Profile for Concerned father > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Concerned father
Top Reviewer Ranking: 4,158,080
Helpful Votes: 221

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Concerned father "daddy_p_buckley"

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3
pixel
William Golding (Writers & Their Work)
William Golding (Writers & Their Work)
by Kevin McCarron
Edition: Paperback

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars very useful, 13 Aug 2003
I used this book for my degree work on Golding's The Pyramid, and found it the most useful of the various study guides on the authors work. McCarron seems a more insightful, independent minded critic than many others, and his writing on each book allows the reader room to draw their own conclusions, rather than preaching his own beliefs. A must for students of Golding.


Ariel's Gift: Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, and the Story of Birthday Letters
Ariel's Gift: Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, and the Story of Birthday Letters
by Erica Wagner
Edition: Paperback

29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not great., 13 Aug 2003
This book may be useful for general readers as a background for the Birthday Letters poems, grounding each in the biographical facts of Plath and Hughes life together and providing reference points in an easy to read format, but it has many failings. Anyone who has read Anne Stevenson's Bitter Fame Plath biography will not need to read this book; it becomes obvious that Wagner's book was written using only three texts as research - Birthday Letters, Ariel, and Stevenson's book. It is a lazy reproduction of anothers argument, little more than a sixth formers essay. Anyone who has read the three books mentioned is wasting their money on this; every point it makes becomes obvious if you know the biography. Use it as a quick reference, not as a good book in it's own right.


Great Dumbening
Great Dumbening
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 8.52

4.0 out of 5 stars A Nice Surprise, 19 July 2003
This review is from: Great Dumbening (Audio CD)
I was accidentally sent this album when I ordered some CD's from America. It actually turned out to be the best in the package. The first track, 'Impact', reminds you whats great about American experimental rock, like Sonic Youth remixed by early Mercury Rev. There's a warm, fuzzy feel to all of these songs; they've now broken up, so it may be unavailable, but if you can get a copy, take the leap.


Barn Tapes
Barn Tapes
Offered by rsc-media
Price: 6.28

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good start for a great band, 19 July 2003
This review is from: Barn Tapes (Audio CD)
This was what kicked it all off for Arnold before luck decided to kick them repeatedly. Creations Alan McGee gave them 1000 to go and record a demo, so they kept the money and recorded this on an 8-track in a barn (hence the name). With a founder member already dead, these songs are wistful acoustic haze, quite brilliant. I only gave it two stars because I don't really like the rock freakery of 'Calling Ira Jones', or 'The Dog on the stairs'. Also, 'Twist', the song that made it onto the evening Session, should have been included. They went on to better things musically with bahama, but the seeds are all here.


Patti Smith
Patti Smith
by Victor Bockris
Edition: Paperback

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 19 July 2003
This review is from: Patti Smith (Paperback)
I'm a huge fan of 'Horses', so i thought this book would be a good read. Unfortunately, Bockris seems to write with little enthusiasm and offers few insights into the complexities of Smiths life. Reading it, you can tell that there was a good story to come out, set in a great period of New York's musical life. Yet while I didn't want to read a book that fawned over Smith, Bockris seems to be simply going through the motions, like working to a work deadline that he could do without. Having read this book I feel as if I know even less about Smith then before I started, because the book killed all the instincts I built up listening to her albums. Stick to her music.


Suicide
Suicide
Price: 8.74

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intense, 19 July 2003
This review is from: Suicide (Audio CD)
Apparently Alan Vega, Suicide's lead singer, coined the term punk as a genre in 1971, or so he claims. This music is starkly powerful, minimalist synths and drums, almost tribal in it's repetition. Vega croons over the electro backing with the unshakeable self confidence that all New york (and Manchester) frontmen display.
The two highlights could not be more different in tone. 'Cherie' is close to a pop love song, and quite touching in the context of the album. 'Frankie Teardrop' though, bestrides the album like a monolith, and everything else revolves around it. It is a song everybody should hear at least once to know the power of music to terrify. Vega tells the story of Frankie, a worker on the verge of insanity, over a single, inevitable heartbeat drum. I will not say how it climaxes for anyone planning to listen to it, but the final, primal howls as the track spins out are genuinely bloodcurdling.
This edition has the bonus live disc, with the excellent live document 23 minutes over Brussels, which is one of the most entertaining live albums ever. Buy this album, it will truly change your perspective on music.


