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Amazon Customer "@DforDerivative" (Sheffield)

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Hasbro Guess Who, Game
Hasbro Guess Who, Game
Price: £10.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great idea, poor execution, 16 Sept. 2017
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This review is from: Guess Who? Game (Toy)
It's a terrific idea - take family favourite with educational value and give it infinite replayability. Unfortunately, the execution is proper Brexit. The game is very fiddly to assemble - not insurmountable, just more of a faff than you'd want. It's incredibly flimsy when assembled too.

The little door are so close together that it's annoying to use, and the aperture is so small that you can barely see anything. I created a custom card set but even though I made the pictures as big as possible, you can barely make anything out.

It's a real shame this hasn't worked, but it certainly hasn't.

You Could Do Something Amazing with Your Life [You Are Raoul Moat]
You Could Do Something Amazing with Your Life [You Are Raoul Moat]
Price: £6.71

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horrific crimes committed by an individual with lots of deep-rooted problems, but not a callous killer, 14 Feb. 2016
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An extremely well-written and affecting book, based primarily on Moat's own words - tapes he made, letters he wrote - and written in the second person, which is very unusual. There's no doubt that his crimes were many and their consequences serious and horrific. But the telling part comes at the end when the author quotes David Cameron:

"It is absolutely clear that Raoul Moat was a callous murderer, full stop, end of story. I cannot understand any wave, however small, of public sympathy for this man. There should be sympathy for his victims and the havoc he wreaked in that community. There should be no sympathy for him."

Coming at the end of the book, after you've read about all the issues Moat had and the pressures on him, it's hard not to think that society played just as much a part in Moat's crimes as he did. He was a very troubled individual with deep-seated personality disorders who was his own worst enemy. He frequently failed to show up at appointments made to help him and it's clear that he distorted, in his own mind, these attempts as some sort of sinister conspiracy to keep him down and make sure he failed. It's clear that you're reading the words of someone with paranoid delusions who needed real help, and that help would probably have stopped other people from getting hurt. But if your patient won't show up for appointments and you have dozens of other patients who will, it's no surprise that people like Moat fall through the cracks.

Admittedly this isn't the clearest and most coherent book review I've ever written. I probably should have waited and digested it a bit so I could form proper sentences. But then isn't that the point? If you can read this book, and you don't feel any wave, however small, of sympathy for all the victims in this book, including Raoul Moat, then you're probably as heartless and wilfully ignorant as Mr Cameron.

Star Wars: Aftermath: Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Star Wars: Aftermath: Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens
by Chuck Wendig
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

64 of 75 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not: very--good--, 20 Sept. 2015
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Maybe; if you are a fan, of short sentences.

That stop suddenly--

Something completely--different--happening, next; and, you have, a definite fetish: for punctuation: excessive; pointless; intrusive. Staccato sentences--

That go nowhere:

Then, congratulations; you have found your perfect book.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 10, 2017 4:23 PM BST

Peak District Through the Lens
Peak District Through the Lens
by James Grant
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars What more can I add?, 1 Sept. 2015
There's very little that I can add that others haven't already said - if 48 out of 48 reviews give it five stars, you can be pretty sure that the authors have done something right! As a photography fan who lives on the edge of the Peak District and loves walking, this book ticks all the boxes. A couple of people have mentioned the weight of the book and that's the one thing that I'd like to highlight - it really feels like you're buying a premium product. It feels like it's worth a lot more than the cover price.

Yongnuo RF-603 C1 Kit Wireless Flash Trigger Transceiver For Canon C1 550D 600D 1000D 60D 500D 450D 400D 350D 300D
Yongnuo RF-603 C1 Kit Wireless Flash Trigger Transceiver For Canon C1 550D 600D 1000D 60D 500D 450D 400D 350D 300D
Offered by Beauty House-UK
Price: £23.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awful instructions, quirky kit, okay results, but DON'T USE LIVE VIEW!, 13 Jun. 2015
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It took me about 200 test shots to get this to work before I realised quite by accident what was happening.

I'm using a Canon 60D with a Speedlite 320EX. I could get the flash to do a test fire and I could wake the RX unit up with the shutter button, so I knew the units were talking to each other. But I couldn't get the shutter to fire the flash. It turns out that you can't make this unit work if you have Live View on! One other reviewer does mention it, but assumes it's their fault. It's not. You cannot use this in live view mode. So, for example, if you're like me and do a lot of still life and use the screen to compose, tough luck!

For the record, I have both units set to TRX; and the flash set to MASTER and AUTO (so, not SLAVE/MANUAL). It is fully manual and the 320EX power can't be adjusted manually, so I will probably use it with my Nissins, which are much more basic.

The units are okay, decent quality, but the instructions are awful. They seem to have been translated from the Chinese to English via Klingon and enjoyed many adventures on the way, so don't assume the instructions that come with them will help.

