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Pity the Nation (Nation Books)
Pity the Nation (Nation Books)
by Robert Fisk
Edition: Paperback

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, 25 Mar. 2003
After reading the September 2000 edition of this excellent book I wrote the following:
"Robert Fisk has spent the last 25 years in Lebanon. He brings the skills of a dedicated reporter, the objectivity of an outsider and the knowledge of a local to the subject. The most compelling thing about this incredible book is the quantity and quality of eye witness testimony. Robert tells the story as only one who has been there can. Another striking thing about this book is Robert's desire to be exact and precise. Everything is cited and referenced.
If you hold a bias for one of the many sides in this sorry conflict you will probably find yourself nodding vigorously sometimes and shouting angrily at others.
Those with an open mind will just be horrified. Regardless of the ebb and flow of politics and war it is always the poor, the weak the silent that suffer. Robert gives them a feint voice."
I've recently been given this edition (Nov 2002) and was curious to see if there were any differences. The text of the book remains the same as the previous edition however the prologue is new. Other changes apart from the new cover include larger print and improved quality paper.
In short if you have the September 2000 edition there is little to be gained from buying this newer edition. If you don't, then buy and read this incredible book.

Conan The Destroyer [DVD] [1984]
Conan The Destroyer [DVD] [1984]
Dvd ~ Arnold Schwarzenegger
Offered by Jasuli
Price: £9.87

4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars They should all drown in lakes of blood, 25 Feb. 2003
If you've seen and love the original, Conan the Barbarian, please please do yourself a favour give this piece of Hollywoodised rubish as wide a berth as possible. This is what happens when the people who make films like "You've Got Mail" or "The wedding Planner" get their hands on a great movie like Conan The Barbarian. Lacking all of the authenticity, originality and grit of the original this thing replaces the strong, independant, existential Conan with a PC, princess (we know she's a princess because she has a strawberry birthmark no less) rescuing pastiche of the real thing. The only positive is that the movie features Grace Jones as herself.

Excalibur [1981] [DVD]
Excalibur [1981] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Nigel Terry
Price: £3.99

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgetable, 25 Feb. 2003
This review is from: Excalibur [1981] [DVD] (DVD)
One of my all time favorite films, Excalibur is something I have watched again and again and is something that still manages to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up!
That said I am not blind to it's faults. It's a strange mix of the brilliant and the not brilliant. The quality of the acting ranges from outstanding to poor. The vast majority of sets, shots and costumes are excellent but there are a few sore thumbs (Mordred's gold armour makes me cringe). Direction of both set pieces and action shots is flawless. The film is loaded with visual symbolism and subtlties which more recent films of the genre such as LOTR sorely lack. There are no sidekicks. The soundtrack is carefully and brilliantly selected from the very best classics.
Perhaps its appeal comes from the fact that it is uncomprimising. It has not been imasculated in an attempt to appeal to as broad a range of punters as possible. If sometimes it falls over it is because it is never afraid to stretch. Whether you enjoy the movie as a whole or not there are a handfull of scenes that are beautifully crafted and considered and could easily stand on their own.

Hill Walker's Wicklow: 30 One-day Walking Routes in the Mountains Near Dublin
Hill Walker's Wicklow: 30 One-day Walking Routes in the Mountains Near Dublin
by David Herman
Edition: Paperback

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent pocket guide, 10 Feb. 2003
I've been using this guide for about a year now and I find it excellent. It contains a good selection of hill walks throughout the Wicklow mountains taking in all the most spectacular and beautiful areas. Each route description includes a map and all neccessary details (such as getting there, required OS map and so on). Distances range from the short winter walks of around 10 km up to 20km ones. Route descriptions are well written but not excessively verbose making them quick to flick through when looking for a walk. The book itself is a handy small size and is easily carried with you and consulted en route if needs be.
Folowing a guide such as this one is a great way to build confidence and soon you'll be picking out your own routes.

