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Andre the Giant (Graphic Novel)
Andre the Giant (Graphic Novel)
by Box Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.09

5.0 out of 5 stars A plane ride to nowhere, 15 Jun 2014
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There was an emotional and developmental sense of stasis, of inertia that made reading this fine, subtle book about the life of Andre the Giant a melancholic experience for this reader. Perhaps it’s just the nature of the perpetually adolescent pro wrestling industry itself, but my lasting impression is of the book’s final panel, of hedonism, emptiness and of wasting time by playing cards on an endless plane ride to nowhere. I didn’t get a real sense of who Andre Roussimoff really was, but perhaps that’s the real sadness behind the persona, that there was nothing there, just a massive, empty façade, and when the show was over there was nothing. Just endless drinking and embarrassing moments of rudeness caused by the alcohol consumption.

The man was not a hero, but he was not a villain either. He was just a man who grew too big, made some money out of it, and died at an early age (46 years-old) without doing all of the things in life that men are supposed to do. He had a child, but she interfered with his career, so he wasn’t interested. He wasn’t married and his friendships were based on him being a celebrity. There was a sad, shallow emptiness about everything he did. He had a ranch where he stayed when he wasn’t playing cards on an aeroplane. He wrestled, and he drank. The book shoots by so fast, with panels that have a childish sense of fun about them. Panels that have a cartoon simplicity, a lack of complexity that is perfect to depict a life far less interesting than you might think, the life of a pro wrestler. His life was not fun. It looked boring. I wouldn’t want that life. He travelled, but he was too big, and he was in constant pain, and when he finished travelling he died, alone on his ranch, in pain.

He was not a victim. He lived his life on his own terms. Selfish, empty and looking to capitalise financially and socially out of his size. He didn’t do it to feed his family. He did it to feed himself. It’s a story of a hollow life. Of a life only half lived, and it’s a lesson to men of all size. Life is not about appearance. Life is not about travelling. Life is not about hedonism. Life is about stages of development. If all you do is stay at one stage, never progressing and experiencing the other stages of life, what’s the point? Pro wrestling is the perfect metaphor for stunted emotional development. It is childish fun, but eventually you have to leave it behind, not just as a fan, but as this book demonstrates, as a performer as well.


The Ways Of Yore
The Ways Of Yore
Price: £10.27

10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A calm, relaxing, almost hypnotic slice of musical poetry, 6 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Ways Of Yore (Audio CD)
The feminised liberal elite's who run their banker funded operations through public relations companies, mainstream media outlets, universities, think tanks and NGO's hate it when you question their orthodox, highly deceptive version of reality. They have a number of ways of dealing with dissent. They start off with ignoring it, and then insist that their views are the consensus, and that the argument is already over. This is what they keep trying to do with the man-made global warming debate. When that doesn't work they use ridicule and name calling that is designed to label anybody with opposing views as a crazy, tin-foil hate wearing `conspiracy theorist' that shouldn't be taken seriously. Their next phase of attack is to use their big guns, the four destroyers of all debates. So if you go against their agenda you are either `racist,' `sexist,' `homophobic,' or `anti-Semitic.' Have you noticed that yet? It's bloody annoying isn't it? And that's what they do with the one-man musical project called Burzum.

I can already tell you what other reviews of this album will read like. Most mainstream music commentators will ignore it, and the few metal magazines that do give it a review will start off their reviews by telling their readers not to buy it because it's 'racist.' They'll then go on to say that it's boring and not as good as the other albums they are reviewing that month. Most of these albums will be praising Satan and growling and screeching about how bad Christianity is. You know that stuff that really upset people in the 1980's? Well, they're pretending that it's still cutting edge and rebellious in 2014. The days of biting a head off a bat are long gone, but you wouldn't know that if you are a regular reader of one of today's politically correct metal magazines.

They're so rebellious those metal magazines. So evil, so hardcore, so anti-establishment, except, err, actually no, they're not, at all. Your typical metal magazine is about as anti-authority as a party political broadcast for the Labour/Conservative party, so don't listen to their corporate nonsense and fake rebellion. They criticise Christianity because they are allowed to, it's as simple as that. They are stuck on the corporate plantation, and quite happy to even be allowed there.

