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Citizen Kane - Screenplay formatted for Kindle
Citizen Kane - Screenplay formatted for Kindle
Price: £2.94

1.0 out of 5 stars One Star, 25 Dec. 2014
Got to worry when the front cover misspells Orson Welles!!


The Killing Game (Carson Ryder, Book 9)
The Killing Game (Carson Ryder, Book 9)
by J.A. Kerley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Triumphant Return for Carson Ryder, 22 Jun. 2013
After a long break, J A Kerley's latest Carson Ryder thriller finally arrived and did not disappoint. A roller coaster ride from beginning to end, full of Kerley's trademark characters and humour and a worthy continuation of one of the best crime series currently around.


Modern Ranch Living
Modern Ranch Living
by Mark Jude Poirier
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable slice of Americana, 22 July 2010
This review is from: Modern Ranch Living (Paperback)
I've just finished reading a rather excellent little book called
'Modern Ranch Living' by Mark Poirier. I came across it in a
local record shop (being sold in a bargain basement) and got one
of the kids to buy it as a birthday gift. I'd not long before
finished 'Interesting Facts about the State of Arizona' by
Jeremy Poolman and was happy to dig into another book set in
Arizona.

Like the earlier book, 'Modern Ranch Living' concerned itself
primarily with a small cast of characters in a contained
environment. Kendra and Merv are neighbours. Kendra is 16,
something of a fitness freak and sees her therapist once a week
because of anger issues, Merv is in his thirties, works at
Splash World and lives with his mum. Both in their own way have
a connection to the pothead Petey across the road and find their
lives changed when he disappears.

Now while I was expecting the mystery angle to take precedence
once the story got underway, that never really happened and
instead we stay focussed on the lives of Kendra and Merv and
the (generally) oddball characters that drift in and out of
them. While you could never say that the pace was 'fast' I did
enjoy spending a leisurely stroll through the lives of these
characters and enjoyed the 'twist' at the end. Reminiscent of the
works of Douglas Coupland and perhaps even Willy Vlautin, `Modern
Ranch Living' is a thoroughly enjoyable slice of Americana that
while never quite reaching the heights of those authors, remains
a novel worthy of reading.


Who Killed Nancy? [DVD]
Who Killed Nancy? [DVD]
Dvd ~ Glenn Matlock
Price: £9.50

13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed in Many Ways, 20 Mar. 2009
This review is from: Who Killed Nancy? [DVD] (DVD)
While the subject matter remains interesting after all these years, this latest look at the death's of Nancy Spungen and Sid Vicious has two glaring flaws.
While the access to those around Sid and Nancy at the time is well presented, the constant need to fill the gaps between with post punk animations and mock up video footage of Sid and Nancy lookalikes is unnecessary and very quickly becomes jarring.
The second flaw is common to all documentaries and films that tell this story, and that is the sad fact that it is very difficult to care much for the central characters. Neither come across as being very nice people and it is hard to get beyond the thought that it's just a depressing tale of two sad junkies who would have met their demise one way or another. While the 'conspiracy theory' angle is nicely played, it sits all too briefly at the very end of the film and renders the title a little misleading.
All in all, however, it is a very watchable documentary although I did find the extras a little disappointing. The only one of any real interest being Don Letts home movie footage of Sid.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 11, 2012 8:10 AM BST


Fantasyland: A Season on Baseball's Lunatic Fringe
Fantasyland: A Season on Baseball's Lunatic Fringe
by Sam Walker
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasyland, 23 April 2008
Now forgive me if I am terribly prejudiced but whenever I heard mention of any sport preceeded by the word 'fantasy' my mind would picture friendless geeks, socially awkward men (because it is almost always men), cardigans and nerds. What struck me as I began reading Fantasyland by Sam Walker was how accurate my thoughts would have been. As Walker begins his own adventure into the realm of 'rotisserie' baseball, he meets obsessive players, statistical monsters and a whole subculture of baseball obsessed supernerds.

