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Essex Girl "essexsim"

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Strange Fits Of Passion
Strange Fits Of Passion
by Anita Shreve
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling read, 5 April 2003
Initailly I approached this book with caution. It was not a type of book I normally read, but had heard such great things about this author that I felt I should give it ago. The story of domestic violence is not an original one but Shreve's approach to it is. It is told from the perspective of a journalist writing a magazine article on a particular case and is put together chronologically through letters from the lead character to the journalist and the accounts of witnesses and friends. This makes gripping reading as some of the witness accounts appear to have their own agendas and conflict. This all culminates in the unravelling of the events leading up to the murder in the remote New England fishing town and the final article written by the journalist which cleverly twists aspects of the preceeding reports and leaving you doubting your own idea of what happens.
If anyone is unsure of this book, as I was initially, I would urge them to read it as it has been the best book I have read for a while. This is my first book by this author and I certainly will be looking out for her in the future.


Bridget Jones's Diary [DVD] [2001]
Bridget Jones's Diary [DVD] [2001]
Dvd ~ Sharon Maguire
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £1.87

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Feel Good Movie, 5 April 2003
Most are probaly familier with the concept of this film...over-weight, hard drinking, hard smoking singleton Bridget wishes to be come skinny successful girl in a relationship. But of course this is not so straight forward, specially if you have a mother like Bridget's! Renee Zellweger is excellent as Bridget, pulling off the English accent and self-depreciating humour very well. Hugh Grant as her bad boy boss and boyfried is fantastic, he is much better suited in this type of role and Colin Firth is, of course, the real Mr Darcy!
The film takes us through Bridget's year of drinking, dating and having her love life scrutinised by smug marrieds or parent's friends. It is not too close to the book, so there is something fresh for those that are familier with the book, but enough off the memorable moments, such as the blue soup incident, to keep us happy. It also has to be said that the ending in the film is better then the rather far-fetched book ending. Highlights include the fight scene between the two male leads and Bridget's cringe making speech at her company's book launch.
DVD add ons are of the usual type. Two videos, one of which for a song I don't even remember in the film and one of the beautiful Gabrielle song, plus the usual assortment of soundbites and deleted scenes. Some of the latter are worth a watch reminding you of details in the book that didn't feature in the film, but on the other hand you can see why some of the scenes were deleted!
If you are looking for a film for a girls night in, a romantic night in or a night in alone with the fags and chardonnay then this is definitly the film for you.


Snakeskin
Snakeskin
by John McCabe
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, 5 April 2003
This review is from: Snakeskin (Paperback)
This book twists and turns and chops and changes between some strange but mainly liekable characters, but the way the story is woven keeps you hooked so don't feel you will be frustrated by this. The story is original and doesn't bog you down with technical information, but just enough so that you can grasp the banking scam without being in the field yourself!
There are some coincidences that are a bit much, but for the most part I enjoyed the irony. Don't expect to like Ian (or Archie as he originally calls himself) at the beginning, but his striving to achieve the goal of not having to do any more work for the rest of his life kind of endears you to him!
This is unlikely to be the best book you have ever read, but it is a real page turner, amusing in parts and well written, thus a very good read all in all.


Round Ireland With A Fridge
Round Ireland With A Fridge
by Tony Hawks
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh out loud, 17 Feb. 2003
I loved the humour in this book, and laughed out loud many a time. It is no literary classic and those looking for a travel guide to Ireland will be better off with a different book, but those who love humour and the trivial will find the book a first rate read.
Hawks takes you from the bizarre to the ridiculous when he charts his adventure from the making of the bet, to the round trip with amusing anecdotes and brilliant observational humour. The author is obviously very good at people watching and it is reasurring to discover that even stand-up comedians can be lost for words sometimes. True,as other reviewers have said, he doesn't describe the places he visits in any detail but the people he meets and the situations he finds himself in are fascinating and amusing. The people took him into their hearts and there is a real feel-good glow about this book, the fact that no one really thinks hitch hiking with a fridge is a problem, and often go out of their way to help him, but this by no means makes for a dull book, and creates an interesting array of characters.
Just a word of advice - don't read in bed whilst your partner is trying to sleep, your attempts to giggle quietly will still wake them.


The Secret Dreamworld Of A Shopaholic: (Shopaholic Book 1)
The Secret Dreamworld Of A Shopaholic: (Shopaholic Book 1)
by Sophie Kinsella
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 15 Jan. 2003
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The heroine was likeable if financially incompetant, bumbling along, until her incompetance catches up with her. She is easy to relate to even if your debts aren't as daunting. Don't expect to read a literary classic but for light, easy, entertainment, this book is hard to beat.


