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Lazycatfish "CE Wallis" (YorK UK)

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Ink Jungle PG40 Black & CL41 Colour Remanufactured Ink Cartridge For Canon Pixma iP1200 iP1300 iP1600 iP1700 iP1800 iP2600 iP1900 iP2200 iP2500 MP150 MP170 MP160 MP180 MP460 MP140 MP190 MP210 MP220 MP450 MP470 MX300 MX310 Printers (PG-40 CL-41)
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I have had sandwiches that have lasted longer, 5 April 2013
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We don't use our printer every day so the previous cartridges had lasted well over a year, however after printing 3 A4 sides of approximately 9 small colour images (each about 4cm x 4cm) the cartridges ran out. I contacted Ink Jungle to be told that apparently this was as about right for their ink cartridges given that I had printed out so many images. Mmm.....when I thought I wrote "a few small images" maybe I accidentally wrote "The Sunday Times print run". Anyway, they did offer the alternative suggestion of the ink "drying up" as we hadn't used the printer in a while. But hey, as I have only owned about 14 computers and 10 printers over the last 20 years what would I know......

by Ian McEwan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Charabanc trip to Middle-classville, 28 Jun. 2012
This review is from: Saturday (Paperback)
Saturday is a carefully executed study of a day in the life of neurosurgeon Henry Perowne and set against the backdrop of the Iraq war protest. As with many of McEwan's novels, the plot hinges on the events that unfold following a chance incident. In this case the causal agent for all that follows is Perowne's unpleasant encounter with Baxter, a low-life aggressive little bulldog of a man who, without wanting to give too much away, decides to pop up again in Perowne world ensuring that the poor man's day goes from crap to very crap.

McEwan's writing is, as ever, delicious to read. He can capture the essence of time and place better than most writers could only dream of (The Innocent is a great example if this). In Saturday, the fact that the story spans only 24 hours means that the plot can be woven through the descriptions of the minutia of Perowne's life and for me this offered an insight into this strange middle class land that made for quite compelling reading. OK, so there were some events in Perowne's day that made me skip a few pages. The seemingly endless depiction of the squash match had me praying for the sweet release of death before the end of the first round, but other than that I enjoyed this foray into the world of Perowne.

I have read some criticisms that object to the myopic middle class perspective, especially regarding the somewhat stereotypical study of Baxter. I can relate to those comments to some extent, but personally I found Perowne world all quite fascinating and at points amusing. As someone from a working class background myself this book was like an anthropologist's study of posh people and boy was it an eye opener. I may as well have been hiding in a bush with a pair of binoculars for the gleeful thrill it gave me to observe how, as they say, the other half live. So while I accept the aforementioned points, I personally chose to read this detailed study of middle class life not as critique of McEwan's inability to understand the workings of the George Forman grill while cooking on the Aga, but as a bemused gorilla sniffing an empty coke bottle and banging it on the floor before holding it to his ear. Intrigued.

The family, which comprises of neurosurgeon father, lawyer mother and 2 high achieving children live, as you would expect in a huge house in Fitzrovia Square. For anyone outside London think My fair Lady, the garden scene from Notting Hill, or any depiction of London as constructed by Americans. Man, this is poshville. Not a burger van or a burnt out pram in sight.

Following Perowne's afternoon from hell the family come together for dinner and we can observe the creatures in their natural habitat, laughing gaily, exchanging opinions on politics without throwing chairs at each other, waxing lyrical about their time studying in Paris, grown up people calling each other "Daddy" and "darling", not being surprised to find a bottle of wine on the table that wasn't on a `two-for-one' at Morrisons and all manner of behaviours that are as alien to me as those of the Wuka Wuka tribe of Borneo. I enjoyed it all immensely!

Then the evening goes, as they don't say in Fitzrovia Square, a bit Pete Tongue. This leads me into more negative territory, with, as other reviewers have noted, a scene that was almost too ludicrous for words. This is the scene where delightful Daisy, poet extraordinaire, whips out a poem so enchanting that it stops Baxter, her assailant, in his tracks. Yes this really happens. Baxter, who at this point in the novel is happily grunting his way through Daisy's enforced striptease sees a book of poetry written by the good lady herself and demands that she reads one the poems out loud. As her silken words waft gently towards Baxter's ears all thoughts of `giving her one' dissolve from his mind quicker than you can say "do you know one by Pam Ayers?". Thank God for poetry eh. If only they had read out a few lines of John Keats during the Northern Ireland peace process they could have skipped through it in a week. Yes, I have to say this was a bit of a low point.

