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Sephie Poulter

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Have I Got News For You: The Best of the Guest Presenters - Volume 1 [DVD] [1990]
Have I Got News For You: The Best of the Guest Presenters - Volume 1 [DVD] [1990]
Dvd ~ Ian Hislop
Offered by themediamerchants
Price: 3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars !!!!!!!!!, 2 Jun 2008
Well Johnson was terrible. So terrible in fact that everyone loved him. Incidentally, I actually watched the documentary.

QI : Complete BBC Series 1 [2003] [DVD]
QI : Complete BBC Series 1 [2003] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Stephen Fry
Price: 7.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars . . ., 12 Feb 2008
I love this show!!! Enough has been said. But seriously, who would have thought that a show with a title like that would actually live up to its name??

Seriously, I find it very funny & also very interesting. And also you might learn something.

Monstrous Regiment: A Discworld Novel
Monstrous Regiment: A Discworld Novel
by Terry Pratchett
Edition: Paperback

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm . . ., 27 Jun 2007
I was a bit ambivalent about this book. It is definitely, by all accounts, a 'dark' novel, dealing with subjects such as war, religious excess, spirit manifestation (possibly) and, fleetingly, lesbianism ('Yes, they're both girls, don't go there') and pyromania/arson, among other things.
However, it also has a typically Pratchett-esque concept, viz: taking a generic idea that we've all come across before, and reproducing it - parodying it, if you will. That's the idea. If it HADN'T been a generic idea that we'd all come across, it would have been boring & pointless. However, the parody aspect of it actually works. There is humour in it, as with the other books, but this one is laced with rather than based on humour (& usually I prefer the latter).
I read in someone else's review that Polly bears remarkable similarity to Tiffany Aching in the 'younger readers' series. She does, you know. I spotted it too. But hey, if you like Tiffany, I say . . .
I didn't find it really difficult to read through, but I think I'll have to read it again.
Yes, by the time you've got to Jackrum & Maledict(a) you find yourself rolling your eyes at the 'unmasking', but it has this to be said for it: the characters are individual in their own right & they are all in the same situation for different reasons. Personally, I liked Maledict, although it has to be said I preferred him as . . . well, him, a smoothie with an eye for small detail, let's hope that wasn't also an act, hmm?
So if you like the above, read the book. If you don't like it, there are a lot of other books by the author. Nobody's saying you have to read them. Personally I can't stand Rincewind, but I'm still an aficionado. Why not?

Human Croquet
Human Croquet
by Kate Atkinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Call me Isobel (it's my name) . . . ', 13 Feb 2007
This review is from: Human Croquet (Paperback)
This book was amazing, and written in such a way that it was very easy to read - succinct, but at the same time embellished, and alternating between the first and third person. The heroine Isobel is a very well-formed misfit teenager - fanciful, innocent and poignant.

the book is full of mystery, some of which the characters themselves never solve - only the readers. It is tragic but embellished with humour, and may have the underlying message that life goes on. there is some very morbid humour ('dark' humour) in it, some of which made me laugh and then feel that it was inappropriate to do so considering what I was reading - this is the author's ploy.

It would be impossible to anticipate the ending, not only what's going to happen but what has happened (as the book alternates between past and present) it is a fusion of teenage life and what adolescents experience, as well as subjects such as death, incest and abuse and murder - all spoken of in an almost casual manner.

I can identify with Isobel - not for the death and drama part, but I can imagine myself saying something that she would say. As an author i was very inspired!

And one more thing. Usually I hate it when a book ends with 'and then I woke up and it was all a dream' - but in this book you can easily see how reality ties with hallucination, and how incidents from the past can be subconciously dredged up.

A very good book. Serious but amusing and fanciful. Would be on my top ten list.

Odin's Voice (Odin Trilogy)
Odin's Voice (Odin Trilogy)
by Susan Price
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.42

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting . . ., 13 Feb 2007
This book is set on a world in which the rich are genetically altered (it is practically unheard-of for a rich baby not to be 'designed') and slavery is commonplace.

Slaves are called 'bonders' and are generally reputed to be stupid, ugly and dirty - not least by Affroditey - a spoilt teenager - up until the part where her father shoots himself, leaving Affie to fend for herself (as her mother apparently does not give a fig).

So Affie herself becomes a bonder.

However, at the beginning of the book, another scene is taking place, in which Kylie, a bonder, is working for the rich couple that are later to become Affie's employers, and worships Odin (a god from Norse mythology). At the end of the chapter she is sold on, as her employer finds out where she is really taking Apollo, Kylie's young son who has been 'adopted' by her employers.

So Kylie is forced to leave her beloved Apollo as she is sold on . . .

Some time into the future, Affie, after a hellish experience in the training center, is sold to Kylie's previous employers - who call her 'Kylie' as well, as bonders have to answer to the names their employers give them.

