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Tim62 "history buff" (London, UK)
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Highwayman: Ironside
Highwayman: Ironside
Price: £1.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Dashing highwayman romp in Cromwell's England, 13 Jan. 2016
A highwayman romp - it is well enough written - and I like the attention to historicval details and the rule of the Major Generals in the 1650s, but to be honest not much happened. It felt like the prologue to the real action. It reminded me of that 1950s swashbuckler, The Moonraker, with George Baker, Sylvia Syms and John Le Mesurier. There are fights - but nobody gets shot or hurt. I wasn't really sure where the author was going with this and I got the feeling that he wasn't sure either.


Warrior in Bronze (Agamemnon Book 1)
Warrior in Bronze (Agamemnon Book 1)
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great evocation of the Iliad's antihero, 26 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Years ago I read his Imperial Governor and had thought it one of the best fictional views of Roman Britain I'd read, so I was glad this is now in ebook form - and I wasn't disappointed.

I love his hard-edged approach.
Shipway always took the view that his characters needed to be true to their era, rather than follow our own views and mores. But having an anti-hero as your main protagonist can be a tricky job. You need to make sure your audience understand that you as the novelist are distancing the novel from the views of your anti-hero (you don't want your audience mistake his Bronze Age views for your own.....) On which note I see the publisher has put an LGBT warning at the front of the book. I understand why but I don't think it is strictly necessary, as I feel that people who read this are going to be able to work these things out for themselves.

To the novel. I loved it. Think of a Bronze Age Flashman - but more cynical and ruthless. And let's face it, when it comes to the Trojan War, what more anti-heroic character could you ask for than Agamemnon.

Shipway deploys considerable scholarship and it's clear he is familiar with the results of Carl Blegen's excavations at Troy (which had been published as Troy and the Trojans in 1963), as well as the wider archaeology of Mycenaean Greece itself.

Of course, once you've read this, you afre going to want to read the sequel! King in Splendour (Agamemnon Book 2)


Did Six Million Really Die?: The Truth At Last
Did Six Million Really Die?: The Truth At Last
Price: £2.00

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Did six million really die? YES, 12 May 2015
And all the Roma, homosexuals, communists, handicapped and anybody else the Nazi regime marked down for death.
This kind of book is not a history book in the sense most of us understand it. It is just a sad attempt to spin anti-semitic nonsense that is always roundly defeated every time it slouches blinking into the sunlight of historical debate.

Don't waste any time with this.


Brothers in Blood (Eagles of the Empire 13) (Roman Legion 13)
Brothers in Blood (Eagles of the Empire 13) (Roman Legion 13)
by Simon Scarrow
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better now our duo are back in Britannia, 16 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have read most of this long-running series, and its strengths and weaknesses are as they were at the beginning.

The fight scenes are well done and the characterisations are too often two-dimensional. But generally the plotting works. The other positive for this - and The Blood Crows which proceeds it - is that Scarrow has brought the series back to Britain.

For me, his vision of early Roman Britain has aleays been the main draw.

Our heroes are in Wales - okay nobody's calling it that just yet,but you know what I mean - and are having to battle both Caractacus and a spy within the Roman army. Yes Scarrow dos this almost all the time, but the Roman world was riven by deadly rivalries the closer one got to the imperial throne.

You do get the sense of the problems of a conventional army trying to come to grips with a foe that is determined to fight in unconventional ways - and the frustrations of trying to force a battle with irregular forces. If you wanted you could see similarities between Britannia in the 40ADs and 21st Century Afghanistan, but these are only generalities.

Here too we meet Otho, another character who will feature in AD69, the Year of the Four Emperors - having already met Vespasian and Vitellius. I missed a couple of books so not sure if Galba's yet shown up.

I know others here have found the book lacking, but I enjoyed it. The last novel's excessive use of the C-word - almost always a sign of poor writing - has been abandoned and Brothers in Blood is all the better for it.

I did quite like The Blood Crows, but I think Brothers in Blood is a better book.


In Search Of The Dark Ages [DVD]
In Search Of The Dark Ages [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael Wood
Price: £16.32

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Often copied but never bettered!, 6 Jan. 2015
Having watched these when they came out, my life was transformed. I had always enjoyed history but early medieval history not so much.
Michael Wood's series blasted away the existing ideas of how TV history should be presented, and these episodes have been much copied and imitated, but I don't think anybody can match his sheer passion and enthusiasm for Anglo-Saxon history - which is is of course his home turf.

I have many favourite moments from this - but I think the best would the episode on Athelstan. It is Michael's own Dark Age 'Apocalypse Now' scene in the helicopter with the shades and that sheepskin jacket. Not so much, 'Charlie don't surf', more like 'Mercians and Northumbrians don't surf'!

The big question has always been why this landmark series has taken so long to reach DVD.

