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A. J. Wentworth

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iPhone 6S Case, Ringke [Fusion] Crystal Clear PC Back TPU Bumper w/ Screen Protector [Drop Protection/Shock Absorption Technology][Attached Dust Cap] For Apple iPhone 6S / 6 - Crystal View
iPhone 6S Case, Ringke [Fusion] Crystal Clear PC Back TPU Bumper w/ Screen Protector [Drop Protection/Shock Absorption Technology][Attached Dust Cap] For Apple iPhone 6S / 6 - Crystal View
Offered by Ringke Official UK Store
Price: £30.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The worst phone case I have ever bought, 14 Oct. 2015
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The worst phone case I have ever bought. Cheap-looking and difficult to put on the phone. A complete waste of money. I threw it in the bin.


Boyhood
Boyhood
Dvd

5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Borehood, 3 May 2015
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This review is from: Boyhood (Amazon Video)
Overrated. It's like a long, particularly bad episode of Dawson's Creek. My impression of the lead character: "Life is like, so hard. I really wanna be a photographer but like, I dunno." Pseudo-hipster types might enjoy it but I didn't.


Areopagitica and Other Writings (Penguin Classics)
Areopagitica and Other Writings (Penguin Classics)
by John Milton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 3 May 2015
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An important reminder that freedom of publication / expression began with Milton.


The Islamist Phoenix
The Islamist Phoenix
by Loretta Napoleoni
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst journalism on ISIS there is, 22 April 2015
This review is from: The Islamist Phoenix (Paperback)
This book is just awful. Napoleoni writes as if she was the Head of Publicity for ISIS. Here are some examples from the first few pages of her book, 'The Islamist Phoenix' (even the title affords respect where non is due):

"Since his ascent to the global stage, IS leader and Caliph Abu Bakr al Baghdadi..." ('ascent to the global stage' is hyperbole at its worst and referring to al Baghdadi as 'Caliph' affords him a legitimacy that only his small group of followers give him).

"... the Islamic State is spreading a powerful, in part positive, political message in the Muslim world: the return of the Caliphate, a new Golden Age of Islam." (Is it? I thought they were spreading sectarian division and religious totalitarianism via extreme and public forms of violence).

She describes ISIS as a "promising new political entity", as having "steely insight", being "fully engaged in nation building" and "seeking consensus". (The kind of language a spin doctor uses to describe his political paymasters).

She writes: "...what accounts for its enormous successes is its modernity and pragmatism" (how many compliments can she fit into one short chapter!?)

I could see very early on that this is the kind of leftist, terrorist-admiring claptrap that people like Noam Chomsky represents. It doesn't matter how many times ISIS tells the world their aim is to spread Sharia by the sword, to people like Napoleoni (and the rest of the Guardian / North London set), ISIS are dynamic guerrilla fighters who are pushing back against foreign intervention / imperialism.

The sooner this kind of 1960s `wretched of the earth fight back against imperialism' narrative is debunked the sooner we can all start engaging with reality.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 23, 2015 3:27 PM BST


Short Breaks in Mordor: Dawns and Departures of a Scribbler's Life
Short Breaks in Mordor: Dawns and Departures of a Scribbler's Life
Price: £5.30

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant e-book., 7 Nov. 2014
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As ever, Peter Hitchens delivers a brilliant read.

Side note - it is ridiculous that PH can't get a publisher these days but Russell "Revolution" Brand can. Yet again, the fashionable opinions of bien pensant lefties trumps good old fashioned journalism.


Red Dwarf X [Blu-ray]
Red Dwarf X [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Chris Barrie
Price: £12.22

7 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Serious overhaul needed, 14 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Red Dwarf X [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
My issue with series 10:

1). I didn't like the sets. I appreciate that sets change from series to series but this one looked and felt like an over lit sound stage. Also, would the crew spend their lives in what looks like a big, red, metal boiler room, or would they occupy the much more comfortable officer's quarters as they did in series 4? Just because you put a couch in the middle of a load of metal pipes doesn't make it look like a realistic place the crew would spend their time.

2). I didn't like the plots. The episode "Lemons" was a good example of the silliness that has crept into Red Dwarf over the years. Indeed, Lemons felt like a children's history lesson with the pedestrian references to Shakespeare and the story of Jesus.