When taking Apollo (whom she despises) for a walk, she meets the priestess and God-speaker Odinstoy - who takes an interest in her and Apollo immediately - for she is, unbeknownst to Affie, the previous Kylie - Apollo's birth mother. And Affie, fascinated by this character and relieved and overjoyed at the affection she bestows on her, takes as much opportunity as possible to visit her, before discovering what her real intentions are . . .

I liked this book as it was succinct and the plot was easy to follow, it was an interesting contrast between a futuristic world with much higher technology than this day and age, slavery and the worship of Greek, roman and Norse gods. In the case of Affie, she first appears as a spoilt brat with a head full of air and suddenly becomes a downtrodden bonder, so the readers are moved from revulsion to pity. odinstoy, however, moves from being a slave to a famous god-speaker, and the reader may not realise at first that she was Kylie when Affie first encounters her - this comes as a surprise.

by Julie Hearn
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.81

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An artistic masterpiece, 12 Feb 2007
This review is from: Ivy (Paperback)
This book first interested me in a catalogue, and although it wasn't quite what I was expecting, it was still very good.

It is about a girl called Ivy (!) who is spotted by a pre-Raphaelite painter in South London. He is taken by her and she becomes his model.

But there is more to the story than this. For it begins a few years back, when Ivy is about five and living with her aunt and uncle, and her numerous cousins. When the family attracts the attention of a pair of naive do-gooders - 'charity mongers' - she is sent to school with one of her cousins - and gets off to a very bad start.

When eventually driven to leave (when practically coerced to eat bacon, for Ivy is a vegetarian - a word almost unheard-of in this instance), she runs away and attracts the attention of Carroty Kate - a 'skinner', a thief who rids rich children of their expensive clothes and finery. Ivy is taken in, and becomes Kate's 'assistant' . . .

Some years later, Ivy, as a painter's model, is suddenly in danger. She has a laudanum habit, is still fighting the pressure put on her to eat meat, and her cousins want money. Her cousin Jared is the typical bully - forcing her to pose for the artist for money with no regards whatsoever for Ivy herself, who is determined to escape.

In addition to this, the artist's jealous mother wants rid of her, and will go to any lengths whatsoever to have her son's model out of the picture (excuse the pun)

But, just as the plot culminates, Carroty Kate turns up again - although not quite as Ivy remembered her . . .

I loved this book. It has a mysterious plot that unravels itself as it goes along, dredging up secrets from the past that could not possibly have been anticipated. In addition to that, the painter Rosetti and his model Jane Morris make an appearence.

The language is humourous, and I would strongly recommend this book to any art fans, particularly pre-Raphaelite fans, and also anyone who is interested in what life was like in that era.

Soul Music: (Discworld Novel 16) (Discworld Novels)
Soul Music: (Discworld Novel 16) (Discworld Novels)
by Terry Pratchett
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.87

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GENTLEMEN? TAKE IT FROM THE TOP?, 10 Feb 2007
Admittedly I had to read this book a few times over to pick up the plot, but I'm glad I did as it really appealed to me. It could be considered a sequel to Mort, as it introduces the offspring of Mort and Death's daughter Ysabell - the sensible, self-possessed and (in my view) appealingly unlovable Susan, who excels in subjects such as maths and Logic at the Quirm College For Young Ladies - and has no idea about her grandfather, although it should be noted that she has a talent for making herself invisible, excels in sports that involve swinging a stick (it took me ages to work that one out) and has a hairstyle with a life of its own (this should be impossible, since Ysabell was adopted, but what would be the point otherwise?)

Meanwhile, musician Imp Y Celyn has found his way into Ankh-Morpork and grouped up with a dwarf and a troll, also musicians. they form a band, and suddenly a new genre of music enters the Disc - calllled (that was a typing error, but is actually quite apt) Music With Rocks In. And the music has taken over Imp (now known as Buddy) and is captivating people throughout - including the wizards of Unseen University - particularly the Dean, who takes to wearing a robe bearing the legend BORN TO RUNE, painting his bedroom black, etc.

Meanwhile again, Death has disappeared, so Susan is suddenly dragged from her school by a talking raven, the Death Of Rats and Binky, Death's horse.

She would have been quite good at it, had she not had a huge sense of justice and an inclination to try and get things into some kind of working order. Oh, and she's having some doubts about the name Susan, too.

But now she's got involved in the Music With Rocks In affair, which is threatening fateful consequences . . .

When I couldn't be bothered to read the whole book i had a habit of just reading the Susan parts with a few choice other parts - but I actually really liked the rest as well. i would recommend this book to Discworld fans - but logically, any Discworld book can be recommended to Discworld fans.

Featuring some quite inspired music puns.

