Helpful votes received on reviews: 78% (21 of 27)


Top Reviewer Ranking: 196,804 - Total Helpful Votes: 21 of 27
Drive On!: A Social History of the Motor Car by L.J.K. Setright
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Everyone must have at least one friend like L.J.K. Setright. Possessed of a disconcerting number of outré opinions, steadfast in their rejection of alternatives (or indeed logic), they are resolutely convinced of their own correctness. I was talking with one recently, and he was insisting that recent studies show that if you stop training for a mere two weeks, then all your fitness is lost. So presumably if Mo Farrah misses a fortnight, I'll be able to run 5K faster than him. Of course.

As frustrating as these people are in person, it turns out they are more so in book form, where you are deprived of the option of attempting to argue with them. I suppose you can put the… Read more
God Explained in a Taxi Ride by Paul Arden
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I don't want to sound judgemental, but this is a book only someone in marketing or advertising could have written.

First of all, there's the conceit and arrogance. History's greatest philosophers have spent years thinking about God and millions of words attempting to understand and explain the idea. But Paul Arden can do it in about one hundred pages? That seems unlikely.

Secondly, there's the simplistic, childish approach and layout. In advertising, there's value in presenting your ideas in short, punchy pages, because you're presenting simple ideas: buy this, think that. In philosophy, you're not trying to sell anything, and any attempt to reduce complex ideas to the… Read more
The People's Songs: The Story of Modern Britain in&hellip by Stuart Maconie
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Pop music is, ultimately, far more important than the orthodox canon of classic albums and iconic artists that appear in weighty lists and turgid books. Which is why I like the idea of The People's Music so much. It operates from exactly this point of view, and picks fifty pop songs from the last sixty years that encapsulate a period in time or summarise a cultural shift. Maconie's introduction articulates much better than I can why pop history is social history, so central is it to so many people.

The radio series - sorry, landmark Radio 2 series (it says here) - is essential listening for any fan of pop. The book, introduction aside, is a little lacklustre by comparison. It… Read more