Profile for Crafter > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Crafter
Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,800,337
Helpful Votes: 1

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Crafter

Show:  
Page: 1
pixel
The Great Game: On Secret Service in High Asia
The Great Game: On Secret Service in High Asia
by Peter Hopkirk
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Book for The Great Game., 15 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Although Peter Hopkirk is a master of easily accesible historical books, never diluted in professional research or contributory explanations. This particular work stands above all others so far for me of Mr. Hopkirk. The Great Game is a feverpitch account of the thrilling spies and their shooting leave across the borders of Tsarist Russia and British India into the blank-mapped areas of vicious Emirs, blood thirsty tribal raiders and some helpful individuals found amid the antique empires of a declining world.
My love of this book sent me reading it again...and then once more recently in the past 2 years. Each time its thrilling heroes and humble explorers, its arrogant imperialists and adept spies capture the imagination. A great deal is owed to the beautiful style of writing Hopkirk has, but the period, people and events of the time in themselves are enough to make this a must read for history enthusiasts.


Exploring Southeast Asia: A Traveller's History of the Region
Exploring Southeast Asia: A Traveller's History of the Region
Price: £8.69

4.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasure To Read!, 3 Nov 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book is clear, conscise and well written. It was actually a real pleasure to read with brilliant maps and a layout that ushers the reader through Southeast Asian history without miring him/her down in long and technical sections on certain events.
I couldn't give it 5 stars because it lacked detail where some detail was needed, very little on Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge for instance. Perhaps because this is chronologically a small period but in the context of Southeast Asian history as impactful as the Holocaust in Europe I would say. Also, there were some civilizations missing (perhaps an unforgivable thing in a history book) and though Oc Eo is mentioned, the Funan civilization (one of my reasons for reading the book among others) was not there at all.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a skimmed skip through Southeast Asian history and it's not only reliable, it's brilliant and pleasurable to read in this regard. For more in depth analysis, this is maybe not the one for you, except for the maps which are fantastic.


The Fall of Lautun (The Arrandin trilogy)
The Fall of Lautun (The Arrandin trilogy)
by Marcus Herniman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.53

3.0 out of 5 stars The Arrandin Trilogy, could have been better, 3 Nov 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
First, let me say that the Siege of Arrandin (the first in the series) is one of the best fantasy books I have read. Herniman's characters, their personal issues, political intrigue and action are all balanced and brought together to form a fantastic story. The sequel, The Treason of Dortrean left me eager for more of the political intrigue but seemed more of a link book, tying up loose ends of the first and preparing you for a titanic clash in the final installment. The Fall of Lautun gives this but fails to do it well. I was left wondering if the same Marcus wrote both the fabulous first and the terrible final book. It seemed rushed and the final scene a ramshackle splash of hurried action, inserting various unintroduced characters from all over the place. I loved the story, I loved the main characters and the world building is second to almost none. But HOW it was told left me a bagging pain that this was a poor finale to a great trilogy and the weaker of the three. To sum us, a brilliant read as a trilogy of books but it weakens as we go on and left wondering as to why that is. I will go back and reread the first book again, its THAT good, but i'm afraid the others and particularly this one will not be reread for me. Thank you Marcus Herniman.


At Winter's End
At Winter's End
by Robert Silverberg
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Silverberg, Master of Sci-Fi Fantasy, 3 Nov 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: At Winter's End (Paperback)
At Winters End is one of those works that seems to stick in your mind, one of those stories that seems to be a folk tale legend or a story a part of our culture. The story revolves around a tribe of The People, locked in underground caves for thousands of years to survive a disaster and hesitantly emerging into the new and much changed landscape. The story traces this journey and the personal journeys of several characters, Silverberg connecting us to them well and fleshing out a diorama of tribal interactions that leaves us loving, loathing but never emotionless abut the players. Hresh, Harruel and Koshmar being such different personalities, they are all very pivotal and bring us on the journey with them. Overall a great book that becomes a tale of heroism for a humble folk in their journey to find a place in the world.


