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Stig M. Valstad

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Space Chantey ([Dobson science fiction])
Space Chantey ([Dobson science fiction])
by R.A. Lafferty
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Hadn't quite found his voice, yet., 30 Nov. 2016
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Not quite up to the standard I have come to expect from the worlds greatest author. It is an early work and it seems he hadn't yet found his distinctive voice, although the seeds of the greatness to come are visible.


Tintoretto: Tradition and Identity
Tintoretto: Tradition and Identity
by Tom Nichols
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for the art lover, 18 May 2016
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But rather for the scholar. Text is written in a clear, readable style and goes in depth about Tintoretto's business philosophy, his opposition to Titian and his work for the Scuola Grande de San Rocco. The reproductions of his paintings are however very small and it is hard to see anything of them. The format of the book is rather small and its stiff binding makes double-page spreads impossible, so wide paintings (and some of his paintings were very wide) get shrunk down very small. A handful of portraits can be viewed comfortably, but for the rest necessary detail disappears.


Henry Fuseli: 138 Paintings and Drawings
Henry Fuseli: 138 Paintings and Drawings
by Maria Tsaneva
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

2.0 out of 5 stars All black and white, 23 Mar. 2016
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All the pictures are in black and white and rather small. The author claims Fuseli was not a good colourist, but I don't think thats an excuse for not using colour reproductions.


Richard Redgrave 1804-1888
Richard Redgrave 1804-1888
by Susan P. Casteras
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Exhibition companion, 26 Feb. 2014
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This was published as a companion/catalogue to an exhibition in 1988, and suffers from that.

The first half consists of various essays about Redgrave's life. These were mostly fine. The first one had me confused half the time about who was who, but that might just be my inability to handle too high a density of names.

The second half is a catalogue of works being exhibited. Most reproductions cover half a page or less, and only a few are in colour. This makes it impossible to see a lot of the details discussed in the text, and lowers the value of the book for anyone without access to the actual paintings.


Trees that shape the world
Trees that shape the world
by Tom Petherick
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Too preachy, 30 Mar. 2012
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I found the preachy tone rather annoying. I already like trees, I don't need to be preached to about how important they are. Also the quality of the binding was very low; the book started to fall apart when I was halfway through. Some nice pictures though, and the occasional interesting fact. A light read.


Thai for Intermediate Learners. Book
Thai for Intermediate Learners. Book
by Benjawan Poomsan Becker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £21.95

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not very pedagogical, 10 Aug. 2011
Typical Thai in its listmania, and unpedagogical approach. For anyone serious about learning Thai I'd recommend to go with a course from Linguaphone and then use this and other Paiboon publications as a supplement for extra vocabulary and example sentences.

Plus side is that it is cheap and has a consistent transcription system.

It has 10 chapters, each with a list of about 60 new words, 10-30 short example sentences and 3-4 short conversations. In addition there are long lists of names, pronouns, places, ministries, &c. Some longer texts would have helped a lot in giving more feel for the flow of language.


Practical Thai Conversation: your audio-visual guide to learning Thai. Volume 1. DVD-Video
Practical Thai Conversation: your audio-visual guide to learning Thai. Volume 1. DVD-Video

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some faults, 10 Aug. 2011
For some unfathomable reason Amazon won't let me review these two different products individually.
This is for volume one:
I really wanted to like this concept, but there are some flaws.

- The pacing is bad; sometimes the actors rush and sometimes they pause at the wrong places trying to remember their lines.
- There is a lot of background noise.
- Most of the conversations are repeats from other Paiboon publications.
- The textbook gets rather messy with Thai script, transcription, and English translation interleaved.

One bad example is where a guy is asking which bus to take and get a very hurried list of bus numbers and where to change with no pause for breath. I doubt I could have gotten that at first try even if spoken in my native language.

On the good side; after every conversation they repeat everything slowly (though occasionally the actors forget themselves) in a noise-free environment.

All in all it seems like a rather rushed production. With more attention to details, more retakes, and some fresh, interesting scripts it could be great.

