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Robert Selby (Kent, England)

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Either Side of Winter
Either Side of Winter
by Benjamin Markovits
Edition: Paperback

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sad, but Glad to have read it, 6 Sept. 2005
This review is from: Either Side of Winter (Paperback)
I haven't read The Syme Papers and went straight for Either Side of Winter. Markovits' writing style takes the first quarter of the book to get used to - he has a love of comma's where none are neccessary, and for some his detail of the geography of NYC may bore or baffle, but I enjoyed the way he used real places in such a relatively small area to create a feeling of closeness. I'm sure some who read this book will grab a map of the Big Apple and actually follow with their fingers the walks and taxi-cab rides, find the restaraunts and 'holes in the wall' that Markovits's characters inhabit. This is a literary novel, so anyone wanting action should steer clear - most of what occurs occurs in the minds of the characters, most of whom are deeply insular and melancholy. Amy, the protagonist in the first story, has crying fits for no reason. Howard, protagonist in the second, suffers from a type of depression that pushes away all those who love him. His section is the least enjoyable, the reader finding it difficult to sympathise at all with his situation. Thus, most of the people in this book are a bit too sad, sad for no reason, and there's little respite. However, every one of Markovits's lines are deeply considered and intense, as if he has wrung the English language of any scope to waste, though I found a number of (large) paragraphs have to be re-read to fight the paradoxical ambiguity created by this. Give it a go!

Now That's What I Call Quite Good
Now That's What I Call Quite Good
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.90

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss out on the Martins, 15 Oct. 2001
This 'album' is a classic. The great thing about the Housemartins is that they don't take themselves too seriously. They are a 'happy mans The Smiths'. The first few tracks are superb, especially 'I smell Winter', 'Bow Down' and 'Sheep' but the last set of tracks, their more slower work, becomes a little samey. It says something about the music industry when their only number 1, 'Caravan of Love', is one of the poorer tracks on the CD. Worth a look (especially if you're a fan of The Smiths)

The Very Best of The Smiths
The Very Best of The Smiths
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £10.39

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 20+ Classics that are a MUST, 15 Oct. 2001
If it wasn't for the Smiths there wouldn't be Oasis and the like. Lead singer Morrisey's dulcet tones give the Smiths a distinctive sound that you either love or hate. This is a real gem. This CD contains all the songs you want from the Smiths such as their well known 'This Charming Man' to their superb 'Big Mouth Strikes Again' and 'Ask' which are surely two of the most underated British songs ever produced. Every song from 1-23 is excellent, even the last track 'Stop me if you've heard this one before...'. Oh, and if you like The Smiths I recommend the 'Housemartins' too.

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