In a nutshell, you get what you pay for. They are limited, they have quirks, but what they do, they do fine.

One of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway
One of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway
Price: £5.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ‘One of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway’ by Asne Seierstad – book review, 23 May 2015
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For a long time, I’ve been interested in true crime books. Sure, I’ve read some Val McDermid, Stephen Booth, even tried Kathy Reichs, but they’re not the same thing. An incredible work of crime fiction is nowhere near as gripping as a mundane true crime, to me. Books about mental illnesses are really interesting too, particularly the serious ones like psychopathy. I read a lot about disasters, from the truly natural like the Japanese tsunami, the half and half, like Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans, to the completely man-made like 9/11.

I wondered if it was because I was just a morbid old Cure fan, settling uncomfortably into middle age and being painfully aware of my own mortality. But the more I read, and the more I thought about it, I realised I was just interested in the breakdown of systems. It was nothing to do with an overwrought mortido, just a fascination with failure; tectonic plates, personalities, belief systems, buildings, nuclear reactors. What holds them together, what causes them to fail, and what happens when they fail?

It’s difficult to tell whereabouts the systemic failure occurs with Anders Behring Breivik, or what the precipitory causes are, exactly. In the Guardian, Ian Buruma describes Breivik’s life as “a ghastly story of family dysfunction, professional and sexual failure, grotesque narcissism and the temptation of apocalyptic delusions” but what I took out of Asne Seierstad’s book was an image of a lonely boy who never really grew up, and was probably always looking for his father’s approval.

A simplistic deduction to be sure, but its fingerprints are throughout the book. He tries to make out that he’s Oslo’s top graffiti tagger, but is mocked by his peers. He tries to hang around with the Pakistani gangs, but is rejected. He is rejected by the anti-immigration Progress Party and not selected to run for office. Even his mail order bride failed to work out. Always looking for approval, always longing for belonging, always failing, always lonely.

His relationship with his mother was similarly destructive. Mentally she was could not have been completely well herself, and it’s not difficult to imagine him picking up his mother’s prejudices (see photo posted). This is her comment during her Police interview, shortly after learning of the crimes that her son had committed. Social workers told of inappropriate and sexually forward behaviour during meetings, whilst neighbours talked about the number of male visitors she had. Social workers discussed putting her children into social care, in foster homes. She held on to them, but it was close. There were concerns about her ability to look after herself, let alone her children.

To make up for his background, he invented one for himself, with grand titles and homemade uniforms, the stitching coloured in with felt tip pens. “Justiciar Knight Commander of the Knights Templar” and “Commander of the Anti-Communist Resistance Movement Against the Islamification of Europe and Norway”. When someone told him how ridiculous he looked wearing his amateur uniform and referring to himself with gibberish, made-up titles in court, he quickly and quietly dropped them. They were not central to his beliefs, just part of the delusion he’d built up to justify his actions to himself.

It’s a difficult book to read. It’s superbly written, and sensitively translated by the unfortunately named Sarah Death. There are some horrific parts, such as the description of two teen girls, part of a group playing dead to avoid being shot, whilst Breivik walks through the group putting bullets into their heads as they lay on the ground. The two friends hold hands as they wait for their turn to die.

Breivik wanted to be declared sane enough to stand trial. If he was criminally insane, his grand plan, his belief that he was making a political statement, would have failed. Two different reports argued that first he wasn’t, then he was, sane enough to stand trial.

Personally it’s difficult to believe that he was legally sane. At trial he refused to plead guilty, saying that although he admitted to the actions (the shootings and explosion) it was in self-defence, so there could be no guilt. His entire story smacks of a paranoid schizophrenic personality disorder – delusions of grandeur, irrational beliefs of persecution, failure of personal relationships. His story of repeated attempts to fit in, to belong, to find approval would be sad or pitiful if it were not for the awful consequences of his condition.

I’m only giving the book four out of five stars, and I will tell you why. It’s a book that appeals very much to the emotions. I was hoping for a little more insight, to learn a little more about where everything went wrong. Actually, we saw quite a lot of where the Norwegian emergency systems went wrong, which was everywhere, and twice where possible. There was nothing that they could have done worse, or taken longer to do. But there was too little for my tastes about what made Breivik go bad, if that’s your opinion of him.

Of course, that’s my personal slant. The truth is, this will still be the best, most harrowing, most awful non-fiction book that you have read in a long time, and for a long time.
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No Title Available

1.0 out of 5 stars You get what you pay for., 23 May 2015
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After two weeks it stopped holding any charge at all, and is being returned. I guess a replacement battery for less than thirteen quid really was too good to be true.

