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Strange Attractor Journal One (Strange Attractor Anthology)
Strange Attractor Journal One (Strange Attractor Anthology)
by Mark Pilkington
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compendium of weirdness that dazzles and delights, 3 July 2013
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Thank goodness someone has had the bright idea to package together a series of books that function rather like a wunderkammer might in the 18th century. Here are delightful, obscure and borderline fetishtic studies in all manner of weird topics and subjects. Strange Attractor has something of the appeal of the beautifully designed and printed 'Saturday Book', published in the 1940's and 50's through to about 1970 and employs very elegant and beautiful typography, miniature illustrations, and margin captions that reiterate and highlight what it is you have just been reading. The territory explored is surreal to say the least: an artists obsession with her own hair collecting, hair sculptures, the cult and mythos of H.P.Lovecraft, Mind Control Beams and frequencies, suburban schizophrenia and the American persona,entoptic births - and this is just for starters! It is seldom that a book can be so delctable, engrossing and funny at the same time. One wonders if the authors are vetted and interviewed for their apparent eccentricity and evident delight in erudite essays into the realms of the bizarre. As all the essays are relatively short this makes for an ideal book to take on a short journey as one can dip into it at random at any time and devour a section. The formula of the books makes them highly collectable and something of a cult following is bound to hang out and about in the Dalston area of East London. I think the books are wonderful and unique. I wish there were more and that some of the writings were longer and less cursory.


Vertigo
Vertigo
by Winfried Georg Sebald
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece by Sebald, 3 July 2013
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This review is from: Vertigo (Paperback)
W.G. Sebald's weirdest book. Wow! It starts some time in the early 19th century and follows the exploits of a Napoleonic campaign through the alps to end up in the 1950's alpine terrain of Austria and finally in 1980's Italy searching through newspaper cuttings for obscure and eccentric advertisements. This is awonderfully playful, inventive, and strange book. Part collage and parallel universe, it takes a grip on the reader's attention and trawls you through many peculiar incidents and crams each page with a mixture of real and invented biographical details. The micro-universe described in the book is Sebald's own mischeivious tinkering with his alter ego or imagined/dreamed other self. He wants you to think it is partly a journal and a travelogue when in fact we know it is all made up - or is it?! It is a skillful work of factish fiction, perhaps peppered with funny and bizarre anecdotes and sub-stories to amaze and bewilder you. I read it whilst on vacation in Rome and found it oozed more metaphysical putty! As much of it takes places in Italy it is deeply evocative and compellingly descriptive in a way that makes you hungry for more detail and information. With all of Sebald's fictions you are immersed in a topsy turvy world of alternative realities prompted or suggested by a bus ticket, an old found photo, an overheard snippet of information. Sebald is the master of collectors, pouring his flair for the humdrum banalities of everyday life into a funnel of mystery and melancholic brooding. His dramas are small yet all of them are memorable because of their weirdness and the reader's knowledge that it is Sebald himself that he is essentially describing: warts and all. Its a deeply rewarding and magical book. He should have got the Nobel prize for literature but he didn't because he died aged 57 from a brain haemorrhage. He was one of the all time greats and he knew it, that's why he wrote just a handful of quirky books and we read them over and over again to get back into his world.


lumen led spotlights
lumen led spotlights

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful lights if they work, 3 July 2013
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This review is from: lumen led spotlights
I have used these lights before and they are very good normally. The lights are useful and very bright but there is no way of telling when you order them if they will work! I purchased these lights in good faith and when they arrived opened them and fitted the batteries insie the correct way. Only 2 of them worked. I changed the battereis to make sure that they were not the fault - but it was definitely the lamp itself that did not function. I do not know why. Please give this serious consideration when you buy a set of lights such as these. The seller will have no idea if they work or not and they cannot be unwrapped and re-packaged as they are contained in a hard clear plastic cover that can only be opened with scissors or a sharp knife. I think I wasted my money and it is pointless writing to the seller who can't replace the light because they do not sell them as individual items. Its very disappointing but it is the risk you take with electronics that you cannot test. I am just very unlucky this time and I don't recommend that you might have a similar experience as me. I hope you won't!


