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Mtsensk "mtsensk"

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The Trial [1963] [DVD]
The Trial [1963] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Anthony Perkins

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dire DVD transfer of a fine film, 23 Nov 2012
This review is from: The Trial [1963] [DVD] (DVD)
Agree with the comments of another reviewer - despite the quality of the film, this is one of the worst DVD transfers I've ever seen. Crackling, fuzzy picture, duff framing, and sound and image not in sync. Should never have been released - Welles deserves better


The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket and Related Tales (Oxford World's Classics)
The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket and Related Tales (Oxford World's Classics)
by Edgar Allan Poe
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bizarre Poe - not his best, 23 Oct 2012
This is a very, very strange book. Apparently Poe wasn't that keen on writing a novel but did so to interest people in his shorter material - and it shows, especially in the book's episodic character. Essentially a sequence of increasingly implausible incidents, most of them gory, there's also a lot of padding - plagiarism from other books (not especially interesting), redundant drawings, and digressions. The violence gets rather depressing after a while and you sense Poe wasn't convinced either. Though it's an interesting precursor to Moby Dick and some of the extreme situations echo his better (shorter) work, this is definitely nowhere near his best.


Strategic Project Portfolio Management: Enabling a Productive Organization (Microsoft Executive Leadership Series)
Strategic Project Portfolio Management: Enabling a Productive Organization (Microsoft Executive Leadership Series)
by Simon Moore
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £24.88

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accomplished guide to a knotty area, 28 Jan 2010
Simon Moore's book is a well-written and comprehensive guide that I've found consistently useful in any business or organisational context. Some of Moore's conclusions are surprisingly thought-provoking, given this kind of technical material, and his main thesis is a powerful advocacy of the need for planning models in any money-making venture. The illustrations and diagrams also provide useful clarification for some of the more difficult concepts. Recommended.


The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East
The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East
by Robert Fisk
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.59

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this book, 5 Aug 2009
This is a well-written and gripping account of the dispiriting events of the Middle East of the past thirty years - though it's not exhaustive and not strictly speaking a 'history': some countries are covered more thoroughly than others; events are handled geographically rather than chronologically; and Fisk sometimes even delves into his own family history or events before his career began (eg Armenia or Suez). Actually the bloated and rather unstructured form, along with the great length and constant descriptions of violence, are all crucial aspects of the book's final impact, which is considerable. Few books give such a rich sense of the interconnectedness of history, of cause and effect - and offer such graphic and memorable anecdotes to distill the experience of a community or nation. Despite his reputation, Fisk is actually mostly very fair: the cruelty of Arabs to each other, and the botched and often heartless interventions of the West in Arab history, culture and politics, are discussed with equal horror. Certainly the book was, for me, one of the few I've read that I can say has changed my view of the world.

My only quarrel with Fisk is that of tone. While one can understand his rage at the terrible things he has seen (one feels it oneself), his sarcasm and fury seems somehow at odds with journalistic even-handedness and occasionally risks making his work seem like a polemic or tract: his case is strong enough without overstating it. One might also argue that his bitterest sarcasm is nearly always aimed at Western leaders - when bloodthirsty provincial bigots like Khomenei or Mullah Omar seem at least as worthy of that kind of ire. And if the US and UK's policies towards the Middle East have been so catastrophic (a case he makes eloquently and convincingly), doesn't Fisk's act of passing judgement - not exactly very journalistic in itself - create a responsibility to offer constructive alternatives to those policies? As it is, the solution he appears to be obliquely proposing - West Stay Out - hardly seems to be an especially sophisticated or even particularly moral way forward.

Nevertheless, this is a superb, impassioned book and one which everyone should read - layman and policy maker alike.


The New Shostakovich
The New Shostakovich
by Ian MacDonald
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.09

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book on the Composer, 25 Jun 2009
This review is from: The New Shostakovich (Paperback)
You won't read many books better written than this, on any subject, and it's certainly a lot less dry than the telephone-directory style Laurel Fay biog. While one may disagree with some of McDonald's analyses (isn't music a subjective thing?) there's no questioning his passion, learning, and insight - to say nothing of the style, which is refreshingly clear and opinionated. As a narrative, it's gripping, and as for his main thesis - Shostakovich as closet dissident - he certainly convinces me and doubtless will convince many others.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 18, 2010 2:16 AM GMT


Anthology
Anthology
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £12.59

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic soul, 21 May 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Anthology (Audio CD)
Perfect album, wonderful singer. Up there with Aretha and Candi Staton and some of the songs are superb.


Catch-22
Catch-22
by Joseph Heller
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Comic masterpiece, 21 May 2009
This review is from: Catch-22 (Paperback)
Wonderful language, great story, laugh-out-loud humour. What more do you want?

Only blemishes are the -in my opinion - slightly over-drawn blackmarket and 'mad woman with the knife' episodes. Still, it's a satire, and not meant to be realistic, and with a book this good it hardly matters. Don't mind the carpers, they probably have it as a set text and would rather be reading comics.


The Cambridge Companion to Shostakovich (Cambridge Companions to Music)
The Cambridge Companion to Shostakovich (Cambridge Companions to Music)
by Pauline Fairclough
Edition: Paperback
Price: £24.38

10 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A little too much arid musicology, 25 Mar 2009
It is good news that musicologists are finally taking Shostakovich seriously - for too long he was viewed as not much more than a compromised purveyor of programmatic Soviet kitsch. This book is largely written by Shostakovich specialists hostile to Testimony - there's an unspoken party-line here, which is probably worth knowing if you're going to invest. While there's much useful material here, and doggedly honest efforts to analyse the scores bar-by-bar, it does seem that there is something of an unwillingness to look beyond the notes, which lets the book as a whole down and generally makes for a pretty dull read - unfortunate for such an exciting composer. Certainly the idea of Shostakovich as a dissident in the Solzhenitsyn mould - scaborously (and bravely) satirising tyranny one moment, mourning the loss of millions of victims the next - features not at all.

So - good though it is to have another Shostakovich book on the shelves, and despite some excellent pieces (for example by John Riley on Shostakovich and film) this hardly displaces the truly essential 'The New Shostakovich' by Ian Macdonald as an in-depth overview of his work.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 18, 2012 1:19 AM BST


Ulysses (Oxford World's Classics)
Ulysses (Oxford World's Classics)
by James Joyce
Edition: Paperback

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 7 Mar 2008
Surprisingly witty, impressively erudite, justifiably famous and incredibly rich: use a good edition with notes (like the Oxford) and you'll find this one well worth it. Up there with the best novels.


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