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Stev White (Cambridge, England)

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Motorola V220 - O2 Pay As You Go Mobile Phone - Black
Motorola V220 - O2 Pay As You Go Mobile Phone - Black

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A loyal friend, 23 April 2007
The V220 is a durable little phone, it's very small, compact and light weight, the screen is tiny and the camera is pretty bad, but you pay money for a phone, not a camera. If you don't want to spend too much money and want a phone that will last for a long time then buy this phone, if you want something with a lot of fantastic features buy something else, but as far as value goes this is truly fantastic.

The best feature of this phone it must be said is the game 'hungry fish' which is on it, it's thoroughly addictive and awesome.


The Spanish Tragedy: Thomas Kyd (Revels Student Editions)
The Spanish Tragedy: Thomas Kyd (Revels Student Editions)
by Thomas Kyd
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Alright but not an uber classic, yeah?, 2 April 2007
I read this because I heard that it was a pretty influencial book in terms of the great tragedies that were written after it by the likes of Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe. This is no where near as good as anything either of those two produced though.

The plot is this: Horatio is murdered by Lorenzo and Prince Balthazar so that Balthazar is clear to marry the woman that Horacio loves, Bel-Imperia. Hieronimo, father of Horatio is understandably upset at these events, and swears revenge upon the two murderers. This he eventually achieves, and in the age old tragic tradition almost every character ends up dead by the final scene.

The plot is decent enough, but for me it's all rather crude. With the exception of Hieronimo, none of the characters are really developed, and the language seems rather flat and even clumsy at times. If you read this and then any Shakespeare it would make you appreciate just how beautiful the poetry of Shakespeares writing is, and also how life like his characters are when compared to those of Kyd.

All in all I can't strongly recommend this to you, it's alright and it's entertaining enough, you probably wont hate it, but there are lot better plays from the time you can be reading, like King Lear or Dr Faustus, this is average, nothing more.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 30, 2012 10:29 AM BST


Troy (2-Disc Widescreen Edition) [DVD] [2004]
Troy (2-Disc Widescreen Edition) [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Brad Pitt
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £0.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as bad as I expected, 1 April 2007
I expected this to be you're standard high budget, over the top Hollywood rubbishathon. But it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be.

To summarise the plot briefly for you, Helen of Sparta runs away from her husband Menelaus, fleeing to Troy with Paris. As a result of her treachery, Menelaus enlists the help of his mighty brother, Agamamnon, to take Greece to war with the Trojans. They promptly sail over ot Troy with the largest army the world had ever seen. When they arrive, Agamemnon has to deal with the temperamental yet powerful warrior Achilles, who is the greatest fighter the Greeks have, but dislies Agamemnon so much he refuses to figh for him. It is ultimately the fact that Hector, the Trojans best fighter, kills Achilles' cousin in battle that spurs him back into action. There are a series of wonderful battle scenes throughout this and it all culminates with the infamous trojan horse and the sacking of Troy.

The film sticks surprisingly closely to the plot of Homer's epic poem the 'Iliad', on which the movie is based. I still have a series of, some would say 'minor' objections to it though.

First of all the trojan war was supposed to be 10 years long, 'the Iliad' occurs in the tenth year, this film has the trojan war last about two weeks. Secondly Agamemnon shouldn't die in the war, the fact they have him die is just a complete sell out as far as I can see, the Hollywood convenient ending, he's supposed to return home victorious and be murdered by his wife in the bath.

Away from what I don't agree with in the plot, Brad Pitt, who plays Achilles, is incredibly wooden I feel, and doesn't fit into the roll at all. Orlando Bloom, who I am not a fan of, turns in a decent performance as Paris, but it is the other actors who really excel and make this film a four star show. Eric Banner as Hector is wonderful, and the British contingent all put in a fantastic show, Brian Cox as Agamemnon gives for me the best performace, Sean Bean as Odysseus is as brilliant as ever, and Peter O'Toole is a welcome addition to the cast too as King Priam of Troy.

To go along with this string of top class performances, the action is intense too, the battle scense are rightly heralded as perhaps the best ever seen on the big screen and well worth watching. The setting are also fantastic, and in short is a film that looks wonderful throughout.

Troy is an enjoyable watch, the action is great and the acting is largely of a high calibre, sadly a couple of changes to the plot I don't agree with and the lack lustre showing from Bradd Pitt in the lead roll let this film slip from a five star affair to a four star one.

These are only slight faults in the film and I still highly recommend it as well worth a watch.


