Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen with Prime Shop now Shop now
Profile for S. Smith > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by S. Smith
Top Reviewer Ranking: 849,152
Helpful Votes: 113

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
S. Smith "Simon de Region 2" (England)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2
pixel
British Buses and Trolleybuses 1950s-1970s: Midland Independents (British Railways Past & Present)
British Buses and Trolleybuses 1950s-1970s: Midland Independents (British Railways Past & Present)
by Henry Conn
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Graphics are not good, 2 Oct. 2013
There aren't many books out there covering this topic, so it is unfortunate that the image reproduction is so poor.

Most of the colour pictures, and some black and white ones, have both a strangle wave-like stepping effect on what should be straight lines, and the colours are often "flat" like a paint-by-numbers picture. I wonder whether there just weren't enough decent colour pictures available so we have to make do with pictures that have been through extensive digital enhancement.

Wheel arches and the lines of roofs look like a gang has been at them with sledge hammers. Weird!

Perhaps it is a flaw with my copy, but, on the basis that some images are fine, I think it is part of the production if the book rather than a printing problem.


British Buses and Trolleybuses 1950s-1970s: Midland Major Operators (British Railways Past & Present)
British Buses and Trolleybuses 1950s-1970s: Midland Major Operators (British Railways Past & Present)
by Henry Conn
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.69

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing quality, 2 Oct. 2013
Have been looking forward to this for some time. There don't seem to be as many colour images as in previous volumes. Worst though is the image quality, mostly but not solely the colour photos.

They look as though they're tiny images digitised, then enlarged complete with pixelation artefacts, and put through some sort of Photoshop filter to blur the pixelation. They look hand painted in some cases, and many straight lines in the images are stepped in a bizarre wave pattern. Shame. Especially at £18 a pop.

Also, though the description says "the majority of pictures are in colour", I counted 142 black and white images compared with only 63 in colour.


The Purple Shroud
The Purple Shroud
by Stella Duffy
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not faulty in print run, 7 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Purple Shroud (Hardcover)
I shan't add anything to the rest of the reviews here other than to offer my opinion that this book and the volume that precedes it are a cracking reads and add an entertaining fictional interpretation to the historical accounts that have come down to us.

What I wanted to say, though, is that I thought my copy might have been faulty, as it ends exactly at the bottom of page 390 (with the words "Theodora taking shape") - no "FINIS" or blank pages or whitespace or bibliography or index, or any other similar clue, to assure someone like me that it really is the end of the book.

So, I checked with the publisher, and their editor has confirmed that this is indeed the final line of the book and manuscript.

Most of you will know that it is the end of the book intuitively from the narrative, but just in case the physical evidence appears overwhelmingly counter-intuitive to your reaching that conclusion, provided your copy ends with the line quoted above, you have the full thing. No faults, and no waste paper.


Weather World: Photographing the Global Spectacle
Weather World: Photographing the Global Spectacle
by Met Office
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Also known as..., 28 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a great book with some lovely images. Beware though, as it is actually the same book as "Weather Wonders: Incredible clouds and weather events from above and below" with the author listed as "The Met Office" - I bought both, by accident, not realising that they were the same. Different titles and cover designs. This one is a larger format though, and hard-backed in the editions that I have.


Heyday of Tyseley and Its Locomotives
Heyday of Tyseley and Its Locomotives
by Michael Whitehouse
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars When exactly was the heyday?, 13 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was quite disappointed with this book. Unlike other similarly titled and formatted books, the heyday in question here isn't precisely the days of British Railways steam, but spans from that period, in the 1960s, through to about 2002.

In terms of the split, the first 20 pages are of original steam in the West Midlands up to the mid 1960s. The other 60 pages are shots of preserved locomotives either at Tyseley or elsewhere in the UK.

I'm not that fussed about books of colour pictures of shiny preserved locos - you can take you own or look on the Web if you are.


The Cult of the Green Bird: The Mythology of the Green Woodpecker
The Cult of the Green Bird: The Mythology of the Green Woodpecker
by Antony Clare-Lees
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice little book, 27 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a potted history of the green woodpecker in myth and folktale, with an interesting and short natural history section too.

The green woodpecker has a surprisingly long relationship with mankind, in all sorts of roles: presence in numinous places, thunder god, bringer of agriculture, omen, and laughing bystander.

This covers the period from the emergence of farming around 7000BC to the present day.

A nice reminder that the green woodpecker had a far greater significance to our ancestors than it does today.


Web Copy That Sells: The Revolutionary Formula for Creating Killer Copy That Grabs Their Attention and Compels Them to Bu: The Revolutionary Formula ... Grabs Their Attention and Compels Them to Buy
Web Copy That Sells: The Revolutionary Formula for Creating Killer Copy That Grabs Their Attention and Compels Them to Bu: The Revolutionary Formula ... Grabs Their Attention and Compels Them to Buy
by Maria Veloso
Edition: Paperback

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A puncture repair kit?, 26 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have a slight problem with this book. It's clearly a book about direct response marketing that has been updated to cover the fact that this is not a popular approach to marketing on the Web.

Direct response marketing is a strong "push" marketing technique - you want to get your message out there, and make people buy your products. It has a long history and has built up a sizeable body of tenets on how things should be done, as well as anecdotes from marketing giants of the past.

