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Reviews Written by
Esmeralda Hugo "londonbibliophile" (London UK)

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Damai Waterproof 3pcs/set Travel Electronic Case Packing Cubes (Wine Red)
Damai Waterproof 3pcs/set Travel Electronic Case Packing Cubes (Wine Red)
Offered by Denso
Price: £11.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Too small depth wise to protect plugs; not really fit for stated purpose., 28 Jan. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Beware if you buy this product for electronic cables etc use - because the bags are VERY shallow. Advertised depth is 1.4 inches; that is the external product measurement. In fact the usable interior is closer to 3 cm/ 1.1 inches. The usable interior space is small; check the measurements before you buy this product.

It means a standard UK plug only (just) fits inside vertically but the plug "prongs" press against the clear cover; there is no clearance between the edge of the plug and the bag cover. You can get a standard UK plug inside but really only just about and I really wanted some definite protection (having previously experienced plastic plug "prongs" snappingoff during travel) I bought these to house cables etc with plugs (and laptop charger plugs) and these bags/cubes are too shallow to be really fit for purpose.

If you advertising a bag as suitable for "travel electronics" then you would expect a charger plug to fit in it comfortably; it doesn't.

Other issues:
- the handles are too tight against the edge of the product to be useful (especially the smallest ones); you can barely get your finger under the handle when the product is empty. Either make the handle bigger/more user friendly or get rid of it as is unnecesary material and extra weight to no purpose.
- wine red photograph doesn't reflect true colour. Looks quite bright red and shiney - in fact a darker, much duller red.
- smelt unpleasant - a stale/musty smell when opened. Probably will dispate with airing/time - but does not give a good impression; makes it feel a bit "made in China" cheap.

To be fair the clear plastic top seems quite thick and robust and as a product it seems not flimsy. But I am very disappointed and for me not fit for the purpose advertised or what I wanted it for. Maybe fine if you are going to use it to store other items that don't include plugs attached

Really disappointed and considered returning it but didn't just because couldn't be bothered with the admin hassle.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 5, 2017 2:52 AM GMT

by Thomas Wharton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Magical book for lovers of books, 1 Dec. 2015
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This review is from: Salamander (Paperback)
This is a beautifully crafted old school fairy tale within a fairy tale within a fairy tale. It begins in 1759 with a soldier dismounting his horse in some unidentified historical war and happening upon a young woman in the burning ruins of a book shop. She begins to tell him a story. It is about a Count who following the death of his son retreats to his castle - which sits on the boundary of two countries. In order to avoid taxes, it needs to not be a house with any rooms so he turns it into a huge clockwork palace where rooms move about and into each other. The Count is obsessed with riddles and puzzles and wants to create a never ending book. He hires a printer from London Nicholas Flood who comes to live in the castle. He falls in love with the Count's daughter. The remainder of the book weaves the story of the printer and the daughter with little sub-fairy tales of the people they meet on their travels. It reminded me a bit of the structure of the Count of Monte Cristo (tales within tales) - not least because it features an abbe. The author in the note at the end cites Borges The Book of Sand as an inspiration and you can see why. The book is filled with literary references, references to printing and books. It's more of an adult book than Alice In Wonderland and more original. The first part set in the Castle was almost perfect and I had the unusual experience of enjoying a book so much from the outset that I was worried that the rest of it wouldn't live up to the first part. It is fair to say that the first part is the best bit but it doesn't detract from the whole work. Highly recommend this to anyone interested in books, stories and reading generally. A lovely, gentle and original read.

Sportcount Chrono 100
Sportcount Chrono 100

5.0 out of 5 stars Small but mighty., 1 Sept. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sportcount Chrono 100
My Sportcount is probably my favorite piece of training equipment I own. I absolutely love it. It is a simple and easy way to keep track of your swum lengths and times. My only criticism of it is that you can't change the battery. Apparently, a "waterproof watch battery changer" should be able to do it but they don't guarantee it. They do last a long time though. This is only my third one in about 12 years. Honestly love it. But if you are the sort of person who is trained to remember the no. of lengths you have swum and count mentally or are not really that concerned as to split timing won't really add much for you.

The Long Fall
The Long Fall
by Julia Crouch
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Atrociously plotted and enormously irritating, 14 Feb. 2015
This review is from: The Long Fall (Paperback)
Honestly one of the worst and most infuriating books I have ever read. And I don't say that lightly, I have read a lot of books in my time.
The distance between the concept of "suspension of disbelief" to this book is the equivalent of the distance between reality and unicorns.

