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Joe Crow "Joe Crow" (Bangor, NI)

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Fantasy & Science Fiction, Free Exclusive Digest
Fantasy & Science Fiction, Free Exclusive Digest
Price: £0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars worth every penny...no really, read the small print!, 13 Jan. 2015
worth every penny...no really, read the small print: this is a FREE DIGEST of a bi-monthly publication, it is NOT the full publication.

i subscribed to this almost 3 years ago when i bought my first kindle, and i still look forward to each new digest, delivered automatically on or about the first of every other month.

so far i have not been disappointed. each digest has one full short story, which is usually top quality (and often by an author who is new to me), plus other reviews and articles, plus a handful of adverts.

i have looked at and/or tried other free digests, but this is the only one i have kept: well worth a read!


AT 61 DEGREES
AT 61 DEGREES
Price: £2.70

1.0 out of 5 stars poor grammar/spelling usually breaks the spell (inadvertent pun), 4 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: AT 61 DEGREES (Kindle Edition)
i bought a kindle a couple of years ago as i have always been an avid reader who looks forward to the book - and now the kindle - disappearing as i become increasingly absorbed in whatever i am reading. unfortunately, poor grammar/spelling usually breaks the spell (inadvertent pun), and it takes me a while to get back into the zone...often i persevere, but not always.

as a motorcyclist i also enjoy reading in that genre, so i took a punt on this book and was prepared to give it a chance...even after reading the negative reviews about the twist towards the end.

sadly, during the first 1% of the text, i had become so frustrated by the sloppy writing that i abandoned it...mea culpa, perhaps, for expecting too much.

joe
p.s. and yes, i fully expect to draw criticism for the style of this review, all in lower case...


33AD - A Parody of Biblical Proportions
33AD - A Parody of Biblical Proportions
Price: £0.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Parody?...I think not..., 4 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have had a problem with organised religion for a number of years – rather than the concept of religion per se – hence I regard myself pretty much as an atheist by default.

I also like to think that I am (1) easily amused; and (2) not easily offended...however...this book failed me on both counts.

The first chapter (33%) of this book was disappointing, I am and not prepared to waste another 5-10 minutes finishing it off.

There was a wholly unnecessary sexually offensive reference on the first page, followed by page after page of seemingly random, illogical – but consistently unfunny – juxtapositions.

The only potentially saving grace is that this book was free...however, I still want my money back.

Joe
p.s. Amazon: why can I not award zero stars?...


The Book of Invasions: A Celtic Symphony
The Book of Invasions: A Celtic Symphony
Offered by ErinsMusic&Media
Price: £7.52

5.0 out of 5 stars ...another album which deserves more stars!, 6 May 2014
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I was only a pup when Horslips released The Táin, but my elder brother ensured that it featured heavily in the soundtrack to the rest of my childhood, spent in a part of Belfast where celtic music wasn't openly embraced...in fact it was barely tolerated (bear in mind that this was during 'the Troubles'...with a capital T).

In my teens I bought my own copy of The Táin, along with its predecessor - Horslips debut - Happy to Meet, Sorry to Part, however, I have a confession: in my naivety, I regarded The Book of Invasions as a bit too commercial; a bit too accessible, so I overlooked it for many years. It was also one of those `obvious' albums that everyone seemed to have in their collection, so I ended up hearing it many many times in friends' bedrooms and bedsits...and I convinced myself that I really didn't need to own a copy myself.

Not sure what brought Horslips back within my radar recently, but over a decade after selling my entire 500+ vinyl collection I hunted down CD copies of both The Táin and this later, perhaps more famous, and often described as `career defining' album: The Book of Invasions.

I am grateful to others for their track-by-track reviews and effusive praise for this excellent album...to which I can add little, other than to say that this was and still is one of the finest, most accomplished rock albums (not just celtic rock albums) ever to have been pressed.

What I said in my review of The Táin also applies to The Book of Invasions: if you have any reservations about this album, have a quick look at Amazon's mp3 album listing...listen to the samples...and marvel both at what this band were able to produce...and that they did not become huge.


The Tain
The Tain
Offered by A1tradingGB
Price: £8.94

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the original...and still the best: deserves more stars!, 6 May 2014
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This review is from: The Tain (Audio CD)
I was only 9 years old when Horslips released The Táin, so I won’t claim to have queued up and bought it on the day of release…but, my elder brother might well have, and it became a familiar and important part of the soundtrack to the rest of my childhood – even though we lived in a part of Belfast where celtic music wasn’t overtly embraced.

The story told in this concept album prompted me to read and, ahem, ‘borrow’ a copy of Louis Le Brocquy and Thomas Kinsella’s English translation of the Táin Bó Cuailnge from my school library…and I finally got round to returning it – anonymously – some years after I left.

At some point in my mid-teens I also bought my own copy of The Táin album, along with its predecessor Happy to Meet, Sorry to Part, however, I have a confession: in the mid- to late-80s, when vinyl made way for CD, I didn’t replace my worn copies of Horslips’ stunning debut and seminal follow-up, even when I sold my entire 500+ vinyl collection in the early 90s.
Not sure what brought Horslips back within my radar recently, but I hunted down copies of The Táin and their later, and often described as ‘career defining’, Book of Invasions…of which more elsewhere.

