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Carhartt Clip Chrome Belt, Brown (Hamilton Brown), One Size
Carhartt Clip Chrome Belt, Brown (Hamilton Brown), One Size

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Hamilton brown' is just... brown!, 29 Jan. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
While I've not had the same problems the other reviewer had, nor with previous Carhartt belts I've worn, the one issue I do have is the colour of the 'Hamilton Brown' belt, which is a lot different from how it appears on screen - it looks dark yellow on screen, in reality it's just - brown! I wanted the dark yellow colour but will have to stick with the brown one. Otherwise, a good quality belt that I'll cut down to size to fit me better. The clasp is very stiff at the moment, though.


15 Storeys High : Complete BBC Series 1 & 2 [DVD]
15 Storeys High : Complete BBC Series 1 & 2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sean Lock
Price: £5.00

2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly Dull, 1 Nov. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought '15 Storeys' on the back of strong reviews on Amazon and being a fan of Sean Lock's on panel shows, but I have to say it's a disappointingly dull comedy.

The first series is low-budget and low on laughs; each episode feels like a pilot; the characterisation is poor and jokes fall flat. The conceit of him being a lifeguard is neither convincing nor funny; Benedict Wong as his flatmate is just all wrong. There are some good, slightly surreal moments which hint at what Sean Lock's capable of, but the ideas mostly feel half-baked.

The second series picks up a bit but is still too slow and dull - the 'two blokes in a flat' situation has been done a 1,000 times better, funnier, and more relevantly to the modern world by Peep Show.

I just felt let down because I expected more. I'm sure Sean Lock's capable of better and I hope he comes back in another TV sitcom, but after struggling through both series, I won't be watching them again.


Swithering
Swithering
by Robin Robertson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 21 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Swithering (Paperback)
His best book and a deserving winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection in 2006.

If you enjoyed the more high-profile 'The Wrecking Light', then you'll love this, which is written in a very similar vein, on similar subjects - a Ted Hughes-like approach to nature; relationships and family; characters from life - but pound-for-pound contains better poems: 'The Park Drunk', 'Swimming in the Woods', 'What the Horses See at Night', 'Donegal'... too many to mention.

It's also worth listening to Robertson read from his poems on the Poetry Archive to hear his granite-edged Scottish burr; it really brings the poems alive and gives a great sense of how to read his exclusively (?) free verse lines.

A brilliant book from a brilliant contemporary poet.


Selected Poems 1963 - 2003
Selected Poems 1963 - 2003
by Charles Simic
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, but deserves better, 8 Mar. 2011
The poetry deserves five stars because it is incredible - darkly humorous, absurd, brilliantly visual and creative, slightly surreal... and very readable.

Most of his poems have familiar domestic settings and characters, but nothing is what it seems in Simic's world. His experience of war and dictatorship brings darker shades to his poems, which lurk in the shadows of the page, but he never bashes the reader over the head with political didacticisms.

Simic is one of the more outstanding contemporary poets in the world and deserves greater recognition as one the better writers - in whatever genre - currently publishing. This book is a great introduction to his poetry.

I have deducted a star because of Faber's crazy decision to limit this book to only 176 pages (even fewer - only 160 pages - in the 1963-2003 edition). Simic has written a lot more of consistently high quality and I think he deserves better treatment. Lesser poets have bigger 'Selected' volumes published by Faber. I hope they improve this in future, as at present they are cheating the reader.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 1, 2014 8:17 AM BST


Rain
Rain
by Don Paterson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional, 14 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Rain (Paperback)
Winner of the 2009 Forward Prize, 'Rain' is an emotional and philosophical collection of beautifully written poems. If anyone trots out those ill-informed would-be put-downs about how modern poetry is obscure or 'doesn't rhyme' show them this - it is neither of those yet is a firmly contemporary book of poetry.

Paterson has a masterful handling of form which never feels intrusive and always enhances the content of the poems, from the light-hearted opener in rhymed couplets ('Two Trees') to the darkly insistent 'The Lie' - five quatrains rhyming AABA and a concluding couplet BA. (You try it!) And then there's the techno geek-speak love poem 'Song for Natalie "Tusja" Beridze' with its ridiculously long lines, held together by equally ridiculous rhymes (eg. 'Nobuzaku Takemura' with 'harmonic bravura', and 'buggy or virusy' with 'software piracy'). It's a joy to read just to see what he's going to come up with next.

But there is also great emotional weight - the end of a love affair; poems about his son; and most impressively, the fittingly brilliant sequence 'Phantom' in memory of his friend, the late poet Michael Donaghy.

An exceptional collection... and probably the best released so far this century.


Rain
Rain
by Don Paterson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional, 14 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Rain (Hardcover)
Winner of the 2009 Forward Prize, 'Rain' is an emotional and philosophical collection of beautifully written poems. If anyone trots out those ill-informed would-be put-downs about how modern poetry is obscure or 'doesn't rhyme' show them this - it is neither of those yet is a firmly contemporary book of poetry.