Despite this one flaw however, Saturday is clever, beautifully written and I would recommend it to all, whatever your class!!!!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 1, 2012 11:51 PM BST

The Sense of an Ending
The Sense of an Ending
by Julian Barnes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Poignant theme, beautifully written, 26 Jun. 2012
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This review is from: The Sense of an Ending (Paperback)
It seems, from reading some of the other reviews, that there has been a bit of criticism about the ending of the book and parts of the plot. I can understand that to some extent but I will put that aside for a while. The central theme for me, and indeed the point of the book, is how one remembers the past. This is the driver for the plot. It is a beautifully written and poignant examination of how time distorts memory and how we shamble along through our lives, never wanting or needing to have to re-examine past events, or the consequences of our previous actions, from the perspective of the older, and hopefully wiser, person that we eventually become.....until of course, we do....

Which is where we find the narrator, Tony. In short, middle aged Tony finds himself on a bit of a crazy train of discovery as he realises that a rather minor act of petulant jealousy, committed when he was a young man, had set off a chain of events that had ultimately changed many people's lives. But that's enough about the plot. There are enough reviews on here that talk about the plot in detail without me blathering on about it.

So on to the characters, they are well constructed, interesting, although not always likeable. Even poor old Adrian irritated me at times, but then no one likes a smartarse. Tony, the sort of person you can imagine being referred to as a `pleasant chap', came across as bit dim at times, particularly towards the end of the novel when all the strands were coming together. Middle England , middle of the road and middle aged, Tony is the sort of person that you really want to take out on the town and get smashed on vodka, just to see what happens. However, it was useful to the plot that Tony was just a plod-along, ordinary guy as I felt that had he possessed more personality, imagination or ambition then he certainly wouldn't have bothered to become embroiled, on any level, with the now matronly and unpleasantly bitter Veronica. Which brings me neatly on. Veronica, as the story goes, didn't have it easy over the years, Gawd love `er, and she hasn't taken it well. As she drip feeds Tony snippets of information about the previous 30+ years she attempts to `communicate' her general irritation towards him by saying "you just don't get it do you?" a lot while Tony, in my mind, sits there wearing an expression not dissimilar to one Father Dougal might wear during University Challenge (a point lost on anyone who has never seen Father Ted). You can hardly blame him. Dragging a straightforward answer out of poor old repressed Veronica would be like asking Katie Price to recite a soliloquy from Hamlet. On more than one occasion I was overcome with a desire to shout "FOR GOD SAKE WOMAN JUST SPIT IT OUT" while shaking her by the shoulders. Or sometimes the neck.

As a few other reviewers have noted, I couldn't quite understand why Tony kept going back for more of this woman's world weary self-pity. After all, he didn't like her that much when they were young and she was.....happy?...shall we settle for less bitter? If you want to get snarled at regularly go to a zoo I say. Curiosity was obviously a factor. Or could it be that distorted old nostalgia trip that can befall the bored, the lonely, the middle aged? The one where they forget why they dumped fat George from Accounts in 1985 and promptly run off to Gretna with them after 3 Facebook emails? Maybe there was an element of all of the above. I'd be interested to know what other people think about this.

That said, it is the only flaw in what is a beautifully written book. Some passages where so stunningly crafted that I was compelled to read them several times. Thought provoking and at times quite touching, if you spend your money on this novel it won't be wasted. So it's a 4 star rating from me for the fantastic writing and the poignant central theme.

Fifty Shades of Grey
Fifty Shades of Grey
by E L James
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.49

6,624 of 6,921 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh My! What a pile of discarded panties, 24 Jun. 2012
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This review is from: Fifty Shades of Grey (Paperback)
Oh My, I mean really, Oh my, oh my, oh my......No readers, I have not just been whipped (pardon the pun) into a bosom heaving wreck by the size of my partner's "impressive length". I have in fact, just dragged myself through to the final page of this ludicrous nonsense and found myself almost speechless. Almost...

