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Reviews Written by
Paul Cheshire (Bath, UK)

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Studies in the Arthurian legend
Studies in the Arthurian legend
Price: £0.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Beware the unreadable Kindle version, 22 Jun. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
No criticism of the book itself just the Kindle version, which is a very imperfect OCR scan showing traces of its google books origin.


Big Meaulnes (Le Grand Meaulnes) - Translated by Jennifer Hashmi
Big Meaulnes (Le Grand Meaulnes) - Translated by Jennifer Hashmi
Price: £4.85

2.0 out of 5 stars Lost in translation, 1 Mar. 2016
Great book, ungainly translation. I have just decided to abandon this version and buy another after reading in chapter 15, 'They paused for a moment to look at the view while Meaulnes thought to himself in an astonishment which seemed to him later as being coarse.' This is not an isolated example of the style. I imagine this is the translator (who has awarded herself 5 stars!) following the French as closely as possible. But if you want English grammatical construction, look elsewhere!


Listening to Van Morrison
Listening to Van Morrison
by Greil Marcus
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.83

3.0 out of 5 stars More like a yawn than a yarragh. Not Greil Marcus's finest, 29 Nov. 2015
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There are some good passages, I learned a few things about the songs I didn't know... I've been attached to Astral Weeks in particular as an album that I have lived with, that has retained its magic since I first cottoned on in 1968. I'm a great admirer of Mystery Train and Invisible Republic, and had high hopes for Marcus on Morrison. Any 5 pages of this book would make interesting or illuminating reading in a magazine, but when 180 pages of impressionistic flights are jumbled together with no discernible structure, no thread leading from one chapter to the next, no chronological sequence, the result is a sense of hearing the same few points repeating over and over again to diminishing effect.
He has written some great books and deserves our indulgence for a lifetime's service to good music. Van has made some duff albums, but I still revere him. Same goes for you, Greil Marcus.


Captain Beefheart: The Biography
Captain Beefheart: The Biography
by Mike Barnes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Best place to start: a brilliant introduction, 30 Jan. 2015
Make this your first stop if you want to find out more about the life and work of Captain Beefheart. Very informative, good balanced intelligent analysis, probes the myth-making and the darker side to DVV without ever debunking. I was gripped and led into a much deeper appreciation of the music by learning so much about how it came into being.


Words Of My Mouth - The Producer Series: Lee Perry
Words Of My Mouth - The Producer Series: Lee Perry

5.0 out of 5 stars a good one!, 30 Jan. 2015
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Perry's output ranges from brilliant and essential to - shall we say - less magical stuff. This is a good one. If you like Lee Perry in his Black Ark prime, this is a great addition to your collection.


Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard
Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard
Price: £14.05

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a strong Robert Wyatt album - perhaps his best., 30 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In the shadow of the rightly popular Rocky Bottom, this album is well worth checking out. The instrumental tracking in particular have a great feel - meandering wibbly keyboard with delightful sound texture. (Shades of the Caravan / Canterbury sound but slightly jazzier?) The title and cover picture alone are worth the price of the album but for me the contents live up to it. Wyatt (God love him) can sometimes go too nutty, and I often resign myself to lovng 3 tracks and putting up with the weirder ones. Here there are very short nutty vocal interludes that thread together extended tracks of lovely music.


On Foot in Bath: Fifteen Walks Around a World Heritage City
On Foot in Bath: Fifteen Walks Around a World Heritage City
by Andrew Swift
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and informative guide to the city, 30 Jan. 2015
This gives a really in depth guide to the city, sights and architecture of Bath. It is entertainingly written and is also a good clear walking guide. It works whether you read it at home or on foot. I've lived in Bath for 35 years and have taken an interest in its architecture and history, but have learned so much from this book. I never knew about the surviving East Gate for instance. I would recommend this to anyone planning to spend more than a couple of days in Bath, and to any Bath resident wanting a refreshing renewal of their love for this city.


Beefheart: Through the Eyes of Magic
Beefheart: Through the Eyes of Magic
by John French
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars It is what it is!, 12 Jan. 2015
I've read through most of the reviews posted and agree with them all from 5 star to one star. This is unusual! I'm opting for 5 because as a memoir it's irreplaceable. I had read Mike Barnes' brilliant biography which had very good perspective. My reason for reading Drumbo's account was to answer the questions 'what was it like to be in that Trout House during the making of TMR?' And 'what kind of people were the band members who endured that astonishing moonies cult subjugation?' All this Drumbo reveals drip by drip, rambling freely over his memories. I enjoyed his self deprecating style and his way of telling the story. It's not a very linear book, more a kind of compendium to dip into and rove forward and back. I was fascinated, charmed, and horrified. I think he's entitled to tell it from his point of view and given he wasn't even credited on the original TMR album release I think he's quite good natured in owning up to what pissed him off and what inspired him. Thanks, John French.


The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
by Martin P. Bunton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Unbiased clarity, 28 Sept. 2014
Clear unbiased history of how we got into this intractable situation. A very well structured walk through the stages of this conflict. I have the kindle edition and in answer to another reviewer's comments can confirm that the maps are fine in this format (on a paper white touch screen anyway) the maps *appear* scrunched up, but if you hold a finger over them a + icon emerges which when pressed opens them up.


Vita Nova
Vita Nova
by Dante Alighieri
Edition: Paperback
Price: £22.95

5.0 out of 5 stars the ideal edition to open up the mysteries of this short enigmatic text., 20 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Vita Nova (Paperback)
Dante's Vita Nova, translated and annotated by Andrew Frisardi, is a great work of scholarship: the ideal edition to open up the mysteries of this short enigmatic text.

Dante's memoir of what he claims as the profoundest experience of his life - his love for Beatrice, which started when they were both nine - consists of 31 poems that he had previously written, threaded into a prose narrative of the events that prompted them, along with his own analysis of the poems. He experienced this love as a sacred event, yet he described pretending to love different `screen' women in order to keep his real love for Beatrice secret. This could be read as a profound allegory on the impossibility of loving a transcendent being, or as a way of explaining away his other known love affairs. Love may be eternal, but we need a lot of background information to understand its expression in a culture so different to our own.

Frisardi's introduction, commentary and notes are thorough and comprehensive; he is not afraid to put his own views forward, yet gives a fair representation of the wide range of different views of scholars, including some whose work has only been published in Italian. He has stripped off a layer of 19th century editing (starting with the spelling of the title) to get us closer to the earliest manuscripts, whilst maintaining a tone appreciative of his predecessors. Above all, I admired his capacity to sympathise with Dante's mystical world of numerology, geocentric cosmology without any need either to distance himself from it, or to diatribe against the materiality of the modern secular world-view. He has great evenness of tone. As one example, I could mention Frisardi's note on the heart as the seat of intelligence, which - thanks to the thorough index - I have been able to refer back to easily. The translation (I have to guess as a someone with little capacity for Italian) does its utmost to be faithful to the sense of the prose, and the rhyme scheme and metre of the verse. He also adds an appendix giving the poems in Italian together with literal prose translations, which is a very helpful bridge. A translator has to choose to some extent between fidelity and aesthetics. I am glad he went for fidelity - after such a deep study of the underlying philosophy it would be a waste of his strengths to sacrifice sense for euphony, and it has certainly helped me get right into what Dante was taking such care to say.


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