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Profile for Mr. T. P. Hiscock > Reviews

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Mr. T. P. Hiscock (Crewe, Cheshire United Kingdom)

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FUJIFILM X-A2 Camera Accessory Kit - Black
FUJIFILM X-A2 Camera Accessory Kit - Black
Offered by spoketree
Price: £47.55

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value, 6 Aug. 2017
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This was an official Fujifilm accessory pack that would normally have sold for far more than the thirty pounds I paid. A very attractive and sturdy carry case that comfortably accommodates the XA-2 with 16-50mm lens, with ample room for spare battery and filters. Small internal pockets and a comfortable, adjustable strap. Also came with a grip that is invaluable when using a telephoto lens and a genuine Fuji battery (you can never have too many batteries!)


Depression is a Liar: It IS possible to recover and be happy again - even if you don't believe it right now
Depression is a Liar: It IS possible to recover and be happy again - even if you don't believe it right now
by Danny Baker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.95

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A frank and enlightening portrayal of depression., 19 Jan. 2016
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I found this book very enlightening.

A brutally frank and honest description of depression, and its devastating affects. The author has shown tremendous courage in baring his soul and I am sure this will help others.

Danny Baker is from a wealthy family from Sydney, Australia. Materially, he appears to have everything, including a fine brain that is leading him towards a very good first degree. So what does he have to be depressed about? Actually, people suffering from depression hate to be asked that. The author acknowledges his privileged background and writes frankly about the series of life events that lead to him reluctantly seeking help. He is obsessively ambitious, wants a perfect degree and seeks to write a novel while studying. The pressures he himself imposes appear to drive him to a downward spiral of binge drinking, drugs and self-harm. Several times he believes he has found the way out, only to slip deeper into depression, ultimately experiencing bipolar episodes, that are later attributed to a reckless prescription.

While the author is honest about his own failings and weaknesses, there is the unmistakeable description of a good man trapped in a web. He does charity work, recognises his own outstanding good fortune and while battling depression founds a charity.

I'd recommend this book to everyone. Some may find the language disturbing, or may find it difficult to sympathise with such a privileged young man feeling so sorry for himself. But what this book demonstrates is that anyone can be vulnerable to depression, that overcoming it is not easy but can be done with expert help and guidance. I commend the author for willingly exposing his faults and weaknesses in order to help other people to overcome their demons.


Rumours of Glory: A Memoir
Rumours of Glory: A Memoir
Price: £10.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Honest Account of a Fascinating Life., 27 Dec. 2014
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Having been a fan of Bruce's music for many years, I was delighted to have a chance to read his autobiography and get to know a little more about the man whose music has become so familiar to me. He has written a very honest account of his life, recounting its ups and downs, mistakes and achievements, constantly sharing the background to the writing and recording of the songs I have come to know so well.

To write so candidly about himself is a courageous thing to do. I can see that, like most of us, Bruce is a complex mixture of influences, his thoughts and motivations mired in doubt and contradictions, but ultimately with an optimism that is refreshing and a very tolerant, inclusive attitude to others.

There are aspects of his thinking that puzzle me. For example, how does a man who has campaigned against land-mines come to have such a positive view of guns? His defence of the right to bear arms left me scratching my head. But full marks for honesty. Likewise for his patient description of his changing religious views from committed Christian to a much more inclusive spiritual outlook that seeks the positive in just about everything.

A wonderful summary of a fulfilled life and musical career that hopefully is far from over.


Dead Poets Society [DVD] [1989]
Dead Poets Society [DVD] [1989]
Dvd ~ Robin Williams
Price: £4.90

5.0 out of 5 stars One of only a handful of films I can happily watch repeatedly, 7 July 2014
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One of only a handful of films I can happily watch repeatedly.

A beguiling story of life at an elite and old-fashioned private school in the USA, that springs to life with the appointment of an energetic and idealistic young English teacher. His influence on his pupils causes friction, and ultimately leads to tragedy.

A relatively understated performance by Robin Williams, which relies on his charm and sincerity.


Splinter (Facts of Life Series Book 1)
Splinter (Facts of Life Series Book 1)
Price: £2.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, compulsive and satisfying., 7 July 2014
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I really enjoyed this book.

I was attracted to it by the subject matter and the fact that it was set in North Wales, an area I know quite well.

The story is instantly gripping, and easy to follow. I wasn't sure if the occasional use of Welsh dialogue would cause me problems, but it adds to the atmosphere and gives the characters greater dimension. The style is clear and fast moving while also being very effective in building credible characters. The story concerns a former soldier who has returned to his native country after being retired through injury on active service, and his attempts to overcome his trauma and rebuild his life in a community facing challenging economic circumstances. As the story developed, I began to get a sense of inevitable tragedy. My expectations were confirmed, although the actual circumstances took me by surprise.

All in all, a very powerful tale, written with style and passion. I look forward to more from this talented writer.


As The Crow Flies (The DI Nick Dixon Crime Series Book 1)
As The Crow Flies (The DI Nick Dixon Crime Series Book 1)

4.0 out of 5 stars Fast moving crime thriller, 16 April 2014
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I enjoyed reading this book. It had a clear plot and narrative and was a real page turner.

I'm a big fan of the Rebus books and this compared well in my opinion.

In places the characterisation was not perfect. I'd say the reactions of some characters in certain situations was a bit stilted. But this didn't detract from my enjoyment. I like the DI character, he seems a tough, driven detective who is not afraid to break the rules to get the result, and doesn't suffer fools gladly. I plan to read another one soon.


Diamonds On The Water
Diamonds On The Water
Price: £10.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another pearl, 17 Feb. 2014
This review is from: Diamonds On The Water (Audio CD)
I bought my copy directly from the band's website. Signed by the band as well!