Patience (After Sebald) [DVD]
Patience (After Sebald) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Grant Gee

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointingly dull and boring film about an amazing writer's love of East Anglia, 3 July 2013
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Lovers of W.G.Sebald's novels and essays will find this tiresome plodding and meandering film without much point to it unless you have recently graduated from some provincial art school with a third in film making. On the rare occasions when you actually hear the late author's beautiful voice (speaking in English with a mild German intonation) you are reminded that this is a film ostensibly about a truly talented and gifted writer, that it purports in part to be a hommage and a poetic eulogy to his metaphysical journeying. At least this is what I thought it would be when I purchased the film. Instead, it is overly long and incredibly boring with long pseudo experimental split screen techniques overlaid with some odious old luvvie reading chunks of Sebald's work. To label the film a triumph of style over content would be highly accurate as it lumbers ponderously on and on with many the introduction of many BBC lilting thespian voices reading and muttering text overlaid with slow panning shots of the moody East Anglian countryside and coastline shot in attractive chiaroscuro. Invariably, the film lacks any cohesion or intellectual gravitas, and the ability to hold its viewers attention is diminshed by its reliance on split/mutliple screen images to evoke something like meaning. Sadly it cannibalises itself as it becomes immersed in long and drawn out experimental editing and post production gimmicks no doubt, to compensate for its own appalling lack of originality. It is excruciatingly dull and not a tribute to a highly original writer but a pastiche of egomaniacal pretension that comes close to onanism on screen.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 6, 2013 11:53 AM BST


A Place in the Country
A Place in the Country
by Winfried Georg Sebald
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For all true W.G.Sebald addicts this is the book!, 3 July 2013
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This review is from: A Place in the Country (Hardcover)
With a penchant for the strange and eccentric European writers who loved the outdoors this is a posthumous collection of 'travel' essays by the late W.G.Sebald. His lilting, old fashioned prose is delectable and infectious. Peppered with curious details and fascinating characterisations these essays are a sheer pleasure to read and encompass the spirit of the romantic visionary alone in the landscape, the poetic in exile, and the spirit of wanderlust. Unlike his novels, which weave intricate fictional matrixes of possible/impossible biographical data around characters that are doppelgangers of Sebald himself, this book focuses on specific writers and their experience of the outdoors in different centuries and circumstances. Of course, Sebald introduces his familiar peculiarities into each segment of the book, revealing the quirky details about each writer's plight as he goes on with tantalising aplomb. Sebald himself revisits many of the sites and locations pertinent to the writer's lives he is describing and this adds a certain pathos to the book, which is both illuminating and colourful. The illustrations make this a beautiful book to own.


Rub Out the Words: Letters 1959-1974 (Penguin Modern Classics)
Rub Out the Words: Letters 1959-1974 (Penguin Modern Classics)
by William S. Burroughs
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.39

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Experimental Writing by one of the world's most imaginative writers, 3 July 2013
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The world of Burroughs is a dark, brooding place full of insanity, violent (homo)sexuality and blood. In his many letters you get the essence of the myopic innovator as he bums his way around Europe and North Africa in search of money, inspiration, rent boys and an elusive language of the future mutating before his very eyes. Much of it is mundane: complaints about people and places, disputes over money, teacherly advice to younger savants about his techniques and experiments, savage bitching about his publisher, snipes and gripes chalked up. Amongst the clutter of his letters is the man in quest of a new language made up of the fragments and dreams and overheard snippets of sentences, the shady world of narcotics addiction, low life associates and encounters. Life seen through the eye of the hypodermic needle. The concertina of Burrough's daily life was played out on a wheezing, rasping instrument (his own body) of his own fabrication and modulation. He is hungry for psychic relevance and signifcance in numbers, the alchemy of strange places and people's metamorphic expressions are pertinent and provocative. Reading his extraordinary novels is totally unlike reading his letters which are more humdrum, focused on the exasperating details of the day to day existence of the self imposed exile as anti-intellectual guru.This book offers curious glimpses into his wanderlust and is a useful compendium to anyone reading his other books.


Flavio (Jacobs, Ensemble 415, Gall, Ragin, Lootens, Fink)
Flavio (Jacobs, Ensemble 415, Gall, Ragin, Lootens, Fink)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ultra camp opera by Handel loses none of its power to amaze and dazzle listeners, 3 July 2013
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This is the ultra camp world of the castrato set to the soaring arpeggios of Handel's colourful, larger than life, pulsating music. the closest we come to hearing a castrato is the counter tenor singer - a modern version of the epic castrated singer, or the 'falsetto'. The sublime and astonishing vocal range of Derek Lee Ragin is both compelling and addictive to the ear and one is tempted to play and replay his astounding renditions time and again. The sheer energy, exurberance, and showy quality of this comic opera from the early 1700's is magnificently captured in this stylish recording on Harmonia Mundi. Vocal gymnastics abound: the singers maintain an essence of the original, authentic atmosphere of the opera throughout by the splendid application of their virtuosity and tremendous skill range. Handel takes us on a picaresque roller coaster of a journey through his melodious magnificent music, which at times is ostentatious and manic, heroic and sreechingly bizarre. For the listener not aquainted with the more finer qualities of the falsetto there are plenty of surprises and pleasing shocks in store with Flavio.


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