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Paul Comerford

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The Murderess (New York Review Books Classics)
The Murderess (New York Review Books Classics)
by Alexandros Papadiamantis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern Greek classic writing at its best, 3 July 2015
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I discovered Alexandros Papadiamantis whilst on holiday on the lovely island of Skiathos in the 90s. I visited his home, now a quaint museum, and bought a synopsis of his writings. Thereafter I bought a copy of 'Tales from a Greek Island' and loved it. After reading a new book by Neil Grimmet, 'The Threshing Circle', based in Crete (recommended), I had the urge to find an unread work by Papadiamantis so ordered this copy of The Murderess.

It is translated from the original Greek by Peter Levi and it retains the rustic feel of Papadiamantis's other stories. Skiathos is small and in such early times few locals ventured far so such limitations have a profound effect on locally based contemporary stories. Frankojannou, the centre of the dark tale, is a complex being of many moods. Her fate is to become a murderess, driven by the traditional burden of the dowry required to marry off daughters. In such a patriarchal world too many daughters could be deemed a curse and in Frankojannou's twisted mind a grim logic grows and drives her through the remaining days of her life to a finale where reality catches up and justice is served.
The Murderess is created with unpretentious prose, short sentences and a necessary tautology. Local social history is well painted and any lack of long journeys in such a small world is more than compensated for by the long path of Frankojannou's twisted logic to her fate - papadiamanti's holds nothing back. The Murderess is not a glass of Champaign, but a draught of country wine with rough bread and cheese. It is superb. Read it and keep it as an example of good craft.


The Threshing Circle
The Threshing Circle
Price: £3.49

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read with wine and olives, 28 Jun. 2015
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After reading The Hoard, I felt compelled to read another of Neil Grimmett's books and The Threshing Circle fit the bill. It is set in Crete and as I have visited the Greek Islands many times, Crete included, I was able to establish the book had that important ingredient - integrity. As usual I will avoid spoilers (when did that verb form become a noun?). The tale begins with its base in the German occupation and cruel treatment of unbiddible villagers, treachery and the protection of family honour. Through two generations the festering sore of one war crime seeps into the main setting for the story. The author moves the plot quickly and allows the reader to reach false conclusions without hiding facts, brings on a real worry for the heroes, lifts hidden heroes from the mire of intrigue and keeps ones attention at all times.

Though modern in construction there are echoes of the simple, but effective use of short sentences so loved by Orwell. This form was also used by Alexandros Papadiamantis in his stories from Skiathos and, dare I say it, Kazantzakis too. The two Greek authors mentioned may have lost a little of the emotion in translation, but once written in English their books look very much like The Threshing Circle. That the main character, Kirsty, is female and Scottish adds power to the construction - how else to balance the ferocity of Cretan families than by adding a woman descended from the equally proud clans? Damned clever that!

I recommend this novel as a fine story with a well delivered twist in the tail.


Energy GELS : Honey Stinger : 24x 32g : VANILLA
Energy GELS : Honey Stinger : 24x 32g : VANILLA
Offered by TRI KUDU
Price: £32.39

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Fuel, 20 Jun. 2015
I have ran marathon distances in the past and never considered nutrition, only ever drinking water. Now, however, I am older and want to get to ultra distances. I have started to use Honey Stinger gels and can only give them a 5 star rating. The energy boost is quick and steady and my recovery rate after runs beyond 14 is far better. They are tapioca based so gluten free and have not upset my stomach at all. I advise a mouth full of water before and after squeezing the gel into your mouth as this makes it a quick and simple job with no sticky mess or aftertaste. The vanilla is not too strong and the honey is a real psychological spike at the right time. I suggest one sachet every 90 minutes with hydration. No complaints with this product at all and I highly recommend it.


824
824
Price: £0.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From couch to desert, 13 Jun. 2015
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This review is from: 824 (Kindle Edition)
A free download so immediately cost effective! I am a runner of some 33 years standing and, after a few years of racing and a 2:49:15 marathon PB, I have increased my mileage again. With 60 looming I aim to try some ultra runs and have picked up a lot of books which I have reviewed. This one was read on my iPad during commutes and it is a good read. Philip Robbins has written a personal account of his journey to run the Marathon des Sables from a non-running background, via half and full marathons to ultras en route to success. It shows an 'ordinary bloke' (or lady, of course) can succeed if the drive is strong enough. I am on course to go beyond the marathon, and a book like this helps a lot.

