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Reviews Written by
Cartimand (Hampshire, UK.)

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InterDesign Gia Two-Piece Bathroom Soap Dish and Drainage Tray, Copper
InterDesign Gia Two-Piece Bathroom Soap Dish and Drainage Tray, Copper
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Attractive, robust and good quality soap dish, 19 Aug. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I do like the rich colour and finish of copper items and this beautiful soap dish is no exception.
The two-piece design prevents your soap from getting soggy and makes it nice and easy to drain.
The finish is of good quality, with no sharp edges (unlike one customer on Amazon.com) and it's pleasingly weighty.
Reasonably priced for the materials used and quality of the item.
Hard to get too excited about such a mundane item as a soap dish, but this certainly adds a touch of class to our bathroom - see pic!
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Defender: The post-apocalyptic thriller compared with The Stand (The Voices Book 1)
Defender: The post-apocalyptic thriller compared with The Stand (The Voices Book 1)
by G X Todd
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.47

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Original and (mostly) compelling twist on the old post - apocalyptic genre, 17 Aug. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Let's face it, novels about the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it are ten a penny and it takes something special to make any addition to the genre really stand out.

The twist here is that the apocalypse doesn't involve zombies, aliens, meteorite strikes, global plagues or nuclear war, but starts with people hearing voices in their head. Sometimes the voices are benign and act as wise counsellors. Other voices though are malicious, driving people to madness or suicide.

For me, this original idea was both the book's strength and occasionally a bit of a weakness. Whilst I certainly salute the author's inventiveness, I am not sure I could fully accept the MacGuffin of the voices. I found the story was most compelling in its road movie sequences - when our protagonists are travelling around the Mad Maxish world and their encounters with its occasionally good, but mostly bad occupants. The whole raison d'etre of the voices, which feature extensively but about which we learn very little, didn't hold my attention to the same degree.

Furthermore some of the action didn't strike me as entirely convincing. I refuse to believe that a cat would happily travel on a motorbike's petrol tank for example or that an injured and weak 'Pilgrim' could carry a corpse over his shoulder for miles. There were also a few errors in the proof I read (including an identical paragraph occurring in two chapters) which I hope will be corrected in the final version.

Enough of the criticism though. Defender is undeniably extremely well written and I particularly enjoyed the author's inventive descriptions and use of metaphor. The characterisation is very strong and, for the most part, the story rattles along at a good pace. The author doesn't shy away from giving us brutal and gory depictions of violence and sadism.

Overall, an exciting and memorable read and I'm looking forward to the next instalment.


AmazonBasics Hardside Luggage Spinner - 24" (61 cm), Navy Blue
AmazonBasics Hardside Luggage Spinner - 24" (61 cm), Navy Blue
Price: £43.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Attractive and practical hard-shelled wheelie case, 13 Aug. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
At 26"/66cm tall, this is an intermediate sized case; just too big for most airlines' cabin luggage, but probably too small to be your main case on holiday. As we tend to take one huge case plus a smaller one with us, this is ideal as a supplementary case. It has a semi-rigid shell, making it a better choice than softer fabric cases for fragile contents. This does make it slightly heavier than other cases of this size though.
The zips seem to be of robust quality, albeit with maybe not the smoothest action but have nice, chunky metal tags. The light-grey lined interior contains 4 zipped compartments. The extending handle conveniently locks at two heights and the 4-wheeled undercarriage makes it pleasingly easy to push or pull along.
Amazonbasics' products are gaining a reputation of providing dependable quality at reasonable prices and this item is no exception.
A nice product, which should survive a year or so of being thrown around by airport baggage-handlers.


Panasonic ES-ED53 Wet&Dry Cordless Epilator with 4 extra attachments
Panasonic ES-ED53 Wet&Dry Cordless Epilator with 4 extra attachments
Price: £59.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Adequate functionality but disappointing battery life, 13 Aug. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Having tried this device a few times now, my wife describes it as doing a very good job at hair removal, but she was disappointed at the short autonomy. A full charge will only provide up to 30 minutes use and, if the battery wanes during use, you cannot use the epilator when it's plugged in and charging. The manual is a little bit confusing at first and the 4 different attachments and various settings are best understood through some careful trial and error. Even on the soft setting, it was initially slightly painful in use. Is less harsh when used wet rather than dry, but seems to epilate better when dry.
The built-in light was a nice touch.
Comes with a handy draw-string bag.
Overall, it certainly does the job and is not unreasonably priced, but you may find the battery life a bit of a limitation.


Amazon Basics Tent - 4 Person, Orange
Amazon Basics Tent - 4 Person, Orange
Price: £48.82

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good value basic tent – glampers need not apply!, 13 Aug. 2017
This review is from: AmazonBasics Tent (Sports)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Arrived securely packed in a surprisingly small and lightweight (< 4.5kg) box. Everything folds up neatly into a zippered and nicely compartmentalised holder.
Pitching instructions were straightforward.
The description states “up to 4 campers” but I would say that is definitely pushing it a bit! For me and my wife, it felt just right though.
The interior dome height of approx. 150cm is fairly generous, so no problems with even a tall guy like me moving around or sitting up to read etc.
For a summer’s night, tried in our back garden (with the plan of watching the Perseid meteor shower), it was great, but the thin material and vents would probably leave you feeling rather exposed and decidedly chilly in colder seasons. Have not tried it in the rain, so cannot vouch for its waterproof claims.
Overall, this is an attractive, well-designed and solidly manufactured basic tent, with generous space for two adults. Fairly priced too.