I can’t really believe or understand how or why I put The Táin to one side for so long: after 40 years (or 30-something in my case) The Táin is still simply stunning, from the atmospheric opening through emotive middle sections to draining conclusion…and it bears repeated listening.

Others have written detailed and effusive track-by-track reviews, which saves me having to do so…yet others have described how Horslips invented and/or defined the ‘celtic rock’ genre, which is a very astute and – IMHO – valid claim.
For me, The Táin is Horslips’ finest work: a 42-ish minute magnum opus…the original and still the best celtic / rock fusion concept album. Okay, so add The Book of Invasions to the equation, and we have a significant magna opera, and I have to echo another reviewers’ surprise that Horslips did not become huge.

If you have any doubts about this album, have a quick look at Amazon’s mp3 album listing…listen to the samples…and marvel.


The Book Thief
The Book Thief
Price: £3.66

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ...a harrowing story, beautifully told..., 10 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: The Book Thief (Kindle Edition)
I am not often moved to write reviews, but then again, few books bring me to tears…twice.

I suppose I have been aware of ‘The Book Thief’ for a couple of years, although it didn’t really appeal to me – frankly, I’m not a fan of the period during which it is set, and that probably put me off.

then my teenage daughter mentioned it a couple of weeks ago, as she and a friend were planning to go to the cinema to see the film.

The next day, I saw the kindle version on offer, so I took a punt on it – primarily form my daughter, but I also decided to have a look…and from the first page I was hooked by the storytelling style: necessarily distant, and yet painfully close…and told with more humanity than you would expect from the teller.

The author’s wordplay is simply stunning, and his character development is meaningful and convincing where it needs to be, and sparse in others.

I look forward to reading this again in a few years’ time…but the only downside is that I do not now want to see the film, as I cannot imagine that it will conjure up the same quality of imagery as the words on the page (I felt and still feel the same about The Life of Pi…and don’t get me started on Dune or LOTR…).

Bottom line: read this book – you too will be moved.

Joe
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 10, 2014 10:24 PM GMT


Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi (Previous Generation - 5th)
Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi (Previous Generation - 5th)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars almost perfect..., 16 Dec. 2013
I pondered kindles for a few months in early 2012 because I wanted an e-reader, but I couldn't decide which kindle to buy.

to be honest, I didn't look further than the kindle family, which at that point consisted (in the UK at least) of the 3rd gen keyboard; 4th gen non-keyboard; and newly launched 'touch'...which later evolved into the 'paperwhite'.

talk of the soon-to-be-released kindle fire made me dither some more, but I finally plumped for the basic 4th gen non-keyboard / non-touch / entry level kindle...

18 months later and I'm still sure that I made the right decision! my kindle is about half full of 500+ sci-fi books and mags; work-interest PDFs; and a few other random downloads - mainly from or via the free 'kindle users forum'.

my wife has a 2nd gen ipad and my daughter has a kindle fire, both of which are great for browsing and general 'amusement', but not for long term reading...which is where my kindle comes into its own.

I titled this review 'almost perfect' and I would like to have given it 4.5 stars, simply because I like the idea of paperwhite, but I prefer the 4th gen kindle's buttons to the paperwhite's touchscreen...maybe I'm the only one who fancies that combination, and the way the market has proliferated over the last couple of years I'm surprised there isn't a niche model just for me.

other reviews will give you more techy info, pros and cons, but I'm almost perfectly happy with my kindle, and if or when it dies I just hope I can replace it like for like - so maybe I should buy one now before amazon discontinue it?

it's pretty robust, and has travelled well, although at some stage a sharp point seems to have touched the screen (yes daughter, I'm looking at you...) leaving a mid-grey comma / apostrophe which hasn't grown or deteriorated further in almost a year.

my 79 year old mum borrowed it a few weeks back, and thoroughly enjoyed re-reading some of the the anne mccaffrey 'ship who...' and isaac asimov 'foundation' stories which she had introduced me to in paperback almost 40 years ago. mum had also tried my sister's 'touch' but - like me - prefers my kindle's side buttons...so that's her xmas present sorted!

hope that helps :)

joe crow
p.s. I can also recommend the kindle fire, which does everything else my daughter and I need in a tablet...at a fraction of the price of an ipad!


In The House - In A Heartbeat
In The House - In A Heartbeat
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars ...the ultimate atmospheric track..., 23 July 2013
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this track - or samples from it - crop up all over the place...and it was only when i rewatched 28 days later recently that i realised where it all started. absolutely love it: deserves six stars!


How Soon Is Now
How Soon Is Now
Price: £0.89

4.0 out of 5 stars ...surprisingly charming cover version..., 23 July 2013
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This review is from: How Soon Is Now (MP3 Download)
the review title just about says it all: this was a brilliant smiths song, which has been covered quite tastefully.

my daughter wanted this (as she's a fan of the tv series) and she was surprised that i knew it...until i played her the original, now she understands, and new musical pastures are opening up before her.


Gun Runner: 101 Tasteless Oscar Pistorius Jokes
Gun Runner: 101 Tasteless Oscar Pistorius Jokes

2.0 out of 5 stars ...sorry, it's not for me..., 23 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
ok, so this book was always going to err on the wrong side of tastefulness, given the subject matter - but i thought it might make up for it by being funny: sadly not :(


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