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Tim62 "history buff" (London, UK)

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In Search of England
In Search of England
by H. V. Morton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.69

3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, unpleasant author, 19 Sep 2014
This review is from: In Search of England (Paperback)
Morton may have been a lyrical writer, but he made up much of what he wrote (not in itself a crime with travel writers). But unlike the lone genial traveller he portrays himself to be, his own private papers and diaries show him to be a womanizer and fascist sympathizer - see his recent biography In Search of H. V. Morton by Michael Bartholomew

The book is well-written, but it describes an England that never was.

The Veiled Assassin, A Novel of the Late Roman Empire (Embers of Empire Book 1)
The Veiled Assassin, A Novel of the Late Roman Empire (Embers of Empire Book 1)
Price: £0.77

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I admire the writer for choosing a period that's not ..., 3 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I admire the writer for choosing a period that's not often covered in fiction, but I couldn't take the modern language in which it was written - I doubt the Romans ever 'duded up'. It may not be a deciding factor for other readers, but it was for me. Sorry.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 3, 2014 8:01 PM BST

Waterloo [DVD] [1970]
Waterloo [DVD] [1970]
Dvd ~ Rod Steiger
Offered by hunting_for_a_bargain
Price: £24.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Great if flawed film, 6 Feb 2014
This review is from: Waterloo [DVD] [1970] (DVD)
A gret if flawed film with too many jump cuts, but sadly the myths about a much longer version are just that - myths. I reproducxe here what IMDB has on the differing versions,

"According to an article written by the film's editor and associate producer Richard C. Meyer, the longest version is the 132 minute version. This has been confirmed by Vladimir Dorsal, the film's First Assistant and later the head of Mosfilm in Moscow. He says that they only have the 132m version in their vaults and no longer 4 hours version ever existed.

"The myth may derive from an earlier part of Meyer's article when he states that the rough cut was 4 hours long - not unusual for a film of this scope and scale. But after much discussion the present length was agreed on. He also says he stupidly didn't make a dupe of this rough cut, a usual process in post production. So this 'cut' will never see the light of day. It is clear from the cast list that many characters were cut. The film was planned as a Road Show release but by 1970 the practice had lost favour with the studios."

In other words, what we've got is all there is. Which is a great shame. Bondarchuk also directed War and Peace - which WAS 6.5 hours long and often mis-remember this as being a longer version of Waterloo.

I saw it when it came out and it wasn't any longer/shorter than it is now. I would love to be proved wrong on this, as I'd buy a longer version quicker than you can say 'la Garde recule'.

Price: £3.30

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice read - and very much of its time, 20 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Chieftains (Kindle Edition)
Written in 1982 as a speculation on a future war in central Europe as Soviet forces push across the Inner German Border to grapple with Nato troops, this now reads as alternative history - a history which very thankfully never happened.
It si delibersterly written from the tankers' point of view - centred mainly around a BAOR armoured regiment - and reads mainly as a grimmer supplement to General Sir John Hackett's The Third World War, which had come out a few years' earlier.

If you are interested in how many Brits, in the late-70s/early 80s, viewed the chanced of a Soviet invasion in the near-future, then this is one you should probably read.

The late 70s/early 80s was a sign of increased military tension in Europe, with the USSR deploying new classes of mobile intermediate range ballistic missies into the western military departments of the USSR and other Warsaw Pact territories - we had the impending development of ht eneutron bomb, and the planned US/Nato response of cruise missiesl being forward deployed in UK bases (Greenham Common et al).

Lots of books like this (such as The Final Decade - Will we survive the 1980s? by the then-BBC's defence correspondent Christopher Lee) or TV and radio programmes (like LBC's superb six-parter The Next War by Gwynne Dyer) tried to examine what actually would happen if Europe's Cold War turned hot. The optimists hoped it could all happen without recourse to nuclear weapons - the pessimists were gloomier....

The characters are what you would expect in a novel lke this - they don't break any new literary ground, but the grim reality of tank warfare in the 1980s comes through. Worth a look, I feel.

Sylvia's Lovers (Oxford World's Classics)
Sylvia's Lovers (Oxford World's Classics)
by Elizabeth Gaskell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.69

4.0 out of 5 stars Simply wonderful, 20 Dec 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I love Oxford World's Classics - well what's not to love? a passion for world literature, well-edited and produced with erudite introductions. I have only taken off one star because these days I could do with larger typeface - probably why i read most literature on e-book format these days where I can adjust the font size.

