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enthusiast (West Wales)

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The Fall of the House of Fifa
The Fall of the House of Fifa
by David Conn
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.89

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A heavy read, 14 Jun. 2017
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I'm struggling with David Conn's prose style. I have not found it a good read I'm afraid. Let me give you an example from p 42.
'Havelange, for whom he found kind words in public, and with whom he did enjoy a continuing relationship, as an honorary president, for years afterwards, offered Rous a pension, but he declined it.'
So gold stars for content but not for style. I'm not looking for something light and frothy; but.....


Art: The Definitive Visual Guide (Dorling Kindersley) (Hardback) - Common
Art: The Definitive Visual Guide (Dorling Kindersley) (Hardback) - Common
by By (author) Andrew Graham-Dixon Editor-in-chief Andrew Graham-Dixon
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Smashing!, 26 April 2017
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No definitive guide can be truly definitive; and inevitably emphases may not entirely square with the knowledge and prejudices of the reader. But this is a remarkable production covering great stretches of art history, diving deep on individual works and while it doesn't answer all the questions, crucially it inspires the reader to take things further, particularly perhaps in areas of previous ignorance. A G-D is a great communicator and while he may not have had detailed oversight it is the sort of book I would have expected from him. I fin d myself drawn back to it daily. Thank you.


Being a Beast
Being a Beast
by Charles Foster
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Read some of it before you buy it - Marmite, 27 Mar. 2017
This review is from: Being a Beast (Paperback)
Over written prose style which became pretentious and in many ways surprisingly dull. It was commended to me by a nice young lady at the RSPCA shop at Dart's Farm in Topsham - she 'hadn't read it' but it seemed to be quite popular ie was going off the shelves. But I wonder how many readers have like me decided not to finish it but take it to my local charity shop instead.


Splashed!: A Life from Print to Panorama
Splashed!: A Life from Print to Panorama
by Tom Mangold
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.08

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is no turnip!, 13 Dec. 2016
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Super book - always enjoyed Tom Mangold in his glory days at Panorama; and this book shifts from serious to light hearted without a flicker. Finish a chapter and want to read the next. His anecdotes are funny and there are many insights into the BBC, reporting, his admiration for other colleagues (and a few sly digs at others!), and the mad world we live in. Was recently disappointed that Ken Clarke's Kind of Blue failed to live up to my expectations; this didn't - and to complete that comparison he has a lovely story about Ken Clarke (much to KC's credit it should be said) flying in to see a coca plantation in Colombia when Home Secretary, being advised that they should not land because FARC rebels were in the vicinity, but insisting that they should. Having seen the plantation, he chased off into the forest in twitching pursuit of a lesser spotted whatever, much to the horror of his besuited minder. And his National Service stories are the proverbial hoot. what a super book to read on a grey, wet December day. Highly commended.


Kind of Blue: A Political Memoir
Kind of Blue: A Political Memoir
by Ken Clarke
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant enough but not five stars, 13 Dec. 2016
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I looked forward to reading this, hoping it would be one of the highlights of the year - but sadly I felt that the book lacked edge and drive; a sense that such a book should be written but without a compelling urge to write it. It is a bit matter of fact at times and I would have hoped for something more reflective and analytical. Ken Clarke has been one of the better politicians of my generation but I wonder how the book would come over to someone who had no notion of his reputation or admiration for his civilising influence on political discourse. I enjoyed reading it but hoped for something better - hence the four stars.


Inside Story: Politics, Intrigue and Treachery from Thatcher to Brexit
Inside Story: Politics, Intrigue and Treachery from Thatcher to Brexit
by Philip Webster
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.00

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars High Hopes dashed, 15 Nov. 2016
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I was rather disappointed in the end. The insights were few and the anecdotes hardly rib-tickling. There are annoying repetitions - eg we are told on more than one occasion that Jim Naughtie was ex Guardian - at times it is as though we have a series of separate pieces rather than an integrated and reflective book. As I read it I began to feel that I understood Brexit and Trump rather better - here was a political insider who gives absolutely no sense of understanding of the world beyond his little bubble of splashes and insider trading. The prose style is hardly elegant and it was surprisingly a bit of a pot boiler for someone at the end of a distinguished career. Sorry Philip, but on a worse day it might even have been two stars. High hopes dashed.


Ethics in the Real World: 82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter
Ethics in the Real World: 82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter
by Peter Singer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.59

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An easy read but less challenging than I had hoped, 24 Oct. 2016
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I have been a tad disappointed with this collection of short pieces - some I felt were almost potboilers and lacked much edge or challenge. An easy read because generally well written, but not as stimulating as I had hoped.


Beethoven for a Later Age: The Journey of a String Quartet
Beethoven for a Later Age: The Journey of a String Quartet
by Edward Dusinberre
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of insight, musical and professional., 7 Mar. 2016
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Full of insight, musical and professional. I wondered what to expect and was really quite bowled over by the clever way in which Dusenberre interweaves the problems of playing Beethoven string quartets with the dynamics of a small and highly focussed group of musicians. It probably helps to enjoy the quartets to which he refers, and to listen to them to better understand some of the musical issues he raises; but despite being challenging at times, it is in the best of senses an easy read for a topic which might be seen as esoteric. Intriguing insights too into the negotiations amongst the players as to how pieces might be played; and the ways in which new members are absorbed into such a tight-knit group.
I'm slightly baffled that having bought it from Wordery via the Amazon website, for just over a tenner, it is now being trailed by Amazon for £21.40 to be published in May. American/English editions?


Cooking in Ten Minutes: or the Adaptation to the Rhythm of Our Time
Cooking in Ten Minutes: or the Adaptation to the Rhythm of Our Time
by Edouard De Pomiane
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 'Very dated and at times dull', 14 Jan. 2016
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Very disappointing indeed; another of your reviewers described the recipes as 'very dated and at times dull'; I agree. They were also very repetitious and I'm afraid I couldn't find one that inspired. With writers such as Nigel Slater around, Real Fast Food and the like, we are now blessed with many sources of inspiration including food from around the world. This will go straight to the charity shop, I fear.


Heath Robinson: Wonderful Contraptions and Extraordinary Inventions
Heath Robinson: Wonderful Contraptions and Extraordinary Inventions
by William Heath Robinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.08

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful indeed, 10 Mar. 2015
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What a joy this book is - it has been enjoyed by everyone in the family from the five year old grandson up. Its gentle humour, its ingenuity is very special. Well produced and great value for money in every respect.


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