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Betron B750s Earphones Headphones, High Definition, in-ear, Tangle Free, Noise Isolating , HEAVY DEEP BASS for iPhone, iPod, iPad, MP3 Players, Samsung Galaxy, Nokia, HTC, Nexus, BlackBerry etc (White)
Betron B750s Earphones Headphones, High Definition, in-ear, Tangle Free, Noise Isolating , HEAVY DEEP BASS for iPhone, iPod, iPad, MP3 Players, Samsung Galaxy, Nokia, HTC, Nexus, BlackBerry etc (White)
Offered by Betron Limited ( VAT Registered)
Price: £19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars good value so far, 24 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Pretty good sound for the price. They seem a little flimsy, so I am not expecting them to last longer than a few months.


Creative EP-630 Noise Isolating Earphones (Black)
Creative EP-630 Noise Isolating Earphones (Black)
Offered by Tick Ltd
Price: £32.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Sound quality good for the price, 5 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought these on Amazon, they arrived this morning as promised (but such a big package, crazy). The sound quality is pretty good, but par for the price. In other words, not so different from my old mobile-phone headphones and probably would be similar to slightly more expensive ones.


The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (Wordsworth Classics)
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (Wordsworth Classics)
by Anne Brontė
Edition: Paperback
Price: £1.99

3 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Insipid and tedious, 9 Aug. 2011
I really enjoyed Villette, so the favourable reviews on Amazon convinced me to read Wildfell Hall. But Villette's characters are recognisble as human beings and the plot trots along at a quick pace. Here, the dialogue is utterly flat, all the characters speak in exactly the same mournful tone in every situation and there's really no plot to speak of, except that a woman, through her own stupidity and against her aunt's good advice, gets stuck in a marriage with a scoundrel, who very kindly dies horribly, leaving her free to marry again. Too often, Anne Bronte has to resort to the most inept literary devices (people hiding behind curtains to hear gossip, etc) to create an artificial sense of excitement.

Here's an example of a young man speaking to a woman he loves...

"I will confess that I came here for the purpose of seeing you (not without some monitory misgivings at my own presumption and fears that I should be as little welcome as expected when I came) but I did not know that this estate was yours until enlightened on the subject of your inheritance by the conversation of two fellow-passengers in the last stage of my journey; and then I saw at once the folly of the hopes I had cherished and the madness of retaining them a moment longer; and though I alighted at your gates, I determined not to enter within them".

This ponderous, formal prose is as unrelated to the human voice as Donald Duck is to tragedy. 'Monitory misgivings'? What does that mean?
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 5, 2012 9:53 AM BST


Humboldt's Gift
Humboldt's Gift
by Saul Bellow
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.60

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Typical 1970's American novel, 4 April 2011
This review is from: Humboldt's Gift (Paperback)
Humboldt's Gift is what I would call a typical 1970's American novel. Not the happiest decade for the USA. I know that's a vague description, but if you've read books such as Something Happened, The Dice Man, Memoirs of the Ford Administration, Lot 49, American Pastoral (written in 1998, but looks back to this time), Looking for Mr Goodbar, etc, you'll recognise familiar themes - essentially, a bunch of bored, wealthy people, drifting aimlessly downstream, grabbing at any 'new' sexual game or a la mode suburban metaphysic that doesn't cost them a moment's pain. The characters are residually Jewish or Christian, but nowhere in H's Gift is there any mention of Synagogue or Church, as these anchors are far too old-fashioned to deserve any consideration.

At least Gatsby's friends didn't indulge in this sort of dreary, Madame Blavatsky-esque nonsense that Bellow continually tries to pass off as high idealism:
"He argued that between the conception of an act and its execution by the will there fell a gap of sleep. It might be brief but it was deep. For one of man's souls was a sleep-soul. In this, human beings resembled the plants, whose whole existence is sleep."

At the end of the novel, after five hundred pages of melancholic introspection and some really snappy screenplay dialogue from Chicago's gangsters, we have a group of people standing around Humboldt's coffin in a cemetary. No one can think of an appropriate prayer, so one confused old fellow decides to sing an aria from Aida instead.

I know this won the Pulitzer and Bellow has the Nobel Prize, but - it's been said before - writers win awards for many reasons, and literary talent isn't the most important. Bellow captured the spirit of the age, puts it in a nice, attractive bottle and makes us think we have a vintage. We don't.