I'd not read Sylvia's Lovers before, indeed I approached Haskell through North and South - and her critiques of Victorian England - and her espousal of unitarianism.

I enjoyed the book, though I can see why it is less-well known than her other writing, I did find it a tad melodramatic at times, but probably not more or less so than much mid-19th Century literature.

Roman Empire: Power and People
Roman Empire: Power and People
by Dirk Booms
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.56

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good primer, 20 Dec 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This slim volume is actually the catologue to an exhibition on the Roman Empire. SO since it's covering the enire empire, don't expect it to break new ground. What it does, it does well - it is well illustrated and intelligently written and covers the major themes you would expect when looking at both imperial Roman politics and society.

But it is very short. I can see it being of use as a secondary school text, or basic introduction for somebody who knew nothing of Rome and wanted a short book which covered the essentials. Beyond that, you're not going to find too much that's new here.

The King's Hounds (The King's Hounds series)
The King's Hounds (The King's Hounds series)
Price: £3.99

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent murder mystery, 5 Nov 2013
Wasn't sure what to expect, but I am interested in the 10th-11th C and the changes in late-Saxon England, and I liked the story and the interaction between the two main characters. Definitely worth reading.

I know Kipling wrote that when once has paid Danegeld, it is hard to get rid of the Dane - but in this particular Dane's case, he's certainly earning his Danegeld! I hope that his English fans get to read more of his works in English.

Ultradex Recalcifying and Whitening Daily Oral Rinse
Ultradex Recalcifying and Whitening Daily Oral Rinse
Price: £6.38

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting taste - but quite impressed, 25 Oct 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I don't like mouthwashes with alcohol in them, so I was intrigued to try this - normally I use Oral B. It has a slightly odd clingy aftertaste - which I put down to its self-proclaimed recalcifying properties.

I would certainly buy this and use it along with my regular mouthwash

The Book of Common Prayer: The Texts of 1549, 1559, and 1662 (Oxford World's Classics)
The Book of Common Prayer: The Texts of 1549, 1559, and 1662 (Oxford World's Classics)
by Brian Cummings
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.69

5.0 out of 5 stars Part of England's heritage - and a gift to the world, 25 Oct 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
One doesn't have to be Christian or even particularly religious to be moved by the numinous power of the words of the Book of Common Prayer - but this is without doubt one of the most powerful religious texts ever written in the English language.

Oxford are to be congratulated on publishing this edition, which allows is to compare the complez stresses and religious changes which influenced the three texts contained herein - 1549, 1559 and 1662. We can follow the journey from its origins in Edward VIs reign to its final version under the restored Charles II in 1662.

What clearly emerges is the compromises between reformers and traditionalists at all stages of the complex sequence of events that we label as the Reformation - as if this were a single event - whereas even allowing for Mary's attempt to roll back the Protestent tide and restore a Catholic England - we can seen that Protestantism as such, was often a house divided against itself.

An excellent edition.

I Am Pilgrim
I Am Pilgrim
by Terry Hayes
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.00

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay but derivative and too long, 22 Oct 2013
This review is from: I Am Pilgrim (Hardcover)
Okay, America saves the world, again - hurrah....

I realise that this novel was written deliberately as the basis for a screen play for a movie which would primarily appeal to US teenagers, so I suppose it's my fault for reading it, but while it was enjoyable hokum there were numerous faults with it.

It is too long. A decent editor would have cut several hundred pages, and there are bits that are simply too ridiculous. The Nazi hideout complete with a sophisticated secret lift and intricately carved swastikas, in 1945-47? Give me a break.

For Pilgrim, all foreigners are suspect - and doubly so if they are lesbian foreigners.

Oh yes, and if Milas/Bodrum airport in Turkey is anywhere near the 'frontiers of Syria and Iraq' - as Pilgrim says at one point - then he's got a very poor sense of geography.

Having been to the that region of Turkey multiple times over the past 25 years, I did not recognize his Bodrum one bit.

I've given it three stars because when it was working, I was engaged enough to finish it, but John Le Carre it is not.

On a personal note, I feel that the writing is too 'American' for my British taste, sorry.

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