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Mr. George Edward Maier "George Maier" (Ilkeston, Derbyshire, United Kingdom)

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The Hunger Games (Hunger Games Trilogy)
The Hunger Games (Hunger Games Trilogy)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Contemporary Masterpeice, 5 April 2012
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Suzanne Collins has crafted a contemporary masterpiece that places itself instantly within my top five books of all time in the form of The Hunger Games. The book is gripping from the first page till the last, employing a powerful writing technique that allows the reader to become lost within it's twisting, turning and tormenting narrative. This book is difficult to read in the best possible way, in that it keeps you constantly on edge by tapping into the most primative of human programs: the survival instinct. I found myself almost begging it to give me the answers: Do they survive? Will they make it? Will they find the paradise they are looking for in the end? I found myself completing the novel in under twenty-four hours, a feat I find myself achieving less and less often with my days growing more busy. Somehow Suzanne managed to distract me from all other tasks in my life, commanding me to read on.

This is a book written in the present tense which I have often found a little unsettling to read. I think it's a real task to make this tense work but I know it can be done well from Scarlett Thomas' infamous The End of Mr Y that pulled it off so adeptly. I think it's a human characteristic to want to read things in past tense, it pays homage to traditional storytelling where families gather round and recount tales of adventure, and it's always a little risky in my mind to depart from this. If anything The Hunger Games has redefined my view on the present tense. It certainly worked well here with its ability to remove certainty as to the future of the main protagonist, Katniss, who serves the role of a first person narrative. Because she isn't recounting the story from some safe future, we have no idea if she makes it out alive.

This point brings me back to the power of the narrative in this book. Usually when you are reading a book and there are two hundred pages to go it gives you a sense of comfort thinking 'oh, she can't die yet, what would all the other pages be for?' But somehow Suzanne manages to destroy this comfort in The Hunger Games, and you still find yourself in the moment of each occurrence, terrified of the possible outcome.

But this book isn't just a nice page turner; I remember reading Dead Simple by Peter James just a week or two ago and finding it easy to read but completely empty in any further depth or character, employing cheap tactics to connect to a mainstream audience while missing the point of great literature. The Hunger Games doesn't sell out, it stays true to itself and it represents humans in a believable and raw way that gives a true insight into the 'human condition' and it makes us all ask ourselves what we are really capable of if our lives depended on it. The book rips away all sense of comfort, leavening us on a cliff of disquietude and fear, but within this manages to give us islands of hope and ideas of home, when the protagonist feels most lost.

I can't help but think, as I'm reading about the horrid people of the capital who take pleasure in watching these children fight to the death that in a way, everyone else who reads this book is also engaging in that same sick pleasure. In this way it makes you feel uncomfortable and could even bring you to describe this book as being Avant Garde through its unusual method of making you re-examine your interest in the book itself.

There are a couple of moments in this book that reminded me of one of my favourite books of all time: To Kill a Mockingbird, and there does indeed seem to be an overlap in some of the moral values that the books represent. One of the characters I admire most in Mockingbird is Mr. Raymond who everybody assumes to be a mess of a man, a good for nothing drunk, until the children discover he doesn't drink, that he pretends to, in an aim to stay away from the evils of society he finds too hard to face. In The Hunger Games we are introduced to a character who pays resemblance to Mr. Raymond, by the name of Haymitch. It isn't long into the games that we discover that there is more to this drunk than meets the eye.

One criticism people continually seem to place on this book is that it has a cult following within the young adult demographic, that teenagers are obsessing over it in ways comparable to Twilight. I don't think this is a bad thing. When Stephenie Meyer wrote twilight she wrote a simple story, set in a small town, a love story with a twist. It was not ambitious and the narrative and style were average... But it must have had some spark that made it so popular. I think that same spark exists in The Hunger Games, but in addition to this The Hunger Games has a lot more depth, a lot more class and a lot more meaning. I don't think it can be a bad thing simply to have a strong fan base, even if most of them only just took out their fake vampire teeth and stopped trying to bite people. Another comparison that can be drawn is that both stories contain an element of love, more obviously and crudely thrown at the audience in Twilight I might add. And both books are made more popular by their film adaptations, which draw in large female teen audiences (the female gaze as contrast to the male gaze) who often find themselves obsessing over the male lead. We all know about Taylor Lauther and Robert Pattinson, we've all probably seen too much of them. The adaptation of The Hunger Games cast Josh Hutcherson as the male lead, who we obviously remember as being a brilliant actor from films like The Bridge to Terabithia and The Kids Are Alright and I await to see if he gets a similar fan base.

There seems to be a large amount of symbolic representation in this book, Indeed it draws critique on almost all aspects of society quite successfully, from ideas of body image to entertainment. I think most readers will draw their own personal messages from this book and craft their own ideas on its deeper meanings, and I think it's always an admirable quality when a novel allows for this.

All in all The Hunger Games was an amazing read and one I can't wait to go back to. Next on my list are the two sequels, if they hold up to the quality of this then I have no doubt this will be a series to be remembered for years to come.

This Isn't Me
This Isn't Me
Price: £0.89

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliance, 2 April 2012
This review is from: This Isn't Me (MP3 Download)
One of my proudest purchases was Bury the Ladybird's first ever album a couple of years ago, it still sits on my shelves as a testament to the power and passion of local groups. Although I'm sure soon it will be as valuable as copies of YouMeAtSix's pre-signing EP We Know What It's Like To Be Alone I have no intentions of ever selling it.

This single signifies a maturing of Matthew, Tiggy, Zach and Seb, all wonderful people to be around I might add. Their style is changing and there are certainly higher production values in this than in some of their earlier work, as you might expect. The band is on a ladder, and it has one inevitable end, world wide platinum status.

