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Gareth Ross "gorfy"
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An Utterly Exasperated History of Modern Britain: or Sixty Years of Making the Same Stupid Mistakes as Always
An Utterly Exasperated History of Modern Britain: or Sixty Years of Making the Same Stupid Mistakes as Always
by John O'Farrell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Left wing dross, 27 Feb. 2013
This book is very, very funny but certainly not in the way the author intended. I wasn't that far into it when I read in disbelief that the according to O'Farrell, post-war austerity was a myth perpetuated by Tory revisionist historians and in fact we lived in a glorious age and a land of plenty under Labour rule. Of course this all changed in 1951 when the evil Tory party regained power. Anything good that has happened in Britain is down to Labour...anything bad is solely the responsibility of the Conservatives. It is utter rubbish. And quite why O'Farrell hates Churchill so much has to be read to be believed, but suffice to say this is a book I wouldn't even give to a charity shop. It is going in the bin. If you want to read what Ben Elton's stand up routine consisted of back in the 80's then this is obviously the book for you. Otherwise avoid it at all costs.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 19, 2013 6:47 PM BST


London Fields
London Fields
by Martin Amis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

18 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretentious guff, 26 Aug. 2010
This review is from: London Fields (Paperback)
I hate not finishing books, absolutely hate it. So I write this review with a huge sense of disappointment and not a little anger. I managed 100 pages before casting this book aside. Indeed, I dropped it in the bin on the way out to work this morning as I couldn't bear it being in the house any longer and I certainly don't want to give it to a charity shop or second hand book store where another unfortunate soul has to go through what I went through. I have never read such a load of old pretentious drivel in all my life. Honestly...who are these people who think that Amis is one of our greatest living authors? Deluded fools the lot of them and if ever there was a classic case of Emperor's New Clothes then this is it. I can't even be bothered to analysing it as none of it bears repeating here or anywhere else. Torturous to read, barely comprehensible and never has a book left me feeling nauseous before, not because of the content but because it is so utterly depressing and God damned awful. Amis obviously thinks he has carte blanche to write such nonsense because the critics will love it anyway but I can tell him this for nothing...you are no better than Dan Brown. Just different sides of the same coin.
Avoid this book as if your life depended on it.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 10, 2013 7:06 PM GMT


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Trilogy Book 1)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Trilogy Book 1)
by Stieg Larsson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good...but not great, 3 Aug. 2010
It's OK. In dire need of a ruthless editor as it was 100-150 pages too long in my opinion. If you want an example of this, go to the bit where Salander breaks her laptop. Did we really need a detailed esoteric sales pitch on the specification of the next laptop she was going to buy? Ridiculous. And the book petered out towards the end as well. I thought it was mildly amusing when Mikael and Salander spent a chapter explaining (for the benefit of the reader no doubt) what had happened. It was all very "Scooby Doo" ("If it hadn't been for you pesky kids" etc etc). And then we were left with about a hundred pages where nothing much happened other than revisiting a plot strand from earlier about Mikael's grudge against one man (who we never meet) and his shadowy corporation. I couldn't have cared less about it to be honest.
I will read the other two books but I'll give it a while. It really isn't worth all the hype and I was left feeling distinctly underwhelmed.


Nineteen Seventy Seven
Nineteen Seventy Seven
by David Peace
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful pretentious rubbish, 26 Aug. 2009
This review is from: Nineteen Seventy Seven (Paperback)
Well that's a few days of my life I'm not going to get back. After being thrilled with 1974, I could not wait to start reading this book but now I wished I hadn't bothered. The author has delusions of grandeur and thinks he is a far, far better writer than he actually is. All I could think of was this is the sort of rubbish a sixth form student might hand into his English teacher thinking he is being big and clever. It's Emperor's New Clothes of staggering proportions. The plot is incomprehensible and I would guess that the author is the only one that knows what is going on because I can assure you the reader doesn't. Characters aren't explained, there is no back story and all of the protagonists in the story are so similar in personality that they all blur into one and names are meaningless. I won't give anything away to say that the ending is so bad and so unbelievably pretentious that I was speechless. I threw the book across the room after finishing it but at least I can take solace in the fact that I won't be buying the remaining two books in the series or indeed anything else by this author. Shocking.


The Best of The Proclaimers
The Best of The Proclaimers
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £9.90

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joy, 11 Oct. 2004
Sometimes you listen to music and the feeling you get from it is just sheer joy. This is what this album did to me. I admit, I did not know much Proclaimers stuff apart from the Letter From America and 500 Miles, both of which had been played to death on the radio. But listening to this cannot fail to move you in some way. I found myself (without realising it) wearing a huge grin as the album played and at it's conclusion I just felt a little bit better about the world and everything in it.