Then, about ten years ago, marketing professionals started to think that these ways are not applicable on the web, for a number of reasons. Additionally, most customers and prospects now have a degree of immunity to strong, traditional marketing messages.

Since then, many books have been written on web marketing and other digital media. It's a very different, softer, more informative approach in which people are encouraged to opt-in to product information. This approach also has accumulated a body of proven marketing techniques.

And now we have Social Networking too, which has everyone excited, but has yet to find a successful vehicle for marketing. Rather like a cat looking at a bird in a cage, marketers are hungry to sink their teeth into all those millions of Social networking punters. But nobody is quite sure how. Intrusion and brassy commercial messages do not work. So most marketers and consultants are content to dabble a corporate toe in the water, with a view, perhaps, to establishing "thought leadership" or gaining a respected voice amongst online communities. That's the sort of idea.

And therein is a problem with this book. It shows its heritage in direct response marketing (especially in print), and it doesn't sit comfortably with the ways of thinking about online marketing. To be fair, I've yet to see a successful synthesis of these two approaches to marketing. I'm not at all sure they can be brought together. There's a fundamental difference in philosophy between the two.

The book has the feel of being patched up, and perhaps in need of a fundamental rethink and rewrite.

I also detected what seems to be a contradiction. On page 32 the budding copywriter is told to copy successful ads by hand, so that the wording and style become infused in their way of thinking. And then on page 43 we're told that we must not copy the style of other copywriters but must find our own voice. Perhaps I am nit-picking, but I think the actual wording used makes the contradiction seem even stronger.

This book says all the right things, and has some nice summaries of direct response marketing practises. I'm just not sure you could actually apply everything in practice. As someone who has read quite a bit from both sides of the marketing fence - direct and informative online, push and pull, intrusion and permission-based approaches - there is a distinct feel for me that this second edition of the book is just an attempt to keep the book current and afloat in a sea of changing practice and opinion. As such it seems a confusing mixture.

It has three useful chapters. Chapter 5 covers neurolinguistic (NLP) techniques and other legerdemain used in sales patter, presentations and law courts to slip people a mickey - making ideas seem like established facts when they are not, etc. Chapter 9 makes the very valid point that B2B sales is a very different beast from consumer sales and marketing. Chapter 10 explains how Web 2.0 has completely broken the established direct response marketing rules. This latter chapter pretty much says that all the preceding chapters are wrong, and the advice given and techniques adduced in them do not actually work on the web!

You might be better off buying two seperate books: one specifically about direct response marketing, and another about the "rules" of online marketing - likely to be less confusing.

My favourite book about copywriting for an online audience is probably "letting go of the words" by Janice Redish, though this covers more than just marketing. "The copywriters handbook" by Robert Bly is a pretty good intro to direct response copywriting. On direct response marketing in general, I always rather liked Drayton Bird's "Commonsense direct and digital marketing", though this has signs of patching applied too.

Take care though - there are some shockingly bad marketing books out there: some that regurgitate the same old and outdated tat, and are really nothing more than some marketing consultant's effort to add the word "author" to their CV.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 21, 2011 11:49 AM BST


Your Organic Allotment
Your Organic Allotment
by Ian Spence
Edition: Paperback

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit more basic than I expected, 29 Jan. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Your Organic Allotment (Paperback)
I bought this for my wife for xmas. She already has an organic allotment (for the last seven years).

Since I bought it impulsively without researching first it is my own fault, but the book was more basic than I had expected.

However, anyone who has just taken on an allotment or is thinking about it would find a great deal of useful information, and to those people I would heartily recommend it.


On Kindness
On Kindness
by Adam Phillips
Edition: Hardcover

40 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slighter in build than I expected, 13 Jan. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: On Kindness (Hardcover)
Since I'd not checked, I expected this book to be more substantial than it actually is. At only 117 pages that's nearly 8p a page. However the book does have a sturdy hardback binding and a narrow silky bookmark sewn into the spine.

I bought this as an antidote to the modern dawkinsian view that we're all selfish and the gainful end always justifies the means, nomatter how machievellean.

It was featured in the Guardian's Review supplement, and I was rather attracted to all the allusions to great philosophers. As such I was expecting something slightly more academic and deeper. Instead it skims gently across the surface like a swallow skimming a millpond in summer.

In other words this book is not a philosophy or psychology textbook, in spite of the authors' qualifications and background, but ought to suit most readers, especially those who remember more courteous times. And, perhaps, it would provide some food for ethical thought for those who don't.

But then, I suppose, the latter type will probably just nick a copy from the library.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 26, 2010 8:38 PM BST


The Deipnosophists
The Deipnosophists
by Athenaeus Of Naucratis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the whole work, 18 July 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Deipnosophists (Paperback)
The original work of Athenaeus covers some 15 books of Greek dialogue. This translation is of book 13 only. This isn't made at all clear here, or anywhere else, and the title is very misleading in this regard.

At this price therefore, you might as well buy Volume VI of the Loeb edition (ISBN-10 0674993616), which has a translation plus the original Greek side-by-side, and covers part of book 14 as well; and the Loeb is hardback.

There are a number of classical authors who are not represented very well in affordable editions of English translations. Sadly, in spite of first appearances with this book, Athenaeus remains one of them.


Page: 1 | 2