The Count of Monte Cristo (Wordsworth Classics)
The Count of Monte Cristo (Wordsworth Classics)
by Alexandre Dumas
Edition: Paperback
Price: £1.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story, too long and slow, 12 Jan. 2009
This is a good story, but, as many people have observed, it is too long and the characters' dialogue is absurdly formalised. I am surprised that so many rate it so highly.

Nineteenth-century novels were usually published in serial form in magazines - every week or fortnight, yet another chapter of Dombey and Son or Middlemarch. I think that after the first part of MC, when Dantes escapes from prison, Dumas must have realised that he still had another six months left on his publishing contract, hence the extended and self-indulgent Roman carnival scenes and then Dantes' somewhat sluggish entry into Parisian society. It's hard to remember relationships between a dozen characters after five hundred pages. Why does X hate Y? Who is Y, anyway?

Then, as usual in tales of murder and revenge, at certain points in the book, in order to explain the situation retrospectively, each character steps forward for ten pages to recall scenes and conversations with perfect clarity that happened two weeks or fifteen years ago ("I was hiding behind the door when I was five years old and heard everything..."). This plot device is crude and heavy-handed and becomes very tedious when there's no real variety of tone or rhythm: every single person in the book always speaks exactly like the author. In fact, this is simply the author as puppet master, speaking through the mouthpieces of his puppets, to drive the plot forward to the bitter end. Just like Agatha Christie, really.

So, this is a good book, but not a great one, like Les Miserables by Hugo or The Devils by Dostoyevsky.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 24, 2012 11:19 PM BST


Set This House on Fire (Black Swan)
Set This House on Fire (Black Swan)
by William Styron
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, but stodgy, 20 July 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It's a great and powerful novel, but it's also ponderous and stodgy in places, not only because Styron takes us deep into the characters' backgrounds and psychologies, which is important, but essentially because cultural observations that should really be delivered by the author himself are ludicrously inserted as conversation.

For instance, this excerpt is spoken by one of the characters, Cass Kinsolving, an uneducated painter from Virginia, to his friend Peter Leverett. "...it was the sense, the bleeding essence of the thing. It was as if I had been given for an instant the capacity to understand not just beauty itself by its outward signs, but the other - the elseness in beauty, this continuity of beauty in the scheme of all life which triumphs even to the point of taking in sordidness and shabbiness and ugliness, which goes on and on and on, and of which this was only a moment, I guess, divinely crystalized".


Creative Zen Stone Plus 2GB MP3 Player - Black
Creative Zen Stone Plus 2GB MP3 Player - Black

0 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Useless little gadget, 9 July 2008
If I could give this less than one star, I would. I found a 2gb Zen Stone Plus MP3 player, in perfect condition, in the street in Barnet, NW London, the other evening. I couldn't believe my luck! I rushed home and charged it for three hours through a USB cable. Although my computer recognised the connection (so I have a 2gb storage device, I suppose), its battery doesn't hold a charge and it only works when connected to a USB mains charger. It is entirely useless as a mobile media player. I won't give it to a charity shop or sell it on, because no one else deserves this headache. Now I realise why its owner had dropped it in the road. They were hoping that a car would come along and crush it.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 26, 2008 7:29 PM GMT


A Confederacy of Dunces (Penguin Classics)
A Confederacy of Dunces (Penguin Classics)
by John Kennedy Toole
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very funny, but static, 7 July 2006
Ignatius, the hero of 'CoD' is very funny, in the way that a drunk person can be articulate and amusing. For a while. But, if truth be told, Ignatius becomes rather boring and pathetic, because he remains perfectly content to drift gently downstream without point or purpose. He has little to offer except absurd verbal flatulence espousing an incoherent world view vaguely based on morally severe medieval theology. In point of fact, his childish antics and total disregard for any consequences, are anarchic.

Without the very fortunate and timely arrival of a friend to take him away to NY, how would the novel have ended? With Ignatius being locked up in a mental ward. This is the literary equivalent of a beggar finding a diamond ring in a trash can.

One can sense a deep depression and melancholy under the surface, which makes me think that Toole killed himself, not because the book wasn't published (come on, thousands of writers suffer this humiliation), but because, like Reilly, he was basically unstable. Read Touched by Fire, by Kate Jamison, which relates manic depression to artistic creation.

The book is called "Confederacy of Dunces", because that's a quote from Jonathan Swift - "When a true genius appears... a confederacy of dunces are against him". Unfortunately, Ignatius is not a genius, he is a buffoon.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 12, 2009 10:59 PM BST


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