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Amazon Customer "gillmaryo" (Britain)

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Just One Damned Thing After Another (The Chronicles of St. Mary's Book 1)
Just One Damned Thing After Another (The Chronicles of St. Mary's Book 1)
Price: 0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Enormous fun!, 18 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Time-travel with a twist. It's very, very British (booze and tea are essential) and full of comedy, suspense, adventure, angst and occasional hot sex. Dinosaurs too.

The characters are believable and varied, the narrator is a delight and the settings are vivid (especially the sordidness of the pods!).

I'm moving straight on to the next book.


Blackout
Blackout
by Connie Willis
Edition: Paperback

25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I wanted to love this book, 6 Feb 2011
This review is from: Blackout (Paperback)
I really did want to love it - Connie Willis is a talented writer with a splendid imagination. However, the book(s) is/are full of howlers - Mary is told to get stretchers from Edgware and two inches down the page refers to the bandages she has to get. Has the publisher actually got an editor?

Worse, though, are all the little details - the Underground lines which didn't exist, the use of Americans terms ( a "candy butcher" on a train from Warwickshire to London in 1940?), the sloppy use of American language (June fourth) alternating with British terms, the characters referring to "V-1" bombs - how did they know they were the first when they didn't know there would be V-2s? That's right - they didn't.

It's depressing to see reviews quoted as praising her superb accuracy, because it just isn't there. I don't really understand why she sets books in England - why must time-travellers go from Oxford in 2060 rather than, say, Harvard? She would save herself - and poor British readers - so much trouble.

I like the characters. The concept is intriguing, and I don't object to the leisurely pace. But I find myself thrown out of the story so often it's uncomfortable to read. A fanfic author would get a friend to "Brit-pick" a story in which a British setting is important. I so wish Ms Willis had done the same.


Harriette Wilson's Memoirs: The Memoirs of the Reigning Courtesan of Regency London
Harriette Wilson's Memoirs: The Memoirs of the Reigning Courtesan of Regency London
by Harriette Wilson
Edition: Paperback

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amusing memoirs; dated introduction, 16 Nov 2009
Harriette Wilson is notoriously the woman of pleasure who blackmailed her former lovers - if they paid up they avoided detailed mention in her memoirs. The Duke of Wellington had no truck with this - his memorable response, "Publish and be damned!" is nowadays more famous than the book and woman who inspired it.

This edition was published and edited in the late fifties and it shows. The lengthy introduction reveals quite a moralistic attitude, with no consideration of the sort a modern feminist might give, of the world of women "of that kind" and the options available to them. It also takes for granted a rather more detailed knowledge of French courtesans like La Paiva and Edwardian demi-reps than is actually likely today.

Harriette's memoirs are lively and clearly utterly unreliable, but enormous fun for anyone who knows their way round the history and literature of the period or, for that matter, is a Georgette Heyer fan! My advice is to skip the introduction and dive straight into the world of this silly, outrageous "Tart with a heart" of two centuries ago, which, as another reviewer says, could almost be culled from the pages of a modern celebrity scandal magazine.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 1, 2012 12:36 PM BST


Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog [DVD]
Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog [DVD]
Dvd ~ Neil Patrick Harris

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why isn't this available yet?, 8 Jan 2009
This is sheer genius. Even if you have downloaded the musical from iTunes or watched it last summer on the Internet, you still need this DVD. It's worth importing from the US, but it would be so much better not to have to.

Joss Whedon (Buffy, Angel, Firefly) wrote this with family and friends during the writers' strike, filmed it just before embarking on Dollhouse and released it to enormous acclaim in the summer of 2008 - so popular it "broke the internet". The central character, Dr Horrible, desperately wants two things - Penny, the love of his life, and to be a super-villain. Alas - how can they be compatible?

The songs are fresh and stick in the head. The lyrics and script are as funny and engaging as you might expect from this master-writer. The DVD extras are awesome - where else would you get a whole new musical as a commentary? Applications to join the Evil League of Evil sent in from master criminal wannabes from all over the world? You know you need this!


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5)
by J. K. Rowling
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 11.89

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Potter triumphs again!, 28 Jun 2003
Even thicker than the Goblet of Fire, but also more satisfying. This is a real page-turner, shrewdly tailored to a number of different audiences. Older teens will recognise themselves in Harry's confusion and rage. Younger readers will enjoy the old friends and familiar scenes. Serving teachers will love the evil OFSTED inspector, and her discomfiture. Everyone will enjoy the rattling pace of the storytelling and the humour and excitement. Yes, we all knew there was going to be a death in this book - but Rowling torments us by setting up most of her characters in life-threatening situations at one point or another - and it keeps you on the edge of your seat. In this first week since publication I have seen a very large number of bleary-eyed pupils at the school where I teach - and with good reason. Roll on Book Six!


The Chrestomanci Series (5) - Mixed Magics
The Chrestomanci Series (5) - Mixed Magics
by Diana Wynne Jones
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most enjoyable while waiting for DWJ's next proper novel!, 3 May 2000
As a long-term DWJ fan I was delighted to see a new Chrestomanci book, but a little sorry that it is a collection of short stories, two of which I already own. Even so, "Stealer of Souls" is worth the money in itself. Two characters from existing Chrestomanci books, Cat and Tonino fight an evil wizard who wants to become a ten-souled magician, thus making himself even more powerful than Chrestomanci himself. Typically, DWJ doesn't assume they would be friends on sight and, indeed, makes the tension Cat feels an essential part of the plot, and of the moral message. Subtly handled work, funny and exciting by turns. The other stories are also most enjoyable. Not quite vintage Wynne Jones, perhaps, but it goes some way to assuage the thirst for more on Chrestomanci - and it's great to see so many more of her books reissued at the same time. Harry Potter, watch out!


Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Book 1)
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Book 1)
by J. K. Rowling
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book for any age., 10 Dec 1999
I teach English and have found that this book has had a galvanising effect on the reading habits of my pupils - especially the boys! It is cool to have read this and the other books in the series. It is cool to discuss them with animation and enthusiasm. It is cool to write or talk about them in lessons. Thank you, JKR, for giving my pupils a direct line to the joys of reading!


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