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Phoenix Resurgam "the_toybox" (Surrey, England)

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Feliway Diffuser Pack 48ml
Feliway Diffuser Pack 48ml
Offered by Mr Pets
Price: £14.60

5.0 out of 5 stars A-meow-zing!, 29 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Feliway Diffuser Pack 48ml (Misc.)
I was a bit sceptical about buying a couple of Feliway plugins but they were recommended by a friend and also I read some of the reviews on here so I thought I would give it a go as I was a bit concerned thay my 10 year old house cat would be a royal pain to be quite frank when I moved house recently. I plugged in the Feliways in different rooms a few days before my cat was moved into the house, and he has been behaving quite normal, in fact very chilled and less noisy than he normally is. He has made his new home very much his, and although I cannot categorically say that the Feliway had anything to do with it, I am sure that they must be doing something as I really was quite concerned about the move knowing what he can be like with new people and in unfamiliar places. So thanks Feliway and thanks to Dr Pets for supplying. I thought the product seemed a bit pricey but they are well worth it!


The Lovely Bones
The Lovely Bones
by Alice Sebold
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.38

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly Different, 27 April 2006
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This review is from: The Lovely Bones (Paperback)
A very good friend and fellow Bookworm recommended the works of Alice Sebold to me, and having read 'Lucky' in one sitting I embarked on 'The Lovely Bones'. The latter definitely the most compelling of the two, it tells the story of Susie Salmon, who was raped and murdered by a neighbour and then buried in a safe and dumped in landfill.

The book is narrated by Susie in heaven who is looking down on her family and friends as they try and come to terms with the loss of a loved one, and how their lives are affected by it.

This book left me with a lump in my throat by the end of it, and I couldn't put it down. My only niggles are that I would have liked for Susie's body to have been found and for her to have had a proper burial. It is sad to think that her family could not bury their relative. I also found that the years flew by so very quickly, with her siblings growing from children to adult in a matter of chapters. I also think that Susie deserved justice and that her killer could have met a better ending, it was almost dealt with as an after thought.

The ending however is very touching and Alice Sebold has created an afterlife I for one would like to believe in.


Kathy's Story: A Childhood Hell Inside the Magdalen Laundries
Kathy's Story: A Childhood Hell Inside the Magdalen Laundries
by Kathy O'Beirne
Edition: Paperback

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Compelling Read, 27 April 2006
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I read this book virtually in one sitting and then I promptly lent it to my sister who wasn't able to put it down either, in fact she kept phoning me up wanting to discuss it.

It is horrible to believe that this sort of thing went on only 40 odd years ago, and that some of the victims are still institutionalised. The horrific mental and physical torture that these young girls and women went through, well words fail me. I have never been a great lover of the Catholic faith, and the treatment by the nuns and priests who blatantly abused their positions or turned a blind eye have the nerve to say they are God's Children. They are the penitients which Kathy speaks about throughout her book not the women and children who were sent to these hell holes.

It must have been such a shock to the young Kathy who was told she was going for a trip to the seaside only to find out that her evil father was leaving her at an industrial school and that her mother was not allowed to contact you. What kind of a God feaering man could do that to his own child!?

Kathy's strength of character shines through the pages, her determination to try and help herself and others just goes to show that having suffered the most horrific of lifes cannot break the spirit. "What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger", and Kathy is testament to this.

Despite how evil and vindictive her father was, Kathy still nursed him through his illness in later years. I don't think I would have been as merciful. This was a man who beat her daily, left her outside all day or night in all weathers, deprived her of food and made her live in the garden shed!

By the end of this book you will have gone through a whole number of different emotions with Kathy, but most of all you will want justice for Kathy and all the other victims of this abuse. I hope that one day they will get it and Kathy can finally put her past to rest.


The Shadow Of The Wind
The Shadow Of The Wind
by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding, 13 Mar 2006
This review is from: The Shadow Of The Wind (Paperback)
This has to be the most pleasureable read I have had since Dan Brown's 'The Da Vinci Code'. This book is written so beautifully, and with obvious love and dedication it simply oozes from every page.
Zafon has an extraordinary talent for story telling, I truly could not put this book down and when I did I felt I was closing the page on some very good friends.
An enchanting and exciting tale with the most lively, and endearing characters imaginable, I just want to read this book again and again!
Bravo!


Beatrice
Beatrice
by NoŽlle Harrison
Edition: Paperback

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very promising writer, 9 Mar 2006
This review is from: Beatrice (Paperback)
I bought this as a random buy and was pretty pleased with it.
The tale of 3 women - mother, Sarah and her two daughters Beatrice and Eithne who were raised in Ireland during the 1960s. When Beatrice was 19 she disappeared on her way to Dublin and has been feared dead. Only a few personal effects were ever recovered but never a body. Nearly 20 years later Eithne and her mother are still haunted by their loss and have never come to terms with Beatrice's 'death'.
When Eithne receives a phonecall out of the blue from someone claiming to be the daughter of her dead sister, Eithne starts to question whether her sister is really dead, and if she isn't why she has never made contact with her family who she was so close to.
Ms Harrison weaves a beautifully crafted story delving into the lives of the three women with various flashback chapters on each; Sarah's is the most interesting story, a life of unhappiness in a loveless marriage and used by men, her daughter Beatrice was her greatest love.
With superbly written short chapters this is a book you can crack through so easily on the train to work, or before bedtime. Although I finished it in 2 days as I had to know the answers.
Totally enthralling to the very last page.