3). I didn't like the Cat. By series 6 the Cat had shed his silly James Brown impersonation but here in series 10 it's back in full force. It's like an amplified version of his series 1 persona and it doesn't work for me. I think the Cat works better as a cool character with cool dialogue, not just a wrinkle-making smile in a Quentin Crisp outfit.

4). I didn't like Kryten's makeup. What on earth has happened to Kryten's makeup!? In series 10 Kryten looks old, grey and with bags under his eyes. Whether or not mechanoids age is another question but it just didn't look like Kryten. The nose is so different it actually bothered me.

5). The cast were playing up to the camera / audience. The cast were too aware of the the camera / audience. The acting didn't look natural in the way it did in earlier series. When I think back to the Waiting for Godot subtlety of series 1 compared to the crash, bang, wallop of series 10, the contrast is huge. Instead of set-piece gags to camera they should revert to something more natural and less staged. Cast members should not be facing the audience all the time (as they do in the theatre) but telling the story in an intimate, natural way.

6). It wasn't memorable. If I said Ace Rimmer, Emohawk, Psirens, etc you would instantly know what I was referring to. Whereas I watched the entire series 10 yesterday and I can barely remember any of it. In fact, the bits that stand out are the weaknesses.

7). It's not funny enough. Times have moved on and that is reflected in the set, costumes, FX, but not in the scripts. There are the odd moments that raise a smile but not laugh out loud moments for me. One exception is when Rimmer exclaims: "How long you mad goth bastard?" in the episode "Fathers and Suns".

8). It's directionless. I didn't feel that series 10 took the franchise anywhere. There was narrative thrust in the previous series, with Lister desperate to get back to earth and start his life over, or his desire to find and be with Kochanski, or Rimmer's quest to become an officer, or Kryten's evolution towards humanity. In this series, these big ideas are replaced with no ideas.

9). Naylor needs some help. As much as I love Naylor's work I think he has too much control over the scripts, production, etc. If one man's vision falters then the whole franchise falters (as it has done here). I think he's done well to keep the franchise afloat but as with George Lucas I think it's time someone stepped in and returned Red Dwarf to glory.

10). Along with the lack of humour, there's a lack of original science fiction elements. When I watch "Future Echoes" I'm still amazed at the cleverness of it, or the great sci-fi characters such as Legion and the Inquisitor. What we get in series 10 are talking snack dispensers.

11). The absence of Holly is a real shame. Both Norman Lovett and Hatty Hayridge added greatly to the franchise. Instead, the only computer character we get in series 10 is Pree (a not so good attempt at another Queeg).

12). There's a real lack of poignancy in series 10. Red Dwarf has always trodden a line between hilarious situation comedy and drama but that line has disappeared. There are many episodes such as "Thanks for the Memory" which tackle the disappointments of life and make you think. There was nothing close to this in series 10.

13). Lack of chemistry. Much has been said about the enduring camaraderie between the cast members but for me the chemistry isn't quite there. The cast are much older, have spent years doing other things, and have not been on a proper Red Dwarf set in years. This shows. It's not an easy thing to explain but there is more distance between cast members somehow.

14). Too long between series. If Red Dwarf is to hit its stride once more they have to start doing consecutive series. Leaving huge long gaps between each series is a mistake as it really shows. In the next series will the cast be in their 60s? Will Naylor spend the next series trying to remind us who the characters are, instead of cracking on with the plot?

I love Red Dwarf but it needs to return to it's glory days (series 4, 5, 6 for me) before I can get excited about future series. Sadly, because of the over-the-top and exaggerated praise series 10 has had from Dwarfers I think they'll stick to this new, inferior formula until the franchise is cancelled.
Comment Comments (9) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 9, 2014 12:16 AM GMT


Autobiography (Penguin Modern Classics)
Autobiography (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Morrissey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.48

81 of 360 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ridiculous, 17 Oct. 2013
How does Penguin "Classics" justify publishing an autobiography written yesterday by a narcissistic pop star from the 80s!?

Whatever next, the memoirs of Simply Red!?

I cannot get a new, affordable copy of Alexander Pope's translation of Homer's The Iliad (also in the Penguin Classics range) but I can get a copy of Morrissey's autobiography. Glad to see Penguin "Classics" has got its house in order...
Comment Comments (135) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 31, 2013 9:38 AM GMT


The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods
The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods
by Hank Haney
Edition: Hardcover

2.0 out of 5 stars Not as much insight as I expected, 17 April 2013
For anyone interested in Tiger Woods there is very little in Hank Haney's book that is new or particularly interesting.

