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D. Pearce "djarmhp" (rainham, kent)
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Itch
Itch
by Simon Mayo
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good debut overall, 2 Mar 2012
This review is from: Itch (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I feel a little conflicted reviewing this book, because I'm a big fan of Simon Mayo and have been for years. However, I wonder if this book would have been published on anything other than Kindle if it didn't have his name attached. That's not to say that this is a bad book, far from it. The central character is refreshingly different, if a little self consciously so on occasions, and the plot with its McGuffin of Element 126 is satisfying.

The main problem is that the editor seems to have been afraid to wield his red pen and cut down on the extraneous detail which can really slow the book down at times. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the first five chapters that could easily have been halved in length. If I had picked this up in a bookshop I would probably have dismissed this as a vanity project, but that would have been a shame. Once the first 80 or so pages are out of the way the plot moves along at pace, although Itch himself never seems to rise above the level of merely interesting. The last 80 pages are as exciting as the first 80 pages are dull, and on balance that is a far better state of affairs than the reverse. It is an assured debut, but Simon needs to be a lot stricter on his word count when he pens the inevitable sequel.


Doctor Who: Blackout (Dr Who)
Doctor Who: Blackout (Dr Who)
by Oli Smith
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £8.44

3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, but not special, 23 Feb 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Blackout is a good enough story read by a decent enough reader. It works as well as you would expect within the limitations of a story where the original actors are not present. However hard the narrator tries to channel the personality of the Doctor or Amy, it's just second best. If you are looking for a mildly diverting hour to pass the time on the motorway this is more than adequate, but if you are looking for a decent addition to the Whoniverse then look elsewhere.


The Report
The Report
by Jessica Kane
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.14

3.0 out of 5 stars An inconsistent book, 16 Feb 2012
This review is from: The Report (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I really wanted to like this book in its entirety. The tragedy it took its subject matter from is one that brings out some of the government mistakes that the war effectively covered up. When the book was concentrating on the event itself it was brilliant. However, the conceit of adding on a modern investigation did not work for me at all. Like Birdsong the modern investigation is meant to give context, but it largely fails through being totally unengaging. I really hope that next time the author has the good sense to focus on an interesting historical event without feeling the need to add on an unnecessary modern element.


Altec Lansing inMotion Classic III Portable Dock for iPods/iPhones - Black/Silver
Altec Lansing inMotion Classic III Portable Dock for iPods/iPhones - Black/Silver
Offered by Desire IT
Price: £39.99

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic piece of kit!, 14 Feb 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
When I got this from the Amazon Vine programme I looked at the price and thought there was no way I'd pay full price for the dock! I'd not come across Altec before, and having had problems with electronics from unfamiliar brands before I set my expectations quite low.

The truth is that even if I had set my expectations as high as I could this dock would have surpassed them even at the price. It is quite simply the best dock I have ever heard. The way it picks up every single element of the sound from the lowest Bass note up is unbelievably good. Whatever you play on this from Metal to Classical, and all points in between on the musical spectrum, will be crystal clear and reproduced in a way that makes the humblest MP3 or iPod sound like the best midi system. Another advantage is that through the connection at the back you can plug in any MP3, not just an iPod.

The most minor of moans that I have is that the remote is a little hit and miss when it comes to raising and lowering the volume, but once you get used to that its not really a problem.

Would I have paid full price for this? On reflection, absolutely and I can give no higher praise than that.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 5, 2013 12:32 PM BST


Vampire Horror!
Vampire Horror!
by Various Authors
Edition: Audio CD

4.0 out of 5 stars Great stories for a dark night, 8 Feb 2012
This review is from: Vampire Horror! (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As with any audiobook the main determining factor as to whether you will enjoy it or not is the choice of the reader. Only being familiar with the superb Anthony Head I was pleasantly surprised with the other readers. All four were clear and their pace and tone suited the stories perfectly. The choice of stories was excellent with two familiar M.R. James stories together with two less well known tales. There was only one thing that stopped this from being a five star collection, and that was the frankly bizarre decision to split Anthony Head's story between Discs 1 and 2 with barely ten minutes left in the story! Surely the logical thing would have been to have four discs! This moan aside, which may not bother anyone listening on an iPod, this is highly recommended for the long winter nights.


