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Beanson (Devon UK)

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List of the Lost
List of the Lost
by Morrissey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars unreadable, sub Russell Brand, 21 Mar. 2016
This review is from: List of the Lost (Paperback)
This book is practically unreadable. It's like Russell Brand has got hold of an even bigger Thesaurus and become even stupider than he is already and decided to write a 'stream-of-consciousness' book in the hope that someone might mistake it for James Joyce.

I only hope Morrissey was joking- this is not even: 'so bad, it's good!' NO, this is just bad, irredemably BAAAADDDD

There's a reason why celebs use ghost-writers, I suggest Morrissey use one in any future writing adventures

Henry Darger, Throw-Away Boy
Henry Darger, Throw-Away Boy
by Jim Elledge
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rehabilitation from serial killer status but no appreciation of his Art, 18 Nov. 2014
I’m a huge admirer of Darger’s work in all its elements, hence when I saw this book in the library I hastened to take it out, unfortunately I was disappointed in it.

The author seeks to rehabilitate Dager’s reputation as he is sometimes seen as a probable paedophile. This attitude is perhaps understandable from a cursory glance at his work, but anyone with a deeper appreciation and knowledge of the scant details of his life will know better.

The main problem with this book is that the author (a gay man, whose expertise is in gay culture) just wants to dwell on Darger’s innocent gayness. There are no real insights into the man- he was a loner, ignored in his lifetime- no one knew him, we can only guess from the clues that he left behind. To brand him a serial killer is obviously ridiculous; there is no trail of bodies- but to put any kind of interpretation beyond the mere facts that are known is mere speculation- and Elledge speculates ‘till the cows come home.

In the end I didn’t really want to hear about all Elledge’s cod-psychological theories (all speculation, no fact)- I wanted to know more about the work and the techniques- which are only given very brief treatment. I fear the author has no Art training or real appreciation- he insists for example on calling Darger’s paintings ‘canvasses’- they are painted not on canvas but on paper; he gives no indication that he knows anything about the techniques used in their construction.
Those who are Darger appreciators would do better to find a good book of his paintings than trudge through this vanity piece. The reproductions in the centre of this book aren’t even very good and there is no logic to them- he has just picked a random bunch of them it seems and stuck them in the middle (in tiny reproduction)

There are also certain oddities- for example he can’t bring himself to name Kiyoko Lerner who is referred to throughout as Learner’s wife, or widow- this is just weird- perhaps he has some issue with her (I do too- she massively profited from Darger’s work) but why doesn’t he say so?

Anyway, I found the whole tone of the book annoying in various small ways which built up to irritating effect. I hope to find a better book on this man- one of my favourite creators- soon.

by Russell Brand
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wow- this book is baaaaad, 18 Nov. 2014
This review is from: Revolution (Hardcover)

MACKIE SRM150 - 150W RMS Powered speakers Molded
MACKIE SRM150 - 150W RMS Powered speakers Molded

1.0 out of 5 stars Please check out power issues on this CR*P product before you buy, 13 May 2014
OK- this was good for over a year- although very little use.
Today it cut out- why? couldn't work it out....
..until I went on line and googled SRM 150 power loss and read all the comments. It appears there is a thermal fuse that just decides to cut out. Can this be replaced? repaired? I don't know yet. Suffice to say I wish I had read the bad comments before purchase. This is something that apears to happen a lot and renders the speaker USELESS. Take my advice DON'T BUY

The Photoreading Whole Mind System
The Photoreading Whole Mind System
by Paul R. Scheele
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Scam of the first water, 16 Nov. 2013
This 'technique' simply doesn't work. If you get any results from this book it is because you are not familiar with standard speed-reading techniques which are adumbrated in a cursory way herein.
It is simply not possible to take in information (consciously or 'subconsciously') from books that are skimmed at one page a second whilst held upside down.

The real kicker is that there is NO SCIENCE to back any of the outlandish claims up. No tests, trials or peer reviewed articles; and THAT speaks volumes.

Don't waste any money on this; buy a book on speed-reading instead.

No Title Available

1.0 out of 5 stars dead in 3 weeks, 23 Aug. 2013
Bought a Lenoge battery for my Acer Aspire at the cheap price of £19. Why was it so cheap- well possibly because they aren't any good: today my battery died stone cold dead- it won't charge: having to make do with the original battery (which lasts approx 10 mins) again as stop gap.
Don't waste your money- £19 seems like a good bargain but when you think £19 for 3 weeks of use.... not so good

2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love
2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love
Price: £2.38

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and inspiring, 20 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This easy to read little e-tome will set you up for blasting through your next magnum opus. Much great practical advice about how to up that word count until your fingers are flying. Do you want to knock out a novel in 10 days- this is where you learn how.

From a Buick 8
From a Buick 8
by Stephen King
Edition: Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars Short story material, 18 Nov. 2012
This review is from: From a Buick 8 (Paperback)
I loved the premise of this story. Stephen King usually takes an interesting situation and then throws characters at it and watches how it develops. Sometimes, especially in his early novels the characters develop the situation and we move on into what might be called plot line. (King doesn't start with a plot line fixed, he creates as he goes along so he says in 'On Writing')

This development does not happen in 'From a Buick 8' Perhaps it has something to do with the way the narrative is told- all in flashback; but what we stay with is the initial situation- weird car- and it doesn't develop into anything like a plot.

This may have been sustainable in short story format but it sure as hell don't cut the mustard (to use a King-ism) in a novel of this length. King is obviously in love with the way cops talk and act and this comes out in his beautiful description and language observation (although I get slightly tired of his 'down-home good ol' American characters- just a little too corny sometimes).

