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A Perfect Spy: Complete BBC Series (3 Disc Box Set) [DVD]
A Perfect Spy: Complete BBC Series (3 Disc Box Set) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Peter Egan
Price: 7.16

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 25 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this DVD on the strength of the magnificent BBC production of John le Carré's "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" and was badly disappointed. The story is ploddingly told in chronological order (save for a brief moment at the start which recurs in the final episode) so the atmosphere and tension of the book are lost completely. The acting is thoroughly bad - except for Rick Pym (Ray McAnally, terrific), Axel (Rüdiger Weigang, intensely creepy) and a few of Rick's criminal sidekicks -, like in a 1940s amateur theatre production, with long artificial silences, brooding glances and sudden, entirely unconvincing outbursts of emotions (especially bad to the point of being unintentionally funny: Alan Howard as Jack Bortherhood and Jane Booker as Mary Pym). Peter Egan who plays the grown-up Magnus Pym is just a void where an enigma should be - zero charisma so you wonder how this rather boring chap manages to charm so many people. It does not help that in the early episodes Magnus as a boy and teenager is portrayed by other actors who do not bear the slightest physical resemblance to Egan. The unimaginative, pedestrian approach by the director Peter Smith and his scriptwriter Arthur Hopcraft to this potentially fabulous material is best exemplified by the final camera shot which shows in completely unnecessary gruesome detail what we all knew had happened off camera, as if they did not trust their audience to have even a minimal dose of imagination or intelligence. A truly bad piece of television.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 13, 2014 12:07 PM BST

365 Days of Beer 2014 Daily Calendar
365 Days of Beer 2014 Daily Calendar
by Adams Media
Edition: Calendar
Price: 8.81

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boringly unoriginal, 12 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Obviously produced for the US market, this calendar features a mixture of truly unoriginal observations ("Things don't make me nearly as happy as talking and having a beer with my friends", Drew Carey - wow! I'm glad I know this!), silly tips (how to entertain with beer: ask friends to bring local beers and tell stories about them) and references to obscure breweries in obscure places in Anmerica. Thoroughly boring and a waste of money. One good thing, though: it gives you the correct date if you tear off a page every day.

The Grapes of Wrath (Penguin Classics)
The Grapes of Wrath (Penguin Classics)
by John Steinbeck
Edition: Audio CD

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a review of the audio book!, 4 Sep 2013
I think it is exceedingly unhelpful that Amazon aggregates all reviews of all kinds of different editions of a book, movie etc into a single group instead of differentiating between, say, a review of the printed book and a review of the audio book (or a review of some substandard DVD and a Criterion Collection edition of the same movie). The way they do it now you have to sieve through more than 150 reviews to find one dealing with the edition you are contemplating buying, a total waste of time. Anyway, this review is about the audio book edition of "The Grapes of Wrath", read by Dylan Baker. And what a masterful job he does, bringing each character to life by modifying his tone of voice, accent, speed of reading etc. The book is of course a classic and there's no need to comment on it as such, thousands of pages have been written about it, but if you want to have that extra bit of enjoyment that turns a classic into a thrillingly fresh experience you should buy these CDs.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 8, 2014 9:00 PM GMT

Always go First Class
Always go First Class
by Laurence Marks
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for any cruise passenger, 11 July 2013
This review is from: Always go First Class (Hardcover)
Why has this marvellous book been out of print for 50 years? (Did Cunard or some other cruise line buy up the rights to suppress it?) Anyone about to go on a cruise or having been on one should read this, for educational as much as for entertainment purposes. It provides an extremely funny behind-the-scenes look at the cruise business; while some things no doubt have changed over the years the basics are still there and the authentic voice of someone in the know comes through on every page. As a bonus the book offers a nostalgic look back at England, especially working class England, in the 50s and early 60s. In all a wonderful read and highly recommended!

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