The Silence [DVD]
The Silence [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ulrich Thomsen
Price: £5.86

31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic film but not for the easily shocked, 5 Feb 2012
This review is from: The Silence [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Silence takes a lot of time to get going. That is the first thing to say, because you could quite easily give up on it in the first 15 minutes. It is a little bit like 'Prime Suspect' in that the effect of crime is more significant than the whodunnit or the motivation behind it. Why are the first 15 minutes such hard going? Well, it takes a brave film to start with two men driving around looking for a young girl to rape. It is brave because it challenges the viewer to want to know why they did it and how or if they are going to be punished. When the same chain of events repeats itself 23 years later the film is set up as an apparently simple whodunnit. Clearly the two murders are connected, but it isn't clear how.
What transpires is a modern morality play that deals with the effects of these two crimes on the police, the victims' families, the perpetrators and their families. Even if justice isn't effectively done in the eyes of the law, can it be visited upon people in another way? This is the question the film asks and there are no easy answers.
The camerawork is superb, the direction never misses a beat as it draws you in and the performances are uniformly good and unsettling. You may not rewatch this film very often, but it is well worth tracking it down and if you do it will draw you in. The only slight moan would be the subtitles, which are occasionally hard to read but even that doesn't detract from a gripping but deeply unsettling film.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 15, 2012 11:27 AM BST


The Look
The Look
by Sophia Bennett
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.24

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A super book about a supermodel!, 31 Jan 2012
This review is from: The Look (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Having read all three of the Threads series to my daughters who hung on every word, I was wondering how Sophia Bennett was going to follow the success of that trilogy. The answer is that those three were just the warm up act for the main event. Great though they were, they cannot compare to the brilliance of The Look! Within the first half page we already find out what Ted and Ava are like by the simple expedient of two dictionary definitions. Within a chapter they are real people whose back story we instinctively know. For those of us who try to reproduce this alchemy with far more limited resources of talent it is at once awe inspiring and totally frustrating!
The basic story of The Look revolves around gawky Ted and her introduction to the world of modelling alongside beautiful Ava and her fight against cancer. These two stories collide at various points, but the plotting is so deft that it never feels contrived. The chapter dealing with how Ted's 'Look' comes about is skillfully interwoven with Ava's battle to deal with her own look. It is beautifully and sensitively handled and takes Sophia's writing to another level. This deserves to be an absolutely huge success and I really think it could cross over into the adult market because it isn't a great Teen novel, it's a great novel full stop. When the inevitable film or TV series is made the characters of Ted and Ava are going to be everywhere and deservedly so.


Agatha Raisin as the Pig Turns (BBC Audio)
Agatha Raisin as the Pig Turns (BBC Audio)
by M. C. Beaton
Edition: Audio CD

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Audiobook for the Agatha Raisin fan, 26 Jan 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I am not a huge fan of Agatha Raisin myself, but my mother-in-law is so I gave her the audiobook of As The Pig Turns. She was hooked on the story and thoroughly enjoyed Penelope Keith's excellent narration. It is definitely a book aimed at older people and, as such, the audiobook is a valuable option for the Agatha Raisin fans who might find the small type of the books something of a strain. If you or someone you know is an Agatha Raisin fan this will go down extremely well.


Berlitz Chinese & Japanese Premier Version 2 (PC/Mac)
Berlitz Chinese & Japanese Premier Version 2 (PC/Mac)
Offered by PNA247
Price: £28.60

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A quality product from a quality company., 26 Jan 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As you would expect from Berlitz this language learning package has been made with care and an understanding of the theory of language learning. I have two children who are interested, respectively, in Chinese and Japanese. They have already used this product on an occasional basis and given it a definite thumbs up. In some ways, it requires rather more self discipline than the average learner can muster because they are responsible for their own progress. However, the signs are that if they decide to take it really seriously the progress they make will be rapid.


HoMedics iHeal Tissue and Cell Repair Unit
HoMedics iHeal Tissue and Cell Repair Unit
Price: £26.58

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very useful pain relief aid, 17 Jan 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have had experience of this kind of pain relief system before, so I knew what to expect from something near the top of the range. This HoMedics product is as good a home pain relief system as I have come across. It works quite quickly and the effects are long lasting - in this case up to 12 hours. The only downside to the product is the attachment options. The adhesive patches are not particularly useful unless there is no chance of brushing the machine, so you cannot use them if you are going to be in any way active. The band is good, but I have quite thin legs and the band only just fitted. Anyone with muscly legs or large legs would find it too tight. In conclusion then, if you can fit it on comfortably this is an extremely good piece of equipment.


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