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Britten: Billy Budd
Britten: Billy Budd
Price: £28.84

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Can I Say?, 18 Aug. 2003
This review is from: Britten: Billy Budd (Audio CD)
A truly astounding rendition of an amazing work. Absolutely top class performances from Keenlyside, Langridge and Tomlinson (how scary is he when he first comes in with 'Your name?'...). I cannot praise this highly enough. It is an extremely complex work (you don't need me to tell you that) but it is very lucidly performed. There doesn't seem to be a weak link in it. I just wish I'd been at the live performance. All the smaller parts are sung with great clarity and carry great conviction, while the chorus sings with immense verve. Well worth the full price.

The Last Chronicle of Barset (Penguin Classics)
The Last Chronicle of Barset (Penguin Classics)
by Anthony Trollope
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some of his finest work, 18 Aug. 2003
I am a huge Trollope fan and although I don't claim to have read them all, have read enough of them to justify my opinion of this as one of his best books.
Sometimes amusing, sometimes desperately moving, this book stands alone and must surely be one of the only works of the era to tackle clinical depression (as we would call it today) with reality, sympathy and pathos, but without sentimentality. Mr Crawley is maddeningly obstinate, gloriously courageous and in spite of his eccentric and gloomy character, retains his humanity. I find his mentality entirely credible, in spite of the fact that it is largely alien to modern society. The book is not wanting in lighter touches, but Josiah Crawley towers above the other characters.

Once on a Time (Puffin Books)
Once on a Time (Puffin Books)
by A. A. Milne
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How has this book come to be overlooked and out of print?, 30 April 2003
This is one of the most delightful books I have ever read, as a child or an adult. Milne himself said that he really wrote it for his wife and himself, but it is still very much a children's fairy tale. Set in the fictional lands of Euralia and Barodia, it concerns itself with the trouble started by the King of Barodia's flying over the Euralian King Merriwig's breakfast table, whilst trying out his new seven-league boots. And that's just the beginning: fairies, dukes, wishing rings, angelic little girls, wicked countesses, feeble princes, you name it.
The characters are utterly hilarious many of them, including the Prince who is turned into ... something humorous. I won't spoil it for you. Although I adore all Milne's other books as well, I cannot understand why I seem to be the only person who has ever read or heard of this one, why it has been so completely overshadowed by Pooh and the poetry. It's a masterpiece, although for slightly older children (I think I was eight or nine when I read it first). The pace is one of gentle adventure and the style is whimsical (though not overly so). It is a work of incredible imagination and I wish more people had read it.

The Woman in White [VHS] [1997]
The Woman in White [VHS] [1997]
Offered by rdowns33
Price: £13.98

20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, 19 July 2002
I am surprised that any of the other reviewers could drum up much enthusiasm for this adaptation. It took so many unnecessary, frankly stupid, liberties with the text and added in a lot of totally apocryphal details (pre-Raphaelite art, I love it but hardly central to the story...) while leaving out things that were crucial to the plot. Simon Callow and James Wilby were about the only redeeming features. This book is one of the finest examples of sensationalism, it doesn't need any tampering with the plot.

The Penrose Mystery (Dr. Thorndyke)
The Penrose Mystery (Dr. Thorndyke)
by R. Austin Freeman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic British Detective Fiction, 11 Jun. 2002
This is a great example of a typical Thorndyke novel. With the eccentric and facetious Penrose speaking in riddles and behaving in the most suspiciously secretive manner, his weird and wonderful collection, his rather lugubrious butler Kickweed, to say nothing of the inimitable Thorndyke and Jervis, we have some fascinating characters to enjoy. The plot is, as usual, intriguing in the scientific complexity of its deductions. Provided you admire the genre, turn of the century, restrained British gentlemanly detective plus sidekick, I think this is a very fine example. If you are a Sara Paretsky addict, leave well alone. If you prefer Sherlock Holmes, this could well be the right choice for you.

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