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Karrimor Men's Bodmin Ii Mid Weathertite Black Walking Boot
Karrimor Men's Bodmin Ii Mid Weathertite Black Walking Boot

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I hope I was just unlucky!, 9 Jun 2011
Having seen some excellent reviews for these boots, I purchased a pair to use for my 110 mile hike of The Cleveland Way. They certainly looked the part when I opened the box and I was very excited about using them, particularly as the price seemed very reasonable.

However, in practice, they simply weren't up to the job. Before the walk itself, I went out for a 3 hour walk to test them out. There was heavy rain for some of the walk and unfortunately one of the boots had let water in by the end of the walk. Although the rain was heavy, the leakage was concerning because it came in not through the top of the boot but from beneath.

When it got to the walk itself I had a few more problems with the boots. The first issue was that on day 2, having walked 22 miles the previous day, the front plastic covering of the left boot began to come unstuck from the boot. It looked like the glue had come unstuck and consequently the waterproofing was compromised. The platic front then continued to to peel further away from the toe as the week continued.

The second issue was that the inner soles of the boot slipped around whilst walking. Both inner soles, by the end of the week, consistently slipped to the back of the boot leaving it crinkled up underneath the heels. This meant that not only has the boots waterproofing been compromised with the issue of the platic frontage of the left boot but also by the end of the week the comfort has also been affected.

I think I may have been unlucky with the pair I had but it is certainly worth taking my experience into consideration. The seller I used were excellent in dealing with my problems with the boot as they refunded the full cost of the boot when I returned it. We were doing about 20 miles a day, so perhaps some of the more positive reviews were by walkers not covering such ambitious terrain.

I did speak to a fellow walker who had some leather Karrimor boots. He was retired and walked 1000s of miles a year and found these boots to be perfect for the considerable mileages he carried out! Karrimor can get it right, it seems, but as for the Bodmins, I'll be walking away from them next time!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 6, 2011 8:44 PM BST

Ian McEwan's "Enduring Love" (Routledge Guides to Literature)
Ian McEwan's "Enduring Love" (Routledge Guides to Literature)
by Peter Childs
Edition: Paperback
Price: 14.71

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and Clear Critique, 13 Mar 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having been teaching 'Enduring Love' to A Level students, I bought this guide in order to provide the students and me with secondary resources to support our reading of the novel. Due to 'Enduring Love' being such a recent publication, there is a distinct scarcity of useful secondary reading that the 'Average Jo(e)' can lay their hands upon!

As well as containing useful explanations relating to the various contexts that underpin the novel, this guide contains a selection of critical essays that tap into some of the many themes and ideas that the novel engages with.

Though some of the critique is, in my opinion, a little far fetched (see the discussion relating to Jed being Joe's alter-ego and his escape route from Clarissa and his associated anxieties about love), there is much in this publication that will help to shed light on what is a rather enigmatic novel.

I think that this guide would be well-suited to both A Level students and those studying at undergraduate level. For A Level students the critical essays will prove fairly hardgoing if being read independently but they will certainly provide an excellent stimulus for class discussion.

It's Not A Rumour
It's Not A Rumour
Offered by Direct Entertainment UK
Price: 7.79

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roll with him or get rolled over!, 18 Mar 2007
This review is from: It's Not A Rumour (Audio CD)
Akala is one of a very promising generation of really talented British urban artists who are mounting a serious challenge to the posturing artists from the U.S.

This album oozes class and is excellently produced. It features a range of tones and emotions: from the unforgiving opener 'Stand Up', that asaults the ears with fiece guitars, to the laid back 'Why Do' that features an acoustic rather than electric melody supported by the silky vocals of Ms Dynamite.

I have to confess I was not instantly in love with this album but with repeated listening I grew accustomed to the unusual fusion of guitar and hip-hop that is such a feature of the album, particularly towards the beginning.

In terms of stand out tracks 'Shakespeare' is probably the most obvious candidate: witty and relentless, it is a clever parody of the iconic white bard. Akala is a confident lyricist - "It's William back from the dead" - but his bravado is generally endearing rather than irksome.

'Bullshit' must be a certainty for a live crowd pleaser and its repetitive refrain speaks volumes for the disillusionment that is fast becoming indicative of this turn-of-century's zeitgeist amongst so many disempowered or disenfranchised youth.

There is a real variety of sounds on this album and this ensures that it retains its freshness following repeated listens. His lyrics are full of references to contemporary London culture, and the references to gang and gun culture resonate strongly when considering the recent spate of media coverage on the subject.

Top Girls (Modern Plays) (Modern Classics)
Top Girls (Modern Plays) (Modern Classics)
by Caryl Churchill
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.57

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Play, 18 Mar 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This offering from feminist playwright Caryl Churchill is an uncompromising critique of the capitalist mode of feminism as advocated by the model of the eighties power women, most obviously personified by Margaret Thatcher.

'Top Girls' deploys an interesting technique whereby characters narratives overlap leading to complicated scenarios wherein meaning is lost in the melee of competing voices. It certainly makes for difficult listening or reading but acts uniquely as a physical representation of the interupted and disjointed histories of the women whose situation it aims to ameliorate.

The play is split into three main sections. The first act witnesses the meeting of various fictional and non-fictional characters from history, literature and art at a dinner party. The party has been organised to celebrate the recent career success of central character Marlene. Marlene works for an agency designed to find jobs for women.

The first section reflects the women's various instances of "success" whilst exposing the commonality of their suffering both at the hands of men and indeed at their hands of their own complicity with the phallocentric societies in which they found themselves.

