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Jenny (England)

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The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion
The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion
by Robert Spencer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.88

47 of 131 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hardly suitable as an authoritive source, 17 Mar. 2008
It would seem that Robert Spencer has an axe to grind, and he does it so well, you can see the axe cuts on the pages. Spencer is a well known critic of Islam, and he takes it to extraordinary extremes. Is Spencer a Christian fundamentalist I wonder? As Karen Armstrong has said about this book, he deliberately manipulates the evidence. It lacks clarity of research, and is a classic case of twisting the sources to support your own view.

Alas, Mr Spencer seems only interested in conflating assumptions with his own prejudices, at the expense of good research. If you start out with the proposition that what you are studying is negative, then you will find ways to support that hypothesis. I would have preferred balance and objectivity to a personal vendetta and paranoia. As with many people that share Mr Spencer's views, bias and quoting out of context seems to be the norm here. Muhammed's time, it would seem to be obvious, is not our time.

As an historical study, it lacks insight and a knowledge of historical research. As a damming indictment of some of the most controversial sources in Islam, it works well enough, although one has the nagging feeling that the whole truth isn't being given here, rather like listening to a used car salesman's pitch.

I literally can't find anything good to say about this, even the subtitle gives away the fact that the contents are going to be very unbalanced and contentious, it would seem to be aimed squarely at the tabloid readership that laps up anything it can't understand without soundbites.

A very poor study and an even poorer read.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 21, 2013 8:28 PM GMT

Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West
Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West
by Dee Alexander Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth and historical fact, painful and compelling, 28 July 2007
I'm quite an emotional person, but this book angered me and hurt me in equal measure throughout, so much so, that its probably the most emotional account of historical significance I have ever read. I have cried throughout.

I first came across the book in 1982, when a science teacher of mine brought it into class after an American holiday. He smuggled it out of the States, he claimed, and its story touched me then. I didn't read much then, but now I have my own copy, it touches me more deeply than I could ever have imagined. Its a difficult and upsetting read.

Genocide, or attempted genocide is something civilised people simply do not do. But what Dee Brown captures in all too few words is genocide on a brutally wide scale, by a supposedly civilised nation. Its possibly more shocking than the treatment of black people in pioneer America.

The stories are heart rending and made me feel ashamed to be descended from the kinds of people that make this book so shocking.

I once saw a series on the televison called How The West Was Lost, and this book explains in graphic detail what that series shied away from. Here are the well known names from American Indian history, but also names not so well known. Long forgotten by outsiders, they crop again and again to remind the reader that the so-called Indian Wars were not simply personalities matched against each other, but horrificly planned exterminations.

It is said that history is written by those who hang heroes, Dee Brown has written a history of the hanged.

Outlaw [DVD]
Outlaw [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sean Bean
Price: £0.99

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Appalling, 28 July 2007
This review is from: Outlaw [DVD] (DVD)
This film should never have been released. From Wilfred Bramble's, sorry, Sean Bean's unconvincing gritty whiskers to Danny Dyers terrible haircut, the film looked bad from start to finish.

Maybe it was because I watched it at 2am, but I couldn't figure anything out. From the off, Sean Bean returns from war and finds his missus in cahoots with someone else... then goes off to kill criminals. Sorry, but could you explain that to me?

The plot is confused and carreens around the action, out of control. Leaping from one set-piece to another, it never fully explains itself. Danny Dyers dream sequence is so a rip off of Nick Love's best film to date, The Football Factory, that one has to believe he cobbled this together to make money on the back of his other films.

As a gangster film, it fails miserably, as an ode to street violence, it fails miserably, as a quality piece of cinema it fails miserably. Even the venerable Bob Hoskins couldn't lift this rubbish from the mire for me, and he can make just about anything respectable!

If you're a fan of any of the actors involved, or the director, you will be heavily disappointed by this outing. Sean Bean's worst role since his extraneous and unnecessary casting in Silent Hill. Why does he accept these roles?

Plastic gangsters, plastic vigilantes, plastic perfomances. If you want a good "street" film, then look elsewhere, this is not it.