Tiger Woods is recounted by Haney as being very focused on winning (antisocially so), extremely selfish and often distant, and ultimately tragic (with Haney concluding that Woods may never fully recover from the scandal). Well, all these things are known already, from reading newspapers and watching TV. In fact, I don't think Haney realizes just how much readers of his book already know about Tiger Woods' background and his fall from grace.

Irritatingly, much of the book is also taken up with Haney's defense of his teaching methods. Indeed, he is very sensitive to criticism, particularly of the swing he tried to teach Woods (which he says Woods never quite mastered). Had he mastered the swing, Haney insists, Woods could have been the greatest striker of the golf ball in history. That said, on the occasions Woods wins Haney says he nearly got it. When Woods performs badly it is because the method Haney taught wasn't being properly implemented. My view is that you can't win everything, no matter how great you are, and it has very little to do with the minutiae of Woods' swing, which Haney obsesses over. Whereas I think Woods is only human and had off days, Haney will say it was because Woods' dropped his head an eighth of an inch on the down swing.

But the worst thing about the book is that Haney constantly complains that he never got to know Woods personally, that Woods was always guarded around him. Well, the reason for that is that Woods clearly doesn't fully trust anyone and after reading Haney's tell-all account who could blame him! Haney was hired to help Woods with his golf swing, not to be his best friend and confidant, but that fact does not seem to have chimed with Haney who feels very 'let down' by Woods.

Ultimately, Haney's book confirms the things we already know about Woods but sheds light on almost nothing new. It inadvertently tells the story of what happens to people who are around great and famous sports stars, even more than it tells of those sports stars.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 6, 2013 11:56 AM BST


Letters on England (Classics)
Letters on England (Classics)
by Voltaire
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A reminder of how great England was, 3 April 2013
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Voltaire wrote his 'Letters on England' (1733) during his three year exile in the country (mainly spent in London). It comprises of 25 letters on a range of subjects, from religious sects to poets, from Isaac Newton to the House of Commons. Voltaire writes with great admiration for the English, especially of England's philosophers (Newton and Locke) and poets (Rochester and Pope) but he also pokes fun at the quirks and failings - the ridiculous hats worn by the isolationist Quakers and the lack of proper historians (Edward Gibbon would be born four years after the publication of this book). What is most impressive is the clear and witty way Voltaire writes. It is proto-journalistic.

My favorite paragraph in the book is about the Philosopher John Locke, the father of English Empiricism:

"Divide mankind into twenty parts : nineteen consist of men who work with their hands and who will never know that there is a Locke in the world, and in the remaining twentieth part how few men will you find who are readers! And of those who read, twenty read novels to one who studies philosophy. The number of those who think is exceedingly small, and they are not interested in upsetting the world."

I think this says so much about the importance of reading and thinking and I also love the fact that for Voltaire the highest achievements were made by men of reason. That said, most can name three plays by Shakespeare but know very little about Locke. Similarly, many hold their religious beliefs dear without ever considering the foundation upon which any thought, religious or otherwise, is built. For those reasons, and many others, I would say this is a great little book for anyone to read, not just fans of Voltaire, but for anyone who wants an amusing tour around Enlightenment England and the men and ideas that shaped the Age of Reason.


The Secret
The Secret
by Rhonda Byrne
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.89

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An insult to everyone..., 14 Feb. 2013
This review is from: The Secret (Hardcover)
'The Secret' can be summed up in three words: 'thoughts become things'. Knowing this secret, we are told, is how you make your life better.

Applying 'the secret': if a starving farmer on the plains of Ethiopia whose crops have failed because of climate change thinks hard enough about a field full of grain then will a field full of grain appear? Sounds ridiculous but this is what we are told, that the things we wish for (and visualise having), will become a tangible, physical manifestation. What an unbelievably stupid thing to think and what an awful idea to profit from.

The other thing to say about this book / DVD is that the 'contributors', those people who know / apply 'the secret', are all self-help authors themselves! When a talking head appears on the screen (if you're watching the DVD) and tells you about their financial success it is because they have made money peddling variants of 'the secret' to vulnerable people desperate for a few words of encouragement.

The claims by the author that the greatest minds in history (Da Vinci, Einstein etc) all knew 'the secret' is beyond ridiculous.

The Secret really is an insult to the intellect.

If you want to know more about the human condition then read Middlemarch by George Eliot.


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