Utopia (Penguin Classics)
Utopia (Penguin Classics)
by Sir Thomas More
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking wonderment, 30 Mar. 2007
Sir Thomas More's Utopia is a hugely ambiguous, evocative and thought provoking book. It relays a conversation between Thomas More and Raphael Hythloday, who tells the story of a kingdom he has recently spent a number of years living in, Utopia. Raphael gives the details of this nation, a natiion where everyone is equal, where they all wear the same clothes, there is no money, everyone works for the good of the nation, everyone gets the same education, and so on, in short a perfect communist society.

However, even though Raphael Hythloday says throughout that there is no better system of government in the world than the Utopian way, the book in no way makes it apparent the author feels this, the charachter Thomas More in the book is sceptical of some of the Utopian ideals, and we are left ourselves to decide, and even though it is a utopia filled by equality, the image of the nation is quite a creepy one, everyone looks the same, all of the cities are identical, people are only allowed to visit other cities with a special permit and even when they are in other cities they still have to work. Criminals are forced into slavery rather than imprisoned, but even the "free" citizens appear to be slaves to an extent.

A critique of English Tudor government, of the role of the monarchs privy council and the running of England is also offered in book which is quite interesting. But this book will make you think about government and the ideals of a perfect society, and how in the end, the utopian ideal is flawed.

Wonderful book, read it.


A Clockwork Orange (Penguin Modern Classics)
A Clockwork Orange (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Anthony Burgess
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bizzare but wonderful, 10 Oct. 2006
A clockwork orange is in a word: disturbing.

The novel follows a short amount of time in the life of our fifteen year old narrator, Alex. Alex is the leader of a gang in a distopian future, where gangs like his oversee a reign of terror on the streets which the police force is not large enough or powerful enough to control.

During the novel, we see Alex beat up a number of people, including ripping an innocent man's teeth out, we see him steal, we see him lead a gang rape on a woman and we see him murder an old lady in her home, all from his persepctive. He is eventually arrested and put in prison, where he kills again and is put through a rigorous, experimental proccess to 'cure' him of the badness in him.

As you might expect from this little synopsis, it is a very disturbing read, especially when you consider the character committing all these atrocities is only fifteen years old. However, the fact that the story is told from Alex's view is one of the most intersting parts of this book, as first of all you'll notice he speaks in a futuristic slang, which at first is rather confusing but eventually becomes pretty easy to understand as you work out what word means what, and the language should by no means put you off buying it, indeed it should be one of the main reasons for you buying it. But also intersting is how Alex speaks in such a way of his activities as to make them sound sort of incidental, and play them down, and also when he has been arrested and feels he is being mistreated, it is written in a way as to make us feel sorry for him even though we know we shouldn't because he is a serial criminal.

The image painted of the future by Burgess is a highly disturbing one and does really make you think. The most powerful concept he raises is how far we're willing to go to enforce law and make people 'good,' and whether or not it is right to remove the choice involved in being good or bad, and how much of an infringement on a humans rights it is, no matter how bad a person they are.

Overall, it is a highly evocative, thought provoking and imaginitive piece of literature, the book is written like nothing I have ever read before and is a piece of wonderful innovation, the image of the future Burgess paints is disturbing, but fascinating at the same time, the same can be said of our 'hero' Alex, and also the issues raised are ones that are still relevant today and will truly make you think. I urge you not to be put off by the bizzare writing, which at first glance my look complex, but once you get the hang of it, it makes perfect sense and adds greatly to the book. I highly recommend this as a brilliant, innovative work of genius.


Collected Poems 1909-62
Collected Poems 1909-62
by T.S. Eliot
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is there a better modernist poet? No, 17 May 2006
The word genius is over used, but T.S. Eliot was definitely a genius, this is amply reflected in his poetry. Eliot was and still is the dominant figure in modernist poetry, his complicated poetic structure would I'm sure make this a nightmare to analyse if studied, but at the same time is also wonderful to read. It was poets like Eliot showing the world that you didn't need tight, rigid structures and rhymes to create great poetry, indeed try reading some of the poetry out loud, it's beautiful to just listen to. Many will find most of the joy of Eliot's poetry in how wonderful it sounds, and how brilliantly crafted it is, as the meaning of most of the poems will be buried under so many obscure references to things that it will make it impossible to work some of them out.

'The Waste Land' is the most famous Eliot poem, and understandably so, in my opinion, the book is worth buying for this poem alone. 'The Waste Land' is divided into five parts and contains some wonderful, thought provoking imagery throughout, whilst at the same time being flooded with references to obscure pieces of literature from throughout the ages. You will need to buy a set of notes if you want to understand all of the references, but the sense of satisfaction you get from recognising something Eliot is referring to is immense, and you have to read it through first time unaided. (I got a couple of the Hamlet references, that was about it.)The poem is wonderfully crafted and a joy to read, and an even greater joy if you understand it.

But he was by no means a one-poem-wonder, I would highlight 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' as being the pick of the rest of the poems, along with 'The Four Quartets,' a four part poem that is absolutely wonderful.