The narrative switches between present and past. The narrators are the same woman - one as a back- packing student; the present version as a highly anxious wife of a successful hedge fund manager with a teenage daughter. The story interweaves past and present and a woman from her backpacking past suddenly arrives in her perfect expensive life with devastating news.

This is waaaay past wanting to "shout at the television". It is an ENORMOUSLY (and yes that is deliberately capitalised to convey strength of feeing) irritating book because the actions of the protagonist are utterly inexplicable. Why? Why? Why? is what runs through your brain as you read. Don't do that. She wouldn't have done that. Why would her husband do that without telling her? What is she thinking of? And so on. It's difficult to say more without plot spoilers but the short point is that no one in that (high pressure) situation wouldn't at least suspected the truth (there were only 3 people who knew the truth; bit of a clue!), wouldn't have alerted the police and wouldn't have told their husband (even if you accept that it could be left until the end game, then - at that point - you would have come clean).

There is a low rent twist in the tale (3/4 of which I had anticipated) but the missing 1/4 it doesn't make it worth it. It is also badly written. At one point a place name - the island of Ikaria - is written in Greek and the text says "Greek for Ikaria". Nope. That is Ikaria written IN Greek; the place name is Ikaria how can it be Greek FOR Ikaria. That frankly is the tiny needle like tip of the iceberg of the literary woefulness of this book.

The only good thing to be said for it is that it has been a long time since I read a book that provoked such a strong reaction of annoyance and irritation in me - so I guess it's a talking point.

For the bin. How it got published in this form I really, really don't know. The editor needs a stern talking to, let alone the author.

EDIT: Since I wrote this review, I read The Lie by C L Taylor which is a far superior read and much less annoying. If you are thinking of buying this book, I'd really recommend that instead. It is also a psychological thriller style book that features young people on a foreign trip.

The Lie of You: I Will Have What Is Mine
The Lie of You: I Will Have What Is Mine
by Jane Lythell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Stays With You After You've Finished It, 28 Dec. 2014
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Described as a "psychological thriller" this is a bit of a misnomer as there is not a huge amount of suspense and there are very few twists/turners. However, as a book it has a lot of other plus points.

One of its strengths is that it is told from the point of view of two women, alternating chapters.

Kathy is the editor of an architectural magazine who has just had a baby and back from maternity leave. Her husband Markus is a bit remote and distant (and Finnish). A new employee at the magazine is Heja who is a bit remote and distant (and Finnish). The story is the interaction of the 3 characters and Heja's apparent jealousy of Kathy, her new baby and her husband.

Strengths of the book: interesting plotting, "page turning", but it's main strength is that it makes you think about it after you have finished it - not least because of the question of why people choose to do certain things and "the evil men do" etc; also a very intellectually challenging feature of this book (MINOR SPOILER) is the extent to which people may still cause emotional disturbance after their death and whether that is deliberate or accidental. I found this very thought provoking and it was quite a carefully crafted theme throughout the novel and impacted several characters.

Weaknesses: Not the greatest writing in the world. A few characters poorly drawn. Markus, as other reviewers, have said is a shallow character. A lot of the plotting around him is weak as a result. Eg. it's not at all clear why Kathy married him even though she was pregnant; there is no "chemistry" between them. Kathy is very irritating. and it's not at all clear why Markus (who seems inordinately selfish - despite the constant refrain of him being responsible/doing the right thing it is not borne out by his actions) would have married her.

A prequel featuring Heja would be interesting. Heja is a fascinating character

The Accident
The Accident
by C.L. Taylor
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book, good writing ruined by a terribly weak ending, 24 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: The Accident (Paperback)
I would give this three and a half stars -better than 3 but not quite 4. Great book, good writing ruined by a very weak ending.

The strengths of this book are good plotting and engaging writing. The narrator is the female protagonist who during the course of the book moves from girlfriend in her twenties to mother and housewife in her 40s - (half written in present time; half written in historic diary).

The early parts are page turning and it is also nicely driven by a "is she/isn't she" halucinating theme of the unreliable narrator. So it all piles up toward a climax but the ending is really atrocious - and made worse by the strength of the rest of the book.

It's like (this is a meat eaters analogy!) being wafted the smell of steak, being fed hot steaming triple fried chips and then after all the build up being delivered a cold soggy vegetarian quiche.

A terribe shame as the rest of the book is great. Really her editors/agents should have advised the author to re-write the ending. Promising writer. Hope her next effort is more on target.

