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Jacob J. Halford (Derby)

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Asian Landscape Journal (Notebook, Diary) (Coptic Journals)
Asian Landscape Journal (Notebook, Diary) (Coptic Journals)
by Peter Pauper Press
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.14

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sufficient for its purpose, 21 Sep 2010
As a insatiable journalist, I have used a lot of journals. This has a very beautiful cover, with pages that are of a decent quality. It is let down by the large lines, as this means that the journal is used up very fast. It is comparable to journals of a higher price, in terms of quality and is excellent value for its money.

The City of the Sun (Forgotten Books)
The City of the Sun (Forgotten Books)
by Tommaso Rucker Campanella
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.63

3.0 out of 5 stars A seventeenth century Utopia, 21 Sep 2010
Thomasso Campenella was a big thinker in the seventeenth-century. He had grandiose plans for the reformation of society. Campenella like his contemporarys Johanne Andreae and Francis Bacon articulated his aspirations through the emerging medium of utopian dreaming. Like Francis Bacon's New Atlantis and Christianopolis the city of sun is an attempt to reconcile the emerging new knowledge that was being generated. It hoped to show how science could function in a society. For this reason City of the Sun gives a fascinating insight into the mind-set of seventeenth century thinkers, and the hopes and fears they saw the future held.

The book is delivered through a dialogue between a sea-captain who has visited the CIty of the Sun, and the grandmaster who wishes to learn more about this city. The sea-captain takes the grandmaster on a detailed description of the city, taking him through the series of circles that educate the city through the paintings on the wall. followed by an a description of the customs, procedures and rituals of the municipality. The book is a fascinating insight into seventeenth-century idealised values, as this was what it attempted to achieve. It is notable for the influence it had upon Andreae's Christianopolis and Bacon's New Atlantis, which would be two crucial texts. Whilst not the most engaging utopian work, it is worth reading to understand how it interacted and compared to comparable utopias.

The End of Eternity (Panther Science Fiction)
The End of Eternity (Panther Science Fiction)
by Isaac Asimov
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masters of the future, 21 Sep 2010
The control that we have over our destiny and fate is something that has always been a concern of humans. Philosophers and writers have expended thousands of pages exploring the extent that we are able to determine our destiny. In Isaac Asimov's The End of Eternity we have an excellent work that explores this theme of free will and destiny. Asimov writes a tale that at its heart is about how what we chose determines what our reality is, and who should have control over our destiny, this is delivered in an fascinating plot that revolves around the paradoxes of time travel.

The writing for the most part is clear and engaging, and whilst he never fully develops the characters beyond the one dimensional images we get a glimpse at, the strength of the philosophically dense plot is sufficient to maintain interest in the story. Asimov allows the complexity of the narrative to unfold out in an unexpected series of revelations concerning the nature of Eternity and reality. The crux of the book is the organisation called Eternity, a group of time-travellors who observe the course of history and intervene in its path in order to improve the end result in a utilitarian manner and reduce the suffering in the universe as a whole, however manipulating the past through the myriad of cause and effect relationships is a complex procedure and in the end has serious repercussions for humanity and its future existence.

The central tension in the book is that between the desires of the individual and the desires of the organisation. Harlan a product of the system, who is indoctrinated in the dogma of the group starts to struggle to reconcile his allegiance to Eternity when it starts to conflict with his own personal desires. This conflict arises when he meets a female from the outside called Noys, and the dispassionate Harlan finds himself victim to the phenomena of love, when Harlan discovers Noys existence is in threat, he then starts to violate the code of practice to save Noys and his love.

The narration throughout is tight and controlled with Asimov laying out the parameters of the problem with sufficient clues to guide but withholding enough to keep the fascination of the reader. We are guided through the story via the eyes of Harlan, who seems to driven without sufficient motive to be believable. Likewise his companion Noys is presented as a non-entity and never fully developed yet turns out to be crucial to the plot, making it difficult for the final revelation to have the potency it needs. Whilst the weak characters, the precision and depth in the analysis and exploration of the philosophical issues of time travel more then makes up for this. The End of Eternity is a thought provoking work, with a powerful enough idea to drive home its point that in the end each of us our masters of our own destiny.

Stranger Than Fiction [DVD] [2006]
Stranger Than Fiction [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Will Ferrell
Offered by FLASH
Price: £4.21

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Film, 30 May 2007
Every now and then a true outstanding comic actor comes along releases a few films and then gets stuck in a generic role as a comic actor. How to escape this rutt? Answer: star in a semi-serious film as someone whos live is being narrated/directed. This Film is to the Will Farrell generation what The Truman Show was to the Jim Carey generation. A broad change in direction for Will Farrel but its a refreshing change to see Will Farrell with greater depth, acting more then relying upon comic one-liners to provide the entertainment, a change which he pulls of magnificently.

This is an intelligent, well directed film, a captivating story that draws you into it. I enjoyed every moment watching it.

Make This Your Own
Make This Your Own
Offered by Giant Entertainment
Price: £2.60

4.0 out of 5 stars A good but not great album, 29 May 2007
This review is from: Make This Your Own (Audio CD)
Whilst this album is clearly differant to all of TCTC's previous efforts. It certainly wasn't what I expected as a third album. When I first listened to it, it was clear that the angst, heavy distrorted guitars and waves of feedback I anticipated from them were missing from the album. I didn't like it because it wasn't what i expected.

However after coming back to it after a while I love it. It has some great songs some great harmonys and the polished producing makes them feel a lot more rounded and less like a bunch of students making a noise in their garage. The shouting/singing has been replaced with singing which makes a refreshing change.

As a TCTC album its a disapointment compared to their previous work, but don't let this put you off it, as it is still a good album. Buy it if you've never heard TCTC before as still beats a lot of other albums out at the moment. If you liked TCTC buy it, but prepared for a surprise.

Amelie [DVD] [2001]
Amelie [DVD] [2001]
Dvd ~ Audrey Tautou
Price: £4.05

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feel-Good Film, 5 Oct 2003
This review is from: Amelie [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
Sheer brilliance, Audray Toutou delivers an imbecible performance, in a film that combines humour, love, and all that is good about humans. After watching this film you will want to go out and spend your spare time in an old peoples home helping out. The only possible downside to the film is some of the interesting concepts are not fully explored in the film, and it has brief unneccesary sex scenes but other then that it is a real gem of cinematography.

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