Profile for Dr. W. H. Konarzewski > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Dr. W. H. Kona...
Top Reviewer Ranking: 2,906
Helpful Votes: 300

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Dr. W. H. Konarzewski "Dr W. H. Konarzewski" (Colchester, England)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-15
pixel
The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within
The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within
by Stephen Fry
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Entertainingly written but a bit complicated in places, 27 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this because I'm doing a course on Creative Writing at the Open University and the section on poetry in the course book wasn't really stimulating. In the Ode Less Travelled, Stephen Fry writes entertainingly and is very funny in places. This provides welcome light relief whilst one is trying to understand the complexities of the different forms of poetic metre. Although I can't claim to understand everything Stephen Fry says in the book, I find his clear explanation of the basic metres very helpful it's always useful to know when it's OK to insert a trochee into a line of iambic pentameter. There are plenty of examples to illustrate his points. For instance when Shakespeare wrote: To be or not to be, that is the question (iambic pentameter but 11 syllables in the line) Stephen provides an analysis and explanation as to why Shakespeare got it right and how the line should be read correctly. Excellent stuff. I don't think I'll ever become a good poet, but at least I now appreciate the subtleties of writing good poetry.

A word of warning - if you like your poetry to be unstructured and without rules, this may not be the best book for you. Stephen Fry errs on the side of traditionalism.


Clarke 900 Jump Start Engine Jump Starter
Clarke 900 Jump Start Engine Jump Starter
Offered by Tools By Post
Price: £66.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and effective, 23 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've used this several times to start my old Volvo when the battery's flat. I've also used to start my tractor mower after the winter break. It's easy to use and so far it's been reliable. Also easy to charge up. It comes with a powerful built in light that's been useful when we've had a power cut. All in all a good purchase at a reasonable price.


Creative Writing: A Workbook with Readings
Creative Writing: A Workbook with Readings
by Linda Anderson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £25.19

3.0 out of 5 stars Good on writing fiction - poor on writing poetry. In need of updating., 16 Feb. 2015
I received this book as part of the Open University course on creative writing. Most of the book was fairly constructive and I enjoyed the sections on writing fiction and life writing (i.e. biography and autobiography). The section on life writing actually made me realise for the first time how biographers and auto-biographers have to use the skills of a fiction writer to make their work readable. Most of the exercises in these sections were helpful in developing the basic skills of creative writing. The book contains a series of readings from well-known authors including Hemingway, Philip Roth and Pat Barker. On the whole these were well-chosen and a pleasure to read.
Unfortunately - and this is why the book only gets three stars from me - the section on writing poetry was dry and uninspiring. Some of the exercises were beyond me and some seemed utterly futile and annoying. Many of the students in my tutorial group felt the same. Several of us resorted to Stephen Fry's "The Ode Less Travelled" to get us through the poetry module.
As a footnote, the book was first published in 2006 and might benefit from an update, particularly with regard to information technology. Many publishers and agents now accept submissions online. Also I suspect the attitudes of publishers and agents towards submissions may have changed since 2006. This aspect of the book might also benefit from revision.
A minor problem was the weight of the book - I invested in the Kindle version so I could carry it around with me. It's worth considering this additional expense if you do a lot of travelling.


The Duff Cooper Diaries: 1915-1951
The Duff Cooper Diaries: 1915-1951
Price: £4.68

5.0 out of 5 stars Unique insight into upper class English life in the first half of the 20th Centrury, 3 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is an extraordinary document written by a man who might have been Prime Minister instead of Churchill. He was a bon viveur, heavy drinker, inveterate womaniser, compulsive gambler and married to one of the most beautiful and talented women of his era. His diary extends from the First World War to the early 1950s and covers many of the key moments of that momentous period including the abdication of Edward VIII - whom he knew personally and to whom he gave advice. It seems he met almost everyone of importance during his life - Winston Churchill, Lloyd George, Max Beaverbrook, Vita Sackville-West, Cole Porter and a host of people from the world of politics and the arts. He was also a gifted author. I found his memoirs fascinating - and well edited by his son Julius John Norwich into a readable whole. In some ways Duff Cooper was a flawed individual, but that should not deter anyone from reading this unique description of upper class British life in the first half of the twentieth Century. Strongly recommended. (It's also a useful model of how to write a diary and make it interesting.)


