Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop All Amazon Fashion Summer Savings Up to 25% Off Cloud Drive Photos Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Oasis Listen in Prime Shop now Learn more
Profile for Mark West > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Mark West
Top Reviewer Ranking: 5,055
Helpful Votes: 215

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Mark West (Kettering, Northants United Kingdom)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Born in the 70s
Born in the 70s
by Tim Glynne-Jones
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £6.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A blast from the past!, 4 Jan. 2016
This review is from: Born in the 70s (Hardcover)
Not only a nostalgic look back at growing up through the 70s - toys, games, TV shows, activities - this also gives a potted socio-political history of the UK through the decade. Lavishly illustrated and sharply written, I thoroughly enjoyed this (even if it didn’t particularly tell me anything new, the photographs are worth the price alone) and it ends with a wonderfully poignant image and caption. Very much recommended.


The Days Are Just Packed: Calvin & Hobbes Series: Book Twelve (Calvin and Hobbes)
The Days Are Just Packed: Calvin & Hobbes Series: Book Twelve (Calvin and Hobbes)
by Bill Watterson
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Another fantastic collection!, 25 Dec. 2015
This collects cartoons originally published between April 1991 and November 1992 and is made all the better by reproducing the Sunday strips in full colour. With his usual mix of humour and poignancy, Watterson has Calvin try to take on the world, thwarted by his parents, his age and his occasional bouts of extreme laziness. My highlights include the title panel (waiting to waterbomb Susie), “I’m home….”, Calvin twisted around (“oh wait, there’s my belly button…”), the flying car, Hobbes dreaming, Dad cycling, Astrology (and being a girl-magnet), Chewing magazine, a mention of The Noodle Incident, creativity (last minute panic!), Hobbes writing the class story, sitting out and looking at the stars, smooching the ladies, the big slide, Halcyon days, monsters under the bed, survival kits, pictures for a “fictitious childhood” and re-reading (again) ‘Hamster Huey’. Funny, smart, touching at times and occasionally melancholic, this is a superb collection and well worth a read. Very much recommended.


Stephen King: The Art of Darkness
Stephen King: The Art of Darkness
by Douglas E. Winter
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Thorough and informative, 10 Dec. 2015
Originally published in 1984 (the foreword mentions a revised edition in 1985, my version is © 1989 but doesn’t have details of “Stand By Me” which came out in 1986), this exhaustive book looks at King’s output (to date) and also includes elements of biography (with a lot of quotes from “Danse Macabre”). The sheer wealth of information is incredible (I wish I could have found this back in the 80s!) and, due to their friendship, Winter has better access to King than most people writing about him (indeed, at the time, King’s only intervew about “Pet Sematary” was given to Winter and is included here). Whilst the analysis sometimes gets a little heavy going, it’s always thorough and my only slight niggle is that Winter doesn’t find any fault with King’s output though, as he says in the foreword, this is “an intermingling of biography, literary analysis and unabashed enthusiasm”. With lots of background details on every novel, a complete bibliography (with synopsis’) of his short story output and details of the film adaptions, there’s definitely something for every King fan here and it’d be great to see an updated version (though it’d be three or four times the size!). If you like King, you’ll enjoy this - very much recommended.


Flower Girl
Flower Girl
Price: £1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A fine romance, 9 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Flower Girl (Kindle Edition)
When Mark met the Flower Girl on his first day at his new job, it was love at first sight. But the course of true love doesn't always run true.
A change of pace for my friend, the horror writer Peter Mark May, this chapbook is the tale of two would-be lovers, Mark and the Flower Girl (we don’t find her name out until much later) and how fate contrives to keep them apart for several years. I liked the story a lot, the lead characters were bright and sparky, the secondary characters were unpleasant but well-rounded and there was a nice tone that felt, for the most part, like an 80s teen movie (in a good way). The writing is deft, with a sense of immediacy and it has a good pace though, if pressed, I would suggest that pace should be slowed down a bit. This is a big sweep of story, taking up eight years of the lead characters lives and I felt like I wanted to see more detail. That niggle aside, this was a very entertaining read and I’d recommend it.


The Mystery of The Invisible Dog (Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators, Mystery 23)
The Mystery of The Invisible Dog (Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators, Mystery 23)
by M. V. Carey
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the series, 6 Dec. 2015
The boys are hired by Fenton Prentice, who seems to be experiencing a haunting in his apartment and whilst there, they get involved in a robbery. When it later comes to light that what was stolen, a crystal statue of The Carpathian Hound (the invisible dog of the title), belonged to Prentice, the boys have a bigger case to crack. Probably my favourite of the entire series, Carey perfectly captures the mood and atmosphere of the post-Christmas period and her sense of location here is superb - the park, the church and Paseo Place are all vividly described. The story zips along, from the superb opening sequence right through to the climax, with plenty of well-drawn characters and some excellent set pieces (including an encounter in the church). It is also filled with beautiful detail (such as “Through the open curtains Jupe could see the church next door. The organ no longer boomed and children's voices could be heard in the street; apparently choir practice was over.” and a policeman remarking “Things have been really weird on this block the last couple of days”) and also features a welcome cameo from “Singing Serpent” and “Haunted Mirror”’s Dr Bannister. I think the story also gains credit by having two supernatural events (an out-of-body wanderer and the cover-star phantom priest, the latter of which inspires the great last line) that are presented ‘just so’, with no attempt to explain them away. Rich, well paced and with a good mystery at its heart, this is an excellent book and very highly recommended.

