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The Gripping Hand (Mote Series Book 2)
The Gripping Hand (Mote Series Book 2)
Price: £4.56

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a patch on the original, 30 Jan. 2014
'The Mote In God's Eye' was one of the best SF novels ever written, with the final portion of the book filled with suspense - will the Empire find out the Moties' secret before it's too late. This sequel is, basically, boring and confusing - there are too many different Motie factions involved and, frankly, it's difficult to care which one wins. But my biggest gripe is with the sanitisation of Horace Bury, who is transformed from a pretty convincing (and interesting) villain in TMIGE to a kindly uncle in this. Apparently, he was a good guy at heart, even in TMIGE, working for the benefit of his home planet (except that there's no indication that he's interested in much beyond his own wealth and power). The interest in his character in the original is that, yes, he's a villain, but he's one of the first to realise that the Moties pose a genuine threat to Humanity, tries to do something about it but nobody will listen to him because he's as corrupt as they come. This is a man who has spent twenty years tracking down an officer who offended him, ordered his death and has a recording of the officer's dying screams - yet, here, he is seen as being a jovial, friendly guy that everyone loves. What would have been more interesting would have been if he had remained a villain at heart, but still works to oppose the Moties - a more complex character, in other words, rather than someone who, in all honesty, isn't the same one at all. Add that to a whole series of sequences where the main characters are being chased around the Motie system for no particularly interesting reason and you've got a book that is a huge letdown.

Solo: A James Bond Novel
Solo: A James Bond Novel
by William Boyd
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.99

10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not the real James Bond, 17 Oct. 2013
I've always been a bit of a sucker for James Bond books, but I have to say that this is a distinct disappointment. It isn't so much that it's set in the late 60s, as a direct follow on from the Ian Fleming books (although there are several expressions used by various characters that were not in use then), it's more that Bond comes across as a pretty incompetent secret agent. He allows other agents to creep up on him unawares, is tailed to a location that he would prefer to keep secret while being unaware that he is being followed, walks into an ambush and has to rely on others to rescue him, leaves an enemy agent alive believing he has killed him... and so on. Not the ruthlessly efficient 007 we have come to know and love, in other words. In addition, the ending is distinctly anti-climactic and the chief villain less than impressive. And as for the detailed menus (and even a recipe)... puh-lease! Yes, perhaps (as other reviewers have said) Bond is now being portrayed as a more realistic, Graham Greene type character (although I don't particularly agree with that, either), but he isn't a Graham Greene creation - he's Bond, James Bond, double oh seven, licensed to kill - and this Bond just doesn't measure up at all.

The Biography of Tottenham Hotspur
The Biography of Tottenham Hotspur
by Chris et al. Claremont
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent but overtaken by events, 18 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A very readable history of Tottenham Hotspur FC, admittedly covering it from point of view of a fan. Nevertheless, there's a fair amount of 'warts and all' information, as well as a lot of detail about the players and managers throughout Spurs' history. It's essential reading for any Spurs fan interested in the club's history, but there is one quibble: Harry Redknapp's abrupt departure is not dealt with in any detail at all. While this probably happened after the original manuscript had been completed, it might have been better to delay publication in order to provide more information than simply saying that 'Redknapp left', which is all there is. As a Spurs fan, I was hoping for a little more than that from an experienced sports journalist, to be honest, but it's my only real criticism.

Free Yourself From Anxiety: A self-help guide to overcoming anxiety disorders
Free Yourself From Anxiety: A self-help guide to overcoming anxiety disorders
by Emma Fletcher
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Free Yourself From Anxiety, 10 Mar. 2009
Don't Mention The Snow!

I've been reading a book by Emma Fletcher and Martha Langley called Free Yourself From Anxiety and I'd like to write about a particular section of this book that I am finding especially helpful. It is the part that deals with questioning one's beliefs and I've been using it to help me to overcome agoraphobia.

A few weekends ago I stuck the questions (from page 167) on to a postcard - a neat, portable prompt, had an early night, slept well and woke up next morning full of renewed enthusiasm and determination, threw back the curtains.... only to find thick snow and it was still falling! If I had ventured out then I would have been more concerned with staying on my feet than reading a prompt card.

Seriously I found the book full of sensible, basic and practical advice. It takes the fear out of anxiety situations.

During the ensuing fortnight, whilst we were effectively snowed in, I used the time to practise some of the breathing and relaxation exercises recommended in the book. When I could finally venture out I found these techniques kept my anxiety levels within manageable boundaries, so that I could then take the time to stop and consider the prompt questions, rather than simply rushing back home.

It also gives a list of helpline numbers, and I've had a lot of help from First Steps to Freedom {}. I think anyone who has this book and the number of this helpline is bound to make progress!

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