`The Ways of Yore,' is not a `black metal' album, so don't purchase it if that's what you want. There are no blast beat drums, no guttural wails, and no screeching guitars and walls of violent, aggressive percussion. This album is by a man who has left such things behind, in his youth, where they rightfully belong. You are not supposed to live your life in a perpetual state of stunted, anguished teenage confusion, anger and misanthropy. Life is about stages of experience, where you learn, grow, develop and change. Varg Vikernes (the man behind Burzum) has made a soothing, relaxing, contented, spiritual, and erudite album that is part hymn to the past, part summoning of the days of yore, and part recognition of the state of balance that we all need to live a fulfilling and contented life.

The album has two standout tracks. The first is the hook laden and catchy `Heill Odinn,' which has a refrain that'll be stuck in your head for weeks after listening to it. The second standout track is `The Reckoning of man,' where a spoken word Varg takes us through what has been lost, but what has also been remembered. It's a call for a re-evaluation of our past, and if you can get over the deceptive `racist' tag used to stop you looking into these things then it's something I highly recommend you look into for yourself.

I found `The Ways of Yore' to be a calm, relaxing, almost hypnotic slice of contemplative, introspective poetry, laden with care for the listener and sprinkled with little nuggets of musical gold that will delight your ears. You need patience to enjoy it, patience and the ability to transcend the corrupt corporate mainstream's name calling tactics that are designed to stop you from even exploring the areas of genealogical research that people like Varg Vikernes are brave enough to be bringing into the public arena. Putting ideological and political matters aside though, this is a rewarding work of music that will put you in a warm place. There are no screams of torment here. This is music coming from a man who knows exactly who he is, what he is doing and where he wants to be. It's music from a man with peace of mind and happiness in his heart, and I fully recommend that you get off the corporate reservation and give it an hour or two of your time.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 25, 2014 9:29 AM BST


Egyptian God Anubis Key-ring, Keychain in Fine English Pewter, Handmade
Egyptian God Anubis Key-ring, Keychain in Fine English Pewter, Handmade
Offered by Hoardersworld
Price: £4.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very cool little Anubis., 29 Mar 2014
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Very well made, very cool and exactly what I wanted. Anubis is the judge of your wordly actions after death. Have you been a naughty boy? If so, Anubis will ensure you get what you deserve.


Transformers: Autocracy (Transformers (Idw))
Transformers: Autocracy (Transformers (Idw))
by Chris Metzen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Intellectually stimulating book about giant toy robots., 5 Nov 2013
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Wikipedia defines an Autocracy as, `A system of government in which a supreme power is concentrated in the hands of one person, whose decisions are subject to neither external legal restraints nor regularised mechanisms of popular control.'
So what is a kids comic about giant metal robot toys doing with such a serious title you might be asking yourself? Well, let me explain.
Transformers has always been about the struggle against autocracy really. If you remember (as I do) the old cartoon series from the 1990's it was always about Optimus Prime and the Autobots (good guys) against the Decepticons (bad guys) who were led by their evil and dictatorial leader Megatron. So what would happen in a world where somebody like Megatron was in charge?
Of course we already know what it would be like on planet Earth if this were to happen. Pick up any history book and you'll see. But surprisingly enough at the beginning of this book we find out that Megatron is actually fighting AGAINST a tyrannical leader, and that Optimus Prime is working FOR this very tyrannical leader. A world on it's head for sure, this wasn't what I was expecting at all when I picked up this book.
Optimus Prime isn't yet known by this name as we begin the book. He's going by the name of Orion Pax, and he's working for a corrupt political elite that is headed by the autocratic Zeta Prime. The Decepticons have been labelled as `terrorists' by the state because they oppose their plans, which include killing the population of Cybertron and draining their energy to fuel powerful weapons of mass destruction. If all of this sounds familiar it's because the writers (Chris Meltzen and Flint Dille) are obviously basing this world on the situation that we have on our own planet. The similarities and parallels are obvious, and I could go into great detail about them here. However, I'll leave that for now, and suggest it might be a very good idea for you to read this book for that very reason alone, but back to the toy robot aspect of the book.
As the plot progresses (in short, easy to digest chapters) we find Orion Pax slowly questioning who is working for, and what he is doing to the civilian population of Cybertron. Is Megatron a terrorist or a freedom fighter? And what would happen if the old order were replaced by a new one with Megatron at its head?
This book really is the beginning of the Transformers universe I experienced as a child watching those excellent Saturday morning cartoons. We see Orion Pax becoming Optimus Prime. We see Megatron evolve from freedom fighter to would-be dictator. We see old favourites like Bumblebee, Starscream, HotRod and the Dynobots, and we see the destruction of Cybertron that eventually led the warring giant robots to travel to planet earth.
It's all done in a snappy, easy to digest way. The story is easy to follow, but the art is sometimes needlessly too dark, so you can't quite make out who is fighting who, or what exactly is happening in the big set piece battle scenes, a bit like the explosion laden movies really. But as somebody who hadn't stepped into the world of Transformers for well over a decade I found this a comfortable place to rediscover my old childhood friends.
The obvious parallels to what is happening in present day western democracies was nice for my adult mind, and seeing my old cartoon friends again was a nice nostalgic blast back to a past that was a lot of fun and well worth me picking this book up for.
If you want to find out what the Transformers are up to these days and haven't checked them out for a while then this is the perfect book to pick up. It might just have you scurrying around the attic looking for your old toys, and as a book about giant robot toys it poses surprisingly intellectual, thought provoking questions about what is going on in the world today.


