadbeat" economies.

The only criticism is that it left me wanting more!
After dissecting Ireland & Iceland's fall from grace I would have relished Lewis' thoughts on the other member of Alex Salmond's much heralded "Arc of Prosperity", i.e. Scotland, & the catastrophic collapse of its diabolically run banks (RBS & HBOS) that has saddled the UK (i.e. English) taxpayer with a bill for £74billion & still counting!!


Bad Science
Bad Science
by Ben Goldacre
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Victory For Common Sense, 23 Aug 2010
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This review is from: Bad Science (Paperback)
If you too despair at the reporting of science & medicine particularly on TV, but even on occasions in broadsheet newspapers, then this is the book for you.

Goldacre systematically takes apart various quacks & nonsense peddlers (including the ludicrous Gillian McKeith - how did she ever get her own TV series?), in a straightforward, no nonsense fashion that even non-science folk like me can understand.


Knockoff: The Deadly Trade in Counterfeit Goods: The True Story of the World's Fastest Growing Crimewave
Knockoff: The Deadly Trade in Counterfeit Goods: The True Story of the World's Fastest Growing Crimewave
by Tim Phillips
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading, 23 Aug 2010
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Thoroughly researched & well referenced throughout, this book provides the hard evidence to verify what most right-minded people already suspected: counterfeit goods are dangerous, rampant & controlled by ruthless criminal gangs.

Essential reading for anyone that knowingly buys fake goods & considers it to be a "victimless crime".
Unfortunately most of the morons that keep the counfeiters in business probably aren't some of life's great readers (or thinkers).


All Points North
All Points North
by Simon Armitage
Edition: Paperback

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 11 Aug 2010
This review is from: All Points North (Paperback)
Lots of books have tried to take a sideways look at the north of England, with differing degrees of success (Charles Jennings' patronising & snobbish "Up North" & Stuart Maconie's considerably better "Pies & Prejudice" spring to mind), but this is without question the best.

Simply yet beautifully written, thoroughly engaging & at times laugh-out-loud funny.


The Sound of Laughter
The Sound of Laughter
by Peter Kay
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Poorly Written, 11 Aug 2010
This review is from: The Sound of Laughter (Paperback)
The content is quite good: amusing, interesting & at times touching.

Unfortunately it is so badly written that it completely overshadows anything contained therein.

If ever there was case for the benefits of celebrities employing ghost writers, then this is it.


Bespoke: Savile Row Ripped and Smoothed
Bespoke: Savile Row Ripped and Smoothed
by Richard Anderson
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly Cut, 11 Aug 2010
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Very interesting & surprisingly well written too (I don't know if he employed a ghost writer, but anybody that's endured the 'Janet & John' writing style of Peter Kay's "The Sound Of Laughter" will be relieved not to see the same here).

Lots of great insights into the rarified world of The Row that us mere mortals will unfortunately never experience first hand.

Let down only by the Westlife anecdote at the end which somewhat spoilt the book for me.
Let's be honest, Westlife are to music (manufactured mass market pap) what Mr BuyRight is to bespoke tailoring.
It is difficult to have imagined a client with whom I could have been less impressed.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 17, 2011 7:00 PM GMT


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