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SHE DEVIL INCARNATE: MYRA HINDLEY (BUS-STOP READS)
SHE DEVIL INCARNATE: MYRA HINDLEY (BUS-STOP READS)
by SYLVIA PERRINI
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.60

2.0 out of 5 stars A very skim overview, 17 Oct. 2017
There have been many books written about Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, and a handful of self-published accounts in recent years. Such is Sylvia Perrini's 'She Devil', a biography of Hindley which is aimed more at those who read on their kindle. It is also part of a series called 'Bus-Stop Reads', which sums up this 87 page work.

The problem is, Hindley was such a complex woman who no one can even begin to understand in such few pages. One such example is how the author writes about Hindley's father (and mother) who is said, by Myra, to have regularly beaten her. We only have the murderess' word for that, but the author doesn't state that she only began to speak ill of her dad when she was encouraged to write an account of her life, with parole in mind, so she really emphasised what might have occurred in her childhood for her to have been capable of such evil acts. Hindley was proven to be a liar time and time again, so we have to take what she said with a pinch of salt, but the author doesn't provide a sentence to let the reader, who doesn't know anything about the case, be aware of this, which would have been helpful.

All of the information here is already in public domain, so there is nothing new to be found whatsoever. However, for a very basic outline of the moors murders case, a shocking series of child murders in Manchester, which took place between 1963 to 1965, 'She Devil' is perfectly adequate, but Google can do the same job. The book pays tribute to the young victims by having it's first chapter dedicated to their disappearances (a nice touch I think, as it is the children we should be remembering), and what follows is a very brief look at Hindley's childhood, then Brady's, their meeting and murders, the trail, Hindley's imprisonment, and finally her death in 2002. For a much more insightful book about Hindley, and with the fairly necessary analysis about her mind and motives, I'd strongly advice you to pay a little extra for Carol Ann Lee's mammoth biography: One of Your Own: The Life and Death of Myra Hindley, which is by far the best book about these events.


The Moor Murderers.
The Moor Murderers.
by David MARCHBANKS
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars The best contemporary account of the crimes which scandalised the country, 17 Oct. 2017
This review is from: The Moor Murderers. (Paperback)
Although it's a much more widely-known and easier to locate book, I'd forget the semi-fictionalised novel 'Beyond Belief' by Emlyn Williams if you're wishing to buy a classic account of these awful crimes. The best of the contemporary accounts about the notorious moors murders case is in fact this hard-to-track-down book by David Marchbanks. If any of the six books that were written about these events deserved to be republished today, it's this one. Marchbanks' 'The Moor Murders' hit the bookshop shelves in 1966, the same year that the killers were sentenced to life imprisonment.

This comprehensive red jacketed hardback provides an excellent overview of all the facts that were known at the time, written in a very readable documentary style. It's illustrated with four two-page-at-a-time inserts of interesting black-and-white photographs, including school pictures of the depraved killers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, Hindley's rarely seen grandmother, who brought her up as her own, only for her granddaughter to turn against and bully her when Brady moved into her home, and even a copy of Brady's birth certificate. There's a few snaps of the searches on Saddleworth Moor, which would ultimately led to the police finding the bodies of poor two children, 10 year old Lesley Ann Downey, and John Kilbride who was 12. Of course, we know now that as well as these young ones, and a seventeen year old boy named Edward Evans who never made it on the moors, the twisted pair were responsible for the deaths of two more, one of whom, 12 year old Keith Bennett, has unfortunately never been found to this day. The names of Keith and 16 year old Pauline Reade are touched upon early in the book, with details regarding their disappearances, and the subsequent fruitless police searches for them.

Marchbanks, a journalist with a wealth of experience of reporting many prominent murder enquiries for the Daily Mail and Daily Express newspapers, had a good insight into the chain of events, as well as his own intimate knowledge of the places where the crimes took place, and because of this, his concise book is not only quite detailed for it's time, he also describes the settings of such evil quite beautifully. The skilled writer also took the time to explore the childhoods of and relationship between the murderous couple, supported with first-hand quotes which he acquired from a few of Hindley's old school chums, people who had known Brady as a youth, and even a rare interview with Tom Craig, the pairs' boss at work. Marchbanks concludes in the 'aftermath' chapter that Brady and Hindley could have profited medical science so we ''might understand what it is that turns individuals into cruel, remorseless killers'' - a very apt description.