He is really trying to write about how a kid learns to cope with the death of his father I think, but that novel is not interesting, it's not what we come to King for, and it's not something that he is capable of writing (frankly)and should have been firmly kept in sub-plot.

Alarm bells started ring for me about half-way through (when I was still hoping for the plot to pick up) the main character began to harp on the fact that not all interesting questions in life will be answered. This trope came up more and more as the book progressed- I think King realised that he couldn't develop the tale in a interesting way- and lo and behold: there are no answers at the end of the book. No reason for the intial premiss at all- a fat zero.

It leaves you feeling let down, a feeling which the, very silly, attempt to create a false/trick ending through misdirection (where one of the main characters might have died in a crash)only exacerbates.

Sorry Stephen- could do better.

by Sarah Langan
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too many characters; too much character backstory, 27 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Virus (Paperback)
This book was in many ways a disappointment. I started with high hopes because the writing was vivid and at first seemed admirably taut as we are introduced to a well rounded character Lois, taking her young charges out into a spooky wood for a field trip. Unfortunately the more I read the more problems developed.

One major issue is the amount of characters and the devotion to describing them- there are so many introductions and so many pages detailing each individual back-story that the plot is forgotten and confusion sets in about which one the author is now describing. Sometimes whole chapters are devoted to character issues (The House Divided pp. 146) that have no apparent connection with the plot and are dull distractions at best. Frankly it seems self-defeating; the more time she spends writing about the characters the less I am interested in them and paradoxically the less distinctive they become. The author employs the `stupid name' gambit for added memorability: one of the leads is call Fenstad Winthob; another labours under the name Alfred Sanguine- no- those won't do.

All this makes for slow going, the plot when it surfaces is confused: a boy gets killed apparently (I thought that racoons ate him) but then he seems to appear as a ghost and then as a corporeal boy scavenging for food.

Then there are the plot `howlers': The woods of Bedford (the source of the weirdness) is only a `few miles' (easy walkable distance- many characters do so) from the town where all the characters live- and yet the kids who go there on a school trip: "...had never seen anything like this before."

Towards the middle of the book when half of the towns children are running wild in these woods no one in the town seems to have noticed, certainly not the main characters who sit around getting angry with each other over boyfriend troubles.

Langan seems to have a problem visualising time as well as distance. When one girl is being rushed at (pp 142):

"The distance closed Ten feet. Eight feet. Five feet. Displaced wind rushed against her as her mind fired off segmented thoughts like a string of firecrackers. What dark eyes you have she thought, and then: the better to swallow you with my dear. And: rah rah team! And finally: run. Run. RUN!"

....So a mad man is RUNNING at you, when he's 5 FEET AWAY (about 2 arm lengths) she thinks all those things and then she turns around and runs (successfully, for a while) away- WHAT!, has time stood still or something?

There are practical issues- how does one character, who- the day before- has been beaten up, thrown against a wall and broken an ankle (full plaster cast), make love enthusiastically and drive a car without complaint?

The author's writing is generally of a high standard yet some dialogue is improbable, one character says: "He didn't walk like a man"- is this really what someone would say? Some verbs seem wrong too: would a piece of china chipped off a plate really `cruise' past someone's ear as though at leisurely pace?

Unfortunately these drawbacks led me to abandon the book. I think the author needs to focus more on the story- a good editor might help.

by Sir Arthur C. Clarke
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Could cut about 250 pages; might then be OK, 20 Sept. 2012
On the front of my edition there is only one quote "Clarke is the finest living writer of science fiction"- well ok so it's technically wrong Clarke being dead but it's also highly misleading as the actual author of this book is this far less renowned Gentry Lee. It is also revealing that this quote is not in praise of this particular book and yet is the only quote on the cover!

This book is 90% a Mills and Boon potboilling soap-opera and 9% 1950s Flash Gordon type sci-fi. Only 1% I would suggest is worthy of Clarke and that is perhaps the sum total of his input.

To give an indication - we get to page 170 (a third part through the book) before we get to Rama. The preceding pages are all about the back story of very many unbeguiling characters- none of which is relevant to the scanty plot. It mostly reads like a boring supermarket `mum's-lit' paperback, you will want to skip through all of this.

The journey through space to Rama (distance from earth to Venus) takes less than half a page. The entry to Rama through the air-locks is barely adumbrated on another page. In other words everything you want a ACC novel to be about is excised and replaced with soap-opera type garbage. Why oh why did he team up with this TV producer cum wanabe trash-novelist?

It starts to grind forward more in the second half of the book where they explore New York a little but is still ham-strung by the drawn out murder conspiracy sub- plot (which is more like the entire plot of the book). This sub-plot is without tension - the perpetrator fully revealed early on in the book.

This perhaps is the main problem- lack of plot- There is nothing which drives the reader forward, nothing that holds you gripped. It is rather a desultory stumble through various unconnected happenings (none of them particularly interesting) and interminable character exegesis (none of which adds one iota to the interest of the wooden characters). Nothing new is revealed about the purpose of Rama; there are no interesting sci-fi ideas beyond Flash Gordon type bugaboos. This situation is unbearable in the course of 500 pages. It makes me wonder how Gentry Lee maintained his own interest in the project over what must have been a considerable writing period.

Unfortunately the next in the series `The Garden of Rama' is unbelievably even more risible. Unless you are a speed reader prepared to skip huge chunks this book and it's sequels are best avoided.
Content yourself with the original classic `Rendezvous with Rama' because Rama is one mystery you don't want cleared up by Gentry Lee.

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