The main character, Christian Grey, is quite obviously deranged. This does not however, deter Ana, who for some inexplicable reason, has spent so long with her head in a book that she has never looked in a mirror and noticed that she is a "total babe". A "total babe" who also happens to be a 21 year old virgin. No, Ana, in the space of 3 weeks, falls so crazily in love with "Mr Grey" that she manages to bypass the whole deranged thing and instead concentrates all her efforts on a) going from virgin to porn star faster than Hussain Bolt off the blocks and b) deciding whether to let him hit her with stuff. As you do.

As for Mr Grey, obviously, readers can't be allowed to see him as simply a deranged, manipulative psycho so let's give him smouldering good looks, a few zillion quid to throw around and hey, and this is the clincher, the ability to love art and music (y'know, like Nazi's do in the war films). (Note - the bit where he plays the "haunting" piano piece, semi naked, with his eyes closed actually made me laugh so much that I almost wet myself - in a non-orgasmic way. Check it out....enjoy! ). As if that wasn't enough he also has a personal and financial interest in saving the world from famine. Just that old world peace and cancer to sort out and then hey, job's a good `un. I mean really, how did the world ever shamble along without him? So what made this beautiful, charismatic and talented man so brutal? Could it be a traumatic childhood perhaps? Why, yes I think it could...yaaaaawn....

So, the 2 beautiful people come together (Oh my, another pun) and the rest of the book is basically about Ana wondering if she should let him hit her with stuff and then letting him hit her with stuff and Mr Grey wondering if he should stop hitting her with stuff but still hitting her with stuff while she whines on about wanting "more" love and less of the hitting stuff and he whines on about how he doesn't know how to give "more" cos he has only ever hit people with stuff.

In between these nonsensical blatherings they have lots of sex, which, like piano playing, speaking foreign languages and making zillions of quid, he possesses boundless expertise. Obviously. Luckily, virginal Ana also has her "inner Goddess" to guide her on the art of sex play and soon becomes an orgasm machine, chucking them out all over the place in a rampant, fevered haze of lust. So much so that she overlooks Mr Grey's general bastardry and bends over nicely for a few beatings. She is also too enraptured to take much notice his incessant stalking, which would have got lesser men arrested. Oh, and his `feeder' tendencies that, if successful, would have surely added a good 10 stone onto Ana's lovely buttocks which in turn would have incurred the cost of a refurb' to the `red room of pain' when his ceiling shackles needed reinforcing. Luckily he can afford it.

As many other readers have noted, the writing is appallingly poor and, if you removed the sex bits, would resemble a love struck teenager's diary. It's all been said before so I won't dwell on it. I will just say, if you are looking for erotic fiction, look elsewhere, if you are looking for an unintentionally laugh out loud bit of fluff and nonsense then crack open a bottle, put your feet up and prepare to be amused. Personally I would just say that there goes a day of my life that I will never get back. Oh my!
Comment Comments (899) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 8, 2017 6:54 PM GMT

Ordinary Thunderstorms
Ordinary Thunderstorms
by William Boyd
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ridiculous premise, 8 Mar. 2012
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This review is from: Ordinary Thunderstorms (Paperback)
I read Any Human Heart and loved it so I was really looking forward to reading more of Boyd's work. I can't emphasise enough how disappointed I was with this novel. It fails because the basic premise of the story, that Adam Kindred has, due to a number of incidents, to 'lose' himself in London, is just so far fetched. Every decision that he makes from that point onwards is equally ridiculous.

One or two of the characters are well defined (Ingram and the ex SAS guy)and I enjoyed them but Adam himself is just an idiot and I spent most of the novel tutting and wanting to give him a good shake. The characters from the seedier side of Boyd's London were particularly weak and I was left feeling that Mr Boyd had never crossed the path of anyone who hadn't been to public school, let alone been plucked from the criminal underclass. Some of the dialogue was actually laughable.

Talking of social class, I think the novel would have had more chance of working if Adam had not been given such a obviously middle class background but had belonged instead to the strata of society for whom it is a constant struggle not to tip into the world that Adam found himself in. Boyd's Adam would have had far too many contacts and resources to ever find himself in a situation like the one depicted and this flaw resulted in a storyline that was unbelievable and at times ludicrous.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 24, 2012 3:53 PM BST

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