This band is one to watch, and this single is one you simply have to buy.

Open Arms
Open Arms
Price: £1.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Why is Buffalo Ghosts a B-side? - LOVED IT!, 28 April 2011
This review is from: Open Arms (MP3 Download)
Firstly - Open arms is one of the best songs on the new album by elbow, truly awesome. The additional song on this single, Buffalo Ghosts is... possibly better... In fact, for that matter I think I prefer it to any song on the new album, I've had the track on repeat for a day now, truly beautiful.

Christmas Lights
Christmas Lights
Price: £0.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas Lights, 18 Dec 2010
This review is from: Christmas Lights (MP3 Download)
You know how there are some songs that just stick with you? They embed themselves in your memory and flash back up in decades to come when you hear them through the radio. All of a sudden you are transported back to the Christmas of 1999, your family sat around the fire place all snug against the grasping cold beyond the window.

Coldplay's new track for the holidays feels like a sniff of the Christmas decorations on the 1st of December, which is actually when it came out. There is something awfully familiar and comforting about it yet at the same time it remains original, and it remains coldplay.

Do I like the song? I love it! I feel like not loving it would be on key with not loving Christmas itself. I have to say I have been sat on the edge of my seat waiting eagerly for over a year now for something to come from Coldplay and this gave me the fix I craved so desperately.

Looking forward: I know I, and many of you out there, are on the borderline of insanity waiting for Coldplay's new 2011 album, after hearing that snippet of Wedding Bells on TV a year ago... (For those of you who don't know of it I recommend a YouTube search). All that I can conclude from Christmas Lights is that Coldplay are going in the right direction, and It's made me that bit more desperate for Coldplay to hurry up in that studio of theirs!

I rate this song 9/10 for being a warming song for the festive season, and recommend it with all my heart. You wont regret spending 99p on a lovely festive fix.

George Maier

Logitech X-540 Multimedia Speaker System (5.1)
Logitech X-540 Multimedia Speaker System (5.1)

4.0 out of 5 stars I'm hearing layers to my music I never knew existed..., 16 Aug 2010
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I brought this system primarily for music - I use the matrix mode to push a 2 channel signal down every speaker - works wonders!

I do some 5.1 work also, but I wont dwell on that too much, just take my word for it being perfectly up to scratch - read other reviews for a more in depth look at the true 5.1 performance.

One issue I do have with the matrix mode is that not much sound comes through the rear speakers, it would have been nicer to have it a little more balanced.

The cable lengths could do with a few extra meters - but it's good enough for me. At least this way there is less to tangle.

I listen to ambient and post rock music a lot. Possibly over 70% of my music listening time is on there genres. My favourate artist is Jonsi - especilly when he collaborates either with his partner Alex Somers or with his band Sigur Ros - either way his music had a lot of energy behind it, and created a very rich, vibrant sound. I'm hearing layers coming out of certain tracks that I just never knew existed. I'm hearing depth in tracks like Howl and Sleeping Giant - and power in tracks from Sigur Ros.

This system has brought my bedroom to life with sound - I highly recommend it.

4 star rating is down from 5 due to cable lengths and low power in rear speakers on matrix mode.

Bridge To Terabithia [DVD]
Bridge To Terabithia [DVD]
Dvd ~ Josh Hutcherson
Price: £2.90

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Film, True Masterpiece, branded falsely as a 'Kids Film', 14 July 2010
This review is from: Bridge To Terabithia [DVD] (DVD)
A kid's film? I don't think so. I think this film should be sold more as Drama. The main characters are young teens, around 13-14 in my view. who find escape from the cruel real world where issues like money and fighting exists to live in their own imagination.

The film closely follows the emotions of the lead character, a young boy, in a rural farming family.

The acting in this film is breathtaking. As is the writing, the characters are brilliant.

I just don't understand why such an amazing piece of art is being sold as if intended for children under 12?? It makes no sense to me. For me this film should be aimed at 12+ With no upper limit.

Very powerful story. Very moving. In my top 5 films of all time.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 14, 2012 2:51 AM BST

Meğ suğ í eyrum viğ spilum endalaust
Meğ suğ í eyrum viğ spilum endalaust
Price: £5.17

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Crowning Glory, 7 July 2010
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Sigur Ros, Victory Rose - If the battle is one for my heart, then victory has been achieved. Cascading with energy, power and emotion: this album is the crowing glory to the band in a world of their own. Sigur Ros are now on indefinite hiatus, when I found out I was saddened deeply, as I imagine all other Sigur Ros fans were, but if this is their last album, then my god it is it worthy of their honour.

There are so many moments within this album that can be considered artistic purity. True music. True brilliance. I can't express in words how much this album means to me, and could mean to anyone who listens to it.

If you are contemplating buying this album then I ask you not to hesitate a moment longer, buy. Don't delay for every second you are without this album is a second you are not living to the full.

Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Burst Of Energy In The Sea Of Lost Souls, 19 July 2009
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This review is from: Hoppípolla (MP3 Download)
The Sigur Ros Album Takk, and its track Hoppípolla provides an endowment of power and energy to the listener. Sigur Ros have developed their own genre, for sure. My question before listening to this track was: Could Sigur Ros get any better? Could I respect them any more than I already do? The answer was a sure yes to both. Sigur Ros, to date, has never let me down.

Well worth the few pence it will cost you to download. A must have for anyone with a real interest in music and not just the tacky, bastardized, rubbish that has found its way into the charts this day. No. This is pure, not filth like the 29 year olds asking all the girls to have sex with them.

Buy this!

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