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Enthusiast (London, UK)

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Ozeri Kandle by Ozeri Germany II Reading Lamp for eBook Reader Black KA2A-B
Ozeri Kandle by Ozeri Germany II Reading Lamp for eBook Reader Black KA2A-B
Price: £29.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad: useful for ordinary books and ereaders, 18 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
One small issue: in the one I was sent, the "open" arrow on the battery hatch is in the wrong place. When the two arrows are lined up, the hatch is in fact closed. This might cause a problem if you try to open it to change the battery: it will break.


Top of the Lake - Season 1
Top of the Lake - Season 1
Dvd
Price: £9.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Mad Max for beginners, 16 July 2016
The scene is set in the offices of the New Zealand Tourism Board.

“You know the one thing wrong with this country? Everyone here is too damn nice. It’s just so boooring! Visitors aren’t coming any more. We godda do something.
“Yeah agreed, but what?”
“I bin thinking: what about a TV series showing we’re really, really weird?”
“Nah, they won’t believe it. They know we’re too nice.”
“You remember that old film, what was it, ‘Deliverance’? We’ll do something like that. Bunch of inbred psychos in backofbeyondsville, throw in a bit of incest, murder, a few hippy lezzies, a detective with a troubled past but heart of gold sorting it all out…
“You could be onto something. Might just work…. (laughs) nah, they’ll never commission it.”

But they did.

Ingredients: a set of male characters who are either morally feeble, sociopathic or with an IQ in single figures. A cast of female characters who are abused, long-suffering martyrs. An earth mother, a pregnant twelve year old, and some comic relief with a bunch of women in container homes living on crisps, liquorice allsorts and dreaming of men with larger-than-average penises.

Psycho McPsychface, the patriarch of an isolated, inbred clan of chancers, lives with his children, grandchildren (some of whom are possibly both) and attack dogs in the middle of nowhere. Named with leaden irony Paradise, this tranquil spot is invaded by a commune of traumatised women trying to rediscover their inner souls undisturbed by the world. Except, unfortunately, that they have chosen the favourite spot of a psychotic Scotsman, whose Mother is buried on the plot. Given that his malice is matched only by his sentimentality, watch out for squalls!


The Living and the Dead [Blu-ray]
The Living and the Dead [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Colin Morgan
Price: £19.99

4 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tosh of the D'Urbervilles, 7 July 2016
Well this mister Furrow come down from London to stay at the Wheatsheaf and he stood his pints like a good’un so nobody minded him being there and he seemed a nice enough bloke anyway. After a while he started chatting to us and talking about this and that, and about what old traditions there were round here and stuff like that. Well, there have been plenty of others around asking those same sort of questions, and we locals all know the form on that having been round that particular field so many times before so I off and gets my old copy of The Golden Bough that I keep in the cab of the Massey-Ferguson for just such eventualities, and I mug it up a bit, then I comes back and starts off talking to him all a bit secretive like, about midsummer solstice bonfires and goats skulls and sacrifices and spirits and such, and I can see his eyes getting rounder and rounder, and he’s jotting it all down in this little black notebook he has and this sets me off so then I gets a bit imaginative and starts in as to how there were people massacred here 3 hundred year ago and stuff, and how an old mine were opened up for gold, with boys from the workhouse sent down it, and I thought heel never believe all this bollocks but he seemed to right enough. As if gold could be found in this area which is all sedimentary rocks and nary an igneous intrusion, fault or mineral vein in the county. He must have been right ignorant. Anyway, he caught me writing down some of this stuff so as I could remember it for next time and he says why Tom you really know your letters don’t you, like as he was dealing with some clod out of Dickens or something, well I got a bit riled at that and said what do you mean, we all have Spell-check these days and by the way don’t you have a Tablet like we do, why are you using a notebook are you still living in the 19th century? Then I has to stop myself because I can see him looking a bit dazed like, and I’m thinking maybe the supply of pints will dry up so I start talking all Mummerset again and about the hauntings and the undead and about the poor doctor up at the big house who went mad and his wife who started seeing things and he got is breath back and started scribbling again so that was all right.

Then we hear about this new programme called Dead and Alive or something and low and behold who wrote it, but this Furrow gent only he’s calling himself something else now and the episodes have all the barmy bollocks I was telling him only bulked out with a load of new rubbish all his own work I’d say, and a mad doctor that my wife fancies and she watches all the episodes on iPlayer and I don’t mind it that much as the doctor’s wife’s a nice bit of stuff and reminds me of that woman that used to live up the Manor as had a rare way with the horses, until she was caught in the stall with one of the stallions and she claimed she was doing it to ease tension, though whether hers or the stallions was never established and I said she could ease my tension any time she liked if she did it like that, only my wife gave me a right dirty look.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 21, 2016 2:19 AM BST


The Partner
The Partner
by John Grisham
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Lacks conviction, 7 July 2016
This review is from: The Partner (Paperback)
A well-crafted story is let down by a psychologically implausible conclusion. That old poodle-faker Freud got one thing right: the concept of projection, where you see others as having your own worst qualities. Money-worship is an endemic disease in the US (though not everyone is infected) and Grisham seems to assume that someone faced with the opportunity to get their hands on a pile of the green stuff will betray everyone dear to them, in order to do it. This act, which ends the book, is quite out of character for the person who commits it. I will say no more so as not to reveal the ending, but the author lost my esteem at that point.