The Solitaire Mystery
The Solitaire Mystery
by Jostein Gaarder
Edition: Paperback

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Passed me By, 21 Jan. 2003
This review is from: The Solitaire Mystery (Paperback)
I'm delighted to see from the other readers reviews that many other people read and enjoy this book, I'm afraid I'm not one of them. I picked it up in the airport because I had previously read Sophie's World by the same author and had found it to be a fabulous book. I found The Solitaire Mystery to be too heavy on the whimsy and if there is a deeper point to the whole project I suspect it passed me by. I was left feeling a little let down and wondering what the point of a great deal of the elaborate fantasy of the book was.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 28, 2011 1:55 AM BST

Gulliver's Travels (Wordsworth Classics)
Gulliver's Travels (Wordsworth Classics)
by Jonathan Swift
Edition: Paperback
Price: £1.99

7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty and wry, 29 Nov. 2002
On one level, of course this is the story of your childhood. On another it is a sometimes light sometimes vicious always sharp as a razor satire on politics, science, religion, war and many other aspects of the human condition. The writer has a gift for exposing the ridiculous in many of the things we do and displaying it so it appears described but is in fact lampooned.

Cyprus (Rough Guide Travel Guides)
Cyprus (Rough Guide Travel Guides)
by Marc Dubin
Edition: Paperback

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of info, 29 Nov. 2002
This book is extremely information dense and on first picking it up I found it a little inpenetrable. This soon passes when you arive in Cyprus and start to use the book. As you get your bearings you get familiar with the contents of the book and you can use it to both guide you to very many excellent sites and also to provide good information on them
In addition to what you would expect from a tour guide the book also provides a wealth of political background and context to the sites and atitudes you will encounter while visiting Cyprus (Cyprus does after all have a very colourful recent past). These sections are generally very well writen and make compulsive reading if you're stuck on a bus or your other half makes you lie by the pool for a day.
As is the case with the other rough guides I've used, the policy seems to be tell it like it is. Don't go crazy about what is good and give a straight (sometimes worst case) account of what is bad/risks. It's a matter of personal choice whether this style suits you or not. Personally I find it very usefull. If I want a thesaurus like collection of superlatives I can look at the holiday brochures or the local tourist office stuff.
One small complaint about the book is with some of the editing. I suspect that they were in a bit of a rush to get it to print before the end of the summer 2002 season. There are a couple of spollink mistooks in there still (not the end of the world), once or twice cross references were not correct and the omission of the wreck of the Zenobia from the book can only have been a tragic editing error. Not serious as its not a wreck for beginners and experienced divers will already know of it, but as one of the best wreck dives in the world, it does deserve a mention.

Crusades (BBC Books)
Crusades (BBC Books)
by Alan Ereira
Edition: Paperback

30 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction, 30 Oct. 2002
This review is from: Crusades (BBC Books) (Paperback)
As others have said this is a great introduction to the topic. You'll learn all about folks you've heard of like Saladin and Richard the Lion Heart but also some who perhaps you haven't such as Nur el Din or Tancred.
The book is a quick and easy read written in a light style but still information dense. You learn a lot in a short time and if you're interest is piqued then you know what you need to know to find out more. As long as long as you don't mind the sometimes humorous approach taken by the authors it easily earns its 4 stars.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 30, 2010 4:00 PM BST

The New Intifada: Resisting Israel's Apartheid
The New Intifada: Resisting Israel's Apartheid
by Roane Carey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.00

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Academic, 23 Sept. 2002
The first thing to note about this book is that it is in the form of a series of essays, each from a different author.
The nature and pace of each chapter is very different and some, by the nature of the topics they cover, make easier reading than others. By the same token some are more interesting than others.
Some of the areas covered are the daily lives of Palestinians under occupation, differences between this and the last intifada, Oslo as it realy was and how it appeared on the ground, the media presentation of the conflict (in the US in particular), the roots of the conflict.
All in all a very informative and intersting book for those with more than a passing interest in the topic.

Sophie's World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy
Sophie's World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy
by Jostein Gaarder
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Enjoyable, 6 Jun. 2002
I very much enjoyed this book. If you know little about the "Great Philosophers" but are interested then this is a very enjoyable, informal way to learn and perhaps spark an interst in one area or another. The story is intriguing and will have you scratching your head. The style is charming.
Jostein obviously has an infectious passion for the subject and this comes through in the book.

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