But as he manages to get an invite to play in the 'Tout Wars' game, the creme de la creme of fantasy baseball players, he not only begins to understand their obsession, but joins them in the lunacy of managing his own fantasy team. In the run up to the pre-season draft, Walker hires two 'specialists' to assist him in preparing to build his team which he pays out of his own pocket and spends even more time and money visiting spring training camps in Florida and Arizona to get the inside word from players and managers alike.

On the surface, Fantasyland appears to be of very limited appeal, but you really shouldn't be fooled by first impressions. What Walker manages to create is a humorous, compelling and warm portrayal of fantasy baseball insiders. Hemanages to skillfully sit on both sides of the fence at the same time, finding humour in the obssessive behaviour of his fellow players while exhibiting exactly the same traits himself. What comes across most strongly is Walker's passion for the game of baseball itself and the strange cast of characters that float around its periphery. This is best shown in the often touching opening tales that head each chapter, short scraps of stories about other fantasy baseball players.

While no lover of statistics I found myself drawn into his story of draft choices and player trades, of sabermetrics and the conflict between the old and new views of assessing baseball talent. As a baseball fan I already understand most of what the book discusses, but this could perhaps be a problem for someone who has no basic grounding in the sport. I started reading this book after buying Moneyball by Michael Lewis and can heartily recommend picking the two of them up together as they compliment each other very well.

All in all, while Fantasyland may not be immediately accessible to some, it is well worth taking the chance on as you will enjoy a compelling, humourous and warm tale of 'a sportwriters season on the lunatic fringe of baseball'.


Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
by Michael Lewis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.34

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Major League Analysis, 4 April 2008
Moneyball, by Michael Lewis, takes as its central focus the exploits of the Oakland A's and their svengali general manager Billy Beane. Ignoring conventional baseball wisdom, he and Paul DePodesta have developed a whole new strategy, using the groundbreaking work of the likes of Bill James, for competing in the big leagues on a fraction of the budget of teams like the New York Yankees.

In essence this very readable book can be divided into two distinct styles, the personal and the scientific. When Lewis addresses the history and use of baseball theory, that is to say statistical analysis in the judging of players and games, he creates a sense of an almost academic approach to a national passtime. While this could be utterly confusing to a non baseball fan, to anyone with an interest in the game his discussions come as something of a revelation and can only serve as a starting point to further reading.

But where this book really comes into its own is in the personal stories and psychology of Billy Beane and his team. While it is made abundantly clear that Beane is no ordinary GM, the insight this book provides into the workings of a front office and its relationship with both the playing staff and management is utterly compelling.

All in all, for a baseball fan this is an absolute must read and for everyone else, you are guaranteed to find something of interest.


Hundred-Dollar Baby (Large Print Press)
Hundred-Dollar Baby (Large Print Press)
by Robert B. Parker
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Return to Cerebral Spenser, 7 Dec. 2007
What you get from Robert B Parker, and his hero private eye Spenser, is almost unique in modern crime fiction. While so many others offer noir pastiche or pulp fiction played for laughs, Parker unashamedly walks the same rain soiled streets that Hammett and Chandler did before him, without apologies.
Hundred Dollar Baby marks Parker's 34th Spenser novel and for his regular readers, of which I am proud to call myself one, the characters are all too well known. Unlike most detectives Spenser holds not one but two sidekicks, each serving a valuable purpose in highlighting the juxtaposition of his own character. Firstly there is Hawk, the embodiment of Spenser's macho side, reliable, imposing and most of all moral and then there is Susan Silverman, Spenser's long time partner in love and personal psychoanalyst. While Hawk allows Spenser to tread familiar private eye territory, Susan provides an outlet for Spenser's intellectual and thoughtful side, providing Parker an opportunity to philosophise in a way seldom seen in the pulp detective novel.
For this case Parker resurrects a number of characters from earlier novels. April Kyle (Ceremony & Taming A Sea Horse) walks back into Spenser's life. Despite appearing, at least on the surface, to have turned her life around, she again needs Spenser's help. But in this tale of deceit and exploitation, April turns out to be just another one of many willing to lie to Spenser to conceal the truth of what quickly becomes one of Parker's most shocking novels.
In a return to classic Spenser, the usual suspects appear more as cameos as our favourite gumshoe finds his detecting skills tested to the max. The gun is relegated to the desk drawer as this adventure finds a more cerebral Spenser than we have seen recently.