Thief of Time: A Discworld Novel
Thief of Time: A Discworld Novel
by Terry Pratchett
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.39

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'If the first one was nougat it didn't count', 10 Feb 2007
When I first borrowed this book I set it aside for quite some time, but when I actually read it I got really interested in it. I think my favourite part was the chocolate philosophies, which cropped up a few times. Another advantage was that it had Susan in it, who is my favourite character in the series, but what I really liked about it was that she meets Nanny Ogg, which, as is pointed out, is an education in itself.
In this volume Susan is a schoolteacher, and seems to develop a more caustic side than in her previous chronicles - as well as a weakness for chocolates (unless they contain nougat)
This time, however, a new descendant of an anthropomorphic personification (I pride myself on actually knowing what the words mean) is introduced - this time the son - or sons - of Time. The plural is a bit complicated and I won't go into it, but his name is Lobsang Ludd, but he didn't appeal to me as Susan did and thus I hope he won't crop up again in the series.
And there are other characters making an appearence - this time the Auditors (featured in Reaper Man and Hogfather), this time assuming human form (and going by names of colours a la Resevoir Dogs - e.g. Mr. orange, Miss taupe and Mr. Dark Avocado - I personally think that there should have been a Mr/Miss Off-White.)
I found the plot a bit difficult to follow and I'm still not sure I've got the hang of it, but I quite liked it. Most of it, anyway.

Witches Abroad: A Discworld Novel: 12
Witches Abroad: A Discworld Novel: 12
by Terry Pratchett
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.87

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn'tThinkOfAGoodEnoughTitle, 10 Feb 2007
To me, all Discworld books are a little bemusing, and i usually have to read them twice before I really grasp the plot. They alternate between succinct and elaborate language, with quite a lot of humour thrown in.

In any case, this book was a lot clearer than the others. A lot of it is based on the generic ideas of fairy stories, along with some voodoo traditions, starting with Erzulie Gogol, the voodoo witch, and Baron Saturday, both of which are derived from the names of voodoo gods.

It is one of the 'witch books' in the series - featuring the dominant and austere Granny Weatherwax, amicable, crude Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick, who is really just a new-age airy-fairy witch with some latent sensibility.

The story goes that the three witches have to travel to Genua to stop a servant girl from marrying a prince - with some difficulty even though she doesn't want to marry him. Why? Because the city of Genua has been turned into a fairytale city, run by a woman with whom Granny Weatherwax is surprisingly familiar (quite a plot twist).

As in most Discworld books, the reader may be able to see a faint outline of what's going to happen, but some aspects could not have been anticipated (such as what Nanny Ogg's fierce and malodorous tomcat Greebo undergoes).

Whether or not the book is actually a good book is, as with many things, purely a matter of taste, but it was one of my favourites. I'd recommend it if you like fantasy.

Hogfather: A Discworld Novel
Hogfather: A Discworld Novel
by Terry Pratchett
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.70

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Hi! I'm the inner baby sitter!', 8 Feb 2007
This was definitely one of my favourite Discworld books. I first started to read it at someone else's house - then I was heartbroken when I had to go and hadn't quite finished it.
Why? Firstly because I love any Discworld volume in which Death features as a central character, but also because it features my favourite character, his granddaughter Susan Sto-Helit.
So what happens in it? Well someone, or something, wants to kill the Hogfather (fat bearded man, wears red, says ho ho ho a lot, etc.) For this purpose, the assassin Teatime is employed.
Teatime is a character who appears quite amicable at first - right up until the point where he pulls out a knife and kills you stone dead. And he's also a mastermind - so his plan involves taking control over children to stop them believing in the Hogfather, accompanied by his gang of thugs.
With this plan underway, who is going to stand in for the Hogfather?
Susan is currently working as a governess, a job which largely involves beating up the under-bed monsters with her trusty poker. Apart from these minor irregularities, she is leading a relatively 'normal' life, until suddenly, to put it in her words, 'the old circus comes to town', and now Susan's got to don a black robe, leave her job and go out to determine exactly what is going on . . .
One of my favourite parts of this book was possibly the idea of personified forces coming into existence as creatures, such as the Hair Loss Fairy, the Eater Of Socks and, of course, the Oh God Of Hangovers ('Well, if there's a god of wine . . .')who accompanies Susan on her quest. I like the Unseen university scenes - which are usually responsible for providing the comedy. I also liked the demonstration of Susan's fearlessness when pitted against a being that can personify itself as your worst nightmare - 'Good grief, you're scraping the bottom of the barrel, aren't you?' and the subtle appropriateness of the villain who's 'in touch with his inner child' confronted by a governess, and the irony of who becomes the Tooth Fairy's replacement. I particularly liked the end (but I don't mean to give the wrong idea, I mean that I liked the whole book but particularly liked the end). And, as usual, the plot gives the implication that Death is Not So Bad After All, and would rather prefer being the Hogfather (with his manservant Albert by way of being the Hogfather's Little Helper, naturally).
Oh yes, and there's a film adaption, which I watched when it was first on. Good, I liked it, all things taken into consideration.

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