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Mr. S. G. Sheppard "greg_the_waster" (swindon/aber)

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The Adventures of Sexton Blake (BBC Audio)
The Adventures of Sexton Blake (BBC Audio)
by Dirk Maggs
Edition: Audio CD

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars misunderstood by many of the reviewers it's a pitch perfect parody of this type of low rung pulp detective, 23 Dec. 2012
Rather excellent parody of the Sherlock Holmes, Poirot, Raffles, Paul Temple and the older detective radioplays using a character I thought was an out and out spoof (can you blame me with that name and a sidekick called tinker) but turns out is a kind of budget penny dreadful Sherlock Holmes cash in that lasted a surprisingly long time as a third rung character in British detective fiction.

This is a well observed parody, clever and jokes flung at you constantly. Although you need understand somr of the context of old detective radioplays to really get it although if you are familiar with 4 extra and their crime fiction hour you'll probably get it. Its very well acted by a bombastic simon jones in the lead, reminiscent of the Paul temple on overdrive and with a good supporting cast.

The Attempted Murder of God: Hidden Science You Really Need to Know
The Attempted Murder of God: Hidden Science You Really Need to Know
by Scrooby
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.26

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I don't really need to know it do I?, 3 Mar. 2012
A waste of the time and effort of all involved. To go to the point of publishing a book on this non-subject seems a bit excessive. Particularly when a poorly worded barely legible blog post or an unhinged and demented youtube post usually satisfies most of the audience for such things and is less of a fuss for everyone.

3 stars, some funny bits.

The Magicians: (Book 1)
The Magicians: (Book 1)
by Lev Grossman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What it would really be like if you fond out you could do magic, 21 Dec. 2011
A thoroughly refreshing read. A bitter and caustic look at our childhood fantasy worlds and our relation to them. He recreates these worlds taking their fundamental ideas and applying an adult mind to them and viewing them through the eyes of a very smart older teenager/adult. It is about how life, even a magical one, is still life, fantasies are always constantly out of reach even as you are living them.

It is genuinely gripping as a read but it is very clever and makes a fascinating commentary on our relationship with our childhood fantasies.

NB Due to some reviews it is worth pointing out it isn't plagiarism it is both commentary upon and re-imagining of those source ideas and drawing upon other works like this is one of the most common practices in the history of literature.

Also see Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality for a rational adult in the children's world of Harry Potter, very entertaining stuff.

I do probably think the follow up The Magician King is probably the superior of the pair but this still easily deserves the 5 stars.

Crest Of The Stars - Vol. 1 [DVD]
Crest Of The Stars - Vol. 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Yasuchika Nagaoka
Offered by Todays Great Deal
Price: £8.74

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars crest of truly woeful, 24 May 2011
I had to sit through this with some other epople at a anime soc screening. Most of us were very angry because it was just terrible. Please take heed of my warning and do not come near this with a 40ft barge pole.

There is bad then there is this, there are many things wrong with it (most common you'll hear is the dub, but i have only watched it subtitled) such as poor character design, bland animation etc but the real problem is the script which fails on every level from plot to character to dialog.

It clearly has pretensions towards intelligent sci-fi and signals this by being ponderous and utterly boring and delivering (then repeating, i do not joke here) the dialog at such a slow pace to try and fool the audinece into thinking it is intelligent rather than unintelligent, boring, generic and just terrible in every way

I wants to be Clarke and Asimov and so on but it isnt even Spaceballs.

I felt compelled to write this because so many anime reviewers like it (presumably because they simply dont know better and havent experienced much genuinely good sci-fi of this nature).

There is much much better anime and non-anime out there.
Watch 2001, Moon, Silent Running, or star trek/tng/ds9 or planetes.

Although for big space opera read Alastair Reynolds or even more Iain M. Bank's Culture Cycle which is a masterclass in how to do genuinely intelligent philosphical, yet exciting sci-fi and is everything this series isnt.

New Heavy
New Heavy
Price: £11.63

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stunning album from one of the most interesting bands around today., 30 Nov. 2007
This review is from: New Heavy (Audio CD)
firstly the first review on this (the one star one) is so bad i have to write something to respond to it.

this album is a significant step forward from their first (also excellent) album. their first album was far more of the reggae/dub style with quite a bit of experimentalism with hints of heaviness.
on this album they really combine dub reggae, punk, rock to create something quite unique.
it starts of heavy and keeps going interspersed with touches of reggae. and importantly the dubs.
the band has stated before that they call themselves dub trio not because they play dub genre music but rather they use dubbing techniques on their own music.
they record on tape so they can cut it up and play around with it. they dub their own tracks its a vital part of what the band does.
and the tracks have the sound effects, fade in and outs, silences, echos that are used in dub but used with music that is not pure reggae.

if you are more inclined to normal dub/reggae try their much more reggae first album to start you off.

also just check out their myspace page. or if you get the chance watch them live although they have only done one tour of the uk so far.

this is a brilliant album and anyone with a slightly open mind to music should be able to appreciate it.