Oil Dusk: A Peak Oil Story
Oil Dusk: A Peak Oil Story
by John M. Cape
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.69

5.0 out of 5 stars When the Oily Foundations of Civilization Give Up.....this is what happens, 29 Aug 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Oil Dusk, A Peak Oil Story was a small gem I came across while trying to find a fiction book that might convey the real life relevance of Peak Oil to friends and family unaquainted and unwilling to become aquainted with the more factual side of the crises. It was a bait to make people curious about their reliance on oil and it worked in every case I have lent on this book.

The story revolves around a family, primarily the father, who lives in the suburbs of an American city in 2015. The remarkable everydayness of the background is contrasted well with the economic and social collapse of the nation as the oil begins to become unaffordable for this comfortably successful family. Without giving too much away, they must move to more resilient surroundings and the story focusses both on the community and the family's evolution from oil reliance to resilience and sustainablity with bumpy learning curves along the way.

The book is well written and well researched and the predictions are very well laid out in a realistic fashion. The psychological element is fantastic in one character's struggle to adapt from cushy corporate western lifestyle to "country bumpkin" living in the family's bid to build for the future by surviving the present.

While the Peak Oil element is not doom and gloom in the story, it does paint a VERY believable scenario of social disintegration and the realism that without community spirit we fall by the wayside when the oily foundations of our civilization are wiped from under our feet.


World War Z
World War Z
by Max Brooks
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh perspectives on the Zombie Apocalypse, 27 Aug 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: World War Z (Paperback)
Having just finished Max Brooks' World War Z I am struck at how original and brilliant this book really was. The Zombie Genre has been filling up with personal stories of survival and hacking death in isolated instances. What we are presented with here is a look at the larger picture through many eyes in a post-Zombie world, a world reeling from the catastrophe of it all.

What was even more entertaining was the various state responses to such a huge task as handling the walking dead, from establishing refugee centres as 'decoys' to the real safe zones to issuing more practical weapons to the general public, an example being a spade with a battle axe end to it. The political dimension is highly interesting from seccesionist states establishing themselves to the turmoil that surfaces from global order generally breaking down.

What Max Brooks offers in World War Z is a broad scope of how the world might survive a zombie apocaplypse and he delivers it so well as to keep me reading into the wee hours of the morning. The political element is done well, spoken through the experiences of soldiers, survivors, leaders and victims. It feels like your reading a histoically accurate account of the most devestating event to befall the human race; its own flesh eating reanimated.

A brilliant read for anyone slightly interested in the genre and an entertaining read for all others. More books like this please!


City of Ruin (Legends of the Red Sun)
City of Ruin (Legends of the Red Sun)
by Mark Charan Newton
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One good step for Newton, one step down from the previous book., 25 Aug 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having read the wonderful tale of Nights of Villjamur, I was filled with anticipation to read City of Ruin. Newton's setting is wonderfully depicted as a harsh world on edge, dealing with real issues of a very fantastic circumstance; the arrival of an ice age and all it entails.

City of Ruin follows the story from there and stumbles somewhat along the way. Again, Newton's writing is brilliant and his characters leave memorable marks and are excellent avenues of exploring topical issues to us in the real world. However, I found his readiness to do away with certain characters disturbing, particularly in the casual way it's done. Also the escalation of the simply wonderful unfolding of reactions to the Ice Age to a multi-dimensional bazaar of races and characters made me cringe somewhat in what I saw as an odd storyline that may drown out the Ice Age setting.

Overall, this is still a wonderful read and a rollercoaster crime fantasy novel, thanks to our Colombo Rumell, Jeryd Rumex, one of my favourite characters. Also, Brynd Lathrea excells again in this novel as his persuasions are put to the test. Looking forward to the next installment of a great story in a wonderful world.


Page: 1