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Marcus G (Birmingham, UK)

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Warriors of the Storm (The Last Kingdom Series, Book 9)
Warriors of the Storm (The Last Kingdom Series, Book 9)
by Bernard Cornwell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £8.00

4.0 out of 5 stars ... return to form - right from the start I loved the Saxon tales but the last (the empty throne) ..., 20 Mar. 2016
I think a return to form - right from the start I loved the Saxon tales but the last (the empty throne) was - dare I say it - a bit of a drag. I'm not sure why - perhaps the series was running out of ideas - and perhaps there wasn't a well described enemy. So I was reluctant to read Warriors of the Storm. I'm glad I was wrong - it's a great read. It's not terribly different from the rest of the books (and there's a common repetition in the writing - especially the battle scenes) but the enemies are fun and well described and it ties a number of plot threads from previous books. If you're a Cornwell fan you'll read it regardless - I guess, the only issue is if you're wavering like I was. If so - don't.


Personal (Jack Reacher 19)
Personal (Jack Reacher 19)
by Lee Child
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Reacher loses the plot - doesn't matter - he wins anyway, 19 Sept. 2014
In a recent interview, Lee Child talked about this being the first time Reacher travels to the UK. This is obviously wrong (he did in "The Hard Way") so has Mr. Child lost interest in his creation? Maybe.

Moving the action from America to London is interesting - some of the detail through Reacher's eyes is interesting and Reacher has always been easy to like. But there is no tension in the plot - throughout the book Reacher doesn't stumble once - despite facing two elite snipers, in a foreign country, with two criminal gangs plus a huge adversary in Little Joey - Reacher doesn't pause. In fact at one point it's clear he doesn't have a clue or a plan - but is just going forward anyway knowing full well things will resolve themselves (and he's right).

Possibly the best thing (or the only thing) is that the final fight with Little Joey (a giant dwarfing the giant that is Reacher) ensures that Tom Cruise will never play Reacher in the film of this book ...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 17, 2014 6:56 PM GMT


I Am Pilgrim
I Am Pilgrim
by Terry Hayes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great basic idea but let down by implementation, 19 Sept. 2014
This review is from: I Am Pilgrim (Paperback)
I've literally spent months reading this book and finally finished it today. It's a long book at almost 900 pages - as the author admits but he talks about the reader wishing it never to end. I was quite the opposite. This is a book in serious need of a ruthless editor. That said it does keep going and I did sort of enjoy the experience but really the story is pure hookum.

The Positives - there's quite a few different storylines at the start and they do keep you guessing and sort of resolve into a single plot 3/4s of the way through. There was one twist I didn't predict and it's sort of addictive.

The Negatives - each chapter is exceptionally short and every chapter has a hook to the next. For instance, a chapter might end with "at least that's what I thought happened ... but how wrong I was". This does keep the interest but once you spot it, it gets very tiresome. The basic idea of the plot is interesting - but the minor details are at times laughable. Coincidences abound and some details are plain nuts.

Am I glad I read it? Yes but I wonder what I could have read in the time instead ...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 15, 2014 11:21 AM GMT


Going Way Out
Going Way Out

5.0 out of 5 stars Going way out (and back again), 21 Aug. 2012
This review is from: Going Way Out (Audio CD)
Heavy Trash are Jon Spencer & Matt Verta Ray doing rockabilly/psychobilly. The result is potent: stand out tracks are Outside Chance, Double Line and They were Kings (a personal favourite to shout along at) but the star of the show is That ain't right - which could easily grace any Johnny Cash album (in fact unaware listeners have assumed it was Cash ...)

Don't ask me why this isn't any longer available - it was released in 2007 and Heavy Trash are still an active touring band ...


