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J. Hofmann (London)
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O Sing unto the Lord: A History of English Church Music
O Sing unto the Lord: A History of English Church Music
by Andrew Gant
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.59

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lost in pub jokes, 18 Jan. 2016
This book is in the rather awkward position that it could be great, but comes across merely as decent, mainly because Andrew Gant has chosen to write some of the most irritating faux-matey prose I have seen in an otherwise scholarly book. At one point we actually have to read the sentence: "Byrd played a blinder...". You could probably blame Simon Schama for this tendency in modern history books, but essentially, the only way to read this book is to skip the pub bore jokes and get on with the rather more interesting topics of how to interpret church music over the centuries and its relevance to modern culture. The history of church music is a generally underserved area and I hope that future editions will have enough judicious editing to cut out the "Horrible Histories" schtick and make this the 'go to' reference book for lovers of the art form.


12N 7 Caravan Motorhome Trailer Towing Replacement Pin Electric Plug Socket
12N 7 Caravan Motorhome Trailer Towing Replacement Pin Electric Plug Socket
Offered by iShop247
Price: £8.05

1.0 out of 5 stars Lacks robustness and quality, 13 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A disappointing product. The internal contact points were difficult to attach to the wires (other models have small internal screws to hold the wires in place). There is a basic lack of robustness.


WOLF-Garten Waterproof Pond Care Glove Size Medium/ Large
WOLF-Garten Waterproof Pond Care Glove Size Medium/ Large

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 9 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Durable and arrived on time.


Outsider: Always Almost: Never Quite
Outsider: Always Almost: Never Quite
by Brian Sewell
Edition: Paperback

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost always never right, 25 Oct. 2012
I found Brian Swell's autobiography by turns engaging, funny and often inspired about capturing the essence of a vanished time and place in British history. His childhood memories of a dowdy bombed out London spent living precariously with his mother in the affordable rookeries of Kensington is some of the best personal memoir about the post-war period written in recent years. Growing up and discovering an ability to interpret the world is something we all can relate to, and this book captures that very vividly. Unfortunately, the later chapters dwell too long on arcane intrigues during his time at Christies auction house, rather reinforcing the truism that other peoples' working lives really are as dull as our own.

In short, some memorable stories (there really was a time when you could be thrown out of the Army for being buggered over the barrel of an antique cannon), some great art related analysis and some very campy and catty put-downs.


Dear Lupin...: Letters to a Wayward Son
Dear Lupin...: Letters to a Wayward Son
by Roger Mortimer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr Pooter reborn in Berkshire, 10 July 2012
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Roger Mortimer must have the very last of the type of Englishmen that had populated the golf clubs, race courses and drawing rooms of home counties England between the height of the Raj and the end of Empire. The letters to "Lupin" reveal a deeply affectionate, funny and patient man, somewhat constricted in his range of emotional expression by his upbringing, but capable of huge forebearance and humanity when it comes to his feckless son, Charlie.

The funny quotes are too numerous to list, but rest assured that reading this on public transport will attract looks of envy as you make your way to work visibily happier and slightly more optimistic about the human condition.


North Face of Soho: Unreliable Memoirs Volume IV: vol. 4
North Face of Soho: Unreliable Memoirs Volume IV: vol. 4
by Clive James
Edition: Hardcover

22 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Among the soho boozers, 4 Jan. 2007
There is much to admire in Clive James's writing: erudition, compact phrasing and a discursive style that can engage a reader's interest in often obscure topics. Unfortunately, the fourth instalment of memoirs takes all these elements and regurgitates them into accidental self-parody.

The problem that the author has is that the launching of his undeniably successful media career is likely to be of far less interest to his readers than it so obviously is to himself. The first three books derived their humour from the pitfalls of growing up in the suburbs and overcoming the gaucheness and pretensions of early adulthood, topics we can all relate to in some way.

The current book deals at inordinate length with the details of freelance contracts, negotiating a salary increase at the Observer and the rather inane accoutrements of the jobbing journalist - which doubtless induces a shiver of recognition in struggling freelancers but remains superfluous in terms of riveting biography. It is hard to see how we are supposed to interpret these vignettes apart from the fact that they are entirely self-congratulatory.

The same goes for the long passages about having lunch with Christopher Hitchens and Martin Amis. Despite the fact that Christopher Hitchens has had an awful lot of lunches with many people of interest, the buyers of this book are unlikely to be among them. The most revealingly comment on the "London Literary Society" lunch club, as Mr James dubs them, is that few, if any of them, have produced anything of note in years and Christopher Hitchens has become the cell block punk for the neo-conservatives in Washington.

There is enough in the book to sustain the read, but be prepared for the type of belaboured puns, metaphors and similies that bear all the hallmarks of a once-good writer in terminal decline. The recent Robert Hughes autobiography, an Australian contemporary and also part of the 1960's Kangeroo valley in London, shows a much better grasp of factual storytelling.


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