Invisibobble Traceless Hair Ring and Bracelet, Crystal Clear Suitable for All Hair Types
Invisibobble Traceless Hair Ring and Bracelet, Crystal Clear Suitable for All Hair Types
Offered by HAIR ANGELS
Price: £3.10

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Plus points and minus points., 27 Oct. 2014
Plus points: very very comfortable, doesn't leave a kink in long hair as advertised.

Minus points: fairly "weak" and doesn't give strong grip (which is probably the trade off for the plus points) looping it once (ie. double layer) gives a reasonable grip but my sense is that it won't stay even that tight for long. A new one grips OK. Couple of uses and starts to feel weaker.

Also very ugly and too thick to properly cover with a twist of hair.

Basically it's comfortable but no good for a formal look or a situation where you need a firm/tight grip (eg. exercise or giving presentation where important hair won't come down).

Before We Met
Before We Met
by Lucie Whitehouse
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book of two halves!, 1 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Before We Met (Hardcover)
Starts off with the appearance of bog standard chick lit. Hannah, our heroine, goes to pick her new husband of 8 months up at the airport and he doesn't turn up. His phone is switched off and he turns out not to be in his usual New York hotel. This causes her to start to worry he's having an affair even though she thinks she's being irrational. Without getting into spoilers, her investigations lead her to turn over all kinds of rocks with things lurking underneath.

The first part is a bit dull and you need to stick with it and then it massively picks up and becomes a bit of a page turner.
Not the greatest writing in the world, the descriptions tend to be a bit overwritten and it suffers a lot from "why are you bothering telling me that?" information and descriptions irrelevant to the plot or anyone frankly.

But overall it turns into an enjoyable page turner that's more of a dark thriller than chick lit. One half (or closer to one third) chick lit and one half (two thirds) thriller.

The Lemon Grove: The bestselling summer sizzler - A Radio 2 Bookclub choice
The Lemon Grove: The bestselling summer sizzler - A Radio 2 Bookclub choice
by Helen Walsh
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretty pointless and unpleasant characters, 31 May 2014
Story of a married couple on holiday in a villa when the husband's daughter (wife's step daughter) and boyfriend come to stay.
The wife appears to be attracted to the boyfriend who is 17 years old.

The only good thing to be said for this book is that is held the reader's interest because (notwithstanding the weaknesses) the plot seemed to be building up to an interesting crescendo. That never happened.

The weakness were - (i) very irritating and unlikeable characters. That isn't in itself a problem if a book has other redeeming features (eg. well written) but there were none here. (ii) poor and very repetitive writing - certain words eg. "crones" and "rinsed" seemed to appear with a higher frequency than required and was distracting (iii) a very weak ending that was almost inexplicable and (iv) a feeling at the end of the book that you had no idea what the point of it was - there was no clear message or point to it. Not that every book needs message - if for example it's great page turning read - but that wasn't this book. There were lots of plot points and behaviour choices of characters that were beyond highly implausible.

In addition (but this is personal to me) I found the attitude to women in this book appalling. Older women are constantly referred to as "crones" - a very derogatory and outdated word; there was repeated description of older women's bodies in a very nasty way. The whole thing was deeply unpleasant and surprising that it was written by a woman frankly.

It is also short and made to look longer/padded out by large type. Never a good sign.

Reading this was a waste of time; I would recommend it only if you want to be very irritated.

Rat Zapper Ultra
Rat Zapper Ultra

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does exactly what it says on the tin, 18 Mar. 2014
I bought this to deal with suspected mice. The claim is that it will electrocute mice/rats humanely in such a way that you don't have to see/touch them. The red light on top flashes when one is "zapped" so you just pick up the zapper and tip it out. At least that is the claim.

When you turn it on the light flashes green briefly and then the green light turns off. You are advised to bait the trap and leave it in place turned off for a while to let the rodents become familiar with it. Then you turn it on. I'd left it turned on for a few days and nothing happened. I was v. sceptical that something powered with batteries would do what it claimed.

Then on the third day I discovered the red light flashing. Very apprehensive I bent over to look in the trap fearing either a half living creature flopping around or nothing at all and a false alarm. In fact, inside was a very dead mouse.

This is a very good product if you use it properly - follow the instructions about pre-baiting etc. The best bit about it is that it is totally humane (in as much as anything killing rodents can be) and that you don't have to touch or get close to the dead mouse/rat. Just tip it out.

Very good product and recommended.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 9, 2014 1:18 PM BST

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