Star Wars: Knight Errant Volume 3 Escape
Star Wars: Knight Errant Volume 3 Escape
by John Jackson Miller
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Life affirming joy in a comic book., 2 Aug 2013
A life affirming tale about humanity, love, children, selflessness and the inevitable triumph of human goodness over selfish, empty nihilism. Am I really describing a Star Wars comic? Yes I am, and I'm both wonderfully and delightfully surprised to be doing so. This superior little book has a tale to be told, and a message to convey. That tale is a tale of hope, a tale of resistance to tyranny, and a tale that leaves you feeling hopeful, joyful and wonderfully renewed. The message of the book is a message of unselfish, unconditional love for your fellow man. A message that says, the real meaning of life is not what you do for yourself, but what you do for others, and for future generations. How fantastic is that?
It's by far and away the happiest comic I've read in some time, and the only reason that I'm not discussing the plot or characters is because I want you to experience it fresh for yourself. If you want to buy a Star Wars book then buy this one. Forget the Darth Vader and Boba Fett books (although a lot of them are excellent as well) and take a chance on this one. If you get a tenth as much enjoyment out of it as I myself did then it will be the best comic book purchase you've made in quite some time.


Deceiver of the Gods
Deceiver of the Gods
Price: £11.89

3 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Failed the workout test, 4 July 2013
This review is from: Deceiver of the Gods (Audio CD)
I bought this album because 1- I love metal music. 2- I thought it would be a bit like Bathory. 3- I enjoyed the single `Deceiver of the Gods.'
However, after spending three days with the album I've come to the conclusion that it's not quite as good as I'd hoped it would be. A good test of any metal album in my eyes is the workout test. What I do is put on my headphones, go for a run (or row, in the gym) and let the music blast away in my ears. If it inspires me to workout harder then it's a good album. If it doesn't, then it's a bad album. Unfortunately, after a few plays of Amon Amarth's DOTG's my workout performance was dipping so much that I actually had to take the headphones off.
The main problem with the album is a severe lack of tunes. I far as my ears could tell, there was only two distinctive songs on the entire album, (the title track and `We shall destroy'). The rest of the tracks just blur into an indistinguishable mesh of great vocals with a lack of memorable tunes, riffs, chorus's and a surprising lack of passion. Plus, the beginning of `Blood Angels' is unintentionally hilarious, and not in a good way.
In conclusion, I tried my best to like this album. They have a great singer, but a lack of killer tunes makes this one to miss. My advice for seekers of good Viking inspired metal? Check out an old Bathory album instead.