The next two acts are situated in the present, within a year of each other, and focus on Marlene's character. This present experience acts as an interesting counterpoint to the dinner-time narratives. It becomes abundantly clear that Marlene too, though ostensibly successful, comes with her own baggage and we are asked to quesiton how far indeed women have come, if at all.

'Top Girls' should not be mistaken for a cynical and negative play: far from it. It's message is that there is hope but only through a socialist ethic of togetherness where the intended output is the common good rather than the elevated succes of the individual. This idea is neatly illustrated by Isabella's illness where she reveals that her head could not be supported by the diseased spine. That is to say, without the foundations of a strong society the most talented and superficially gifted individual cannot truly thrive.

I would recommend it on many levels. On the most basic level it is full of dark humour and the chaotic, drunken opening act is compelling both visually and due to the uinique use of overlapping narratives. Gret will make you smile almost everytime she releases one of her limited utterances while Angie's 'momentary' cannibalism is shocking to the extreme.

However, when revisited you will be able to further plumb its hidden depths and observe admiringly how Churchill subtly weaves her earnest polemic into the fabric of the novel.

Sharp Objects
Sharp Objects
by Gillian Flynn
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 9.20

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Creepy, 14 Jan 2007
This review is from: Sharp Objects (Hardcover)
Having been recommended highly by Stephen King I hardly needed the additional prompts from a Radio 5 Live book panel to spur me to invest in this first offering from Gillian Flynn.

Flynn's greatest skill is in her subtle but chilling mastery of turning the mundane into the chilling. Descriptions of a family's meals and the almost grotesque manner in which they are eaten, for example, provide the reader with a continual sense of unease that courses throughout the novel from its outset. While a description of a visit to a pig farm is repugnant and enough to put you off a warm bacon butty!

The sense of unease is given further potency by the instability of the narrator who, though you will find reasonably amiable, will not fully empathise with. A journalist, she struggles to marry the demands of her job with her increasingly frayed moral integrity. Consequently, through the course of the novel, the psychological effects of the mystery that she explores clearly take their toll.

Overall this was definitely an entertaining read though its potency was tempered by a slightly hurried climax and actions from characters that the reader may find difficult to believe. 'Sharp Objects' is certainly enjoyable and compelling however, if explored with the same intensity as our protagonist explores her case, might crumble with closer scrutiny from the critical eye!

No Roots
No Roots
Offered by Champion Toys
Price: 3.69

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't lose faith!, 14 May 2006
This review is from: No Roots (Audio CD)
I can easily see why people are understating the value of this record. It has followed in the wake of a whole host of anthemic tunes from Maxi and the gang and has been overshadowed, rather unjustly, by the major anthem of this particular record: weapons of mass destruction.

That song aside a cursory search by musical inspectors will not uncover any similarly powerful weapons of mass (aural) destruction but rather an inoffensive collection of soulful and calming electronic ballads that pacify rather than incite.

Sit back, relax and imagine soaring high above an urban cityscape as day gives way to the temptations, troubles and relationships of the night.

If this album was released by a different band I think it would be more highly acclaimed than it is but it is precisely the groups history of barnstorming bass and roof-lifters that I believe has tainted its emergence as a hit downtempo record in its own right.

Music For the Mature B-Boy
Music For the Mature B-Boy
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 3.82

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cooking up beats and rhymes..., 4 May 2006
This album is great fun from beginning to end. A lighthearted beat infused concoction this album is always entertaining and never dull. Even the cheesy cookery analogy doesn't tire and adds a bizarre kind of depth to this funky and upbeat album.

The guest vocalists add a dash of pedigree to the catchy tunes and while it is not going to be heralded as groundbreaking it is a cracking album that will never fail to add cheer to your day.

There are no low points with this record and I would advise it as a fail safe record for those people wishing to dabble in the murky waters of the hip hop world. I can guarantee you will not disappointed!

Fight For Your Mind
Fight For Your Mind
Price: 7.80

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fire your publicist!, 1 May 2006
This review is from: Fight For Your Mind (Audio CD)
I originally stumbled on Ben Harper when I was at university. This was some years after this album was released. I had never heard of him before and I am still shocked by how little he is known in the UK today. I was therefore very grateful to my friend that I was prevented from being one of the many who could have missed out on someone who has since become one of my favourite musicians.

He has been portrayed by the press as mentor to Jack Johnson though to draw comparisons between the two would be a rather banal process and a discredit to either as they are very different and talented artists in their own right.

This album burns with a "gentle rage" that is fuelled by issues close to Harper's heart: racial discrimination; civil liberties and globalisation. These are clearly huge issues to discuss through song but Harper maintains his credibility as a consequence of the personal passion he breathes into his songs.

Though often the subjects can be fairly bleak the music is conversely very uplifting. Relaxing and with a loving spoonful of moody bass you are sure to feel chilled out even without the need to "Burn One Down"!

I sincerely hope he gets the exposure he thoroughly deserves in his later years. If only to allow him to tour more regularly and widely over here so I can see him more often!

Come To Where I'm From
Come To Where I'm From
Offered by positivenoise
Price: 8.00

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Come to where I'm from? No thanks..., 16 Dec 2004
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Come To Where I'm From (Audio CD)
I bought this album full of hope buoyed by the encouraging sound of an album track that featured on a perfume advert. Usually impulse buys come up trumps. This didn't. 'In the Sun' is really good, unfortunately the rest of the album is melancholy and uninspiring. That is not to say that melancholy is a bad quality in itself. Yet when it falls into the bounds of cliche and easy rhyme depression quickly transfers itself to the listener. I hope I have got Mr Arthur all wrong but it wasn't the sweet smell of success for me...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 3, 2008 9:59 PM BST

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