I think one of the reasons may well be because of the poor technical quality of a couple of the master tapes in the BBC Archives. The expense of cleaning these up may well be what stopped this series being released. It will be interesting to see what the BBC has done in this respect. It would be lovely to see the tapes digitally re-mastered. However that didn't happen with In Search of the Trojan War - and the audio there can be a bit creaky. I suspect the BBC may be tempted to have gone for the cheapest option which is to stick a warning notice on the collection stating that due to age etc etc - some of the material is of variable quality. But I am really glad they are being released!


The Falsification of History: Our Distorted Reality
The Falsification of History: Our Distorted Reality
Price: £4.31

5 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Barking mad nonsense, 16 Dec. 2014
Barking mad nonsense - but funny - though I doubt that was the author's intention. Illuminati etc etc David Icke etc. Sorry it is impossible to take this kind of self-published rubbish seriously.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 6, 2015 3:21 PM GMT


The Blood Crows (Eagles of the Empire 12): Cato & Macro: Book 12 (The Eagle Series)
The Blood Crows (Eagles of the Empire 12): Cato & Macro: Book 12 (The Eagle Series)
Price: £3.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Good - but could have been even better, 3 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It is a book that starts well, Scarrow has always been good at atmospheric settings and the opening scene of this book is one of his best. I really liked the Blood Crows - bloodthirsty torturers though they were. Scarrow himself has said he was inspired by Apocalypse Now, and the leader of this unit is his nod to Colonel Kurtz - but sadly only up to a point.

Scarrow fatally undercuts his character here by revealing towards the end that the Blood Crows original leader's brutality is riven by an underlying terror.

It simply doesn't work, and it is sad because with a little more understanding of the likely psychological make-up of his own villain here, the book could have been better in its second-half.

That said the action scenes are well done - and I really like the fact that this series has come back to Britannia. For me that was always the fascination with the books in the first place. I think Scarrow has brilliantly conjured up how the first few years of Roman Britain might have been.

However, you know that Scarrow is writing modern Boys' Own stories - so commanding officers are cardboard caricatures who sneer or scoff at our two heroes, Macro and Cato, and it does get a bit wearing.

I do have an issue with the swearing at times in the book. Yes I know we all do it, and they did too. But excessive use of the C-word is simply dull. It betrays a lack of imagination on the writers' part. If you read the text without the word, you can see that it doesn't really add or intensify any of the action - that needs to come from the writing. You can't improve it by merely adding in ****.

So overall three stars. It is good and I am really glad the duo are back in Britain, but it could have been better, and he still needs to work on making his minor characters more consistent.

Ave atque vale, Tim


The Synagogue Of Satan - Updated, Expanded, And Uncensored
The Synagogue Of Satan - Updated, Expanded, And Uncensored
Price: £5.99

7 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible, 2 Dec. 2014
Badly written anti-Semitic rubbish, unless you want to waste your money, don't bother with this tawdry tissue of lies, half-truths and fabrications.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 10, 2016 12:00 PM GMT


Archduke Franz Ferdinand Lives!: A World without World War I
Archduke Franz Ferdinand Lives!: A World without World War I
by Richard Ned Lebow
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.58

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like counter-factual history, I really recommend it., 27 Nov. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
An excellent counter-factual consideration of what might have happened if assasin Gavrilo Princip had failed to shoot Archduke Franz Ferdinand dead that day in Sarajevo in June 1914.

What stands out for me in Lebow's work, is that he really tries to answer the question of whether or not the 20th Century could have been better - or worse - if the Archduke had lived.

He does fictionalise the subsequent alternate timelines, but this is not really a work of alternative historical fiction. Instead this book stands alongside Niall Ferguson's collection of counter-factual essays of a few of years ago - Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals

He resets the clock at 1914 and runs forward twice - once with a set of worst-case assumptions and again with a case of best-case assumptions.Naturally the years immediately after the point of departure are the easiest to argue over - by the time we get to the 1960s you have to accept that you can really only discuss things in terms of a broad outline one way or the other.

His conclusion is that given the range of best or worst 20th Centuries that Europe could have faced in that early summer of 1914 - the actual historical outcome was pretty near the worst.

Obviously this is impossible to prove either way - but he shows quite plausibly, the range of possibilities that could have opened up (for good or ill) had things happened otherwise.

If you like counter-factual history, I heartily recommend it.


Pharmavits 600mg Extreme Raspberry Ketones Vitamin Supplements - Pack of 60 Capsules
Pharmavits 600mg Extreme Raspberry Ketones Vitamin Supplements - Pack of 60 Capsules

3.0 out of 5 stars They were okay, but I won't be buying any ..., 27 Nov. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
They were okay, but I won't be buying any more, as I am not convinced they were making much difference


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