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JRE "JRE"

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The Grownup
The Grownup
by Gillian Flynn
Edition: Paperback
Price: £1.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Can't help feeling I paid for an ad for her new film and an old book, 6 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Grownup (Paperback)
It's not surprising that the characters are under developed in this short story by the best writer of psychological dramas/ thrillers around at the moment, but it has a good central idea and leaves the reader to make up their own mind as to what comes next. You will either like this or find it a frustrating way to end.

Two carps:
1. This is over priced for a short story. It could have been saved for a later collection, but I suspect the idea was to throw the market some new Gillian Flynn until something more substantial is ready
2. The last few pages include a plug for the upcoming film of Dark Places and extracts from that book. In effect you are paying for an advertisement, a trend I have seen elsewhere


The Garden of Eden
The Garden of Eden
by Ernest Hemingway
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.71

1.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the worst book I have ever read all the way through, 27 Nov. 2015
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This review is from: The Garden of Eden (Paperback)
I am at a loss to understand the praise this book has received. As you probably know, the book was not published during Hemingway's lifetime and I can understand why. It has been edited down to half it's original size, which may help explain its incoherence, but I would hate to have read the full manuscript. The basic "plot line" is promising: a menage a trois in (largely) the south of France during the 1920s, but the prose is appalling (I counted 10 "and"s in a single 6 line sentence: rules are made to be broken but this book demonstrates that they should sometimes be adhered to. Hemingway is also well known for his sparing use of adjectives and adverbs. This can be effective but those he does use here are bland and repetitive - several "lovely's, for example). The characters are unbelievable and dull, the supposedly daring sensuality is absent and it is frequently impossible to tell what is going on. This is not just my opinion: the whole reading group thought the same and agreed it was the worst book we have read. For Hemingway aficionados and masochists only.


The Wire in the Blood (Tony Hill and Carol Jordan, Book 2)
The Wire in the Blood (Tony Hill and Carol Jordan, Book 2)
Price: £3.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Val McDermid is a hugely popular and successful writer and ..., 23 Oct. 2015
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Val McDermid is a hugely popular and successful writer and I have read a few of her books with varying degrees of pleasure and exasperation. I am clearly in a small minority but I found this book to be one of the latter. The prose is atrocious: dreadful, stilted dialogue and similes and metaphors which are ludicrously over the top and "macho". Split infinitives and pointless adjectives litter the pages. The characters are wooden caricatures and wholly unconvincing, including a serial killer who is absurd even by the low standards of many serial killer thrillers. Throwing in a sexual dysfunction as a device presumably to enrich the main character is a stand in for a two dimensional character. I couldn't wait to finish it so I could get on with something else.


Emmaar
Emmaar
Price: £11.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Hypnotic Album, 15 Mar. 2014
This review is from: Emmaar (Audio CD)
There is no doubt that on this album Tinariwen have amended their sound, no doubt as a result of recording in California during their hopefully short-lived exile from their homeland. This has probably made it a little more "acceptable" to a Western audience,, but to my mind has made it among their very best. There is more space in the sound this time, which highlights the intricate interplay between the instruments. The hypnotic rhythms and their unique guitar sound are intact. Reading the translated lyrics, the themes are of exile and loss and warn that peace imposed by force cannot last. Yet these downbeat sentiments are presented in music that uplifts and which it is impossible not to dance to, even sat in the car!
I can't wait to see them live again this July. For me, Tinariwen are one of the two best bands around at the moment (the other being the completely different The National).


Snatched (The Will Trent Series Book 3)
Snatched (The Will Trent Series Book 3)
Price: £0.99

2.0 out of 5 stars I can't help feeling that I paid to be advertised to..., 7 May 2013
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My first reaction on finishing this very short story was "so what?". It is always difficult to make a short story really satisfying. This starts off well and the subject of child abduction is inevitably gripping, but it is TOO short, not allowing for any character developmentor prolonged suspense. Still, if you are a real fanatic who must have everything she has written, this is cheaper than buying the collection it originally appeared in.
My second reaction was "publishing this as a separate ebook is an excuse to advertise Slaughter's next book AND get the reader to pay for it". Because a good part of its length is taken up by the first few chapters of her next bestseller. Unfortunately I have just bought another of her short stories without realising this was the case. I shan't be buying any more.