Also of real interest is the police perspective throughout this insightful book, which gives a real insight into how those murderers were at the time they were brought to justice. 'The Moor Murders' covers Brady and Hindley's interrogation better than any other book I know, and includes the exact search dates on the moors taken from the official police diary and records. The man who 'shopped' Brady and Hindley, the latter's brother-in-law David Smith and his wife Maureen are also mentioned at length. David, who was certainly no angel, was the hero of this awful story, and I just wish that the people who had given him a hard time afterwards had read this factual book.

As this was published in 1966, it is a book of it's time and obviously dated now, with endless information missing due to the fact that it only subsequently came to light in the late 1980s onwards, but if your looking for a classic text on the case, 'The Moor Murders' is the one to buy. For the complete picture, I'd strongly advise investing in Carol Ann Lee's One of Your Own: The Life and Death of Myra Hindley, which was published in 2010, and is now the definitive account of this appalling case.


Ten Add Ten: The Very Best Of Scouting For Girls
Ten Add Ten: The Very Best Of Scouting For Girls
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Then and now!, 14 Oct. 2017
Four years ago, Scouting For Girls released their first greatest hits album, and now, to celebrate their tenth anniversary, we have this 'Very Best of'' collection. As the band haven't had any major hits since then (their previous studio album 'Still Thinking About You' was released in 2015 and was very good, but it's singles never charted), the track listing remains rather similar. However, the 'hits' represent only half of the album, and the remaining ten are brand new songs recorded especially for this release, hence the name 'Ten Add Ten'. Avid fans therefore need this for the new stuff, which is the same brand of uplifting and cheery indie-pop music that has made the band's name, but it has to the said, they've matured over time.

Really, this three-piece indie pop band have long since been a guilty pleasure of mine, but when I heard Scouting For Girls' first single 'She's So Lovely' for the first time, it was one of those songs are instantly annoyed the hell out of me. Thankfully, the more they released, I gathered together a good handful of songs by these guys I really did like, and although 'She's So Lovely' has since grown on me, it isn't my favourite.

From the hits, the comical 'Heartbeat', 'I Wish I Was James Bond', 'Famous' (a tongue-in-cheek and accurate look inside of the mind of instant famers and wannabe-stars), 'Elvis Ain't Dead' and 'This Ain't a Love Song' are my favourites, especially the two latter which are genuinely quite moving. As for the new stuff, the two tracks that particularly standout for me are the love song 'Butterflies', and the sweet ballad 'Superman'.

So what with have here is essentially a new studio album which begins after a recap of Scouting for Girls' biggest hits. 'Ten Add Ten' is essential for true fans, and an enjoyable listen for those won over by harmless and infectious pop music.


Shock & Awe: Live at Oxford Playhouse, 11 November ,1992
Shock & Awe: Live at Oxford Playhouse, 11 November ,1992
Price: £10.63

4.0 out of 5 stars Bill Hicks in Great Britain!, 13 Oct. 2017
Released in 2003, this performance is an abridged version of Salvation: Oxford, November 11th, 1992, a two disc set which appeared just two years later. As a die-hard fan, I know which version I favour, and this is the only reason I am rating this CD, titled 'Shock & Awe' four stars instead of five, because it is one of my favourite performances from Bill Hicks, and had the unabridged not seen the light of the day, I would be only to willing to give this the full star rating. Buyers now have the choice between two, but it depends on how much material from Bill you care to hear, so it all comes down to how much you like him, are you happy with just the standard edition, or do you want more?

Anyway, as the subtitle for this release clearly states, the performance was recorded at Oxford Playhouse in November 1992, and because he was so well loved in the UK, interestingly more than he was in the US, there is a great atmosphere throughout, with the audience clearly lapping him up with their genuine laughter. Because of where he was, Bill talks about the UK, so much more than he does on other albums. He speaks of what he sees as the relative unimportance of our crime compared to the US, especially our 'hooligans' and riots, the Labour party, and English porno videos.

A very dark comic who wasn't afraid to pepper his act with the odd 'sick' joke, Bill introduces himself with a song about one of his favourite targets George Bush, before taking us on a long and enjoyable ride through his uncompromising views on politics, war, riots, the media, hypocrisy in general, and his passion for smoking. From the first time I heard Bill share his controversial comments, I immediately took notice, and found myself doing nothing but nod my head in agreement as I sat there laughing. Although he tackles serious topics, his tongue-in-cheek comments and basic common scene spouting always puts a smile on my face, and makes me feel a little bit better. I miss him, but his legacy continues, and long may it do so.

