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C. Kenyon "CK" (UK for now)
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A Steptoe Guide to Carp Fishing
A Steptoe Guide to Carp Fishing
Price: £2.22

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull as dishwater, 30 Sept. 2013
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I had hoped that being an angler of many years who had let the carp fishing craze pass him by, and an ex-pat resident of south-west France this book would have been of some interest. Sadly it isn't.

The book is neither inspirational or interesting. For example the author mentions that as well as his Permis de Peche, i.e. rod licence he was rebuked for not having a Club Halieutique supplement on his licence. He glosses over this as there not being an English equivalent yet fails to mention the importance of this inexpensive secondary permit without which anglers cannot fish many public waters. Similarly he includes a recipe for carp in French, seemingly copy / pasted and explains that he hasn't translated it as English anglers don't eat carp and French anglers will know how to cook it anyway! So why include it? Pure padding that adds two pages or 4% of the total.

The author is no different to the Eastern European anglers who arrive in the UK and fish without recourse to permits or rules. He has started fishing in France without a licence and expects the authorities to allow him to continue of he promises to buy a licence the next day! He believes that just because Signal Crayfish are an invasive nuisance species he should be allowed to fish for them without recourse to rules and regulations. He takes a chainsaw to clear a swim on a large public lake without permission and then starts to build a Heath Robinson portable jetty when the simple solution would be to buy a small inexpensive boat.

It took me around 15 to 20 minutes to read 30% of the book. I abandoned it when he started to build a portable jetty. I won't be finishing the book and recommend that you don't even bother to start it.

Sadly this sort of self-published book is all too common these days.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 28, 2015 7:09 PM GMT


Talpex Trap Genuine with video instructions
Talpex Trap Genuine with video instructions
Offered by Mole catching
Price: £9.85

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Talpex is the best mole trap IMO, 11 Nov. 2012
I have used all sorts of mole traps including scissor traps, tunnel traps and pinch traps, but the genuine Talpex mole trap is consistently the best at catching moles. So much so that I use it for 99% of the moles I trap these days.

Make sure however that the trap is the genuine article and not a copy from the Far East as these are not as good. In the case of the two I bought, both jammed after one week of use rendering them unusable. The genuine Talpex traps are still going strong after many months of daily use. A genuine Talpex has the name stamped onto the trigger plate. If it doesn't say 'Talpex' on the trigger plate it isn't the genuine article.

The advantages of a Talpex is that it does not need as much soil taking out as some other traps and once the technique is understood is quicker and easier to set and less likely to be triggered by a mole without being caught. This is a regular problem with scissor traps and tunnel traps. With the Talpex you can tell immediately whether it has been triggered as the handles are left together when set and move apart after being triggered.

If you do not have strong hands however you might need the setting tool to be able to lever the jaws open. Setting it can be tricky if you haven't been shown how, but is quickly mastered. You have to leave enough room for the setting rod to swing out of the way after a mole triggers the trap. Once you have the knack catching moles is a doddle with the Talpex. The trap can be left hung up for months in the garden shed and will still work without tuning or fettling when placed in a mole run.

If you only buy one mole trap for your garden make sure it is a genuine Talpex trap.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 2, 2014 8:41 PM BST


Make A Fortune In Penny Shares
Make A Fortune In Penny Shares
Price: £5.22

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good book twenty years ago perhaps., 4 Nov. 2012
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After reading the book I had intended awarding four stars, but on reflection and after re-reading parts of it I believe that three is more appropriate.

The author has a degree of knowledge about the workings of the stock market and how to deal at a profit. Sometimes however it is over simplified and skims over vital elements - margins for example. Also, the suggestions about researching a company by actually going to the head office and asking questions is rather childish. I wonder how many of us would travel 200 miles to arrive at a company HQ unannounced and expect someone to answer questions before you decide to stick £500 of your money in their share account? I'll bet the author hasn't.

The main resason I changed my mind about the rating though is that whilst it is obvious that this book was conceived many years ago, Polly Peck keeps getting mentioned (it went bust in 1990) and many of the examples used are drawn from pre 2000. But when it was re-written in 2010 the author hasn't bothered to bring us up to date with the various means of researching stocks and companies online. This oversight results in the book being stuck in a time warp where prospective investors still go to libraries armed with magnifying glasses to read company accounts held on microfische reels. Also, we don't phone our brokers any more. We click a button on our mouse or touch our mobile screen and the deal is done.

The book is a good introduction to the basics of share dealing, albeit in the 20th century. You will pick up something of use to you, but not the whole package and that is a shame as you need the full information in order to be able to make the right decisions. However, at four quid it is a worthwhile investment if you know absolutely nothing about share dealing and allow for the progress of information technology.


Vantastic France. Follow the adventures of a family moving to France
Vantastic France. Follow the adventures of a family moving to France
Price: £1.99

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Schoolboy Essay, 4 Nov. 2012
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I gave this book one star primarily because there isn't an option to give zero stars!

It comes across as a schoolboy essay and not a very good one at that. I Didn't get beyond the first chapter. I recommend potential buyers try a sample before buying.