Worth reading and worth downloading.


MAKITA PA14 14.4V 1.3Ah NiCd Battery
MAKITA PA14 14.4V 1.3Ah NiCd Battery

5.0 out of 5 stars The original and best, 31 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I had the usual issue with rechargeable batteries - after seven years I failed to keep them charged and used and eventually my original Makita PA14 14.4v pair of batteries failed. Weighing up what was the best course I decided to order a single new one to see if it was cost effective. I'm glad I did. This product is the same as the original and charges well, delivers power and lasts as well as the first two. This time I will follow the charging rules and see if they get beyond the seven year mark. They are not cheap but if you are happy with Makita power tools well worth the money. I will be buying a second soon. I reiterate that following the charging instructions will prolong the battery's life, and this is something I will be doing from now on. An excellent replacement.


Injinji Baselayers, Socks & Underwear Run Midweight No Show Wht/Grey M
Injinji Baselayers, Socks & Underwear Run Midweight No Show Wht/Grey M
Offered by US-ZINC
Price: £12.20

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The new norm, 31 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These socks were a drift from the norm for me. I have ran long distances for over thirty years and always used ordinary socks, albeit those designed for sport. Recently I have started to run in specialist socks as I am aiming at running ultras. So, for the first time I have focussed on socks to preempt any problem this basic bit of kit. I took a leap of faith and ordered two pairs of Injinji socks. The initial feel is odd and, of course, one does concentrate on this in the beginning. However, once the miles go by they all but disappear from ones consciousness. These socks are first class pieces of kit and are now my standard footwear for long runs. They have caused no problem at all and I can see the day they may be my only running sock. They are not cheap, but with proper care they will last a long time and will not add unwanted problems for a runner. Socks should not be felt and these fit the bill. A great product.


Adults TWO PAIR PACK More Mile cushioned LONDON running sock
Adults TWO PAIR PACK More Mile cushioned LONDON running sock
Offered by The Sportswear Factory
Price: £11.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant standard running sock, 31 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have usually bought short, white running socks without giving too much thought to quality. However, as I have increased my mileage with an aim to run ultra marathons it became obvious spending money on better quality kit was a sound step, so I looked at specific socks for running. These socks were not expensive, but this was no indicator of quality. I bought 4 pairs and they are a brilliant standard running sock and good for distances beyond 15 miles. I can't feel them when I'm running and have no hot spots to report thus far. A good price, well made and responds well to proper laundering. Excellent.


Man Utd Scarf Gnome
Man Utd Scarf Gnome
Offered by ndlwholesale
Price: £10.60

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant for gnome games..., 23 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A present for my brother who's wife collects garden fairies - tasteful ones of course. This interloper looks fine in his kit, but looks perplexed enough to be humble amongst the fairies. Great fun. About the same height as Lou Macari too! United gnomes will only add class to a Red Devils garden.


Jockey® Mens Sport Microfiber Active Brief Underwear, colour Black, size M
Jockey® Mens Sport Microfiber Active Brief Underwear, colour Black, size M

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comfy and cool, 23 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I purchased these solely for wearing on long runs. Cotton briefs can get damp after 6 miles so I was looking for a pair that wicked sweat at a steady rate and did not chafe. These are perfect for these criteria. Wash them without conditioner to keep them fresh and clean and they are a first class bit of kit.


No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ghost goes on, 23 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I still have 3 pairs of 2e Ghost 6s and love them. The 2000 mile pair are still fine for short runs; 800 mile pair still good at any distance; newest still great. Now I had a problem. I am increasing mileage and wanted to stick with lightness and comfort. As an 80kg runner, lighter when on high mileage, I needed a new pair for ultra training. Thus I purchased a pair of Ghost 7s 2e, UK9.

They feel lighter than the 6s but I still 'glide' as the miles rack up. They support and protect and seem to allow a natural footplant, so are not over corrective. Ignoring the ads, I can say they feel as good as the Brooks Ghost 6s, but are even more comfortable and 'invisible' once the 10 mile mark looms. Brooks Ghost 7s will not disappoint the 6 fans. The wider fitting suits me very well - I would be nearer a 10 in a regular width, but the wider fitting gives a snug but free feel. I love these shoes. If they last as long as my 2000 mile 6s they will be close to perfect.


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