Freak Out!
Freak Out!
Price: £4.99

5 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Emperor's New Clothes?, 4 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Freak Out! (Audio CD)
Generally hailed as a masterpiece by a genius composer, I listened to this with anticipation, even excitement, and with open ears. Sadly, I found it to be badly dated. It's alleged satire is equally dated and adolescent. And I'm afraid that just because music may be unconventonal, that doesn't necessarily mean it's a work of genius. I like the "Establishment" to be challenged, which it was by this album long ago, but I suspect a bad case of Emperor's New Clothes as far as Zappa is concerned.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 24, 2015 7:39 PM BST


Meek's Cutoff [DVD] [2010]
Meek's Cutoff [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Michelle Williams
Price: £6.00

6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it but don't expect a traditional western, 13 Aug. 2011
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This review is from: Meek's Cutoff [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
WARNING: SPOILER ALERT
I saw this film on release a few months ago and found it a fascinating new approach to the "western", which slowly drew me in with its subtelty and refusal to abide by the usual conventions of the genre. I use that term loosely because this isn't really a western at all, more of an historical portrait of what a small wagon train in the west must have been like (it is based on a true story).
The promotional image on the original poster and the DVD is misleading: it shows Michelle Williams aiming a rifle, suggesting that you can expect some "action". You can't: no weapons are fired in anger and no one is shot. As someone has said, it ends abruptly and does not even tell you whether the pioneers survived - a good example of how it confounds expectations. It will annoy many people. The film does have things to say,though, especially about the place of women in that society and racism towards native Americans. It also looks fantastic.
It's an "art house" film, then (a horrible term I think) and not likely to appeal to or satisfy a large audience but judging by the discussion after seeing the film, those who saw it and went along with its slow pace and lack of "action", it encourages you to think about what you have seen
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 12, 2013 7:09 PM BST


A Prairie Home Companion [DVD]
A Prairie Home Companion [DVD]
Dvd ~ Woody Harrelson
Offered by FREETIME
Price: £9.29

4.0 out of 5 stars Altman and Keillor Partnership works well, 5 Sept. 2008
The hallmarks of Robert Altman's style are here, including a fantastic ensemble cast, overlapping dialogue, a camera that wanders around the action (though that is the wrong word: this film contains virtually no action in the conventional sense of the word) and actors.

But this is a far gentler, nostalgic, elegaic film than, say, MASH, Nashville, Short Cuts or, for that matter, any of his other films. Maybe this is because Altman had "mellowed" by the time he made what was to be his last film, but given the rest of his career this seems unlikely. A more likely influence is the bone dry wit of his main collaborator Garrison keillor, upon whose writings and radio broadcasts the film his based. I would never have thought of them as natural collaborators, but it works perfectly well. Like the works of both men, you need to pay close attention, especially to the dialogue, to catch the subtelties and humour but its worth it. Just don't expect anything but a wafer thin "storyline" ,
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 8, 2009 12:54 AM GMT


Live At The Fillmore East 1970: Special Edition CD+DVD Combo-Pak
Live At The Fillmore East 1970: Special Edition CD+DVD Combo-Pak
Offered by M & L UK
Price: £13.61

75 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant but beware of the DVD, 25 Dec. 2006
As superb as you would expect, but be warned: if you are expecting the DVD to be a recording of the Concert you will be bitterly disappointed, as I was: it is essentially the Audio with a series of still photographs from the concert. Unless this is what you want, stick with the CD only version and save some money.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 9, 2012 8:17 PM GMT


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