Paterson has a masterful handling of form which never feels intrusive and always enhances the content of the poems, from the light-hearted opener in rhymed couplets ('Two Trees') to the darkly insistent 'The Lie' - five quatrains rhyming AABA and a concluding couplet BA. (You try it!) And then there's the techno geek-speak love poem 'Song for Natalie "Tusja" Beridze' with its ridiculously long lines, held together by equally ridiculous rhymes (eg. 'Nobuzaku Takemura' with 'harmonic bravura', and 'buggy or virusy' with 'software piracy'). It's a joy to read just to see what he's going to come up with next.

But there is also great emotional weight - the end of a love affair; poems about his son; and most impressively, the fittingly brilliant sequence 'Phantom' in memory of his friend, the late poet Michael Donaghy.

An exceptional collection... and probably the best released so far this century.


Seeing Stars
Seeing Stars
by Simon Armitage
Edition: Hardcover

12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Seeing double..., 14 May 2010
This review is from: Seeing Stars (Hardcover)
'Seeing Stars' marks something of a departure from Armitage's other poetry, in fact, from poetry itself, as the vast majority of the pieces here are flash fiction stories.

They are entertainingly bizarre and full of pop culture, sport and political figures - characters called James Cameron, an artist called Damien, Manic Street Preachers, Ricky Wilson, Richard Dawkins and his friend Terry (one for the literary brigade there), lots of famous Dennis's, and a poet called Simon Armitage all feature. Many of the pieces have darker socio-political undertones, which has always been a feature of SA's poetry.

The problem is that it all gets a bit repetitive. One of poetry's great strengths is its variety: that it can thunder along in rhymed couplets, then float about in free verse, be intensely claustrophobic in a haiku and so on, all within one collection. If he's making a point by flattening out poetry into prose, it comes at the expense of reading enjoyment. It's like buying a box of Quality Street only to find it full of the green triangles - nice enough, but not really what you want.

And for someone so heavily immersed in pop culture ('Travelling Songs' aside) it's always surprised me that he doesn't have more 'hit single' poems and employ greater use of form and metre; Don Paterson and others have proved this is still possible to do successfully in this form-phobic day and age.

Read SA's friend and fellow poet Glyn Maxwell's 'Hide Now' if you're after more in the way of poetic invention and versatility.

I look forward to Armitage's next novel - maybe there will be some poems in it.


The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (Oxford Companions)
The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (Oxford Companions)
by Stanley Wells
Edition: Paperback

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An indispensable guide, 6 Jan. 2010
I cannot rate this book highly enough. Every Shakespeare play is outlined Act by Act, Scene by Scene in a concise, easy-to-understand format that means I now cannot watch a Shakespeare play without this and a good version of the text in front of me. For that alone, this book is well worth buying.

There is a lot of other information in here, but - by its very nature - it does not go into as much detail as other studies. However, as it is co-edited by Stanley Wells, one of the leading contemporary Shakespeare scholars, it's all of a very high standard.

I'm sure I paid more for my copy than the current price (as of Jan 2010) - it now seems an absolute bargain. It is a big book, but then, it is on Shakespeare.

If you're studying Shakespeare's plays academically, or just for pleasure, this book is absolutely essential if you want to understand every line.


How to Read a Poem
How to Read a Poem
by Terry Eagleton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.50

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye-opening and Enjoyable, 25 Jun. 2009
This review is from: How to Read a Poem (Paperback)
A very enjoyable, persuasive and eye-opening book, which has changed the way I read poems for the better. While it's not a book for absolute beginners, neither is it for academics only. If you enjoy reading poetry but feel unsure how to pinpoint exactly what you like or dislike, this is the guide for you. Written in a witty, 'intelligently conversational' style, Eagleton covers all aspects of what is being said in a poem and the way in which it is being said, and reminds us to be alert to all technical aspects a poet can employ.

As a political literary theorist, Eagleton defends other theorists from claims they have made analysing poetry wilfully impenetrable, picking out useful insights for discussion - yes, even 'The Semiotics of Yury Lotman' - in the context of showing the general considerations all theorists and readers alike need to be aware of when reading poetry.

I would say if you want to know more about the basics of iambic pentameter or other types of feet and metre, then perhaps a book like Stephen Fry's 'The Ode less Travelled' is more suitable, or as a complementary guide.

Generally, I would have liked more examples - I presume the book was kept relatively short so as not to be too off-putting - but that said, I certainly felt the examples given were clear and illuminated well the point being made. Indispensable.


The Poetry Handbook
The Poetry Handbook
by John Lennard
Edition: Paperback
Price: £22.50

30 of 38 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More is less, 11 May 2009
This review is from: The Poetry Handbook (Paperback)
While this book is undeniably comprehensive, it is over-written and the author's voice is very intrusive and off-putting. The sub-chapters are not broken down into easy-to-use sections (I wanted to find out more about free verse and was left wading through pages of indulgent waffle); and for a book which claims to have been written as a 'crib' for students, I won't be using it as a reference book in future with any relish.

For beginners to intermediates, I would recommend Stephen Fry's excellent, witty 'The Ode less Travelled' which is much more accessible and enjoyable to read, and makes writing your own poetry pleasantly challenging. It's also much cheaper.

Terry Eagleton's 'How to read a Poem' is aimed at a similar, academic market to 'The Poetry Handbook' and I found that book far preferable and more persuasive, although admittedly not as thorough.

Overall, I was very disappointed with this book, particularly as I'd come to expect more from Oxford. If you have to read it, then good luck: if you don't, shop around first.


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