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J. Skade "joeskade" (London, England)
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Dick Barton and the Paris Adventure
Dick Barton and the Paris Adventure
by Edward J Mason
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £15.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Fun, 19 Jan 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There is no doubting the fun to be had from these CDs. Our plucky heroes battle smugglers endure terrifying ordeals are captured, make hairsbreadth escapes to be captured again to emerge (of course) victorious. The language and somewhat different mores of the time are as entertaining as the stories - unPC but somehow innocent. This gives a flavour of another era better than any newsreel.
Of course it is a time and a set of values probably better off gone for the most part. Curiosity value and nostalgia do not really sustain a 3 CD set and the charm does wane well before the end, especially as the story structure, as I hinted earlier is somewhat repetitive. It is a piece of history (though it is a pity the original BBC recordings which my mother listened to all thiose years ago, no longer exist) and a fun story to dip into, but I will probably stop my collection here.


The Quatermass Memoirs: Classic Radio Sci-Fi
The Quatermass Memoirs: Classic Radio Sci-Fi
Offered by Audible Ltd

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating glimpse at TV history, 27 April 2011
The three Quatermass series are rightfully acknowledged as milestones, not only of Science Fiction, but of intelligent televisual drama in general. This audiobook is a facinating look at those pieces of broadcast history. The narrative has three strands - Nigel Kneale talking about the creation of Quatermass, setting it firmly in historical context; a linking drama involving a female journalist interviewing Quatermass, and judiciously chosen clips from the original programs.
For myself the mix does not quite come off. The original stories are presented in somewhat perfunctory manner, losing much in atmosphere and suspense. The Nigel Kneale sequences are much more satisfactory and I was left wishing there were more of these. I could have listened to his thoughts on how the scripts linked to the political climate of the time for much longer and I would like to have given more of an insight into the creative process.
Despite reservations, I would recommend this to any prospective buyer, providing they knew what to expect. This will not have you on the edge of your seat but it should provide a suitably engrossing listen.


Mink Hollow Road
Mink Hollow Road

5.0 out of 5 stars Another trip to wonderland, 22 Mar 2011
This review is from: Mink Hollow Road (MP3 Download)
A truly marvellous confection - swirling strings oboes and a voice, such a voice. Fade Away is Nils Lofgren done Mummers style, opening with a quote from their own March of the Dawn. Call Me Rainbow will follow you round for days. My favourite - Cherry Heart.
It is good that the late keyboardist/ arranger, Mark Horwood leaves his considerable mark on this mini album (or maxi e.p.) and those tracks completed without him carry on his adventurous work. This is a happy record, in spite of Mark's death. I love the Mummers. Perhaps you will too.


Tale to Tell
Tale to Tell
Price: £7.55

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Star Fantasia, 22 Mar 2011
This review is from: Tale to Tell (Audio CD)
I saw the Mummers on 'Later with Jools Holland' and was hooked. The album was quickly ordered and a year later I'm still listening. The music is unique - a swirl of Alice in Wonderland/Circus/Fairground/Judy Garland romanticism. Bjork has been mentioned as a comparison, if not a direct influence - but aside from a couple of glancing similarities the music seems to come from somewhere else altogether. It was apparently inspired in some ways by Rufus Wainright and I am at times reminded of a less dark Peggy Lee, especially from the 'Mirrors' album, but this is only to suggest a flavour. The Mummers are simply the Mummers.
How much of any concept was planned is uncertain, but motifs certainly run through the songs. The album seems to follow a single day - or at least it begins at dawn and ends with the nightbus, of a romantic literate figure, appropriately couched in widescreen orchestrations and delivered in one of the best female voices of the moment ( and there is stiff competion). Raissa's voice is simply delicious. Every track is stands out at one time or another, from the stirring March of the Dawn, the sexy Wake Me Up and the visionary Wonderland with its long complex introduction to the marvellous Nightbus (possibly my favourite - for now). Mummers have produced one album at least that is going to stay with me forever.

Buy it. Now. Go on.


Appointment with Fear (Classic BBC Radio Horror)
Appointment with Fear (Classic BBC Radio Horror)
by Valentine Dyall
Edition: Audio CD