Mole Catching Guide
Mole Catching Guide
Price: £9.37

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but lacking in many ways, 7 Oct. 2012
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I read this book in one go. There isn't a lot of content and over 20% is devoted to subjects the author says that he isn't going to discuss because is is of no use! At the end of the book another 10% is devoted to promoting his business interests and trying to flog his products.

In between the padding the text is rather one-dimensional in that it focuses almost entirely on Duffus (tunnel) Traps and barely mentions the popular Talpex or scissor types. Nor does it mention at all the No-Mol type of trap that is gaining favour in the UK and is very popular on the continent. It is obvious that the author favours tunnel traps and he gives reasons for that. But, a book on mole trapping should in my opinion offer advice on how to set alternative traps particularly the Talpex (claw) Traps as many pro' trappers use nothing else.

The advice on tunnel traps is quite good. There are tips on what to look for in a good trap and how to avoid bad ones. There is also good information about tuning traps albeit without giving measurements of trigger to catch hoop or trigger travel, both of which would be very useful in avoiding back end, inhumane captures. Similarly, the author mentions badly designed scissor traps but fails to give the dimensions or measurements that are 'right' or 'wrong'. It is no good saying that a trigger is set too high or too low or the jaws are too close together if these distances are not quantified.

The best part of the book is the advice on locating active moles runs and the method of setting traps to suit the purpose.

If you have moles in turf, i.e a lawn, then the book will help you catch them with tunnel traps. If your garden hs a diverse soil type or you have a small holding then it would not be as comprehensive a guide as it could be.


The Damned Utd
The Damned Utd
by David Peace
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Damned good read!, 9 Nov. 2010
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This review is from: The Damned Utd (Paperback)
I moved to Leeds as a youngster just as the Revie era began and I followed the team until Wednesday 31st July 1974. The day Brian Clough was appointed manager of Leeds United I ripped off the badge from my jacket and have barely watched football since.

This book lays to rest some of the ghosts that haunt Leeds United during the late Revie era and beyond. The team was aging yet could not be broke up. It was Revie's family. The England job provided The Don a graceful exit.

Pradoxically Clough was chosen because he instilled in the Derby County players what Revie enjoyed at Leeds - total commitment. He was never given a chance at Leeds and on reflection he only has himself to blame. You can hear the chickens running home to roost page after page. Clough's obsessive hatred of Revie's Leeds was never hidden, and his abrasive manner with players who were at the top of their careers and his lack of pre-match preparation was diametrically opposite what had gone before at Elland Road.

The book has two stories running side by side. The first starts on Wednesday 31st July 1974, the second ends on that date. They come together beautifully in a collision of the inevitable. This, in the days before football clubs were seen as a conveniant way of refinancing other business interests, the inevitable being that football wasn't run for the fans or for the players, but for the director's prestige and vanity. If Clough thought he was bigger than Leeds United then he was only mirroring the pompous lead shown by football club chairmen throughtout the land. Clough lost his repuatation only to bounce back at Forest. Cussins lost his reputation and a great deal of money. The biggest losers however were the thousands of supporters who were never consulted, never considered, and who's loyalty was severely tested if not broken.

The Damned United is a well crafted, extensively researched work of art. Not only that, it is a damned good read in its own right.

Highly recommended.


Hooked: Fly-fishing Through Russia
Hooked: Fly-fishing Through Russia
by Fen Montaigne
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars A political statement, 20 Nov. 2008
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This book is not a fishing book in any shape or form. It is a political statement.

The American author travels across Russia discovering how the country has been devastated by the conversion of the economy from communism to capitalism. Everywhere he goes he encounters people who were better off working for the state rather than being exploited or abandoned by the unregulated and corrupt private capitalists. His experiences have been corroborated in some ways by the recent TV series where two 'celebrities' crossed Russia on motorcycles and found the same type of hapless individuals existing in vodka-fueled poverty.

It is a sad experience to discover that this country is virtually rotting to destruction with its long-suffering people bearing the brunt yet again of massive government mis-management.

It also shows that we in the west never had anything to fear from the backward, technologically inept Russians during the Cold War years. They could hardly feed themselves let alone take over the world.

Don't buy this book for its angling content. It will break your heart. Buy it for its travelogue content. It will still break your heart, but at least you know what you are getting.


Any Old Iron
Any Old Iron
by Anthony Burgess
Edition: Paperback

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth its weight in gold, 20 Nov. 2008
This review is from: Any Old Iron (Paperback)
'Any Old Iron' is quite simply the best novel I have ever read. It makes Dan Brown's 'The Da Vinci Code' look like a schoolboy essay.

The story of this book is drawn from the real-life encounters and experience of the author and it shows. He has woven his own life into a political thriller featuring ordinary characters you could bump into on the street. The depth of descriptive writing is magnificent. Normally I can read a similar sized book in three or four sittings. With this one I found myself having to pause in order to digest the information divulged. This information is drawn from the actions of the six main characters as the plot unfolds from a Titanic survivor, through the hardships of immigrant labour in the US, to the Second World War and its aftermath of the political upheavals in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

I found the book both humorous and poignant in balanced amounts. The humour is well crafted and subtle. The sadness is ingrained in a record of man's inhumanity to others and sadly corroborated by the history books.

A tremendous read.


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