Dream Girl
Dream Girl
by Robert B. Parker
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Return to the Cerebral Spenser, 7 Dec. 2007
This review is from: Dream Girl (Paperback)
What you get from Robert B Parker, and his hero private eye Spenser, is almost unique in modern crime fiction. While so many others offer noir pastiche or pulp fiction played for laughs, Parker unashamedly walks the same rain soiled streets that Hammett and Chandler did before him, without apologies.
Hundred Dollar Baby marks Parker's 34th Spenser novel and for his regular readers, of which I am proud to call myself one, the characters are all too well known. Unlike most detectives Spenser holds not one but two sidekicks, each serving a valuable purpose in highlighting the juxtaposition of his own character. Firstly there is Hawk, the embodiment of Spenser's macho side, reliable, imposing and most of all moral and then there is Susan Silverman, Spenser's long time partner in love and personal psychoanalyst. While Hawk allows Spenser to tread familiar private eye territory, Susan provides an outlet for Spenser's intellectual and thoughtful side, providing Parker an opportunity to philosophise in a way seldom seen in the pulp detective novel.
For this case Parker resurrects a number of characters from earlier novels. April Kyle (Ceremony & Taming A Sea Horse) walks back into Spenser's life. Despite appearing, at least on the surface, to have turned her life around, she again needs Spenser's help. But in this tale of deceit and exploitation, April turns out to be just another one of many willing to lie to Spenser to conceal the truth of what quickly becomes one of Parker's most shocking novels.
In a return to classic Spenser, the usual suspects appear more as cameos as our favourite gumshoe finds his detecting skills tested to the max. The gun is relegated to the desk drawer as this adventure finds a more cerebral Spenser than we have seen recently.


The Sheffield Hanged: 1750-1864
The Sheffield Hanged: 1750-1864
by Mr. David Bentley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A local book with a wide reach, 1 Sept. 2007
While this book is certainly a 'local' book (published, written in, about and by A Sheffielder) its interest certainly lays beyond the searchers of the local history shelves.
While its focus is on Sheffield crime, the collected tales of misery, despair and sheer desperation ring true for anywhere in that era and suggest that maybe things haven't changed all that much after all.
The book also offers a fascinating insight into the procedure of law in the 18th and 19th Century and contains a wealth of little facts that are both intriguing and a tad macabre.


Wrong-Eyed Jesus [Mysterious Tale Of How I Shouted]
Wrong-Eyed Jesus [Mysterious Tale Of How I Shouted]

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Southern Gothic Heart, 17 April 2006
After a lot of years searching for the perfect sound, the one that captured in every facet my own very personalised image of America, I came across Jim White's debut album, 'Wrong Eyed Jesus' and I knew that I had found it. The album resonates with more than just the sound of the south but with echoes of its soul as well. Tales of love and lost love, abandonment, searching and redemption flow seamlessly through each track, the lyrics dripping with a home spun religious revivalism that wouldn't fail to grip a die hard atheist. That Jim White knows of what he speaks you never doubt, an act of faith at one with the tales of the same contained within.

The album fits perfectly into the 'Southern Gothic' niche, although is far more tuneful and melodic than most in that area. From the opening track Jim White reveals a delicacy of touch that makes the album a pleasure to listen to, and draws out the macabre darkness inherent in his lyrics to full effect because of this. While parallels can be drawn to writers like Harry Crews and artists like Tom Waits, White presents a far more palatable approach to tales of woe, softening the savage in favour of well drawn metaphors.

Despite its primary interest in the darker side of life, 'Wrong Eyed Jesus' mixes both pessimism and optimism in equal measure, 'Heaven of My Heart' and 'Angel-Land' never failing to raise a smile. All in all Jim White's debut offering is an album of slowly revealing mysterys, that captures the imagination as well as the soul, and takes the listener on a journey through 11 carefully crafted landscapes to a landscape all too familiar in its strangeness.


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