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Richard J. Westwood "richard15454" (Huddersfield)
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Attack On Memory
Attack On Memory
Price: £16.12

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Attack on mediocrity, 2 May 2012
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This review is from: Attack On Memory (Audio CD)
Attack on Memory is a challenging and uncompromising album. Slow burning opener, No Future/No Past, recalls Slint's Spiderland. Wasted Days and Fall In echo the frantic Emo of The Get Up Kids and Stay Useless is a joyous three-minute pop gem (with a little hint of The Strokes). Individually these songs might not be the strongest you'll hear this year, but, taken as a whole, Attack on Memory is an honest and passionate slice of rock and roll.


Between the Times and Tides
Between the Times and Tides
Offered by positivenoise
Price: £9.09

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Renaldo Revisited, 22 April 2012
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I always thought Lee Renaldo was the best singer in Sonic Youth and his songs often the highlight of their albums. Initially, I was a little disappointed with BTTAT. The LP arrived, I gave it a turn and... well, the songs just washed over me without leaving any real impression. On subsequent plays the melodies, minor cords and sentiments began to emerge. Individual favourites began to multiply until I was listening to the whole album on repeat. The backing band deserves praise, adding weight to Renaldo's songs with just enough discord to please old Sonic Youth fans. Well worth checking out.


Clear Heart Full Eyes
Clear Heart Full Eyes
Price: £11.91

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear Heart Full Eyes, 2 Mar. 2012
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This review is from: Clear Heart Full Eyes (Audio CD)
I've listened to Clear Heart Full Eyes everyday for the last two weeks. Every listen reveals a new hook, lyric and emotion. The backing band have totally nailed Finn's songs, adding a lightness of touch to the music and vocals. It's a very good album in a very understated way. 5/5.


The Sopranos
The Sopranos
by Alan Warner
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tale of Moral Vandalism, 1 Mar. 2003
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This review is from: The Sopranos (Paperback)
Like a lot of People , I was introduced to Alan Warner`s work by Lynne Ramsey`s film adaptation of Morvern callar. Having never read a book quite like Morvern Callar before, I was almost reluctant to throw myself in to the slightly twisted world of Alan Warner once again. Thankfully, The Sopranos exhibits everything that made Morvern Callar so great and then some!
Warners Third novel spans a day in the life of six school girl sopranos on a trip to a national singing contest in the city. Freed from the conservatism of a small port community, the girls embark on a subversive trail of moral vandalism, self discovery and drunken shopping.
As with his two previous novels, Warner combines working class slang with a touch of the great Beat writers. The result is that Warner`s style is often hard to focus on. The reader spends the first few pages trying to comprehend just what Warner is telling us. However, slowly the reader is pulled in to a compelling narrative and the novel becomes surprisingly easy to read and impossible to put down.
The beauty of The Sopranos is that Warner is able to understand the nature of teenage relationships. Warner highlights how even the strongest group of friends are divided to some extent by their own personal and social insecurites. Some times funny, sad and moving, Warner examins, but never judges, the motives of a directionless generation who after the failure of socialism in the 80`s and the triumph of consumer culture during the 90s feel they have no real future. The Sopranos of the title serve as a mirror to highlight the issues that occupy all teenage minds, yet through their own destruction of convervative moral standards, the girls are able to achieve liberation, no matter how short lived this maybe.
The Sopranos is a wonderful read and everything a novel should be.