Wonderful Life: Burgess Shale and the Nature of History
Wonderful Life: Burgess Shale and the Nature of History
by Stephen Jay Gould
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.08

3.0 out of 5 stars The great tragedy of science, the slaying of a beautiful theory by an ugly fact (T. H. Huxley), 20 Jun. 2016
I bought this book when it first came out in paperback, and read it in a couple of sittings. As always with Gould's work, it is well and persuasively written and keeps the reader's attention to the final page. I'm no expert on evolution, and I accepted Gould's central thesis which was the main selling point of the book. This was that the early Cambrian was a time of radical experimentation when multiple new phyla appeared, had their day in the sun and then died out, to be survived by our present much reduced range of basic body plans.

Gould argued that the truly weird fauna of the Burgess Shales represented one-off attempts to build an animal which walked on its spines, an animal with a mouth on a long trunk, a terrifying predator with two spiked claspers and a kind of guillotine mouth, and so on and so forth, each of which, Gould maintained, represented a separate phylum which had died out leaving no descendants. At the time it was gripping stuff and had a kind of tragic resonance: how much more interesting the world might be if these crazy creatures had survived....

Well, we now know that this idea was totally mistaken. It turns out that the animal that "walked on its spines" had actually been reconstructed upside down: the "tentacles" on the top were actually legs, and the "legs" were just protective spines. The other nightmare monsters, looked at with a more sceptical eye, could be seen to be versions - admittedly extreme ones - of arthropods, velvet worms and other types well known to science. The irony is that this revision was carried out by Simon Conway Morris, who was praised unreservedly in Gould’s book. Morris responded by writing “The Crucible of Creation”, which has been described as a hatchet job on Gould. There is truly no gratitude in science.

Meanwhile Gould’s book is still worth reading, if not for its evolutionary theories which are simply wrong, but for its gripping account of the work of Morris and his co-workers who went back to the original collection of Burgess shale samples and wrestled out of them this bizarre zoo of new animals. We now need an updated account of the Burgess shales which will correct Gould’s errors and omit Morris’ bile. That would truly be a wonderful book. Richard Fortey, what are you waiting for?


The Disappearance - Season 1
The Disappearance - Season 1
Dvd
Price: £14.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spoiler alert: perp revealed in review, 11 Jun. 2016
Have now watched the first 4 episodes on iPlayer. Great acting and Lyon looks like a really beautiful city. But by episode 3 it was obvious that the girl's uncle Jean had done it. Come on, this was too easy. Of course I may be wrong, and this may have been a red herring: in which case I will eat my words and register a big vote for French sophistication.


Wallander - Series 1-3 [DVD] [2008]
Wallander - Series 1-3 [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Kenneth Branagh
Price: £15.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lost in translation, 10 Jun. 2016
Compared with the iconic Wallender series starring Krister Henriksson, this British version just does not come up to scratch: not even close. And I really can't put my finger on what is wrong.

This should be an excellent series - the stories have been intelligently brought up to date, and everything has been done meticulously. Kenneth Branagh is a superb actor, and the scenery and camerawork are first class, but something, some cultural vitamin, is lacking. Perhaps it is the way Branagh spends all the time apologising, like some Scandinavian Timothy Lumsden. Whatever it is, the programmes seem to last every second of their 90 minutes and then some. The pace is so slow and dreary that it makes watching paint dry seem like an extreme sport.

What a pity.


Widdop and Bingham - Metal Fold Up Alarm Clock - White Dial
Widdop and Bingham - Metal Fold Up Alarm Clock - White Dial
Offered by HARTS
Price: £8.85

2.0 out of 5 stars Looks good but poorly designed, 19 April 2016
The cover to the button battery has a very small slot in it. The soft plastic easily becomes deformed, and then you cannot turn the cover without considerable force, which involves bending the clock to get adequate access to it. The hinge then breaks, making the clock effectively useless. And the tiny D357 battery only lasts 6 months or so before it needs changing. To be avoided.


The Good Wife - Season 4 [DVD]
The Good Wife - Season 4 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Julianna Margulies
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £7.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Best courtroom drama yet, 15 April 2016
I am watching this on Netflix, and have got up to season 4, which seems well up to the standard of the previous shows. I like everything about it: the witty, socially relevant scripts, the superb acting, excellent direction, variety of plots and subplots, and general professionalism. The show does not treat its audience like morons: sometimes things move so quickly that one can lose the thread, but it's so good that I may even watch it through a second time to pick up all the subtleties. The only other series of which I can say this is House MD, which The Good Wife resembles in its overall high quality.

Comparisons are odious, but I can't help putting this superb product side by side with our own similar series, Silk, and noting the many ways in which the latter falls short. Say what you like about the Americans but they are professional to their fingertips. Silk gives the impression of being put together by amateurs, and not gifted ones at that. The old Rumpole series was good in its now very dated way, but we Brits really have nothing currently to even hold a candle to what the US can produce. Thank God for Netflix.


Category Theory (Oxford Logic Guides)
Category Theory (Oxford Logic Guides)
by Steve Awodey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £33.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books available, 11 April 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There are very few books that explain this topic clearly. This is about the only one I have come across, and even this one has mistakes in it, and some of the definitions are not as clear as they should be. Steve Awodey has told me he will be making corrections in his next edition. Meanwhile, this is still probably the best out there, and is not as expensive as most.


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