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Andrew Ian Dodge (Enfield, UK)
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101 Great Philosophers: Makers of Modern Thought
101 Great Philosophers: Makers of Modern Thought
by Madsen Pirie
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars 101 Philosophers can be rather fun..., 7 Oct. 2009
He admits frankly in the introduction that readers will no doubt question some of his choices and omissions. I wonder why he did not included modern thinkers such as Hernando de Soto and Francis Fukayama in this collection. That said, he devotes a page and a half of the book to every entry whether Plato or Charles Pierce. Each entry details a bit of the personal history of the individual and the rest about their thoughts.

The book certainly works well as an easy reference source for the philosophers included. I found myself learning and remembering the source of various schools of though, some of which I hold dear and never realised the source.

While not the most in-depth examination of the personalities that influenced modern thought, this does serve a useful purpose. And let's face it, any book about philosophy that does not make it seem dry and boring has to have something going for it.


The Bucks Stop Here
The Bucks Stop Here
by Jim Parton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Buck might stop, but its pretty damn funny., 3 Jun. 2009
This review is from: The Bucks Stop Here (Paperback)
Money talks and mine said "goodbye" reads the subtitle. And Parton, who is the subject of this autobiographical self-depricating comical money-logue really means it. Updated for 2009 with an additional epilogue, it reads as timely as it did when released in the 90s. Just a poignant and witty about the ins & outs of the City of London, the UK's financial centre. Parton skewers all the popular perceptions of the "hard working" denizens of the square mile.

As much time is spent reading the paper and working on that next big job jump than is actually working for the clients. He manages to work for five firms, never enjoy working for any of them really, making a decent amount of money. He then gets fired when the Japanese market, his speciality goes flat, his wife leaves him not long there after. Rather than be bitter, well except for his relations with his son, he seems to take it all in his stride and finds it all rather humerous. Now living in a "Palace" in Silicia in Eastern Europe, he earns his living by writing. With tongue-firmly-in-cheek he takes you along his ride in the world of finance. The book reads well and is really a cracking good fun. The perfect journey book methinks. Capitalism has rarely been so amusing.


The Rotten State of Britain: Who Is Causing the Crisis and How to Solve It
The Rotten State of Britain: Who Is Causing the Crisis and How to Solve It
by Eamonn Butler
Edition: Paperback

15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rotten the state may be, but certainly not this book..., 25 Feb. 2009
he blunt title is not just an attention getter for this book, but a statement of fact. Butler truly describes how bad things have gotten in the UK under current Labour government led by Gordon Brown. While many of the problems began under Blair he explains how they have accelerated under the current Prime Minister.

The book sets out to detail all the various aspects of life that have worsened under Labour ranging from personal freedom thru taxation to the most basic provisions of health in the NHS. Dr Butler effectively prepares anyone who wishes to perforate the continued assertion that Britain is in its current state because of Conservative administration that ended over a decade ago.

He details the insidious nature of the politicalization by the Labour Party of all parts of the bureaucracy of British governance. Instead of unelected faceless bureaucrats there are party apparatchniks meddling in every aspect to make sure it meets with the Labour plan for Britain. In the greatest of ironies all those things that were criticized by Labour in opposition have been seized on an amped up under Labour.

A crumbling economy, infrastructure and place in the world continues to demonstrate Labour course to repeat the disasters of Labour controlled 1970s.

This book is both enlightening and wholly depressing for those who admire the UK. New Labour promised so much only to deliver far worse.

While Dr. Butler is not that keen on the current Conservative solution to New Labour, he does offer sage advice to all those willing to consider his ideas. If the Conservatives adopted his plan for their next manifesto they might have a good chance of sorting out the current mess.


Race Driver: GRID (PS3)
Race Driver: GRID (PS3)

5 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What happened?, 12 Jun. 2008
I thought this was going to be a road-going version of the excellent Dirt. Actually its a completely appallingly bad arcade game. Controls are completely rubbish; so twitchy as to be almost uncontrollable. Might be alright with a driving wheel but with the PS3 controller its terrible.

There is no windscreen cam; instead there is a rubbish in-car cam with the screen filled with all kinds of rubbish. The learning curve is steep and very unrewarding. What is even more daft is that its easier to control the Mustang than a 4 wheel drive Porsche.

This is a bloody awful "racing" game. Might be a good arcade game, but racing it ain't. Looks good, but plays like rubbish. Lets hope the next version of GT is better.


The Best Book on the Market: How to Stop Worrying and Love the Free Economy
The Best Book on the Market: How to Stop Worrying and Love the Free Economy
by Eamonn Butler
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.87

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A primer and a basic guide,, 11 Jun. 2008
The Best Book on the Market sets things out in the simplest terms that even the densest politician can understand. The pun-tastic title is a good clue at the nature of this book. There is none of the po-faced writing that can be found in many books on the subject.

In an ideal world this book would be sent to every politician in London and Washington. It would not be remiss to send a few copies to the economics schools around the world as well. The small size of the hardcover means it would not even be hard to carry around while reading it.


Turok (PS3)
Turok (PS3)
Offered by TastyMate
Price: £11.05

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Steaming pile of Dinosaur..., 9 Feb. 2008
This review is from: Turok (PS3) (Video Game)
I probably made a mistake by recently completing Call of Duty 4, a bona-fide classic, then playing this.

Turok is bloody awful. The controls are rubbish and imprecise. Its jumpy and jolty. The graphics are nothing special. The gameplay is just so bad its hard to describe. What a waste of the PS3's power.

In 2008 controls as bad as this just doesn't cut it.


Dark Visitor
Dark Visitor
by Madsen Pirie
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Visitor wonderful tale, 18 Jun. 2007
This review is from: Dark Visitor (Hardcover)
The Adam Smith Institute head honcho and think tank guru Madsen Pirie is trying his hand at science fiction with Dark Visitor. It has a bit of a Babylon 5/Firefly/Serenity feel to it. The storyline is a mysterious stranger shows up in a mysterious craft, predicts bad things to come and sure enough bad things happen. The characters in this tale are quite well thought-out and interesting.

It's a novella, so the book never has time to drag, which is very much a welcome thing these days. It's possible to read this book in one sitting and I would predict you want to do it that way to see what happens next.

There are all the right elements in play here, including greed, redemption, curiosity and danger. While I will admit to liking Madsen's other novella (reviewed below) more than this one, this is quite good for a first novel. In fact, I would recommend you buy both books together.


Children of the Night
Children of the Night
by Madsen Pirie
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Children of the Night a delight, 18 Jun. 2007
This review is from: Children of the Night (Hardcover)
Perhaps the most surprising thing about Children of the Night is that there is not a hint of any sort of politics, merely a good yarn in an alternate earth with science and lots of adventure. The novel is aimed at young adults, in other words there is no sex or swearing to distract from the action, which is not always a bad thing. This is especially the case as this book is a novella at only 165 pages.

The beauty of novellas is that there is no fluff or padding. This is a tight SF/fantasy novel that never wallows or drags. It's action straight through. It's the perfect novel for that flight or commute you have to take.

There are hints of Fritz Leiber in this novel. Murder, a telekinetic rat, mechanical butterflys and conspiracy all add up to quite a nice read. Rarely, if ever, is a new fiction author's work so good. Highly recommended for both young and old, genre fan or not.


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