This is an unofficial release, but an essential for fans of the late great Bill. The official version is 'Salvation', and with the amount of material added which isn't on 'Shock & Awe', it really is the best bet.


Salvation: Oxford, November 11th, 1992
Salvation: Oxford, November 11th, 1992

5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite Bill Hicks performances, 13 Oct. 2017
As Bill Hicks' career was relatively short, and came to end in 1994 following his untimely death, a lot of what he made me loved and reviled can be found several times on various albums, so if you don't want reputation, you probably only really need to buy one or two assuming you aren't really an ardent fan. Personally, I can listen to this great comic and his philosophy anytime, and even if he adds something just a little bit different to his act, or even projects them a little differently, I will always lap it up. He's my favourite comedian, so you might well consider this review very biased.

'Salvation' was recorded at Oxford Playhouse in November 1992, and was first made available, unofficially on a single CD under the title of 'Shock and Awe', but that was abridged, so you can decide which version you wish to look into depending how much Bill you want to hear. As it's also one of my favourite performances with the man on such good form, I would always go for this two disc edition, and because he was so well loved in the UK, interestingly more than he was in the US, there is a great atmosphere throughout it, with the audience absolutely lapping him up with their genuine laughter.

A very dark comic who wasn't afraid to pepper his act with the odd 'sick' joke, Bill introduces himself with a song about one of his favourite targets George Bush, before taking us on a long and enjoyable ride through his uncompromising views on politics, war, riots, the media, hypocrisy in general, and his passion for smoking. From the first time I heard Bill share his controversial comments, I immediately took notice, and found myself doing nothing but nod my head in agreement as I sat there laughing. Although he tackles serious topics, his tongue-in-cheek comments and basic common scene spouting always puts a smile on my face, and makes me feel a little bit better. I miss him, but his legacy continues.

For an entertaining history lesson on contemporary America, as well as general rip into Britain (especially what he regarded as the relative unimportance of our crime compared to the US, especially our 'hooligans' and riots), which you can't hear on just any Hicks recording, 'Salvation' provides exactly that, and one of the best Bill Hicks albums you'll ever have.


Rant In E-Minor: Variations
Rant In E-Minor: Variations
Price: £19.15

5.0 out of 5 stars An expanded edition, 13 Oct. 2017
In 2016, Comedy Dynamics greatly enhanced the 'Rant in E-Minor' album, which was released posthumously (alongside it's sister album Arizona Bay) in 1997, some three years after Bill Hicks' passed away far too soon as a victim of pancreatic cancer. The original version contained 36 tracks, but this one, now issued as a two-CD set has 51. Music was presented over some of the material on the first issue to convey atmosphere, but it has been taken out for this re-release, and it's a bonus in my opinion, not just because I prefer to hear him without the music, but because this is how he had originally performed it to the audience.

From the recently added material, I particularly enjoyed the expansions on his love for smoking, and how he took the habit up again. I loved the line, ''Cool people smoke, Bob Dylan smokes, Frank Sinatra smoked, Jimi Hendrix smokes, Michael Bolton does not smoke, Billy Ray Cyrus does not smoke, MC Hammer does not smoke -- are you seeing a pattern developing here'', far from political correct, smoking they wouldn't dare put on cigarette packets, but as we all of Bill's material, a strong element of truth. We also hear him delivering tongue-in-cheek remarks about his Australian audiences (and it's great to hear him do an Aussie accent), his own theory as to why some guys don't want children, and a lot more besides.

Nothing has been taken away that appeared on the original album, which captured him at his most dark and angry, even literally screaming at the audience in the places. He announced on the second track that this would be his final stand-up performance ('ever''), and with hindsight, perhaps he already knew that the time was near? This isn't a straightforward live album in that it was recorded at the same time and place, a complete performance, because the tracks on here are taken from various gigs over his last-ever tour.