Never On Sunday [DVD]
Never On Sunday [DVD]
Dvd ~ Melina Mercouri
Price: £6.81

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, feel-good rom-com, 11 Aug. 2017
This review is from: Never On Sunday [DVD] (DVD)
As something of a Grecophile myself and having recently returned from Rhodes (earthquake and all), I thought it was about time that I watched one of the most famous Greek movies of all time.
First, it has to be said that Melina Mercouri plays an absolute blinder and steals the show as Ilya, the archetypal happy hooker. Her real-life husband to be (and the film's director) Jules Dassin is somewhat less convincing though as American culture-vulture Homer, who develops an all-consuming infatuation with Ilya and strives to make her change her ways.
Not surprisingly, he fails, and his crass attempts are played out in a series of gently amusing scenarios. In the end, more of Ilya's free spirit and lust for life rubs off on Homer than the other way around and he resigns himself to the fact that he cannot change such a force of nature.
One star deducted for Dassin's decidedly dodgy acting, but 4 stars definitely deserved for such a feel-good film that will leave you with a smile on your face and the superbly evocative theme tune stuck in your head for days afterwards!


Woodluv Universal Bamboo Magnetic Knife Block Organiser
Woodluv Universal Bamboo Magnetic Knife Block Organiser
Offered by SelectiveGoods
Price: £12.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Attractive and reasonably practical knife holder, 5 Aug. 2017
A few months ago I bought a set of attractive, colour-coded Taylors Eye-Witness knives, which came with an incongruously nasty, plastic revolving holder. After knocking the unstable and unattractive thing over and breaking it recently, I sought a more satisfactory alternative.
This Woodluv bamboo knife holder met my requirements pretty well. The bamboo finish is undeniably attractive and even matches my bamboo chopping board and baguette board perfectly. The leg at the rear folds out to provide a very stable stand.
The magnets embedded in the upper portion of the block hold smaller knives very securely, but my impression is that larger and heavier knives (like the two on the left of my photo) sit slightly precariously on the block and you need to exercise sensible caution not to dislodge one knife when removing another.
Overall though, I'm very pleased with this item, which makes quite a striking addition to my kitchen and is well worth a tenner.
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[Rec]3: Genesis [Blu-ray]
[Rec]3: Genesis [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Leticia Dolera
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £3.57

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dull and utterly pointless addition to this already oversubscribed movie genre, 3 Aug. 2017
Let's face it; had Romero never existed to produce his seminal and visceral zombie movies, the Rec series would be hailed as classic gore-fests.

Because we've seen it all before though and executed far more stylishly than here, Rec 3 just felt as dull as dish-water.

To the director's credit, he does dabble with some ironic black humour at times, thereby raising this above a lone-star rating, but it remains a rather pointless, mediocre and ultimately forgettable addition to the whole zombie genre.

Not horrific enough to count as horror and not funny enough to be a comedy.

Oh and the whole religious motif, reprised from Rec 1 and 2 still feels incongruous and the actress playing the bride overracts like mad throughout!

Were this an English language movie, I'm sure the reviews would have been less generous. I've noticed though that French or Spanish movies tend to elicit far better ratings than they deserve. Let's face it guys, this is nowhere near as good as 28 Days Later!


National Gallery Dot-To-Dot: Great Paintings (Dot to Dot Books)
National Gallery Dot-To-Dot: Great Paintings (Dot to Dot Books)
by National Gallery
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.07

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice idea, well implemented, 3 Aug. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The book is printed on good quality paper and is surprisingly large - somewhere between A4 and A3.
My wife, who finds those intricate colouring books for adults very relaxing, was very pleased to receive this and couldn't wait to start joining those dots. Her only criticism was that the numbers are printed in a minuscule font and, if your eyesight isn't 20/20, you may squint a bit looking for the next in sequence.
Hours of relaxing fun to be had recreating the classic artwork in outline and then colouring it, if you wish.
Nice product.


Playing With Death: A Gripping Serial Killer Thriller (Introducing FBI Agent Rose Blake)
Playing With Death: A Gripping Serial Killer Thriller (Introducing FBI Agent Rose Blake)
by Simon Scarrow
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.50

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Readable cop v serial killer yarn, with a high-tech twist, 2 Aug. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
**** Slight spoilers ****

Playing With Death starts out as a time-honoured, cat and mouse style thriller, featuring a police special agent and the prolific serial killer who escaped her trap and now feels it’s personal.

Even in the early stages of the novel though, there is a strong sub-plot exploring our 21st century obsession with all things high-tech.

On the whole, I found the book adequately written, but never particularly inspiring or inventive. All descriptions seemed quite pedestrian and would have benefited from the occasional imaginative simile. Having recently taken a course on ethical hacking/pen testing, I felt the whole cyber-crime theme was reasonably convincingly portrayed here, although some of the dialogue felt a bit false. I spotted at least one technical error – with images on a touch-screen, pinching your fingers together, will zoom out rather than in, and I felt there was a major inconsistency/plot-hole with Rose seemingly forgetting that her husband has gone off to play with his “suit” following the hack attack on their house. For such a clever detective, she seemed unfeasibly slow to realise the danger he was in!

Towards the latter stages of the book, the technology-run-wild sub-plot comes very much to the fore and the author takes us almost into Terminator or Matrix-style sci-fi. Quite a strong feminist theme emerges too. I must admit that I found this less convincing than the more conventional action that preceded it. The ending did feel reasonably satisfying, but included one implausible coincidence and left a couple of threads still untied.

So, to summarise, Playing With Death was certainly readable, but I never found it that exciting or inspiring and honestly cannot award anything better than three stars. It will probably appeal to you more if you feel strongly about over-use of such technology as the Internet (and “Dark Web” of course), smart phones, social media, AI, violent video games and any inferred misogyny.


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