This is to take nothing away for any of the other poems, this edition contains them all and is well worth the money. If you like poetry, and you want to read something that isn't rigidly written, that conatins some wonderful imagery and really makes you think, then buy this now, you wont regret it.


Songs of Innocence and of Experience
Songs of Innocence and of Experience
by William Blake
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars William Blake? Yeah, he's pretty great, 14 May 2006
William Blake is one of the most influencial poets in history, and would make my list of top five poets ever any day of the week. 'Songs of Innocence and Experience' is his most famous and highly regarded set of poems, and rightly so too. 'Innocence and Experience' is unique in so far as there are a lot of poems with duplicate titles, but both poems will be from a completely different viewpoint, a different time in life; the poems from 'Innocence' will often reflect happiness and optimism etc, whereas the counterpart 'Expreience' poem will refelct completely the opposite, this allows Blake of course to make rather poignant comments on the corruption of innocence, as well as a lot of rather biting observations on 17th century society and in particular on the concept of organised religion, as whilst Blake himself was, and evidently from many of his poems is, a very religious man, but often makes clear statements out against the oppressiveness of the church. I would say the best poem for illustrating this is 'The Garden of Love,' which I consider one of his best poems. I would also draw attention the the 'experience' version of 'Little Boy Lost', which is as far as I'm concerned, the most powerful poem of all the one's in the collection.

But unlike someone like Milton, Blake's poetry is accessible to everyone, his style is by no means complex, and 'Songs of Innocence and Experience' is something that just about anyone can enjoy and at least get a feel for what the writer is trying to do. I urge you to buy this now.


The Scarlet Letter (Penguin Popular Classics)
The Scarlet Letter (Penguin Popular Classics)
by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Edition: Paperback

12 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Um... Plot please?, 14 May 2006
I read this book as part of my background reading on the Gothic for my A level exams, and it left me asking two questions when I'd finished, first, how is this even slightly Gothic? and second, where was the plot?

The novel centres on our heroine, Hester Prynne, living in Puritanical 17th century New England, and how she has to live with the embarassment of having to forever wear a red 'A' on her dress, for having committed adultery... that's about it actually. There are a series of other characters who pop up occassionally and serve no apparent function to the 'plot', and furthermore, our heroine Hester doesn't do anything. The language does little to entertain the reader either, being written as it is in a rather dull, uninteresting way.

The Scarlet Letter is possibly the most uneventful, boring book I have ever read, and urge you to avoid it, unless you have trouble sleeping or enjoy looking over novels without actually reading them. Avoid.


Northanger Abbey (Penguin Popular Classics)
Northanger Abbey (Penguin Popular Classics)
by Jane Austen
Edition: Paperback

7 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not very exciting, but not awful, 19 April 2006
After 'Persuasion', I didn't want to ever read another Jane Austen book, but I did, and it isn't as bad as I thought it would be.

The plot essentially follows the exploits of Catherine Morland during her time in Bath and then with the Tilney family at Northanger Abbey. There is during the course of this a will they - wont they type of romance between Catherine and Mr Tilney, and the inevitable social commentary from Austen on issues of love and marriage etc.

There is nothing in the book to ever get you really thrilled or captivated, but it is quite a nice book, and an easy read, it is also rather dry and amusing in places, and bits that are prodding fun at the Gothic genre are actually quite cleverly written. I wanted to come on here an proclaim this to be Borethanger Abbey, but sadly, whilst it's not very exciting, I can't say too much against it, it's a nice easy read, and you probably wont hate it.


The Monk (Dover Thrift Editions)
The Monk (Dover Thrift Editions)
by Matthew Gregory Lewis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £2.99

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sick and Disturbing...but Great!, 3 April 2006
The synopsis for this book details how it was considered profane and obscene by the original late 18th century readers, how there was outrage at it, with most books from this period, we as modern day readers can't undrstand why the old readers would react in such a way. With Matthew Lewis' the monk it is entirely understandable.
The plot revolves largely around a few weeks in the life of Ambrosio, a monk in Madrid who has lived for the last thirty years without having commited even the slightest sin. Then, a woman disguised as a male monk infiltrates the monastry with Ambrosio in, proffesses her love for him, and evetually seduces him. From then on, Ambrosio gives into each sin and each temptation that presents itself to him, resulting in him starting to rape and murder, before eventually selling his soul to the devil.
The novel is written in a very graphic manner, and is very disturbing, not a book for the faint hearted, but no matter how sick and disturbing it gets, it remains a compelling read throughout, and you will find yourself wiling away hours at a time to progress through this rivetting read. I would reccommend it as one of the finest pieces of Gothic fiction ever written.


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