Most of usual material that Bill became so much loved for is included on this CD (and now download), the kind of subjects that lots of people wouldn't even dare to touch upon, things like government hypocrisy, the state of the world today and it's current trends, the holes in religions, and the self-righteousness of non-smokers, but here he really lets rip and pushes it all to the limit. The joy of 'Rant in E-Minor' is the chance to hear things (and names) that aren't so familiar coming from Bill (the routine about Willie Nelson's Taco commercial gets me every time), and to say that he is compulsively listenable, I don't think would do him justice, his delivery and presentation was always as commendable as his comedy, or 'teachings' as I think of it.

These live performances were recorded between November 1992 to December 1993, and some of what he says is unapologetically ruthless and unflinching, but very entertaining, and as brutally honest as anything else he had ever done. The clue is in the name, this is a 'rant', and if you're easily offended, 'Rant in E-Minor' isn't for you. However, if you are open minded enough to listen to Bill and to do so properly, then you'll probably find yourself looking at things from a different angle, and nodding your head, whilst perhaps feeling guilty. Here was a troubled genius, and unlike any other comedian you've heard before or since.


Only Fools and Stories: From Del Boy to Granville, Pop Larkin to Frost
Only Fools and Stories: From Del Boy to Granville, Pop Larkin to Frost
by David Jason
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.00

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lifting the lid on some of TV's best-loved characters, 13 Oct. 2017
Four years ago, a real celebrity wrote his much-anticipated memoirs, Sir David Jason, who had long since been one of my favourite British actors. Just as I was beginning to tire from so-called 'stars' writing about their unremarkable lives and insignificant, flavour-of-the-month careers, along came the publication of 'David Jason: My Life', a wonderful book where we were given great insight into David the man, his early and private life, and all of it was written in a warm and witty style, which he continues here.

With his new book, 'Only Fools and Stories', you get just what the title implies, a focus on all the major, and not so well-known characters that David has played in his long and varied career as a brilliant comedy actor, and an equally good straight man. Any fan of some of TV's greatest hits will enjoy these little antidotes, which are both informative, and humorous. From his sitcom days as Ronnie Barker's sidekick Granville in 'Open All Hours', his hugely popular portrayal of the iconic wheeler-dealer Del Boy in 'Only Fools and Horses', to his much-loved roles in dramas such as the lighthearted 'The Darling Buds of May' as Pop Larkin, and the straight-talking Inspector Frost in that excellent crime series 'A Touch of Frost', the actor has reinvented himself time and time again as a completely different character quite effortlessly.

The reader is able to discover how he got all these jobs, what he really thinks about the characters, and all the little things he did in order to perfect their actions and appearances on screen. He naturally speaks about all of his wonderful co-stars as well, but most of the tales are self deprecating. There is no real chronological order to the book either, just lots of good stories which are told as if he was sitting with you in a pub and just having a chat. His intelligence shines through as well as his humour.

Beautifully written, illustrated with two inserts of good photographs, and certainly never dull, David Jason has written another cracker, which fills in the gaps about his work that was left out of his first autobiography, which was was mostly about his private life. 'Only Fools and Stories' is an ideal Christmas present for TV buffs this year.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 16, 2017 2:50 AM BST


Sausage Party [DVD] [2016]
Sausage Party [DVD] [2016]
Dvd ~ Kevin Pavlovic
Price: £5.00

3.0 out of 5 stars The trailer was better, 13 Oct. 2017
This review is from: Sausage Party [DVD] [2016] (DVD)
So, yesterday I finally got myself round to watch 'Sausage Party', the animated adult comedy which divided opinion last year. Me and my mate had the same reaction, ''the best bits were in the trailer''. This is a multi-produced affair, the work of Megan Ellison, Conrad Vernon, and Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg who also came up with the bizarre, though totally unique story, and must have had the time of their lives when planning it.

I have what you might describe as a rather 'dark' and 'twisted' sense of humour, so I did appreciate some of the constant stream of smutty jokes which are running throughout it's one and a half hour run, and the non-stop bad language, although those who don't possess such an open-minded sense of humour, will no doubt either cringe, or feel disgusted. There are some good one-liners, but it does become overload and repetitive towards the end, and the voice acting from a cast of contemporary talents such as Rogan, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill and Michael Cera was perfect for the characters.