I've been an Oysterband fan for more years than I can remember. They have been through numerous changes of line-up and style, but the essential elements, (JJ's voice, Alan's guitar and Ian's fiddle) have made for an unmistakable brand which has been the hallmark of the contemporary folk music scene for some time.

DOTW is addictive from the first note. The arrangements are sublime, the vocals outstanding (enhanced with awesome harmonies attributed to Rowan Godel and Lee Partis), lyrics that are often heart tugging and most of all, the musicianship is masterful and inspired. The music testifies to the years of experience as well as the passion and commitment of this unique band.

Compared to the much respected Ragged Kingdom (with June Tabor) this collection has more energy, but I also found it instantly engaging for its melodies and thoughtful arrangements. The opening track, A Clown's Heart is uplifting and sets the scene for a highly satisfying musical journey. A River Runs contains a moving lyrical message about friendship and is the first of three tracks to echo the album's watery title and cover pics. Once I Had a Sweetheart is the only traditional song on the album, and as listeners familiar with the band will expect, it has a totally new feel to it, a haunting feeling of darkness making it one of the most immediately memorable tracks. No Ordinary Girl and Like a Swimmer in the Ocean also strike me as particular gems.

I've played this album almost constantly since it arrived, and it's already becoming one of my favourites.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 17, 2014 11:01 PM GMT


Sweet Tooth
Sweet Tooth
Price: £4.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Stretches credibility, 24 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Sweet Tooth (Kindle Edition)
I am aware of McEwan's reputation as a quality writer, but probably made a mistake in reading this first!

It's a page-turner certainly, and I was sufficiently motivated to reach the end pretty quickly. I can certainly see that the writer has an admirable talent for narration, creating a mood and building suspense.

The problem for me was the plot. And the characters. The story is set in the early 1970's during the cold war, and concerns a young woman who is recruited to MI5 after graduating from Oxford. An excellent situation for a thrilling story of intrigue and danger, or so I thought. Sadly, I found the central character to be shallow and self-obsessed, and the same seemed to apply to virtually everyone else in the story as well. The plot itself seemed a bit thin, involving a botched plot to secretly fund a select group of writers whom MI5 thought would be useful in the propaganda was against the Soviet Union. The whole project seemed faintly ridiculous and, for an organisation that was clearly paranoid to the extent of being afraid of its own shadow, was carried out with little concern for detail or attention to security. The central character recruits a young writer and promptly embarks on a relationship with him, which seems to completely pass by her employer, who until then had been bugging her room and stalking her. What?!?!?

Predictably, the whole venture goes badly off the rails when the secret arrangement to fund the writer is leaked to the press just after the writer unexpectedly wins a major award for a short novel that failed to win the approval of the big cheeses in MI5 for its apparent criticism of capitalist society.

I found the story so clumsily structured, that it was painfully obvious from the moment the story broke in the press that the story had been leaked by one of the central character's colleagues, a spurned ex-boyfriend who was slightly senior to her in the organisation.

I found the story line so ridiculous in places, that I wondered if the book was intended to be a farce. It could easily have worked on that level, except that it wasn't funny. A disappointing introduction to McEwan's work for me, I am sure he has much better to offer.


On An Island
On An Island
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful sound, 24 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: On An Island (MP3 Download)
This album has received some mixed reviews, and I can understand some peoples' disappointment. As the lead guitarist and principal vocalist for Pink Floyd, Gilmour was a major part of the Floyd sound, and several reviewers seem to have been expecting a Floyd kind of album, which this isn't.

While it does have, naturally, the kind of guitar licks that became a trademark of Floyd albums, together with Gilmour's lush vocal sound, On an Island has a very different style and direction. I love this album for relaxing or as background music when working. It's instantly pleasing, generally easy on the ear but with just enough guts to stop if falling into the dreaded 'easy listening' category. i thought the production on the album was sublime, and it really merits a close listen on a decent music system or with good quality headphones.

It isn't Floyd, but it's an outstanding album.


And the Mountains Echoed
And the Mountains Echoed
Price: £5.66

5.0 out of 5 stars He's Done it Again!, 1 July 2013
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I loved Hosseini's earlier novels 'The Kite Runner' and 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' and am delighted to say that he's maintained the standard with this one.

'And the Mountains Echoed' is an emotional roller-coaster of a read, which is delivered with the lucidity that readers of his earlier novels will have come to expect. This book opens with the relating of a children's fairy tale, a particularly brutal one in which parents have to give up one of their children to a monster, in order to save the rest of the family. We quickly find that this tale has a bearing on the story that is about to unfold as two young siblings live with the consequences of a forced separation.

The story takes the reader around the world as the tale takes the central characters to new horizons. The brother, the elder child, remembers his lost sister vividly and longs to find her. The sister was too young to have a clear memory of her early life, but is haunted with a vague but insistent feeling that something is missing. While the siblings make new lives for themselves on different continents, the story returns to the Afghanistan village of their birth and reminds us of the brutality and corruption that they escaped.

I don't know of any other contemporary writer with such a gift for producing dramatic tales that grip me on every page. The eye for detail, particularly at the most poignant points of the tale, and the empathy with which every character is explored bring this book to life in a way that few other writers ever achieve.

As with The Kite Runner, the conclusion of the story, with the inevitable reunion, is far from a fairy tale ending, exploring lives full of regret mixed with strands of hope for the future. Every one of Hosseini's books has totally engrossed me. Each one is packed with such emotional power that I frequently felt I had to put it down just to let my mind take in the latest implications, only to become impatient to pick it up again to find out what happens next. Will we have to wait another five years for the next one?


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