Phil Symes

Helpful votes received on reviews: 86% (6 of 7)


Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,297,572 - Total Helpful Votes: 6 of 7
The Pearl in the Grass: A Story from China by John Harris
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely little book, 23 Dec 2012
This is a great looking little book. The story is drawn from Chinese legend and filled with exotic details, but perfectly accessible and compelling to boot. The style of the narration is particularly warm and engaging, and kids cannot fail to sympathise with the plight of the ill-fated but good-natured main character. The down to earth tone of the writing only serves to make the spectacular and pretty cosmic denouement all the more unexpected and awesome!
Doctor Faustus [DVD] [2010] [All Regions] [NTSC] <b>DVD</b> ~ Stage on Screen
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful Study Aid, 16 Oct 2011
This is a filmed theatrical production in front of a live audience. Whilst the filming is very good, the acting is not always of the highest quality, and the actors are all bellowing out their lines - presumably they feel it's necessary to fill the theatre, but it does undermine their performances. Nonetheless, it's an interesting production which emphasizes the dark infernal horror and portrays Faustus as an arrogant, naive man who is completely out of his depth. As an English teacher I've shown it to my students and they have found it useful as an example of a modern staging.
Gilgamesh (Chatto poetry) by Derrek Hines
Gilgamesh (Chatto poetry) by Derrek Hines
When I bought this book I had never heard of Derrek Hines. I sought simply to read the Epic of Gilgamesh, the ancient Sumerian story which dates back over four thousand years. It is the earliest literary work we know of. I assumed (hoped) that Hines' book would present an energetic, poetic yet faithful translation, in the style of (if not necessarily of the same quality as) Seamus Heaney's Beowulf.
In Beowulf, Heaney's great accomplishment is to maintain an extraordinarily close proximity to the text, and embellish it with a vibrant and striking lyricism. Hines' Gilgamesh, on the other hand, is not really a translation at all. It takes and follows a grossly simplified version of the… Read more

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