Dog Soldiers [DVD] [2002]
Dog Soldiers [DVD] [2002]
Dvd ~ Sean Pertwee
Price: £3.00

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Laughable and watchable, but oh so bad, 28 July 2007
This review is from: Dog Soldiers [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Like other reviewers I have to give this film a positive rating. Its so bad. The basic premise, the worst trained bunch of British squaddies ever to enlighten the silver screen, facing a plethora of hairy men in the Scottish Highlands, seems plausible enough. They are after all, remote and wild. But the actual scenes are simply laughable. Supergluing a stomach together?

The "hardness" of one squaddie, taking on a werewolf with some great right hooks, then with the kitchen crockery is NOT classic horror, but it is enjoyably spirited.

I got the feeling that director Neil Marshall wnate to recreate a uniquely British version of Southern Comfort, and to be fair, he almost succeeded.

But the god awful tactics of the soldiers would make any military type cringe (I am ex military myself). Right from the off, the soldiers break almost every rule in the book, so it is hardly surprising that they become werewolf fodder.

The first appearances of the werewolves, as shadowy figures in the trees, should have been accompanied by Benny Hill type chase music. I thought at first they were cardboard cutouts! When they enter more fully into the action, things don't get much better. How else could one young squaddie have the time to try and give one a good thrashing with his bare hands?

There was a suitably surprising plot twist, involving the only woman in the film which I have to admit I didn't see coming, but overall, the plot ripped its way through the film with a comedic ease.

If you want serious horror, forget it. If you want a laugh and the worst gore I've witnessed since the first time I saw Evil Dead, then you could do a lot worse.

The Boys from the Mersey: The Story of Liverpool's Annie Road End Crew Football's First Clobbered-up Mob
The Boys from the Mersey: The Story of Liverpool's Annie Road End Crew Football's First Clobbered-up Mob
by Nicholas Allt
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE funniest hoolie book published to date, 26 July 2007
This book had me in stitches. Apart from the Hillsborough pages, which were written in anger it seems, and understanably so. The violence itself is very low key compared to other so-called hoolie books, and the stories are the kind you hear down the pub from an older fan (no insult Nick mate).

The "shopping" trips to Europe fill the pages with something bordering on surrealism, to the non-initiated, and the incredible humour is more Stan Boardman than Stan Collymore.

I remember the 78 European Cup Final, I was there, and the memories this book has evoked are almost all good ones. Another international however was different. The tale of the near gang rape by Scotland fans left me cold, as I recall the high spirits and generosity of the Jocks I met that day.

If you are sick of the "we beat them here and we beat them there" type hoolie books, take a break, read this. It truly is hilarious and only a Scouser could get away with telling the tales that Nick Allt has done here without any seeming problems. Its a real gem amongst footy books.

The On Our Backs Guide to Lesbian Sex
The On Our Backs Guide to Lesbian Sex
by Diana Cage
Edition: Paperback

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Shock, smile, let's read some more!, 23 Jan. 2006
I opened this not kowing what I would find. The first pages I looked at mentioned "handballing" and I immediately shut the book. As a feminist it took me a little while to get into what they were talking about here. Luckily, I'm a liberal.
There is a definate focus on butch/femme relationships which gives the book a slightly subversive feel, and the interviews are very welcome. It was nice to see some trans inclusion with an interview with the lovely Kate Bornstein, and with Les Feinberg, who I admire greatly.
Practially the book gives you what you want. It is down and dirty when it comes to advice and doesn't shirk from being explicit. It isn't for the fainthearted.
The inclusion of topics covering everything from kissing to BDSM means you get a wide spread of enjoyable practices that are clearly explained and encouraged.
Throughout the book, our sexuality is posited as powerful and demanding, not in a way that men have constructed, which is usual in most sex manuals, but here it is owned completely by women.
My girlfriend and I have only begun to explore what it can do for us, and it looks like it's going to be a regular read from now on.