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars VOICES FROM A BYGONE AGE, 17 Dec 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The overmelodramatic opening and the orchestral punctuations along with the RP voices mark this as a product of radio's golden age. I don't think most listeners will find the four radio plays on this CD particularly frightening, but that is not where the attraction lies. If Valentine Dyall's announcement of the series title is perhaps more comical than spinechilling, it is still Valentine Dyall - one of the great voices of British radio, rich and evocative. I wish there were more of him.
The stories have that nostalgic innocent flavour which can become addictive, but nostalgia is not everything. The stories are superbly written. Three of them are from the pen of John Dickson Carr a master of the locked room mystery. None of them disappoint.
'The Pit and the Pendulum' is of course an adaptation of the great Poe story and the febrile style of that tale is superbly conveyed and Dickson Carr's invention of the voices is a well judged dramatic device. 'The Speaking Clock' is possibly the most unnerving of the stories, with echoes of Stevenson's 'Markheim'. Esme Percy, as the unctious Markham (no less!) is superb. These stories remind me at times of Roald Dahl's 'Tales of the Unexpected' and at other times of 'Jonathan Creek' and the third story 'The Clock Strikes Eight' is perhaps the best example of this. An ingenious if slight story, this features Dickson Carr's famous detective Gideon Fell played in grandly OOT style by Richard George. Finally there is the poignant 'And the Deep Shuddered'. First rate.
There is an element of camp in the pleasure to be gained from these stories but it would be a shame not to take the artistry involved less than seriously. Writers like Dickson Carr are very listenable ( and readable) today if you are not looking for a 'Blair Witch Project' and actors such as those mentioned and the likes of Marius Goring are brilliant even if they are working within outdated acting conventions.
I would definitely recommend giving this a try - you might develop a taste for it


System Suite 10 Professional
System Suite 10 Professional
Offered by SC-WHOLESALE
Price: £1.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best solution, 17 Nov 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I am not totally enamoured of this product. My computer has shown no noticeable zip since installing, and most of what it does do can be done elsewhere by other means. I, like another reviewer find the delay it causes when loading other programs a nuisance. If I believed any harm had come to my computer, I would not have given a single star. I am sure it has done some good, but if the overall effect is not noticeable in terms of performance then it does not as they say do what it says on the tin.
It is not completely useless but there are better solutions - free programs etc..


AVG Anti-Virus v9, 3 User, 1 Year subscription (PC)
AVG Anti-Virus v9, 3 User, 1 Year subscription (PC)

3.0 out of 5 stars Some Problems, 12 Nov 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have used the free AVG programs in the past and am something of a fan. Initially, I found this program to have all the advantages of its free predecessor. It does its work admirably but unlike much antivirus software, you hardly notice it is there. It certainly seemed effective enough.
The only problem came when after about 3 weeks I tried to register the software. As much as I tried, it didn't work. It told me that I had entered the requisite information - but it still would not work.
I know this is probably not what many people would regard as a major problem. But it was a headache. Perhaps it was a problem peculiar to my disc - at any rate it has cost the program a star at least.


Bounce: How Champions are Made
Bounce: How Champions are Made
by Mathew Syed
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 10 Aug 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Bookshop shelves are heavy with new agey selfhelp books which tell us that anyone can do everything with the right frame of mind or NLP model or what have you. Well this book suggests that pretty much anyone is potentially capable of anything: the secret this time being hard work - lots and lots of hard work, rather than some silly witchery.
Skill in complex activities are developed by hard work - 10,000 hours worth to truly master them. Not a god-given knack or gene-derived talent, but practice. Of course, it is not quite that simple. It has to be the right kind of practice which usually means that one needs top be lucky enough to find the right coach.And perhaps the right enviroment. The author cites numerous people who benefited from this combination. Not least himself (he was once a table tennis champion).
The general premise of the book ( which overlaps somewhat with books such as 'Outliers') is demonstrated convincingly with many fascinating and entertaining examples. In the course of this book he looks at religion and the placebo effect, recruitment policy, genetics and race, optical illusions and a very thought provoking discussion of drugs in sport.
The is very well written refreshing book which I recommend whole heartedly to everyone, but most of all those whose role is to teach, coach or encourage others.


Photos on TV 3 (PC CD)
Photos on TV 3 (PC CD)
Price: £15.21

3.0 out of 5 stars Some Reservations, 26 Mar 2010
This review is from: Photos on TV 3 (PC CD) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've played around with this program and made a small slideshow of my parents anniversary. This most basic of shows was actually very easy and I liked the different transitions a great deal.
This part of the program is rather limited and the more advanced features seem a little more daunting. I like the idea of icorporating video clips and Google Earth shots in with your slideshow so I will certainly persevere.
The program is aparently incompatible with Windows 7 which will no doubt limit its appeal for many people.


A Gate at the Stairs
A Gate at the Stairs
by Lorrie Moore
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.80

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Is It Me?, 26 Mar 2010
This review is from: A Gate at the Stairs (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I couldn't finish this book. I abandoned it about three quarters of the way through, bogged down in poetic prose and unlikeable characters.
The book became unpickupable. The subject matter (adoption of a mixed race child by middle class white parents) has potential and the author tries to be politically and socially relevant, but somehow it doesn't work for me. A cleaner sparer writing style and fewer self indulgant characters might have convinced me to read to the end.


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