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lucaslavia "lucaslavia" (UK)

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Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum 70 cl
Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum 70 cl
Price: £24.00

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars, 19 Sept. 2015
Good for regret and self loathing later in the evening

Pnin (Penguin Modern Classics)
Pnin (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Vladimir Nabokov
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ping Pong Pnin, 18 July 2013
Pnin as a novel is haunted by what it could be. There parts of this book which are simply brilliant (end of Ch. 5 in particular), but they are islands amongst the merely mediocre. That is not to say the book is bad, anything but in fact, I just seem to be holding it to higher standard on account of it being a Nabokov.

Pnin as a character is one of the most likeable men in fiction, I dare you not to get completely taken in by his clumsiness, awkwardness and eccentricities. Evidently intelligent but marred by his complete lack of social skill, Nabokov creates all manner of hilarious situations for Pnin to navigate, simple non-issues are converted by Pnin into chaos and of course the most complex of problems are handled efficiently with little alarm. Pnin's turbulent backstory is revealed slowly and in some cases, darkly, but always ends up endearing Pnin further to the reader.

The prose is nowhere near as fantastical as Nabokov's other work but infrequently there is the little explosion of alliteration and assonance. Pnin's particular dialect is handled extremely well and never short on comedy. The odd flirtation with French is not taken to the extremes as with H.H's fancy prose but seems only for the embellishment of more comedy.

In a similar vein there is little narrative experimentation, you won't have to sit there with a notebook trying to unravel meta-narratives but you will have to contend with a particularly unreliable narrator. The narrator's voice imposes sporadically to repeatedly express disappointment, disdain and occasionally, disgust, with Pnin. All just to make you doubt the level of bias in Pnin's presentation every time the narrator intervenes. Then again it wouldn't be Nabokov without a little head-scratcher.

A solid, funny (in some cases belly-achingly so) and enjoyable novel the only flaw for me is in the last chapter - I can see why its necessary but it just seemed to go too far past the end. Its worth reading just to meet and get to know Pnin.

Half Empty
Half Empty
by David Rakoff
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.41

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tears of laughter or mourning?, 6 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Half Empty (Paperback)
Admittedly I only started reading David Rakoff's books after his death, I was gifted Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, the Torments of Low Thread Count, the Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and and after devouring it in a day I had to order the follow up. Reading Half Empty in light of his death has an incredibly profound effect on the last few chapters of the book where he relates the start of his illness, it is fraught with tragic irony and as such reduced me to mourning. Nevertheless its as side-splittingly brilliant as anything he's ever produced.

If you haven't heard him speak I recommend digging out a reading on YouTube or one his This American Life contributions (the live show in particular) before taking on this book, reading it in his tone of voice adds to the dry wit and makes it so much funnier. Unlike Don't Get Too Comfortable this is more memoir than criticism but that doesn't mean it is less capable of making you laugh so hard it hurts when you eventually manage to pick yourself up off the floor. Through his pessimistic and superbly cutting aphorisms he tears apart absurdity on all levels and takes no prisoners. It just makes it more saddening when you reach the end and have to acknowledge that this is it.

Lolita (Penguin Modern Classics)
Lolita (Penguin Modern Classics)
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars "Light of my life, fire of my loins", 6 Jun. 2013
Conundrum: Nabokov is so much fun to read aloud, but doing so will definitely get you some funny looks on the train, reading out Lolita will probably get you pointed out to the nearest authorities.

I think its best to deal with this book on two separate levels, mainly to avoid misconstruing praise for the book as praise for H.H. The character Nabokov has created is the vilest, most arrogant, infuriating and disgusting character but as a character he is also completely absorbing and convincing to the extent that one can fall into the trap of thinking H.H. is the true author. H.H.'s grandiloquent style and mixing of languages gets progressively more grating as you progress through the book, maybe its because the character is so abhorrent the language is tainted by association. On the flip side Nabokov's style through the voice of H.H. is sublime, the constant wordplay and lilting noises that roll around through the text give the story a weird element of performance, but not enough to separate the reader from H.H.'s mind. Essentially when viewed as Nabokov, I love the style and when I'm sucked into the book and viewing it as from H.H., I hate it. (Not too dissimilar to Engleby in that respect, ridiculous use of language which is both beautiful and pretentious).

I think its a mistake to consider plot in such a book, its an ouroboros and the story itself is loose line upon which to hang H.H.'s psychological development. It is not exciting or scary, there is little attention to the build-up and release of tension, it is not dramatic but melodramatic. That does not mean the book is any less engaging.

In short Nabokov has created a stunning and beautiful classic that survives even the most aggressive of imitators (Twilight (Twilight Saga)).