70 People at 7000 Feet
70 People at 7000 Feet
Price: £24.90

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic and gritty, 30 Aug. 2005
This review is from: 70 People at 7000 Feet (Audio CD)
As always, Melissa serves up a whopper of a show with this raw and intimate offering played to an invited audience in Flagstaff, Arizona. Brian Winton is at his best and you can feel his beat in your belly as the album thunders through the speakers. 'Freedom' is without doubt, my highlight of the CD, and a very personal song. 'Everything I Need' is a close second, if you're a woman with a strong independent streak, this one's for you.
The addition of 'Drive' is welcome here, but it doesn't have the same groovy feel that the studio version has.
Overall it's a stonking album by a fantastic musician, and for my money, better than 'Faster, Skinnier' which whilst good, doesn't have the same gritty and latent political feel this album does.
Melissa is sadly unknown in the UK, and deserves a far wider audience than she has. Technically brilliant, emotionally powerful, with that quirky sense of humour that Americans are so good at, she is, for me, the best of the best and ranks right up there with Janis Joplin and Joni Mitchell. If you only ever buy one Melissa Ferrick album, make it this one.

Gender And Ageing: Changing Roles And Relationships: Changing Roles and Relationships (Ageing & Later Life)
Gender And Ageing: Changing Roles And Relationships: Changing Roles and Relationships (Ageing & Later Life)
by Sara Arber; Davidson; Ginn
Edition: Paperback
Price: £22.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting theoretically, but practically at a loss, 30 Aug. 2005
Whilst theoretically interesting and, as stated, of much use to students in the fields of social policy and research, this book left me a little cold. The most interesting aspect was it's treatment of declining masculinity in male elders, which is an undervalued area of concern to many. But it is treated in such a way as to make little effect on the feelings one has about aging and gender roles.
As a community carer (at the sharp end one might say) I was surprised at the lack of focus on the clients understandings in the book, and the facilitation of support and advocacy for elders subjected to neutrally gendered situations, especially elder men, is left wanting.
On the whole it is a fascinating if rather too academic work to be used as a reference in the field. For students, as stressed in the blurb, however it should prove a fairly useful tool, if a little misleading about the realities of the subject, and with not enough emphasis placed on direct experience of aging.

SuSE Linux 9.0 Professional (new version SUSE Linux 9.1 Pro asin: B0000CGTV9)
SuSE Linux 9.0 Professional (new version SUSE Linux 9.1 Pro asin: B0000CGTV9)

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We ARE having fun yet, 10 Feb. 2004
I last toyed with SuSE a few years ago, SuSE 2.0; things have changed dramatically. Setup is not only quick, it's pain free, and jenny-proof. I was expecting to have to do a little work myself, but the only exercise I got was changing the installation CD's and clicking the mouse! It really is that simple.
Hardware support is, of course, a bone of contention, and my Proview LCD monitor and HP PSC 2115 are not supported, but the almost instaneous network setup done by YAST means I can use the Epson printer on the Windoze XP machine downstairs. With this in mind (XP interconnectivity,) I still needed access to XP folders on NTFS partitions, and I got this with SuSE (unlike Redhat.) The monitor issue is still unresolved (when I've got time) but the generic definitions work fine anyway.
I'm completely impressed. The 600 page Admin Guide is a godsend, though the usefullness of the Users Guide during setup is questionable. Why? YAST is so simple, you don't need a users guide during setup!
All in all, impressed, and yes, having fun! I won't be going back to Windoze. And to whoever at SuSE, thanks for the Gecko sticker included, still don't know what to do with it though...

Guitar For Dummies
Guitar For Dummies
by Mark Phillips
Edition: Paperback

114 of 117 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A concise and fun way to learn all the guitar stuff you need, 2 Feb. 2004
This review is from: Guitar For Dummies (Paperback)
As with all the "Dummies" books, this one is simple and clear, giving detailed how-to information in plain-speak, with a large dash of humour. I hadn't picked up a guitar in anger in over twenty years, and this book instantly enabled me to get to grips with the essentials quickly once again. The suggested songs for playing practice, whilst corny in the extreme at first (Kumbaya??) give technique skills valuable exercise, without being too complicated for the absolute beginner.
The added bonus of the audio CD was most welcome, all the songs in the book being played correctly is a major boost to the learning curve, and the tuning track is a welcome relief.
Overall, you want to learn guitar but can't afford all those lessons? Buy this book.

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