The Pyramid
The Pyramid
by William Golding
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.35

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, 19 July 2003
This review is from: The Pyramid (Paperback)
The Pyramid is a book of things that don't happen, of a stasis in the central character Oliver which becomes the tragedy of the novel. The fictional town, 'Stilbourne', is a microcosm for Goldings vision of English society between the great wars. He uses the geography of the village brilliantly to illustrate the vacuous class concerns of it's inhabitants. Oliver is free in the "erotic woods" to fool around with the lower class Evie, but when coming back into town he can feel the "radii of influences" that make it wrong.
Oliver is the lower middle class social climber for who the system works. As our centre of consciousness in the novel, we expect him to react in some way against the oppressive system, "the crystal pyramid" over stilbourne that he displays a perfunctory understanding of throughout. yet he is impotent, static, and does nothing. Golding goes as far as using metafictional devices in the pub scene with De Tracy, who says, "Just making a point. To the perceptive". The perceptive here is the reader, who must separate their sympathies from oliver to understand Golding's intention.
The way Golding writes here is very interesting, and he demands a close reader. While oliver drives away at the end, and "concentrated resolutely on my driving", Golding has opened up the bigger picture to the reader with typical skill.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 28, 2012 2:09 PM GMT


Of Mice and Men (Penguin Modern Classics)
Of Mice and Men (Penguin Modern Classics)
by John Steinbeck
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, 19 July 2003
I finally got around to reading this book at 21. It is a fable of deceptive simplicity, as the seemingly straightforward plot leaves the reader with a huge moral conundrum. Steinbeck purposefully betrays our sympathies. The portrayal of the masculine relationships is easily recognisable, and the surprise of Slim at George and Lenny's loyalty to each other is quite touching. It's Crooks who vocalises the thought that everybody needs somebody to talk to. A great novel and one that every man should read (I'm not sure if it would have the same effect for women - the portrayal of Connie's wife would seem representative in the book).


Antifolk Vol. 1
Antifolk Vol. 1
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 16.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy Listening, 18 July 2003
This review is from: Antifolk Vol. 1 (Audio CD)
This album is the epitome of indie from the New York antifolk scene. Nearly every song is a gem in it's own way, and each artists has something original about their means of expression. It is perfect in a way, a collection of each songwriter's very best songs, because following up the new artists revealed on the CD yields mostly disappointment. While 'drinking beers with Mom' is a classic of comic songwriting, Lach's 'Kids Fly Free' album is a stinker. Similarly, Turner Cody's contribution, 'Unconscious Repeat' is brilliantly wistful, but the rest of his material is mediocre. Major Matt Mason's albums are just plain annoying.
I would advise all fans of idiosyncratic folk to buy this collection, it is a modern revelation. But if you want to follow up any of the artists on it, stick to Jeffrey Lewis and the absolute genius of Diane Cluck. Her 'Monte carlo' here is the indisputed gem, worth the album price alone, a wonderfully witty and bittersweet melodic odyssey. As for The Moldy Peaches, it wasn't funny the first time, and it doesn't get any funnier.


It's the Ones Who've Cracked That The Light Shines Through
It's the Ones Who've Cracked That The Light Shines Through
Price: 9.68

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More of the same, pleasingly, 18 July 2003
The trouble with seemingly 'confessional' singer songwriters like Lewis is that they are often spoiled by any success that their talent brings them. Lewis himself seems aware of the pitfalls on 'Don't let the record label take you out to lunch', singing "& don't let showmanship get more important than honesty'. He has thankfully managed to keep his authenticity intact after the small word of mouth success of 'The Last Time I took Acid I went insane', and there is more of the same Lo-Fi whimsy and tiny truths on offer here.
Some of the songs are already familiar; the single 'Back when I was 4', and the album closer 'You don't have to be a scientist to do experiments on your own heart' from 'Anti-Folk volume 1'. Anyone who has seen Lewis play on these shores in the last year and a half might recognise 'Gold' and 'If you shoot the head you kill the ghoul'. The production on this record is slightly better than his debut (relatively speaking), but it is an album just as likeable and sweetly honest if not quite as comic.
A small triumph for the cracked.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3