This is for volume two:
3 stars
Volume two improves on volume one in having better actors pacing their lines much better. Also the scripts are better and fresher (apparently Speak Like a Thai 6 overlaps a lot with both volumes of Practical Thai Conversation, but I haven't got that).

However, there is still a lot of background noise. I guess that is to make it more realistic. On the repeat, instead of speaking slower in a quiet environment, there is the same sound as before with a pause after each sentence. This make the background noise go on and off in an annoying way. Like the squelch on a military radio set.


Thai for Advanced Readers. Book
Thai for Advanced Readers. Book
by Benjawan Poomsan Becker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bridges the gap, 10 Aug. 2011
There exists plenty of beginners courses in Thai, but very little for people who already knows quite a bit of the language, but not enough to read books for native speakers. This book bridges that gap, and I still haven't found anything else on the same level. I started with the Linguaphone Thai course and went on to Speak Like a Thai 1-4, and Thai for Intermediate Learners. Those are good for vocabulary, but with just single sentences, or at most short dialogues they don't give much sense of the flow of language and get boring fast.

This book does not use the transcription system of other books from Paiboon, but uses a Thai system of indicating pronunciation. This means it is necessary to be familiar with Thai pronunciation rules before starting this book.

Thai for Advanced Readers is divided into three parts. Part one covers more than half the book and consists of text varying from one to seven pages in a fairly large, easy to read font, with a vocabulary list and English translation. New vocabulary is introduced at a reasonable rate giving a nice flow to the texts rather than going for long lists of related words like the intermediate course and then trying to fit those into a text.

Part two consists of a few short newspaper articles, a horoscope, and some ads. These are written in a slightly smaller (but still larger than normal Thai books) font with a heavier line, making them a bit harder on the eye than the texts in part one. Part two also comes with vocabulary lists but no English translations. Part three is a set of diverse texts; the national anthem, a Buddhist prayer, a set of 20 tongue twisters, a poem listing all the words that contains the letter ai mai muan, some thai song lyrics, 25 proverbs, a list of all the provinces in Thailand and finally, for some weird reason, a list of the 10 ASEAN countries. Some texts in part three have full English translations, some don't.

All in all this contains a lot of text for a reasonable price and helps build up reading speed and confidence. But only for fairly advanced students.


Speak like a Thai. Volume 3: Thai Proverbs and Sayings. Pack (booklet and audio CD), Roman & script: Thai Proverbs and Sayings - Roman and Script v. 3
Speak like a Thai. Volume 3: Thai Proverbs and Sayings. Pack (booklet and audio CD), Roman & script: Thai Proverbs and Sayings - Roman and Script v. 3
by Benjawan Poomsan Becker
Edition: Audio CD

4.0 out of 5 stars Useful for advanced learners, 24 July 2011
I'd say this is the most useful of the Speak like a Thai series, but also the one that requires the highest level of proficiency.

Thais love to use proverbs and have a lot of expressions that sound weird to westerners. This little book and CD collects quite a few of those. It is meant for people who already knows quite a bit of Thai.

The main drawback is that there is no structure or index so it's quite difficult to find a particular phrase that one is looking for.


Speak Like a Thai: Contemporary Thai Expressions - Roman and Script Volume 1: Roman and Script v. 1
Speak Like a Thai: Contemporary Thai Expressions - Roman and Script Volume 1: Roman and Script v. 1
by Benjawan Poomsan Becker
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £17.95

3.0 out of 5 stars Useful phrases for the intermediate learner, 24 July 2011
It appears that previous reviewers have misunderstood this title. This is not a basic Thai language course. You are supposed to know a fair bit of vocabulary, basic grammar, and the Thai alphabet before starting on this. It is simply a list of semi-random phrases to build vocabulary. I wouldn't say there are that many phrases here that are only usable for lovers, less than 10 percent, but most are for informal use only.

On the plus side it has a lot of phrases that are difficult to learn elsewhere, and a good transcription system. The CD is good for using in the background.

On the bad side, some of the choices of phrases seem a bit weird ("are you really stupid or are you just pretending" would be fighting words just about anywhere), it has no structure so finding back to something is hard, and it is a bit boring.


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