Stihl 2-stroke oil. 5 litre bottle. 0781 319 8433
Stihl 2-stroke oil. 5 litre bottle. 0781 319 8433
Offered by ISE Forest & Garden
Price: £30.40

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent product - good value in this quantitiy., 31 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This works well in my Stihl chainsaw. It's significantly cheaper to buy this two stroke oil in this size package. As another reviewer has pointed out, it would be really helpful if they could include a small measuring flask / jug to make mixing easier and more precise. Strongly recommended for use with a Stihl chainsaw.


Poems of William Blake
Poems of William Blake
Price: £0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars And did those feet in ancient time, in measured beat both scan and rhyme, 26 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
William Blake is perhaps best remembered for the hymn "Jerusalem" - although strictly speaking it's not a hymn. This must make him arguably the most quoted poet England has ever produced in the sense that millions sing it every year on all sorts of diverse occasions from rugby matches to royal weddings. However he did write many other things (as well as being a highly original painter). This collection of his poems, which is free on kindle, is an excellent sample of his work. It does not contain Auguries of Innocence however which in my opinion contains some of his finest lines. Strongly recommended.


Martin Eden
Martin Eden
Price: £0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly Jack London's greatest novel, 6 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Martin Eden (Kindle Edition)
Martin Eden is a young working class lad who gets involved with the prosperous Morse family and falls in love with Ruth Morse. She falls in love with him, but they cannot marry until he has a regular income. Martin however is obsessed with writing and prefers to write - getting all his work rejected - rather than get a proper job. Ruth fails to understand why he'd rather write than marry her. She sees no future in his writing, indeed she doesn't really understand his writing at all.

This is a story of frustrated love, frustrated ambition and poverty as Martin struggles to earn enough money to eat. We get a good picture of American life at the beginning of the 20th Century.

All in all, I found this an engrossing and intellectually challenging read and I thoroughly enjoyed it, although there were moments when I felt Jack London pushed credulity just a little too far. This is a book about writing, rejection, socialism, social convention, philosophy, burning ambition and the respective meanings of failure and success. Strongly recommended for everyone, and probably mandatory reading for aspiring writers who keep getting their work turned down by agents and publishers. Magnificent.


Panasonic ER-GN30 Nose & Facial Hair Battery Trimmer
Panasonic ER-GN30 Nose & Facial Hair Battery Trimmer
Price: £11.46

4.0 out of 5 stars First impressions favourable, 21 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
So far I've only had this a couple of days. It is a very effective trimmer. I found it easy to set up and use although it would have been helpful if Panasonic had supplied a battery to go with it. I was concerned however about the number of one star reviews that mentioned lack of reliability and problems returning the item to the seller. Anyway, first impressions are favourable and it's much better than my previous trimmer which was awkward to use and kept falling apart.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 4, 2015 5:43 PM GMT


Lays of Ancient Rome
Lays of Ancient Rome
Price: £0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Epic account of how Horatius held the bridge over the Tiber, 5 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is the story of how Horatius held the bridge over the Tiber with two comrades whilst the Romans desperately tried to destroy it so that the hostile force of Lars Porsena could not attack Rome. Macaulay tells it is in thrilling verse which works very well for this kind account. There are plenty of gory bits. Some of the lines are somewhat contrived, but overall he creates a memorable legend. And it's free. Strongly recommended.


Sea-Wolf (Dover Thrift Editions)
Sea-Wolf (Dover Thrift Editions)
by Jack London
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.50

4.0 out of 5 stars A great existential adventure, 29 Nov. 2014
On the surface, Sea Wolf is an exciting and well-written adventure story about a cultured academic, Humphrey van Weyden, who falls into the sea and gets picked up by a schooner which has the brutal Wolf Larsen as its captain. The two men form an uneasy friendship with Wolf Larsen as the dominant partner. Humphrey, for the first time in his life, has to learn to stand on his own two feet and do battle with the brute. I won't say more in case that spoils the plot for anyone who hasn't read the book.
On another level, this is Jack London exploring the inner conflict between his civilised self and the primitive man inside him. This battle takes on fascinating existential and psychological implications.
I really enjoyed reading this book and the only reason I don't award 5 stars is because of the relationship between Humphrey and the tough but fragile heroine, Maud Webster. Somehow there just doesn't seem to be any real chemistry between the two "lovers". They behave more like a couple of mates on an expedition and Humphrey has to remind the reader constantly how much he loves her. Jack London is much better at philosophy and adventure than he is at romance.
Despite that, this book is a great classic and I strongly recommend it.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-15