The Dark Tower II: The Drawing Of The Three: Drawing of the Three Bk. 2
The Dark Tower II: The Drawing Of The Three: Drawing of the Three Bk. 2
by Stephen King
Edition: Paperback

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why did I leave it so long?!?!?, 12 Jan. 2004
I have been a Stephen King fan for over 20 years now and have read all his books apart from the Dark Tower series.
Why is this?
Well, when "The Gunslinger" first came out many years ago I started to read it but quickly lost interest as I found it heavy going and difficult to read...like wading through treacle (or pushing a wheelchair along a beach!) Then my local supermarket was selling the first two books for less than the price of one and when I looked I saw that they had been revised and re-writtten so I thought I would give them another go.
What a revelation they turned out to be! I have been absolutely hooked ever since and have rushed out to buy parts 3 and 4 (at full price!) so I don't have any sort of gap between the books.
I read constantly...at least a book a fortnight, time permitting, but it has been a long, long time since I have read anything where I cannot wait until the next free time I have where I can pick it up again. Going to work has been a constant irritation in the pursuit of reading these books!


From a Buick 8
From a Buick 8
by Stephen King
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite...but almost., 14 Aug. 2003
This review is from: From a Buick 8 (Paperback)
Trying to compare any recent Stephen King novel with his earlier works such as "The Dead Zone", "The Shining", "The Stand" or "It" is a hopeless task, as nothing he has written since will ever match those books for sheer genius.
However, trying to leave that prejudice aside, this was a highly enjoyable novel that restored my faith in King after the quite awful "Dreamcatcher" which must rank alongside "The Tommyknockers" as the worst books he has ever written.
I approached this with some trepidation after reading the synopsis, as I was dreading what I thought would be another futile attempt to introduce us to an alien world, as in my opinion, King can't get this to work...his tedious Dark Tower saga being a case in point. But, work it did, mainly due to the strong narrative and the fact that the "other world" was just skirted around and never truly explored, leaving the reader to make up his or her own mind about where and what it was.
King writes better in the first person and it showed here. He regained the knack in this book of lulling you into a false sense of security, where not much is happening, before hitting you with a chunk of unsettling horror and then just as quickly leaving it alone for a while. It was all the better for not having a huge build up into what is normally a disappointing, badly written, climatic scene which King is fond of lately.
Altogether, a return to form and it bodes well for future novels.


A Short History Of Nearly Everything
A Short History Of Nearly Everything
by Bill Bryson
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, 27 Jun. 2003
How annoyed was I thinking I still had a hundred or so pages to go of this totally absorbing, fascinating book only to find that I had come to the end and the remaining pages were notes and index?
I cannot praise Bryson enough for this work and if you want my opinion, schools might as well ditch all their science text books and replace it with this one. At last he makes what are potentially dry, boring subjects absolutely gripping and not without his trademark humour. However, he also adds words of caution for us, the human race, but never in a lecturing or preachy way that would get you annoyed.
The highlights? His whole chapters on space and molecules. The often hilarious chapters on scientific discoveries featuring people who were absolutely stark staring mad. And the sobering final chapter on man's contribution to species extinction. Quite shocking.
I could go on, in fact I would love to go on...but do yourself a favour and go and buy this book and get totally lost in it like I did (often finding myself waking at three AM and picking it up again until dawn.)


The Eagle's Shadow: Why America Fascinates and Infuriates the World
The Eagle's Shadow: Why America Fascinates and Infuriates the World
by Mark Hertsgaard
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading, 27 May 2003
I cannot do this book justice from a simple review, suffice to say that this should be essential reading for anyone who has an interest in the reasons why America is attacked literally and metaphorically. Hell...let's go the whole hog and put it on every school curriculum in the land. One only hopes that when this book was published in America that it was widely read, but I won't hold my breath.
Written by an American journalist (so this isn't a jealous rant from some "foreigner") the facts are presented in such a calm, reasoned, logical way that it is hard to disagree with anything that is stated. If I had read this before the Gulf War, I would have taken a different stance...it almost goes without saying.
Every couple of pages I had to put the book down just to digest the information I had just read, it is that staggering.
I urge you to read it and then tell all your friends. This book deserves a wider audience than it will get.


Native Rites
Native Rites
by David Hewson
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wicker Man?, 18 Sept. 2000
This review is from: Native Rites (Paperback)
More than a passing remblance to Wicker Man, this is a fairly satisfying read which does leave a bit of a nasty taste in the mouth. I, for one, shuddered inwardly when I drove through a typical English village after finishing the book. However, I did feel the book jumped from one event to another, with very little by way of explanation in between. The heroine of the story was involved in at least five potentially life changing events even before the climax, and appeared to sail through these without any analysis by the author on how she felt, or what she was thinking. I know people have a remarkable capacity for adapting, and "getting on" with things but this was verging on the ridiculous.


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