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Reading In The Dark
Reading In The Dark
by Seamus Deane
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent tale, 16 Oct 2011
This review is from: Reading In The Dark (Paperback)
This is a very enjoyable read. Written by Seamus Deane it tells the story of a young boy growing up in Post War Derry, and about the tensions in a city divided by religious and political conflict. The boy's family nurse a dark secret which he longs to find out about, and as the story unravels, one realises that the secret has the power to shatter the entire fabric of their family life. It also focusses on the deep seated hatred in communities where terrible wrongs have taken place, yet the perpetrators are too hardened by hatred to find it within themselves to repent. This book was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1996 but missed out to Graham Swift's 'Last Orders'.


Last Orders
Last Orders
by Graham Swift
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 16 Oct 2011
This review is from: Last Orders (Paperback)
There was a bit of controversy surrounding this work because of its similarities to another Author's book but I found it an immensely enjoyable read full of humour. The story is told through a series of dramatic monologues delivered by the principal characters and it was very noticeable that a great deal of the humour was lost when the book was made into a film. Basically the book tells the story of eight friends before and after the death of one of their number - Jack, a butcher. It tells of infidelity and betrayal as well grievances that the friends have developed against each other through their years a association. Set in South London it is told generally through cockney cant.


The Incredible Journey [DVD]
The Incredible Journey [DVD]
Dvd ~ Emile Genest
Price: £3.70

5.0 out of 5 stars 'I knew old Bodger wouldn't make it'., 6 Aug 2011
This review is from: The Incredible Journey [DVD] (DVD)
I haven't seen the remake of this film, but it would really have to go some to match this Disney classic for excitement and sentimentality. Forty years after after I first watched this at Primary School I still only have to remember the title of this review, and its context in the film, to set the old waterworks off.

It is very dated by today's standards, and you don't really see many films today with little or no dialogue (just voice over) but this film was popular with generations of children, and proved that film directors could work very successfully with children, and animals, to produce something truly wonderful and entertaining.

Basically two dogs and a cat


Translations (Faber Paperbacks)
Translations (Faber Paperbacks)
by Brian Friel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite play of all time, 8 Jun 2011
I remember picking this play up, and wondering if it would be able to capture my interest, because I am a reluctant reader. There is, however, something about this work that makes you want to keep reading. All the characters are interesting, especially Hugh Mor O'Donnell, and you find yourself loving some and hating others.

I used to think that when you hated a character it was because they were not a good creation, but it is quite the opposite really. And Maire Chatach in Translations, has the same effect on me as Mr Skimpole in Bleak House, she evokes instant dislike. Her selfishness and the attachment she develops to the foreigner George Yolland are central to the Story, and help bring about the climax to the play. She abandons Manus, the crippled Irish teacher, for the stronger English soldier and there is perhaps an allusion here to the shedding of the Irish language in favour of English, by the Irish peasantry.

I read 'Making History' after reading this one and didn't like it half as much. The banter in the hedge school particulary that between Hugh and Doalty is extremely funny and provides an anti-dote to the depressing central theme of the play - Colonisation and the wilful destruction of the Irish Language and Culture.

If you read this and the first chapter of Ulysses together, you can see the effect of what takes place in Translations. In Friel's play, set notionally in 1815, the main language of Bally Beag was Gaelic, and it was the only language the Hedge School pupils other than Jimmy Jack Cassie, really understood. By 16th June 1904, the peasantry, represented by the milk woman, are unable to even recognise their own language.


Ryan's Daughter - Special Edition [DVD] [1970]
Ryan's Daughter - Special Edition [DVD] [1970]
Dvd ~ Sarah Miles
Price: £6.29

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everybody else has said it but..., 7 Jun 2011
This is a special, special film. Full of sentimentality, romance, betrayal and some moving scenes of Irish Nationalism ('Do you have any last requests?' 'Yes, Get out of my country') this is a truly remarkable film that sadly can be all too easily overlooked these days.

There are so many powerful performances and not just those of Mitchum and Leo McKern. John Mills is excellent as the village idiot, Barry Foster as the IRA activist, and Trevor Howard steals the show completely as the Catholic Priest who wields so much power in wartime, rural and very religious Ireland.

This is one of those few three hour films which don't seem as long as they actually are, because you feel you are actually in the film, such are the highly charged emotions it evokes. You could be forgiven for dismissing this as Romantic claptrap, but that would be a pity because it really is modern day classic, and you would need a hard heart indeed not to shed a tear or two at the climax.


Rosanna/The Best Of Toto [German Import]
Rosanna/The Best Of Toto [German Import]
Price: £7.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Africa's not on it, 20 Mar 2011
Bought this as I hoped Rosanna and Africa (my two favourite tracks) would be on it. Rosanna obviously was, but Africa wasn't. Hard to judge this, really, as nothing else really stands out.


Score!
Score!
by Sarah Wardle
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.44

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Collection of poetry from the official poet of Tottenham Hotspur., 20 Mar 2011
This review is from: Score! (Paperback)
This collection of poems will make good reading for both poetry lovers and football fans. It captures the atmosphere of games and the very poetry and art of the great game itself. It's a must read!


Literary Theory: An Anthology
Literary Theory: An Anthology
by Julie Rivkin
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very hard going, 11 Mar 2011
I suppose for gifted students this book is an absolute God-send, but I found that some of the chapters were very hard to understand, and ended up gravitating towards simpler texts. It was, however, recommended as an excellent source on my English degree course, and it does cover the major theories of critical analysis, such as Formalism, Structuralism and Post structuralism, as well as the very abstruse concept of 'differance' so persistence is probably the key.


Doing English: A Guide for Literature Students
Doing English: A Guide for Literature Students
by Robert Eaglestone
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Well I thoroughly liked it!, 11 Mar 2011
This is a very useful book for gaining an insight into the techniques required for literary criticism. Perhaps it does lean towards the very simplistic, but that is the major attraction of the work when the student is faced with the abstruse theories of Post structuralism, Post Modernism and even formalism. It discusses terms such as metonymy, tropes, synecdoche, anthropomorphism and animism, and basically gives you labels for figures of speech you use every day.


Banishing the Beast: English Feminism and Sexual Morality, 1885-1914
Banishing the Beast: English Feminism and Sexual Morality, 1885-1914
by Lucy Bland
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful resource from Virago, 11 Mar 2011
Used this book as a resource for an essay on the restrictions placed on the movement of women in 19th century British Society. It was most informative. It talks about attitudes at the turn 19th century, to women being seen in public places unaccompanied by a male, and highlights the Victorian obsession with prostitution and contagious (venereal) diseases. It also focusses on the passing of the Contagious diseases Act (1797?) and the various debates that took place in Parliamentary committees prior to its passage.


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