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John Sheldon (Walton-on-Thames, England)

Page: 1
by W. Stanley Moss
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A timeless account of WW2 heroism, 31 Mar 2013
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Patrick Leigh Fermor was of a breed perfectly suited to commando operations behind enemy lines, of which the successful kidnapping of a Nazi general from occupied Crete was an outstanding example. There is little doubt that this operation could not have been achieved without Paddy's toughness and self sufficiency, proved by his famous pre-war walk from Rotterdam to Istanbul, together with his ability to engage easily with the Cretan partisans whose help was indispensable. The account by his fellow man at arms W S Moss is factual, exciting, and hard to put down. It should be required reading for all students of WW2, and especially those who have discovered Leigh Fermor as a travel writer, acknowledged as one of the twentieth century's greatest.

Slash: The Autobiography
Slash: The Autobiography
by Slash
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing recall, 8 Dec 2010
Will Sheldon writes:
Armed with the little knowledge I have of one of rock n roll's most infamous guitarists, it's with a fair amount of trepidation I begin to trawl through 458 pages of (presumably faded) autobiographical memories. But I was relieved to discover that not only is every account relived with the level of detail only matched by a crime report (although maybe in some cases they were) but it's also surprisingly well written, with or without the help of ghost writer Anthony Bozza.

From early childhood to the present day, Slash's ability to retell one astonishing tale after the next is....well, astonishing - particularly when you take into account half a gallon of vodka everyday for fifteen years....and not to mention generous daily helpings of every other drug known to man.

But despite the drugs, outrageous promiscuity and a general lack of respect to others, you just can't help but like the guy. And whether he's talking about the 'rift with Axl' or recalling the time he was chased naked through a busy golf course by a group of imaginary goblins, you trust what he says implicitly.

An impossibly addictive book that'll have you scouring the web for months, searching for anything related to Guns n Roses...well, maybe that's just me. But either way, there's something for everyone here, I defy anyone not to enjoy it.

by Richard Aldrich
Edition: Hardcover

49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The last British secret, 8 Oct 2010
This review is from: GCHQ (Hardcover)
GCHQ, by Richard J Aldrich

Like most former employees of GCHQ, I did not have much idea of what went on outside my particular section. To satisfy my curiosity I have read all three recently published volumes on this notorious establishment, of which this, as a serious history, is the most weighty. That such a detailed account was needed is undeniable, considering the major contribution to our national survival made by this band of dedicated codebreakers, as we now know them to be, coupled with its reputation as "The last British secret".

Every significant event in its development is charted, from its beginnings in 1919 as the Government Code and Cypher School, through the years of the second world war when a massively expanded team at Bletchley Park cracked the Nazi Enigma code, to modern times when the former business of monitoring foreign states has to a large degree been overtaken by the need to combat terrorism and international crime.

The extent to which information derived by GCHQ has played a part in international happenings will be a revelation to many. It is plain that in the modern world this country still needs effective monitoring, or Sigint as it is known, to protect its interests. However not all will approve the way in which the emphasis is now on recording details of all electronic communications, and of the individual citizens who send and receive them, enabled by astronomical computing power. There are moral questions here, as well as our willingness to devote serious resources to acquiring the technology, much of which already exists. In this respect it is fortunate that the British have long enjoyed a policy of sharing Sigint with the United States, and it could well be that we will ultimately be dependent on it.

Keeping Afloat: Up a French Canal ... without a Paddle
Keeping Afloat: Up a French Canal ... without a Paddle
by John Liley
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pioneer boating in France, 18 Sep 2009
Anyone who has discovered the fascination of canal cruising will love this story of how the French were made aware of it themselves. Fired by a passion gained on English waterways, the author John Liley with the help of friends converted the Dutch barge Secunda into a hotel boat, to carry fare paying passengers on the vast and under used network in France. The boldness of this venture, involving two sea crossings of the Channel, heart breaking technical problems, and perhaps worst of all, overcoming French bureaucracy, will make you marvel at the toughness and persistence of the small band who battled through it all. Their success showed the way to leisure cruising of the French system at a time when commercial use was declining, with the inevitable pressure for closures. The formula that was pioneered, of fine cuisine combined with stately progress through glorious countryside, is now well established, and the successor to Secunda, another historic vessel renamed Luciole, is still carrying on the hotel barge tradition. The book incidentally also serves as an informative travel guide to the Burgundy regions through which the waterways pass.

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