Duracell Rechargeable Accu Instant USB Charger
Duracell Rechargeable Accu Instant USB Charger

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A solution to the woes of smartphones, 27 Feb. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The fundamental problem with smartphones these days is the sacrifice of functionality for battery life. The Duracell charger takes great strides towards alleviating this problem. Until the boffins invent a battery that can be charged with water or air or some other overly abundant resource this will have to do.
Aside from looking sleek and being extremely lightweight, it is very simple to use as well. Plug it into the computer/usb wall charger to charge, wait for the green light and then whenever it is needed just plug it into whatever gadget is dying. On my HTC hero it recharged it to 55% from dead which I was surprised by given the relative size of the battery. On my kindle it reached about 70% (which on a kindle means another week of reading at least).
All in all a great little device: looks good, works well, stupidly easy to use and above all, cheap.

Egyptian Grammar (Egyptology: Griffith Institute)
Egyptian Grammar (Egyptology: Griffith Institute)
by Alan H. Gardiner
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £28.55

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best on the market, 13 April 2009
If you intend to study Middle Egyptian, or any form of Ancient Egyptian properly then this is the sole place to look. Gardiner is old fashioned in a few of his ideas and his explanation of the many odd grammatical features of the language are tricky to understand. However in spite of this, the book is the fundemental resource for all translation needs. Allen's book may be more modern but fails to teach the language with the same detail and range of examples. If you want to learn hieroglyphics to any degree of proficiency, this is the starting block. Once you have completed the exercises, whcih are extremely well laid out, you have all the skills needed to begin tackling old and middle kingdom texts. In order to translate late egyptian to a readable standard then a top up is requried in the form of Friedrich Junge's grammar in late egyptian (there are many new grammatical structures). The general advice is, stick with it, it seems compicated to read and understand at first but once you have adapted to Gardiner's rather unique style of writing and teaching then this is an invaluable resource.

Enter the Matrix (PS2)
Enter the Matrix (PS2)
Offered by Todays Great Deal
Price: £4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars We're In!, 7 Sept. 2003
After watching the revolutionary film, The Matrix, fans have been fantasising about the release of a videogame based on the Matrix; and to be honest, it doesn't dissappoint.
Enter the Matrix follows the stories of the Captain Niobe and her first mate Ghost. Niobe is the captain of the Logos and when in the matrix, her driving skills and martial arts make her pretty much unstoppable. Ghost, the first mate on board Niobe's ship, the Logos, specializes in weapons and hand to hand combat. If you see him with a gun, I suggest you run for your life!
The game runs parallel to the film and follows the story of these partners in crime and how they contribute to the overall plot of The Matrix Reloaded.
When playing the game, you have the option to dispose of bad guy either using a large variety of guns or an even larger variety of martial arts moves that make Bruce Lee look like a cudly toy.
However apart from the amazing gameplay and easy controls, the major point of the game is Bullet Time, this gives the player the ability to focus Niobe or Ghosts strength so that for them, time slows down and enabling them to use another large set of martial arts moves, dodge bullets and run faster. The bullet time graphics allow you to see the bullets as you avoid them and the path they make through the air. It is this feature that makes Enter the Matrix one of the best games of the year. The good thing is, you don't have to be a hardcore fan to play it!

The Wish List
The Wish List
by Eoin Colfer
Edition: Paperback

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heaven vs. Hell, Who Will Win?, 7 Sept. 2003
This review is from: The Wish List (Paperback)
I first picked up this book when I noticed it was by one of my favourite Authors, Eoin Colfer. After flicking through the first few pages I became interested and purchased my own copy.
This book has followed in the footsteps of the great Artemis Fowl and entranced me. This book is Eoin Colfer on top form and will have your sides splitting from laughter.
The book follows the story of Meg Finn, a 14 year old Girl. After trying to save an old man whom she was robbing, she gets blown to bits along with her partner in crime and they are both sent up the long tunnel into the next life. However there is no next life for Meg yet seeing has her points are equal, so she cannot go to Heaven or Hell but has to go back and help the old man she was trying to rob.
You will have to read the book for yourself to find out whether she gets into Heaven or fails and falls to Hell. However, Eoin Colfer gives us his take on what Heaven and Hell are like in the 20th century and how they have changed from the Bible version.
This book has a gripping storyline, (I couldn't put it down)and is a hilarious read for the entire family. It is certainly living up to it predecessor and would give Harry Potter a run for it's money!

The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials)
The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials)
by Philip Pullman
Edition: Paperback

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Stabbing Good Read!, 6 Sept. 2003
When I first started reading the book I relaxed a bit because it was based in our world for the beginning and this fact made it better than the first book, "The Northern Lights".This book contains much more action than the first in the trilogy and Phillip Pullman has outdone himself with the plot.
In this book, a new character has been added to the mix, Will. This new figure meets up with Lyra and together they team up to battle evil. They first discover each other in a weypoint between portals in a city called Citagazze, from there they work their way through the portals and as they go, meet up with old friends and make new friends.
The Subtle Knife is a lot easier to understand than the Northern Lights and is very readable. I certainly recommend it to everybody who enjoys a good action/fantasy.

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