The Sims: Livin' Large - Official Strategy Guide (Prima's Official Strategy Guides)
The Sims: Livin' Large - Official Strategy Guide (Prima's Official Strategy Guides)
by Prima Development
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for Deluxe users, 15 Jan. 2003
As a Sims Deluxe owner this guide covers the original sims and the expansion pack of Livin' it up/Livin' large that is included in the Deluxe edition, and I have found it invaluable in maintaining my Sims careers by being able to second guess what skills or friends they will need, not least how to build a good home for them and what to do when faced with the Grim Reaper, miserable clown or genie. Approach the crystal ball, genie lamp or chemistry set at your peril without this book! Although the relationship interaction tables are now out of date for owners of Hot Date/Holiday, the guide is virtually essential for those who are relatively new to the game, and I am sure even those who have being playing for a while will get something out of it.


The Sims: House Party - Official Strategy Guide (Prima's Official Strategy Guides)
The Sims: House Party - Official Strategy Guide (Prima's Official Strategy Guides)
by Prima Development
Edition: Paperback

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best guide, 15 Jan. 2003
As mentioned in another review, the bulk of this book is dedicated to the original Sims game. This makes the majority of the book out of date and irrelevant if you have Livin' It Up or Sims Deluxe.
There are many new party objects in the game and this does give a good inventory of that you can buy and what they do, as well as how to plan the perfect party, but this is something you can work out quite easily through trial and error in the game. Disappointing.


The Sims: Hot Date Strategy Guide
The Sims: Hot Date Strategy Guide
by Prima Development
Edition: Paperback

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hot Date, Lukewarm Book, 15 Jan. 2003
Like all the Sim strategy guides, this also frustratingly includes a guide to the original Sims game which takes up over half the book, and does not acknowledge additional careers, for example, that Livin' It Up owners will know.
However, in the Hot Date game there are new relationship scores and interactions and this is a good companion to working out how best to proceed with your relationships, as Sims can no longer get by on just repeating the same old interactions, and different interactions have different outcomes depending on the existing relationship score, mood of the Sim and their character (i.e. playful, outgoing). However, if you already have the game and have mastered this aspect, you are left with an inventory of new game objects and hints on having a successful date or building a successful downtown lot (the latter two are quite useful).
For me the guide was very handy in getting the hang of the new relationship system, but apart from the occassional flick through it for dating hints, since getting the hang of building my own lots, I have hardly referred to it.


The Sims: On Holiday Expansion Pack (PC CD)
The Sims: On Holiday Expansion Pack (PC CD)

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sim Holiday Heaven, 15 Jan. 2003
All in all this is a very good expansion pack, that like Hot Date, adds a new dimension to the game, rather than just lots of new furniture.
Your Sim has a choice of nine lots in which to holiday, equally distributed between beach based, forest or snowy mountain, one of each lot of each type is left underdeveloped for you to improve on or re-build, which is fun and challenging. Like Hot Date their are no monetary restrictions, so you can build a luxury resort or a campground with as many amusements, shops and activities as you can fit in.
The game is a great relationship booster for families or dates, though inviting a date from another household can be challenging (and frustrating) as you cannot control the invited Sim. Get them to join your Sim in a hot tub early or they won't wash and will wander around all day in their pyjamas! You also find you send your Sim to the bathroom a lot, in the hope that your date will follow you and not pee on the floor. To take care of relationships at home, you can send postcards back to those left behind, so keeping borderline relationship scores maintained.
On hand at all resorts is a Vacation Director who can answer questions, your Sim can win prizes at the amusement arcades, hunt for treasure or perhaps catch something whilst fishing. Your Sims also meet other families so you can expand your family friend network whilst you are away, and you can call them when you get home.
This is a very well thought out game (except for when you take dates on holiday) and cash strapped Sims can enjoy relatively cheap nights in tents and igloos. There are lots of excellent new furnishings including a polar bear rug offering romantic interactions in front of a fire. The fairground and arcade games can also be included into Hot Date as well.


The Sims: Hot Date Expansion Pack (PC CD)
The Sims: Hot Date Expansion Pack (PC CD)
Offered by * The Game Monkey *
Price: £4.97

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hot Date, Hot Game, 15 Jan. 2003
I love this expansion pack, it has given the game a real boost. You get to invite another adult Sim in your household or neighbourhood to join you downtown, where you have 10 lots with beaches, parks, shops and/or restaurants & bars. Each different lot has different opportunities for dating, and the new 'Ask' interaction allows your Sim to ask his new date how they are and what their interests are, giving a deeper dimension to the game as you try and please your date.
There are great new objects and furnishings such as the love tub which gives for some fun interactions. Many of the new pieces are available for the home as well. There are many aspects to explore downtown, the rental booth to hire picnic blankets, the flirty interactions available at the bar, the opportunity to buy your loved one some lingerie or playing footsie under the table.
Regular Simmers will find a new relationships scoring system that is quite challenging at first, but you will get the hang of it after a while.
Other advantages are that you don't need a date to go downtown. Just call a cab and see who you pick up whilst your there. You can spot other Sims from your neighbourhood (but not other neighbourhoods) and meet the new Townies who you can then call from home and is a great bonus for Family Friend requirements for the high flying Sims.
Building your own downtown lot or improving existing ones is also fun, as there are no financial restrictions and you can be as extravagant as you like.
This game is a must have for Sims fans, as it really does add a lot to the Sim experience, more so than previous expansion packs.


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