Love Angel Music Baby
Love Angel Music Baby
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £2.99

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars '80s Pop Chic, 30 Nov 2004
This review is from: Love Angel Music Baby (Audio CD)
You really do have to listen to this a couple of times before making a decision on Gwen's first solo release. There's a lot of versatility here, but most of the tracks have a very heavy '80s pop/Madonna feel to them. I can definitely hear 'Get into the Groove' and Cyndi Lauper's 'Time after Time' on a couple of the tracks. Stand out tracks have to be the brilliant 'What You Waiting For', 'The Real Thing', 'Cool' and 'Crash', 'Danger Zone', the latter two definitely have single potential. The heavy influence of the '80s stands out in all of the best tracks, I can pick out Depeche Mode keyboards and the truly unique New Order guitar sound on a few of the tracks (i.e. The Real Thing), but mostly it's early Madonna with an occasional Shirley Manson-esque sound.
There are a couple of really awful tracks on the LP, 'Hollaback' which is like some irritating cheerleader chant, and the dire collaboration with Andre 3000 'Long Way to Go', which had me reaching for the the skip button! Also there's 'Bubble Pop Electric' which is a borderline love or hate track, I am erring towards getting to like it, but could do without all the 'Grease' type talking at the beginning and end.
I have to say that I much prefer the majority of this stuff to the truly disappointing (for me) 'Tragic Kingdom' album, there are some excellent pop tunes here and the use of different producers and collaborators on most tracks certainly gives a diverse sound and feel to this album which shows both versatility and a desire not to be pigeon-holed. Cool stuff, even the title of the album is cool - very '80's pop chic.


Demonized
Demonized
by Christopher Fowler
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fowler back at his best, 22 Mar 2004
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This review is from: Demonized (Paperback)
I can't begin to say how glad I am that Christopher Fowler's short stories are back on track after the disappointing 'Personal Demons'. 'Demonized' is a totally brilliant compendium of dark stories which will leave you feeling both emotional and gratified. From Fowler's opening introduction into how some of the stories were written to the very closing pages you will not be disappointed. Each story gets better and better with the turn of a page, my personal favourites are 'Hop' about a man who believes the soul of a dead murderess out for revenge is hopping into the bodies of children including his own daughter and 'Personal Space' about an 80 something old lady whose house gets taken over by drug addicts. These are just two examples of superbly written dark fiction demonstrating a different type of horror, the horror of mankind; what we do to ourselves and each other. Nothing is better than the feeling you get after reading a really excellent book, and this is no exception. The stories are not all full of hardship and sorrow, as Fowler says in his intro, some have a happy ending, some a sad one, and others are left open. A well deserved 5 stars! Welcome back Fowler!


Coraline
Coraline
by Neil Gaiman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.03

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enchanting tale for young and old alike, 18 Mar 2004
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This review is from: Coraline (Paperback)
I have just finished reading 'Coraline' and had to get online to do a review having purchased my copy through Amazon.com. The versatile and very talented Mr Gaiman combines horror and fairytale to bring about this enchanting story which children and adults alike will love. Beautifully illustrated by Dave McKean (who also collaborated with Gaiman on 'The Wolves in the Walls') this easy to read book leaves you wanting more. Coraline is a young girl if a little 'small for her age' who loves to explore and play games. One day she decides to explore the flat where she lives and ends up opening the door to an alternative world to her own. There she finds she has another mother and father who have been waiting for her and are desperate for her to stay with them on the other side of the door. ON the surface they seem very nice were it not for the fact that they have black buttons for eyes, eat black beetlebugs and don't really seem all that genuine. In Coraline's struggle to return to the real world and locate her real parents who have 'disappeared', she makes an unlikely alliance with a nameless cat and the spirits of three children.
You might feel a little cheated having forked out your hard earned cash for a book which is only 184 pages, including an illustration in each new chapter, but it is well worth it.
This is a far cry from Gaiman's other works such as the marvellous 'American Gods' and the Sandman illustrated books, which just goes to prove his ability to be flexible and versatile with his imagination and creative writing. Highly recommended for both adults and maturer children who won't end up with nightmares! Bravo.


Hangman
Hangman
by Michael Slade
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hung Jury on this one, 29 Feb 2004
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Hangman (Mass Market Paperback)
I have been reading Michael Slade novels for years having been baited by the twisted and brilliant 'Ghoul'. Then followed rippers like 'Headhunter' and 'Cutthroat', however, Hangman lacks the teeth which these novels had. This might be due to the fact that the original collaboration of the 3 entities which were Michael Slade are now down to 2, a father and daughter collaboration. Having said that this crime horror is still incredibly good, and even at the end, I still wasn't able to figure out who the real hangman was until the final pages. Throughout this 'detective' story, you are constantly fed by factual information about the Canadian & American justice system, together with a history of hanging and Edvard Munch's painting 'The Scream'. This all adds to the drama but although interesting, at times I was left thinking, do I really care just get on with the plot. The story itself is about a particularly nasty serial killer called The Hangman who is killing people who he feels deserve to die, for reasons which later become apparent, next to the dismembered body of his victims he leaves a picture of the hangman game drawn in their blood. In this, Zinc Chandler the Canadian Mountie who has featured in a number of Slade's other novels, teams up with American cop Maddie Thorne to try and solve the riddle of the hangman before it's too late. The book is laced with red herrings, and if you like me, enjoy a good gory horror crime story, you should enjoy this right to the end. You'll be surprised by the outcome.


Take Me Out
Take Me Out
Offered by Giant Entertainment
Price: £5.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely Take it Out!, 18 Feb 2004
This review is from: Take Me Out (Audio CD)
This song is just so catchy I was singing it for days before I knew what it was called and who the artist was and they're British YAHOO! This has got to be one of the most fun and catchy tunes around for a while and they sound like they're having so much fun. Really refreshing - not sure I can see the White Stripes comparisons, but this has got some great guitar on it and a freshness about it. In fact I'm going to rush out and buy the album!! Like the song says 'take me out', give me a play you won't be disappointed - Britpop at it's best!


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