The Ruff Guide to Genre Terrorism
The Ruff Guide to Genre Terrorism

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars finally it is here ive waited ages for this, 11 July 2006
in short, its awesome listen to it.

a slightly longer review.

just, wow. i've been into sonic boom six ever since ive heard 'sounds to consume' which is (or rather now they have released their 1st album, was) one of the most promising mini albums/eps i have ever heard, it wasnt a full album but it was excellent and showed alot of promise. this album delivers on the promise, and then some.

the name of the album is very apt.

if you have heard and SB6 you will sort of know their basic stlye which is often (but not always) rapping to what is often punk or ska. what seperates SB6 from anyone else is not only their technical excellence but their unwillingness to be strictly bound to genre.

they sing/rap very well, the nearest band to them that i know of in terms of rap are probably the beastie boys because despite not sounding anything like the beastie boys they rap with the same kind of interplay and exchange of voices. essentially they are more beastie boys/public enemy kind of rap than most of the stuff that gets in the charts,which is a good thing.

at their core is punk (and ska) though with brilliant tight riffs on the heavier songs as well as quite a bit of ska. then you have the reggae, hip-hop, dance, bhangra (track 11 shareena is really cool with these excellent mixed up bhangra samples) and any other genres they want in. but whats perhaps more impressive is that it isnt messy like alot of music where lots of genres mix up against each other but very tight and great.

seriously this is an amazing album. probably the best of the year and i havent seen anything to rival it coming up. they are awesome live as well.

i think it alongside adequate seven's 'here on earth' the publishing of the dead pet's albums (previously only available at gigs)a 3rd capdown album out later in the year bands like king blues, dragster, skindred and quite a few very talented punk and/or ska bands appearing recently shows that the uk scene is getting better after loads of bands splitting up and seemingly not much to look forward to of a year or so ago.

The Hidden Blade [DVD] (2004)
The Hidden Blade [DVD] (2004)
Dvd ~ Masatoshi Nagase
Price: £15.89

27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very good but very similar, 12 Jun. 2006
i love twilight samurai (same director) and when my uni's arts centre were showing this i had to go and i was not dissapointed, it is a very good film. the main problem with the film is that it is quite similar (particularly in basic plot) to twilight samurai its odd. but give it a go anyway,

however saying that its at least as good in my opinion if not better in its own way. theres a lot more humour particularly from the side characters, the old and middle aged samurai reluctantly learning western ways of warfare from an enthusiastic young tutor is gentle humour but very funny.

but there is also the emotional side of a reluctant samurai in love with a poor non-samurai girl who is ordered to fight against a dangerous criminal. which is very similar to twilight samurai. however the ending is significantly different and engaging and with the different tone it is able to differentiate itself well enough from twilight samurai.

it is also in my opinion more emotionally involving and i liked the characters more.

however it looses 1 star because of it rediculous similarity to twilight samurai, i just hope the director doesnt try it a third time or it will just become repetative.

Strawberry and The Soul Reapers (Bleach)
Strawberry and The Soul Reapers (Bleach)
by Tite Kubo
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great, 22 May 2006
not much to say as other reviewers have said it already. its brilliant pulp action.

probably the best drawn weekly manga and it not only has consistantly high quality artwork bt the designs of hollows and shinigami and their abilities are consistantly excellent and only improve as time goes on.

once you start reading you wont want to stop which is irritating as the series is going to continue for a good few years in the very very least, and its more addictive than lost on crack and you will crave the next weeks installment.

oh and the only thing i would say is that i disagree with the translators choice of the word reaper, i prefer the original japanese shinigami used by most scanlation groups or the less common death god (a very literal translation) used by a few as reaper doesnt sound right to me, especially as shinigami look nothing like the grim reaper. but that is my only problem.

A Woman of No Importance (New Mermaids)
A Woman of No Importance (New Mermaids)
by Frances Gray
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a very good play, classic wilde, 22 May 2006
a favorite of mine, although not quite as good as the importance of being earnest (a deceptively clever play) it is a play of a very different nature, both reviews of it on here i believe misrepresent it. although it is full of wilde's classic wit and there are many genuinely funny parts but it is not a pure comedy and it is also a significant drama. many see it as a fairly clear cut morality tale or at least having clear cut moral and immoral characters but it really isnt so simple. there is the duplicit nature of the characters and their actions, a slightly more complex moral commentary with none of the characters being as simple as they first appear. none of the characters in then play come off as good or bad the central ones all have the audience's perception of them repeatedly undermined.

Hellsing Volume 1 (Hellsing (Paperback))
Hellsing Volume 1 (Hellsing (Paperback))
by Kohta Hirano
Edition: Paperback

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars just amazing, alucard is the greatest vampire ever, 22 May 2006
just amazing, the anime version is ok but when compared to the manga (it deviates from the manga after 3 episodes or so) but after reading the manga it is clear it is far far better.

this is for me a review of the series rather than this specific volume ive read as far as has been published in japan and have to say it gets better and better.

it starts with a simple premise, a secret organisation protects the uk from vampires and other occult dangers, the twist of course being that it is a vampire (the rather psychotic alucard and seras the woman he turns into a vampire in the first chapter) that is under control of the protestant knights (or hellsing organisation). complication arises becasue of the intense hatered toward them from the catholic 'iscariot' divsion XIII and as time goes on the mysterious millenium organisation.

it is a series that is as influenced by action as it is horror (probably more), need i say more than vampires with guns (very big guns). the depiction of vampires is very different to their depiction in other contemporary vampire stories and to my mind far superior, with alucard we see more than merely a human with fangs and super strength you generally see. he is a real monster that could (and does) kill vampires like that with ease.

ever see vampire hunter d? if you did i feel sorry for you, get and read this as a rememdy and to show how proper vampire stories should be done. anne rice, ha, eat your heart out (alucard would)

as the series goes on the story gets extreme and unique and it brilliant and well worth a read above any other modern vampire story.

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