Complete Clerihews
Complete Clerihews
Price: £5.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for the poet's work; 1 star for the publisher's work, 25 Sept. 2014
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All of Bentley's best work is contained in here, along with Chesterton's marvellous illustrations. In that respect, the book is an excellent record of an admittedly small topic.

There are however two major gripes.

The first is the Kindle presentation. Chesterton's lovely accompanying illustrations, which are full page illustrations in the printed version, are tiny on the Kindle. They're about an inch tall on the screen, so practically pointless.

There's also an introduction before the official foreword. There are so many spelling and punctuation errors in this short foreword, it's staggering. It's a truly awful piece of work. Luckily, it doesn't detract from the poetry itself, and after all that's what you're buying it for.

My advice then: buy a paperback, not the Kindle version; and buy a different edition from this one.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
by Haruki Murakami
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius made commonplace, 17 Aug. 2014
It was about halfway through reading Murakami’s thirteenth novel that I realised quite why I love his books so much.

I’m a Feedly addict. I use it like twitter. I’m probably following about 400 different sources, from ‘Weird News from Huffington Post’ with its stories about images of Jesus appearing inside melted USB plugs, to the official Fabian society blog and its complaints about the superficiality of the ‘One Nation’ message. Severe weather and natural disasters, photography, politics, football tactics, psychology - my Feedly feed is a real morass of seemingly unconnected stuff. I dip in and out several times a day, just scrolling through each story précis until I see something worth reading.

That’s what a Murakami novel is.

If I’ve met you, chances are that I’ve recommended Murakami to you. I find that most of the people who do read him then don’t like him, and that elicits two responses from me. Firstly, I ask silently why isn’t there a real life Unfollow button; but secondly, I ask out loud why they don’t like probably the world’s best living novelist, as the Observer dubs him. And the response is, because his books never go anywhere. To paraphrase Bart Simpson, they’re just a bunch of stuff that happens. A morass of seemingly unconnected stuff.

What is true is that, in “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki...”, the plot darts about all over the place like a puppy chasing butterflies in the garden. It was during a short discussion on how having six fingers is a dominant genetic trait that I had my Feedly moment. There are lots of discussions that appear incidental to the plot, or bits of backstory that fill out Tsukuru’s world; side dishes, accompanying a main course that would otherwise appear meagre in size, although tantalising to taste. Frederick Forsyth’s best books do it, Douglas Adams did it, and it’s no surprise that they also appear in my top five favourite authors list.

But, the puppy isn’t darting around the garden just for the exercise. There’s purpose to his play, just as there’s purpose to Murakami’s meanderings. After all, this is a mystery novel, of sorts. There’s a crime, a murder, and a victim. There’s also an aftermath - the years of pilgrimage from the title (in one sense).

The text is poetic, in that every word is considered and used judiciously, no waste. Every word is required, and it’s the right word to use at that time, and the cumulative effect is by turn beautiful, moving, funny and beguiling. It contains all the hallmarks of a Murakami book. Music plays a huge part, and the obligatory interest in sex is present. There’s a meditation on memory and nostalgia, and the effect that love and music play on both.

If I was to level a criticism, it’s that I wanted a resolution. I wanted to know what happens to our titular hero, and how his life plays out in the immediate three days after the book ends. But that’s missing the point of the book. Tsukuru grows, moves on, by experiencing the events of his pilgrimage, just as a piece of music can only be experienced by listening to the whole thing. The beauty, the growth, the sense of fulfilment lies in trials of the journey, not in reaching the destination. To want to know what happens after the book finishes is therefore to deny the properties of the journey, just as to complain that Murakami’s books have no plot is to deny the beauty of the journey from the first page to the last.

Pulp Special Edition [Blu-ray]
Pulp Special Edition [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Florian Habicht
Price: £8.00

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A warm and affectionate love letter to Sheffield, 15 July 2014
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In December 2012, Pulp returned to Sheffield to play what was ostensibly their last ever gig. As we entered the Arena, there were photocopied posters on the walls announcing that the gig was being recorded. This is not the film of the gig, but is the film of how we all got there.

The film is part history of the band, part love letter from Jarvis to Sheffield, and part concert video. There aren't many songs, and none of them are reproduced in their entirety (except a handful as extras), but the clips that do exist are terrific - "Common People", "This Is Hardcore", and the sublime "Sunrise". If you're buying it hoping to find a concert video though, don't bother.

What you will get are a number of interviews with the band, some of the people around Sheffield, and fans who have travelled to see the film (some from half a globe away). There are a lot of shots of Sheffield scenery, but a PR clip produced to highlight Sheffield as a tourist destination this is most certainly not. It's real Sheffield people in real Sheffield scenery; it's Pulp's Sheffield.

It's not what I was expecting, but it's warm, funny, interesting, wonderfully shot and expertly put together, with love.

Thoroughly recommended.

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