Life of Pi
Life of Pi
by Yann Martel
Edition: Hardcover

19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars living up to the hype, 12 Feb. 2003
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This review is from: Life of Pi (Hardcover)
Sophie`s World, Pincher Martin and A Clockwork Orange, were all novels that came to mind during the reading of Yann Martel`s excellent Life of Pi. As with Sophie`s World, the first third of the novel is suffused with a love for the unusal wonders that dominate life. During this highly compelling introduction the narrator opens the readers mind to the beauty of the natural world (even in the confines of a zoo), the meaning of freedom and territory in the wild, the social structure of pack animals and the similarities between the worlds great religions. The narrative is fused with a lightness of tone and is both quietly funny and informative. Martel informes the reader of all the information needed to survive PI`s journey and in doing so sets the scene for the books center piece, a voyage of survival around the mini eco-system of a life raft.
From the minute PI finds himself shipwrecked with a Royal Bengal Tiger, a Zebra, a Chimpanzee, a rat and a Hyena the novel steps up a gear. The lightness of tone in the earlier chapters is tainted with an altogether more dark and macabre voice as the true nature of Nature is revealed in all its terrorifing glory.
As with Golding`s Pincher Martin, Martell has created a story that is as believable as it is absurd. He restrains from giving the animals a human voice and the Zebra, Chimpanzee and Hyena are all mercilessly killed off. By leaving only Richard Parker, the Bengal Tiger and Pi alive, Martel is able to explore many of the theories disclosed in the novels opening charpers. In one memorable scene (itself a homage to A Clockwork Orange), Pi attempts to gain alpha male status on the life boat via association. By associating Richards Parker's feelings of sea-sickness with his noise of his screaming whistle PI is able to gain Alpher Male Status.

As the story progresses Pi becomes an unreliable narrator untill the point where the novel becomes an absurd canvas of mid pacific meetings between blind, starving sailors and impossible islands. Upon finding dry land (in Mexico), Pi`s fantistic story is picked apart by two insurance brokers, witnessing such narrow-mindedness Pi offers the brokers an alternative, rational version of this story. It is here that the true meaning behind Life of Pi can found. This novel is a story about the limitless potential of the imagination, and thus the Story. Mantel asks the reader which version of PI`s story is the best, and even if the revised version remains the most believable, the answer will always be Pi`s journey across the Pacific with a Bengal Tiger.


The Hottest State
The Hottest State
by Jordan Pavlin
Edition: Paperback

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nearly the Hottest State, 15 Jan. 2003
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This review is from: The Hottest State (Paperback)
After reading Ethan Hawke`s wonderful second novel, Ash Wednesday, I did everything I could to find a copy of the actor/writers first book, The Hottest State. What I found was a quietly ambitious book that hints at the brillance Hawk realised with Ash Wednesday.
The Hottest State is set in New York, centering on the relationship between William, a struggiling actor and his troubled partner Sarah. Hawk guides the reader from the birth of the relationship, through Sarah`s uncertainty, to the final break down of the union.
The Hottest State is based around many of the themes and issues that Hawke would revisit in Ash Wednesday. Hawke addressers the topic of love and obsession, and how a relationship can be destroyed by the very thing it is founded on. He examins questions around masculinity, absent parents and the responsibilities that arise from casual sex. These themes are all interwoven in a tightly focused narrative that highlights Hawk`s honesty and skill with the written word.
The Hottest State is a fine work of fiction that forms a great introduction to Ash Wednesday.


Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday
by Ethan Hawke
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great surprise, 11 Jan. 2003
This review is from: Ash Wednesday (Hardcover)
It has been a long time since a book has smashed my preconceptions to pieces, however, Ethan Hawk`s Ash Wednesday did just that. From the first chapter to the last page, this book demands to be read. Hawk`s achievement rests on the involving narrative structure, the exploration of the books themes and motifs and Hawk`s uncanny ability to write a moving, but honest novel.
The book centers on the story of two lovers, Jimmy Heartsock and Christy Ann Walker, over the course of the couples troubled pregnancy. By dividing the narrative structure, Hawk allows the story to unfold through the view point of both characters. The results are that Hawk has not only constructed an amusing book, but also a very moving story as well.
Ash Wednesday is a story about love, however, Hawk is not afraid of examining socities prevailing notions of masculinity, the book confronts how the past forever haunts the future whilst highlighting Human kinds need for companionship and community over the excesses of the individual hedonism.
The book has its short falls, as Hawk uses the tired formula of the damaged Vietnam vet as a basis for madness, however ths is a fine piece of work that highlights that Hawk may yet have the potential to write a classic piece of literature.


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