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bannnedwaggin "douglashill10" (Scotland)

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The Madness of July
The Madness of July
Price: £1.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor writing, slack plotting, 10 April 2014
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James Naughtie should stick to broadcasting - he clearly has NO talent for writing! The writing and plotting are disgraceful and the dialogue is turgid.


In Praise Of Rails
In Praise Of Rails
Price: £3.09

5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth buying, 17 Mar 2014
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For everyone who has been fascinated by the great locomotives of the past, who has nostalgia for the age of steam, who has pored over the railway routes of Britain, who even admires today's rolling stock - even if you've never before read much poetry, this is the one for you!


Children of the Revolution: The 21st DCI Banks Mystery (The Inspector Banks Series)
Children of the Revolution: The 21st DCI Banks Mystery (The Inspector Banks Series)
Price: £3.49

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poorest ever, 11 Sep 2013
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When Stephen Tomkinson was announced as the "new" Inspector Banks, I groaned - he was NOT my idea of my hero. Then the TV shows came along - this arrogant argumentative cretin was definitely NOT Banks! But now we have the next Banks book by Peter Robinson, and what do we find? It's a NEW Inpector Banks, moulded into the persona created by Tomkinson! He's a fraud! Robinson should take note of other TV creations, notably Bernard Cornwell's Richard Sharpe - a six-foot plus black-haired Londoner until he was played by Sean Bean in the TV series. Now in the books you wouldn't know WHERE he comes from! This is the poorest Robinson book ever - and I include his previous non-Banks one where he had people around a dinner table in January 1953 discussing the conquest of Everest by Hillary and Tenzing fully six months before it actually happened!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 19, 2013 5:30 PM BST


The Vanishing Point
The Vanishing Point
Price: £3.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unfairly, and innocently, slaughtered!, 10 Feb 2013
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I find it hard to see how reviewers can connect Scarlett of this book with Jade Goody. OK, so both were in reality TV shows - so were several hundred others. OK, so both came across originally as thicko bimbos - so have dozens of others; Jade Goody never was anything else. Nobody has ever been shown to be a really intelligent individual who was devoted to playing the game in her own interest - and, if you quote me Katie Price, I'll say that Scarlett never went to the breast mechanics that Katie did to take her memorable. Nor did Scarlett in this book!
I have blown hot and cold on Val McDermid's previous work, finding it readable but not much more. I only read her Tony Hill work because the TV series was so well adapted (sorry, Val!). But this was totally different, a story that gripped from the start. Recognisable in that reality show winners must go somewhere afterwards, but different in that they didn't go the way you'd expect. And the base narrator, Stephanie, was very memorable as the real person she was, absolutely screwed up to be an adoptive mother, but, equally, wanting to be a person her own right, not haunted/hunted by a former lover.
I think Val McDermid has entered a new style (for her) and has shown that she can get with it with the best.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 4, 2013 8:37 PM GMT


Second Term
Second Term
by Simon Walters
Edition: Hardcover

1.0 out of 5 stars What a load of ****!, 16 Jun 2012
This review is from: Second Term (Hardcover)
This is perhaps the lousiest book I have ever read.

It is badly written, outrageously impossibly plotted, filled with cardboard cliche characters and not even properly proofread!

As an example of the last of these, there is a scheme where Lucy (the PM's wife) is talking to her daughter Jessica. Quote: " 'M-u-m', said Lucy", when clearly the speaker is Jessica. Even worse, at one point a car is stopped by pressing on the "break pedal"!! Not as broken as the book, I fear.

As an example of plot implausibility, a referendum on the UK entering the Euro is first lost by under 10,000 votes (in itself highly improbable even at the time the book was written) and then won when a piece of dirty work in a single constituency that had resulted in just enough votes being switched from "Yes" to "No" to tip the balance is found out and corrected.

If Amazon had allowed me to have no stars as my rating, that's what I would have selected.


The Sins of the Father (Clifton Chronicles Book 2)
The Sins of the Father (Clifton Chronicles Book 2)
Price: £2.39

51 of 60 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More of the Same, 16 Mar 2012
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Jeffrey Archer has been described as a "superb storyteller" and that is as true of "The Sins of the Father" as it is of his other books. What that means is that it is pedestrian, repetitive and cliched, but, for some reason, I know not why, the reader feels compelled to keep on reading. The dialogue itself is reasonably true to life, but there is seldom any variation on "said Harry (or whoever)". I counted ten of these on a single Kindle page.

The mind is stretched by the number of coincidences, both fortunate and unfortunate, that happen throughout the book, which I won't go into since that would create spoilers. Suffice it to say that for me these are an integral part of the reason for the compulsive page-turning by the reader - just to see how they are convincingly explained they are (or are not, as the case may be).

There are some matters that , though not of major importance, should have been picked up at the editing stage. The fact that they remain does call into question the quality of the editing. For example, I thought after the first book in the series someone would have pointed out to the author that, when Big Ben chimes, it is the FIRST chime that denotes the hour, not the last, but he makes the same mistake here - twice over!

And for a corporal, whose country of birth is revealed by his use of the word "laddie", to be called "McCloud" rather than "Macleod" or "McLeod" just beggars belief!

It is crucial that any prospective reader has previously read "Only Time Will Tell", the first book in the series, since the author makes very few concessions by way of explaining background to anyone who has not. In view of the "cliffhanger" on which the book ends, this will be even more important for future readers of Book 3.

Despite all this, I WILL be buying the next (hopefully the last!) book in the series when it comes out, I assume next year, just to see how it all pans out. I bet that, just like this one, it will be more of the same!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 16, 2012 4:36 PM GMT


Too Close For Comfort (Knight & Culverhouse Book 1)
Too Close For Comfort (Knight & Culverhouse Book 1)
Price: £0.77

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Dross, 5 April 2011
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I only bought this for my Kindle because (a) it was free and (b) it was top of the best-sellers. I really wish I hadn't bothered. Poor plotting, cardboard stereotypical characters, absurd dialogue - these are all present in abundance! And, finally, as an earlier reviewer noted, with so few characters, the "twist" at the end was blindingly obvious. I would say "Don't waste your money", but, there again, it WAS a freebie! (I gave it one star only because the Amazon website wouldn't let me give it none at all!)
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 30, 2011 9:44 AM BST


Garmin Nuvi 1490 T Portable Satellite Navigation with Bluetooth
Garmin Nuvi 1490 T Portable Satellite Navigation with Bluetooth
Offered by AVOCADO DEALS
Price: £94.99

72 of 72 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very impressive device, 16 Jan 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is my second satnav, bought to replace a very good one produced by Sony, who have now ceased to produce satnavs, so that getting map updates was a problem. I went for the Garmin 1490 because it came out top in a very exhaustive review carried out by a respected consumer magazine - and I haven't been disappointed. It's even better than the Sony, getting me to my destination correctly each time I've used it. And it's quick in "translating" the satellite info to my actual position - for example, when I go under a railway bridge, the screen shows that (the Sony sometimes showed this a little too late or early). Its estimate of arrival times is a bit optimistic, but, there again, I haven't connected the traffic info aerial yet, so maybe that can be excused. The maps appear to be very up-to-date - it was good to be able to get a free update just after purchase. (But they're not up to date for everywhere - our house in Spain doesn't apparently exist, although we moved in five years ago, and I've just been looking at it in a photo on Google Earth! On the other hand, it contains full details of a new housing development in Scotland that had its first occupants only last year!) I haven't found anything to moan about, although I would say that the manual is sometimes not as clear as it might be, but that will be sorted out by experience.


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