Filled and a superb sense of location.


Octopussy: James Bond,007 (Marvel Super Special No. 26)
Octopussy: James Bond,007 (Marvel Super Special No. 26)
by Steve Moore
Edition: Comic

4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable, 2 Dec. 2015
Published in 1983 to coincide with the film, this Marvel adaption was written by Steve Moore and drawn by Paul Neary, with lettering by Annie Halfacree. As with the FYEO adaption I read earlier this year, I assume this is the full version (I only discovered the book this year) and it’s relatively faithful to the film, with some panels almost reproducing certain shots. Bond is a lot wittier than he is in the film, especially with the one-liners and out of everything it’s the action sequences that suffer the most making the transition from page to screen, especially the climactic plane flight and fight which is over in less than a page. The book also includes a well written and nicely detailed account of the making of the film, by Richard Hollis, which was thorough and informative. Whilst “Octopussy” isn’t my favourite of the Moore-era Bonds (why isn’t there an adaption of “The Spy Who Loved Me”?) , it is good fun and this adaption captures that spirit, so I’d very much recommend it.


Hell's Ditch (Black Road)
Hell's Ditch (Black Road)
by Simon Bestwick
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Post-apocalyptic brilliance, 1 Dec. 2015
Set twenty years into the future, after an apocalypse has decimated the earth, this follows rebel Helen Damnation who is fighting against the powers-that-be, led by Winterborn, an old adversary. Things already look bleak - the Reapers govern by brutal force and the general populous is dying of disease and starvation - but when the rebels hear of Project Tindalos, it seems like things are going to get a lot worse. Read for a critique, this is very different to Simon’s usual milieu and not a sub-genre that I’m well-versed in but having said that, it’s up to his usual high standards and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Placing the POV over a small cast - Helen, Danny a young soldier, Alannah and Gevaudan, a Grendelwolf - he paints a quick but thorough picture of the world, piles on the atmosphere and dread and never skimps on the nasty stuff - especially the fall-out of Tindalos itself. The first book in a proposed trilogy, I enjoyed it a lot and would highly recommend it.


Goldeneye
Goldeneye
by John Gardner
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Sterling Bond action, 25 Nov. 2015
This review is from: Goldeneye (Paperback)
With the communists out, Russia is changing but certain elements of the cold war remain. Blasting through the Severnaya tracking station, agents of the Janus syndicate - a powerful and ambitious gang that cares nothing of ideology - have stolen Goldeneye, a piece of technology with the power to destroy the West’s financial markets. James Bond, however, is on their trail and soon discovers that the leader of Janus, who has his own reasons to hate both the British and the Russians, is someone he once knew… This is the second Gardner Bond novel I’ve read (it’s also his second novelisation and the penultimate title he wrote in the series) and I enjoyed it, perhaps helped because I like the film it’s based on a lot. Written in a brisk and breezy style, filling in some of the blanks that the film didn’t have time for but maintaining the gritty atmosphere, this runs at a good pace and works well. There are some changes from the film - Xenia Onatopp drives a yellow Ferrari here, rather than a red one, for instance - but not enough to be distracting and it’s interesting to see how Gardner handles scenes against the way the film did. I liked this a lot and if you’re a Bond fan, it’s well worth a read.


You Asked for It, Charlie Brown!
You Asked for It, Charlie Brown!
by Charles M. Schulz
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic fun!, 25 Nov. 2015
Another great collection, featuring selected cartoons from “You’re The Guest Of Honour, Charlie Brown vol 2”, this was published in 1979 (the Coronet edition I read) with comics from 1972 and 1973. Less melancholic than normal, as usually happens when Snoopy features more prominently (though he does have a couple of strips that tug at the heartstrings, as does Woodstock who wants to find his ‘mom’ on Mothers Day), this nevertheless features the whole gang and has a decent balance of one-off panels, some longer arcs and several stand-alone double-page spreads. My highlights include Charlie Brown wanting someone to call him ‘poor sweet baby’, a phrase Snoopy then uses a lot; Woodstock in love with a butterfly; Snoopy the writer dealing with rejection, false story starts and the struggle for a good title; the charity baseball game for stomach aches; Charlie Brown at camp with the sack on his head (which is very touching); Woodstocks guest room and Marcie dealing with the sexist Thibault. Rerun also makes his first appearance, very briefly. Funny, occasionally touching and as warmly nostalgic as ever, this is a great read that I can’t recommend highly enough.


James Bond - The Living Daylights
James Bond - The Living Daylights
Price: £5.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Another great from Barry, 25 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Superb soundtrack for a great film, ranging from quiet pieces to stirring action cues. And unlike a lot of OST albums, there's plenty of music to be heard here.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20