As the story goes, the food in a grocery store are made to believe that a code will keep them happy and safe as part of an ongoing occurrence which continues once the shoppers pick them up and take them home in ''the great beyond''. Our hero is Frank (voiced by Rogan), a sausage who sets out to discover what really lies beyond the safety net, and after discovering what humans actually do to food, sets out to expose this. His girlfriend is a hot dog called Brenda (Wiig), leaving it open for many (often very predictable) innuendos, who receives unwanted sexual attention from a Mexican lesbian taco shell called Teresa (Salma Hayek). For me, the funniest moment occurs when James Franco, as the aptly-named 'Druggie', and one of the very few human characters is able to hear and communicate with the food at his home, following a drugs experiment, and comes to a very unpleasant end.

From the trailer, I believed that most of the action in the movie would take place in the kitchen after watching the movie, but there is a lot more too it than that, some of which I found unnecessary, and I think it would probably have been funnier had it all been about the rest of the food coming to the rescue of those who had been bought and were now cooking. I cant help but think this would have worked just as well, if not better had it been condensed into a 30 minute special.

I am wavering between a two or a three star here, but as there were enough laughs for me, and considering how 'different' 'Sausage Party' is to the rest of what's out there, I have decided to go for the higher star. Would I watch it again though - I highly doubt it. Parents be warned, this is NOT a kid's movie, and although there are similarities, this is not another 'Toy Story' so the 15 certificate was justified. Not a bad time-filler to watch with your buddies, and surprisingly political as well as sexual, but perhaps it's best that you've had something to drink first, that will probably enhance the experience.


Hicksville!: An Introduction To The Genius Of Bill Hicks
Hicksville!: An Introduction To The Genius Of Bill Hicks

4.0 out of 5 stars For newbies and collectors, 11 Oct. 2017
The late Bill Hicks always had an avid following in Britain, where he seemed to be even more popular than in his native America, and this UK release appeared in 1997, three years after the great man's death.

'Hicksville!' is a collector's item, a rare find these days, but the content will be familiar to anyone who already owns Bill's first four albums, because everything here has been lifted from them, with a focus on 'Rant in E-Minor', represented by five tracks. That album, released in the same year as this one, captured him at his most dark and angry, and you can really hear the genuine frustration that this troubled genius had inside of him. Listen to his intelligent and well-presented material, and you'll realise that this man was simply talking the truth, as well as making his audiences laugh, whether it be about war and politics. His thoughts on religion caused much controversy, but I for one am a Christian, and can never get enough Bill Hicks. Surprisingly, his favourite topic smoking isn't featured, but you can hear his views on it everywhere else.

As intended, the compilation does indeed provide newbies with ''An Introduction to the Genius of Bill Hicks'', as well as die-hard fans with a neat collectable, which is housed in a slimline CD case with a great picture on the front cover, and a montage of cool photos on the back of him performing his Elvis routine. Another one for the collection and, as always - Viva Hicks!


The Vicar of Dibley The Great Big Companion to Dibley
The Vicar of Dibley The Great Big Companion to Dibley
by Richard Curtis
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely little book which captures the joy of the television series, 11 Oct. 2017
If you're a fan of 'The Vicar Of Dibley', the hit BBC sitcom that I shamelessly binged on just under ten years ago, this official companion is a great little souvenir. It isn't a publication which tells the history of the series or reveals any behind-the-scenes information, but a fun-packed book that will set any devotee into fits of giggles with it's varied content.

Here you'll find the complete scripts of 14 of the best episodes, originally broadcast between 1994 to 2000, and reading these at your own pace is likely to make you grab your box sets or head straight online to watch them over again. There is also lots of exclusive material in the shape of notes, drawings and scribbles which really fits in with, and captures the humour of the series, so you do need to be familiar with the residents of Dibley prior to buying 'The Great Big Companion to Dibley', written by the show's writers Richard Curtis and Paul Mayhew-Archer. It's a small book, designed to look like a bible, but the content is ample, with inserts of photographs from the show, including some brilliantly publicity shots.

With great attention to detail in all eras, this is a great read for fans who still pine for new episodes with Dawn French as the man-eating, chocolate-loving vicar with a heart of gold, although with the sad death of the great Roger Lloyd-Pack who starred as the wonderfully eccentric farmer Owen in 2014, another series really does seem highly unlikely now. As this is still, surprisingly the only book about 'The Vicar of Dibley' that has been ever been written, it is of even greater value, but I hope that one day we will have an entire behind-the-scenes account to inform us of the making of it.


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