FASHION BEAST #1
FASHION BEAST #1
by Malcolm McLaren
Edition: Comic

5.0 out of 5 stars First issue of a great little book., 2 July 2013
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This review is from: FASHION BEAST #1 (Comic)
Self hate, encouraged by a machine that celebrates perversity and sickness. Alan Moore gets the fashion world spot on here. Get it, now.


FASHION BEAST #2
FASHION BEAST #2
by Alan Moore
Edition: Comic

5.0 out of 5 stars Alan Moore, fashionably curmudgeonly, 2 July 2013
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This review is from: FASHION BEAST #2 (Comic)
It's very good, as expected. Second book of Alan Moore dissecting the sickness at the heart of the fashion world, where ugliness is celebrated and mainstream society is complicit in letting them get away with it.


Shoe Pouch for Nike + Sensor Chip (Grey) - NEW MODEL
Shoe Pouch for Nike + Sensor Chip (Grey) - NEW MODEL
Offered by DiscountDiscs
Price: £6.33

5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful., 19 Jun 2013
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Fits very well on my trainers, the velcro is very tight and is water proof, which is essential when you live in the UK.


War God
War God
by Graham Hancock
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.60

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The tale of blood thirsty demons manipulating man by pretending to be Gods., 19 Jun 2013
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This review is from: War God (Hardcover)
First off, this is an extremely enjoyable and emotionally engaging book. It's not history, but it takes historical events and brings them to life through the fictionalised first person point of view narratives of various people set in historical settings. There is the gold and conquest crazed Spanish, who are seen through the eyes of a fourteen-year-old slave boy, as well as a bloodthirsty psychopathic lieutenant, and Cortez himself, who is written as an ambitious, conquest hungry violent man who justifies his actions through a highly dubious and unconvincing reading of the Bible, and instructional dreams of `Saint Peter,' who is most probably a demon intent on causing as much death and misery as possible. The Mayan, Aztec and Mexica people are seen through the eyes of a slave girl witch who escapes the gruesome `fattening pen,' a beautiful courtesan/prostitute, a rival war chieftain who opposes the sacrifice crazed Mexica, and the leader of the Mexica, the historical Moctezuma, who is portrayed as a cowardly psychopath who is being manipulated by a blood thirsty demon who has disguised itself as a God. The most interesting thing about this book is not the individuals themselves, but the `Gods' who are manipulating the story through their influence on the main characters in the narrative. These `Gods' appear in different forms to the different characters, but they all appear to have one thing in common. That being, they want blood, and they want as much blood as is possible. Gods, or demons pretending to be Gods? It's a fascinating question, and one that has as much relevance today as it did back in the times of Cortez and Moctezuma. This book is just the beginning of the story of the Spanish conquest of Mexico. It follows the Spanish into their first major battle, and as it ends they have their eyes on the big prize. The city of Tenochtitlan, the capital city of the Mexica, and the land that promises the Gold that the Spanish are prepared to butcher and murder for. It's a fantastic beginning, and the epic first battle between the technological advanced Spanish war machine and a woefully unprepared and overmatched Mayan tribe is awful, yet highly informative. Telling the reader exactly how such a small band of just five hundred men defeated a huge army of tens of thousands of brave but technologically overmatched warriors.
In conclusion, this is a fantastic page turning work of historical fiction. The big problem was always going to be that the Spanish were obviously murderous scumbags, and the Aztecs themselves were human sacrifice hungry scumbags as well. How do you pull for either side, when both sides consist of serial killing, murderous psychopaths who are perfectly willing to butcher thousands of people to serve their own war Gods, who are almost certainly the same demons pretending to be Gods, in order to get both sides butchering each other? It could have been an insurmountable problem, but by telling the story through characters on both sides who are essentially slaves, the author (Graham Hancock) largely gets around this problem, as the reader can pull for the individual rather than either sides of the psychopathic, blood thirsty, warring armies.
When you finish a book and your first reaction is disappointment that you've finished and there's nothing more to read, you know the author has done his job. That's how I felt after reading War God: Nights of the witch. Luckily for me, and anybody else reading this fantastic book, this book is just the beginning. The story will continue in, War God: Return of the plumed serpent. Put my name down for that one as well. I'm looking forward to reading it already.


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