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Reviews Written by
G. J. Weaver "elweaverino" (Chester, UK)
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Descender Volume 1: Tin Stars (Descender Tp)
Descender Volume 1: Tin Stars (Descender Tp)
by Jeff Lemire
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

2.0 out of 5 stars I've read this before..., 29 July 2016
If you've read Jeff Lemire's previous series"Sweet Tooth", you make recognise most of the key plot points here: There's been an apocalyptic event, there's a unique little boy who may have all the answers hidden within him, everybody's out to get him, but he's being protected by a raggle-taggle bunch of misfits.....

The two series are so alike that I suspect that this must be deliberate on Lemire's part, that his intention is to give us "Sweet Tooth in Space", but I'm afraid that life is short, there are a lot of books out there that need reading and I haven't got time to read a retread of something a writer has already done.

I think Jeff Lemire is a GREAT writer: his books The Nobody, Essex County Trilogy and The Underwater Welder are some of my favourites from the last few years, so this is a disappointment.


Year's Best Weird Fiction Volume 1
Year's Best Weird Fiction Volume 1
by Jeffery Ford
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.64

5.0 out of 5 stars Get Weird. Stay Weird., 17 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Generally, I find these yearly anthologies to be disappointing, but Undertow Press buck the trend here, with a diverse and unusual collection. The "Weird Fiction" label has allowed the editors to break free of traditional genre constraints, and deliver a consistent set of stories that are horrific, or surreal, or chilling, or dreamlike or some avant-garde combination of all these things.
I have read the second volume, and the standard remains consistent. I eagerly await the third.


The Road Headed West: A Cycling Adventure Through North America
The Road Headed West: A Cycling Adventure Through North America
by Leon McCarron
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Company, 10 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I am someone who is often attracted to travel writing, and then disappointed by leaden prose, or left baffled by an inconsistent sense of time passing: "I left the hotel that first morning, ready to begin my adventure. I walked up into the hills and spoke briefly to a shepherd. I had now been on the road for three weeks". What?!

The Road Headed West is a different kettle of fish. Leon McCarron comes across as a nice kid, who is willing to have a go at a massive challenge. No support team, no expensive kit and apparently no idea at times what he has let himself in for. He is easygoing company, and I found the book a pleasure to read - I was often reluctant to put it down.


Locomotive (Caldecott Medal Book)
Locomotive (Caldecott Medal Book)
by Brian Floca
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.67

5.0 out of 5 stars A great book, by any standard., 10 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
One of the unexpected perks of becoming a parent is getting access to beautiful picture books which you might not otherwise come in to contact with.
Five years in to bedtime reading, and this is one of my absolute favourites. A lovely square-ish hardback, it tells the story of a mother and two children travelling by train, right across America at the dawn of the locomotive era. It is filled to the brim with interesting facts, but it is also very poetic and beautifully illustrated. When reading it aloud, you feel you have to speak softly to do its quiet brilliance justice. I hope the kids take care of it, because I'd like to keep it on my bookshelf one day.


Einstein & The Art of Mindful Cycling: Achieving Balance in the Modern World (Mindfulness)
Einstein & The Art of Mindful Cycling: Achieving Balance in the Modern World (Mindfulness)
by Ben Irvine
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £8.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fluffy Stuff, 12 Nov. 2014
It's difficult to understand who this book is aimed at. I picked it up as a cyclist who has some limited interest in meditation, Buddhism and "mindfulness". The cycling element of the book wasn't much use to me, as Irvine attempts to explain to the reader all the things that are great about getting around by bike. Like most cyclists, I don't need convincing of that, I already know it, that's why the bicycle is my chosen form of transport. The "mindfulness" element - and what a horribly clunky word that is - is very basic, so there's nothing of any real interest here for anyone who has done any other reading on the subject.

As for the inclusion of Einstein as a model example of what mindful cycling can do for you, he seems a fairly arbitrary choice. It seems he owned a bicycle and would sometimes ride it. Irvine may as well have made as much from Einstein's preference for crew-neck jumpers, or Einstein's choice to wear his hair somewhat longer than fashion dictated, as he has from Einstein's occasional use of a bicycle.

It's an easy read, and it is a fairly short book. I don't really feel like I learned anything from it.

So, who would it be good for? People who are considering taking up cycling AND some kind of "mindfulness" practice - but know nothing at all about either - and would also like to learn a smattering of trivia about Einstein. That strikes me as something of a niche market, but those people - if they are out there - will eat this up.


Alhambra
Alhambra
Offered by Shop4World
Price: £29.37

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A word of warning, 3 April 2011
This review is from: Alhambra (Toy)
This game looks great, but I would like to offer a word of warning to potential purchasers: as late as March 2011, Amazon UK are still shipping German language versions of this game.
There are a few reviews from a year or so ago complaining that the reviewers had received a German language copy - as the more recent reviews made no mention of it, I assumed that Amazon had fixed the glitch and went ahead and ordered a copy. Unfortunately the game I received was all in German and I had to return it. Great customer service from Amazon, but still a little frustrating.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 9, 2011 8:25 PM BST


Martyrs [DVD]
Martyrs [DVD]
Dvd ~ Morjane Alaoui
Price: £5.99

19 of 44 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretentious Torture Porn, 15 Oct. 2009
This review is from: Martyrs [DVD] (DVD)
I think this may be the worst film I have ever seen, certainly the worst in recent memory.

Contains several overlong and brutal sequences of young attractive women being beaten up and tortured where nothing is left to the imagination. These sequences are entirely unjustified by a nonsensical plot and an ending which has no meaning. Fans of the film may say I didn't "get it", but I'm of the opinion there was nothing to get.

I felt I should switch it off before the ending, so uncomfortable was I with the misogynistic tone of the violence, but I continued watching, hoping that the conclusion would redeem what had gone before. It didn't. PLEASE AVOID.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 16, 2012 4:48 PM BST


Quality Of Life [2004] [DVD]
Quality Of Life [2004] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Lane Garrison
Offered by Qoolist
Price: £0.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Meh., 21 Mar. 2008
This review is from: Quality Of Life [2004] [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A "lo-fi" film of little artistic merit. Interchangeable unsympathetic characters. The tagging scene is nowhere near as interesting as the filmakers seem to think it is.


The Grin of the Dark
The Grin of the Dark
by Ramsey Campbell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A disconcerting dead-end, 21 Mar. 2008
This review is from: The Grin of the Dark (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Ramsey Campbell can certainly write, and he manages to establish an atmosphere of creeping dread here quite skillfully. His prose has a hypnotic effect, with imagery that is almost on a loop throughout the book, leaving the reader in what feels like an altered state of conciousness.
Unfortunately, the plot is not in the same league, so when you arrive at the last page you find yourself wondering what the point was.


Every Dead Thing: A Charlie Parker Thriller: 1
Every Dead Thing: A Charlie Parker Thriller: 1
by John Connolly
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Feelings, 4 May 2006
Funny one this. John Connolly can certainly write, and the book is certainly entertaining, but I would argue that there is a much stronger 350 page book hidden in the 500+ pages here. There are too many plot strands, that don't particularly sit well together: a serial killer, missing persons, two seperate gang wars, mafia politics. You won't be surprised to find that all these plots are linked. I wasn't. Neither will you be surprised to discover the identity of the killer, there's only really one character it can be.

Overall, it seemed like a failed opportunity. I will read the next one because, like I say, he can certainly write and I hope that, having got his first novel out of his system, he may be able to start to some fine tuning on his next one.


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