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
by Mark Haddon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart warming and thought provoking, 20 Aug. 2012
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I bought and read this on a whim - it's not really my usual choice of book but I wanted to try something different. That was a good move - the book has a wonderful story lurking in its core which is really about two parents both failing to really support their wonderful (if infuriating) son - who has Aspergers (but also seems to be a maths prodigy - not that most children with Aspergers do). I'm usually quite a slow reader - I tend to read a few pages before drifting off to sleep but finished this in one day (and maybe 4 sittings). It's a very fast read but at the end I genuinely cared about all the protagonists (including the flaws of both parents).

Very recommended.

That said - it's listed as a "Children's book". I don't think it is - there's a fair amount of swearing (which supports the story and it's there to shock) and some adult themes (at least when you work out what's going on) so I wouldn't recommend this book for anybody under -- say -- 15 or 16 ...


Fruit Of The Loom Poplin Long Sleeve Shirt
Fruit Of The Loom Poplin Long Sleeve Shirt
Price: £15.48 - £24.90

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars for this price I bought two, 15 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought one (XXL - I'm a 46 inch chest but usually find shirts to be like tents since i don't have a big beer gut (yet)) and it fit great - I bought it for causal work and hanging around but it's smart enough for me to wear under a jacket last week when I went out with the wife (and found my best shirt unwashed) so for the price - after three washes still seems as good as new and not faded at all. totally recommended.


Blue Moon 5 String Banjo Open Back GR3705
Blue Moon 5 String Banjo Open Back GR3705

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not a good choice for a beginner, 13 May 2012
BlueMoon make entry level banjos for the beginner player. However, because they're cheap - they're hard to play and so your average beginner loses interest and quits before they've ever made much progress. A particular issue is the distance between the strings and fretboard means you have to be precise with your chords - not something a beginner usually is! I'd recommend checking out the entry level Ashbury banjo (which is about 30-40 quid more but money well spent in my opinion).


High Atmosphere
High Atmosphere
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £22.95

5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful collection of forgotton music, 13 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: High Atmosphere (Audio CD)
High Atmosphere is a much over looked gem of a collection by John Cohen of mostly banjo music from Virginia and North Carolina in 1965. What's startling is how fresh it sounds and also how consistent the tunes are - there isn't a bad tune on the cd and the number of tracks more than justifies the price. Not all of the tunes are banjo - there's a couple of just vocal songs and a number of traditional tunes such as little sadie.

I think the best recommendation I can give is that my two year old daughter bursts into laughter and dance whenever it's played. Actually so do I ...


Essential Asatru: Walking the Path of Norse Paganism
Essential Asatru: Walking the Path of Norse Paganism
by Diana L. Paxson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nonsense, 13 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Paxson's book is one of those books which just about everybody trying to get "into" Asatru will come across at the beginning and to be frank it's an awful book: shallow, silly and mostly composed of Paxson's personal beliefs masquerading as historical lore and some awful songs, poems and drawings which are frankly embarassing. I guess some will enjoy it and i've met neo-pagans who praise this book and often get quite defensive but if you're serious about learning more about heathenry then look elsewhere ... "Our Troth" edited by Gundersson is maybe an imperfect but good place to start ...


Gods of the Runes: The Divine Shapers of Fate
Gods of the Runes: The Divine Shapers of Fate
by Frank Joseph
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.99

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars New Age Fluff, 4 Jan. 2011
"Invented long before the appearance of the runic alphabet, Futhark, less than two thousand years ago, the runes were originally created as symbols for specific deities" This is absolute rubbish for which there is zero historical evidence. Unfortunately the runes are one of those areas of heathenry which have attracted a particularly fluffy and flakey new age following. This all started with Ralph Blum in the 1980s who introduced the idea that the runes were a tool for fortune telling (zero historical evidence for this).

Of course fluffy new age books sell - but do you really want to waste your money on a book of historical lies and fantasy? Instead why not check out Sweyn Plowright's Rune Primer? It's a short book - but full of historically evidenced information about the runes, their history and usage. Most people will be able to read it within a hour or so - and you'll actually learn something better than a particular author's personal fantasy.


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