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T. Morton "Beatcroft" (Scotland)

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Suicide Mission
Suicide Mission
Price: £7.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Precious insight into Shetland Bus during WW2, 30 May 2014
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This review is from: Suicide Mission (Amazon Video)
This film is based on David Howarth's book The Shetland Bus and probably Frithjoef Saelen's Shetlands-Larsen (None But the Brave in English). It's dubbed partly from Norwegian as nearly all the Norwegian parts are played by the actual sailors who took part in the Shetland Bus missions.

So there's no acting, really, but it's amazing to see Leif Larsen's vast and broken nose in such uncompromising close-up, and know that this is the very man who became the most decorated Allied naval officer of WW2. The stories are accurate, but it's the footage shot at sea of real Norwegian fishing boats crunching through vast waves, and some very accurate onboard battle scenes, that fair take the breath away. The stiff-upper-lip brits and anti-German sentiments may jar, but it's great to see Lunna, Lerwick and the Norwegian coast, and (my favourite bit in some ways) an MTB in full, ferocious flight.

Brilliant Bread
Brilliant Bread
by James Morton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.00

95 of 107 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kneads to be bought!, 1 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Brilliant Bread (Hardcover)
As someone whose bread machine has been roundly condemned in the most personal terms by Mr Morton, I might be expected to react with hostility to his insistence on actually touching things like flour in order to produce edible loaves. Also, I've had to clear up the mess he's left in our kitchen on many an occasion. This is an opportunity for vengeance!

However, I will admit to having been convinced by this book (which I bought with my own money) to mix, knead and bake my own bread. Successfully. These recipes work. I have eaten a great many of Mr Morton's loaves, in fact, and can vouch for their tastiness, texture and indeed total brilliance.

And another thing: this is a really well-written book, in proper, intelligent, well-proven, carefully fired prose, solely by Mr Morton. Indeed, it's the best-written cookery book you will find outside of Manuel Vazquez Montalban's Recetas Inmorales (Immoral Recipes). And that's in Spanish.

So, in conclusion. Mr Morton is much more than a TV show contestant with a book out. This may be the only volume on bread you'll ever knead (sorry), and it's a pleasure to both use and read. I unreservedly recommend it. I have binned the bread machine.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 11, 2014 11:52 AM BST

The Buenos Aires Quintet (Five Star Paperback)
The Buenos Aires Quintet (Five Star Paperback)
by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once you're in his Argentina, the madness makes sense, 27 Oct. 2012
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AT first, this all seems crazed, over-egged, ridiculous, sprawling compared to the Barcelona books. Then you realise what's going on: the extended riffs on Borges and magical realism, the descent into the madness of a political system gone haywire, the parodies, the monstrous characters, the totally bonkers food - all that meat!

And, at the extraordinary finale - a meal, inevitably - all the corruption and horror of the Dirty War is served up, piled up in extraordinarily disturbing and yet very funny detail.

The whole thing is hung on a private detective's search for a missing man who isn't really missing. That is both an irrelevance and a central motif.

There's nothing else in literature like this. Just amazing. And very strange.

Nick Drake: The Pink Moon Files
Nick Drake: The Pink Moon Files
by Jason Creed
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.91

8 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I knew Nick Drake in 1967. This was his kind of book..., 21 Mar. 2011
...intelligent, eclectic and enlightening. Jason knows and loves his subject, and it shows. All praise and respect. Shine on, mate.
(from Colin Betts, quoted in The Pink Moon Files and author of Frozenlight/Shininglight, his memoir and play about the 1960s and time spent travelling with Nick. It's available as a Kindle ebook)Frozenlight/Shininglight
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 19, 2012 7:28 PM BST

Autan Insect Repellent Protection Plus Multi Bug Barrier Pump Spray - 100ml
Autan Insect Repellent Protection Plus Multi Bug Barrier Pump Spray - 100ml

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Safer sticking your head into a rotary lawnmower., 19 Dec. 2010
Seduced by the TV adverts, I bought one. Had to get my wife and daughter to try and salvage something (between bouts of hysteria) half-presentable from the appalling results. Like holding a rotary lawnmower to your head. Only, much, much worse. Scarring resulted as well. An evil piece of rubbish. avoid at all costs. I have been advised to go for the professional Wahl range if serious about this kind of self harm.

Price: £2.23

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it so much I published it, 7 Dec. 2010
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I'll be conmpletely honest - I'm responsible for this book being here. Colin sent one of the Lulu print-on-demand editions of Frozenlight to me, and I thought it would be tedious and self indulgent, self-published nonsense. But it's not. It's absolutely brilliant.

Frozenlight is THE 1960s memoir. It has everything. Running away with the Rolling Stones aged 14. Treatment in mental hospital, incarceration in a borstal. Drug dealing in Morocco, busking with the legendary Nick Drake in France and Spain. There's the Paris riots of 1968, more drug running in California, a brush with the Manson family, some weird spirituality, some serious jail time.

It's funny, though. Self-aware, deep, detailed and racy.

Turned out Colin - whose colourful life has included teaching in war zones throughout the world, a year with an Afghan opium warlord, more jail terms, a phD, years of lecturing and a bursh with rock'n'roll fame himself - lives alone these days, in a very remote part of the Scottish borders. He writes by candlelight, listens to the radio, has no mains electricity, no phone. We corresponded, and I suggested republishing Frozenlight.

Next thing, Colin had written Shininglight, a kind of sequel. Except it's not. It's a play, for a start. A radio playscript. And it expands on Colin's travels with Nick Drake. Busking in Aix en Provence, the time Nick and his pals pretended to be The Rolling Stones. In Morocco. And as a result were arrested. It also gives an insight into the legendary, doomed singer's life that has never previously been revealed.

Here's Nick Drake's producer Joe Boyd on Frozenlight:
`a vivid account of the 60s' underground; a compelling tale of a life among the people who really made the era what it was - those who bought the great records, took the great dope and lived the life everyone was singing and writing about. I enjoyed it immensely.'

That's Joe Boyd, producer of Pink Floyd, Fairport Convention, The Incredible String Band, Clapton, Nick Drake. Author of the 1960s memoir White Bicycles.

So yeah, Frozenlight/Shininglight. I recommend it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 22, 2012 6:37 PM BST

The Ossians
The Ossians
by Doug Johnstone
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than a Tutti Frutti for indie kids, a deceptively powerful look at alcohol, Scotland and seagulls, 4 April 2008
This review is from: The Ossians (Paperback)
Never in the field of Scottish literature has so much drinking been combined with so much consumption of herbal and chemical substances. Never has the post-smoking ban Market Bar (Inverness) been described so well. Never has the debilitating awfulness of low-echelon Scottish touring been nailed so precisely. Never have so many seagulls died so needlessly.

But really, it's a book about Scotland and being Scottish, brilliantly taking off (literally, at Corrour Station) from that seminal Trainspotting 'it's sh*te to be Scottish' moment, and correctly identifying booze as the ultimate creative/destructive drug.

But are The Ossians the Scottish Fleetwood Mac? Discuss...

Romanno Bridge
Romanno Bridge
by Andrew Greig
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.99

8 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb meditation on Scottishness disguised as a thriller, 2 April 2008
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This review is from: Romanno Bridge (Hardcover)
Whit, almost half price on Amazon for the first edition hardback? Don't waste time waiting for the paperback, then. Would have been five stars except that infuriating Greig trope - the use of the word 'youth' as an affectionate accusative - pops up once. Really good, worth getting The Return of John MacNab and reading it first, but not essential.

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