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Bob Grist (London)

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The Demon Face: & other stories
The Demon Face: & other stories
Price: £0.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read!, 1 Dec. 2016
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A wonderful book of thoughtful, entertaining and expertly written stories. If you enjoy reflective, speculative and engaging science fiction, or creepy tales that will send a shiver down your spine and cause you to glance around your room to see if anything sinister is regarding you from the shadows, then you will very much enjoy reading this. Highly recommended.

HQRP 3 x 25 Opera Glasses Binoculars w/ Crystal Clear Optic (CCO) Platinum with Silver Trim w/ Necklace Chain
HQRP 3 x 25 Opera Glasses Binoculars w/ Crystal Clear Optic (CCO) Platinum with Silver Trim w/ Necklace Chain
Offered by HQRP-UK
Price: £24.45

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine little pair of opera glasses, 18 Jan. 2016
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I used these for the first time a few days ago when seeing Le Corsaire (by the English National Ballet) at the Coliseum in London.
I was up in the cheat seats - the highest balcony - and a goodly amount of rows from the front. Went with a friend and, periodically, we'd pluck up the glasses and view the costumes, dancing, expressions, etc., up nice and close.

A fine little pair of opera glasses. They feel chunky and have a touch of the 'bling!' about them and so would fit nicely in at any opera / ballet type theatre. The magnification is fine and nicely detailed. I would recommend.

Betron RK300 Earphones Headphones Noise Isolating Lightweight for iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mp3 Players, Samsung Etc - Black
Betron RK300 Earphones Headphones Noise Isolating Lightweight for iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mp3 Players, Samsung Etc - Black
Offered by Betron Limited ( VAT Registered)
Price: £24.99

5.0 out of 5 stars excellent service from this seller all round, 5 Jun. 2015
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Swift delivery, genuine article, excellent service from this seller all round. Would recommend.

Crossed, Vol. 3: Psychopath
Crossed, Vol. 3: Psychopath
by David Lapham
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Truly nasty, misogynistic, rape fantasy tripe!, 19 Sept. 2012
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I'm not a prude. Quite the opposite. I love the original Crossed comic by Garth Ennis, and I enjoy twisted, dark sexual material such as Alan Moore's Neonomicon but this third volume of the Crossed series is just plain nasty. The story of a psycopath allowed free reign to vent his perverse predilections upon woman in the apocalyptic Crossed world means that the writer, and more so the artist, allow themselves to revel in the worst kind of misogyny possible where young woman are brutally raped and tortured, eviscerated and cut up and literally compartmentalised into body parts (a sealed plastic bag with a severed breast in it, anyone). Yes there are vicious acts also committed upon some of the male characters, but there is an almost dark glee when the woman are abused and mutilated; especially in the almost pornographic way in which their bodies are displayed openly for all to see (why, for example, do all the women have their pubic hair shaved in a brazilian style!). The original story had a clever subtlety to it. There's no subtlety to this story at all and it's as if a demented teenager has been given the chance to vent all his sickest fantasies upon the page.
Don't go near this unless you are one sick puppy yourself!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 17, 2012 10:24 PM BST

I was a teenage toyah fan
I was a teenage toyah fan
by Chris Limb
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A marvellous read, 2 Feb. 2012
I wouldn't just recommend this book (highly) to Toyah fans, but also to anyone who lived through the 80s and appreciated the music of that era. It's a very personal story and one that speaks to all of us who had, in our teenage years, an obsession for a pop star. It's also a great journey through the teenage years and how emotions affect us during such a time of growth. What is most notable here is just how giving Toyah was to her fans back then and of how much she indulged their fandom and friendship, most probably in a manner that many other pop stars of the time failed to do. At times it's a funny read, at others an affecting and inspiring one. It's extremely well written and the author doesn't hold back on describing his motivations at the time (being all too aware that he is no longer that person but able to reflect back upon the he that once existed with both affection and honesty). Definitely recommended by me.

Archos Arnova 10 inch Tablet (4GB Memory, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, 1Ghz Processor)
Archos Arnova 10 inch Tablet (4GB Memory, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, 1Ghz Processor)

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great tablet for the price - rubbish apps store, 20 Dec. 2011
I picked this little beauty up for a song at HMV (they have it in a sale at the moment). I must admit that I'm very impressed with the tablet for the price. It's a sturdy piece of kit with a very nice 10 inch screen. It's able to show a high quality 720 image and movies/TV shows on it look great (as does streamed video such as on the BBC iPlayer site). It's also lovely to use for surfing the web and it's become my default device for lying around on the sofa checking Facebook, my email, Twitter, etc. If you get a good game to play on it, such as Angry Birds, then the screen looks great. However, some glarey, neon-like games do show up the screen's cheapness (unfortunately) and have the kind of glare that can hurt the eyes if stared at too long.

The operating system is fairly stable and moderately intuitive (there's nothing approaching a decent manual with it so expect to do plenty of tapping away to work out the inner workings of the tablet). However, I did have to install new firmware once as the thing went a bit crazy and mis-functional on me (what do you expect? It's not an iPad after all!). But since then it's behaved admirably. The only downside, though, is installing new firmware wipes out some applications and your brower's bookmarks, etc.

The area where the device really lets itself down, though, is in its applications store. The generic Android Market is not available for this device and it has an inbuilt store called AppLibs. AppLibs is atrocious to use. It's functionality is far too basic. It's impossible to see a large range of applications that are available and tends to only show those that are new or most downloaded (even though it boasts of having around 30,000 available). Many of the apps available are poorly made and don't function properly. I couldn't tell you how many times I've installed an app, tried it out and then deleted within seconds.

There is, apparently, some unofficial firmware out there which allows one to install the Android Market. However, for every success story relating to this on the web forums there is another where an Arnova 10 G2 owner is bemoaning his or her lot as their device - post install - has chosen to die on them or do strange and funny things, so a) I wouldn't personally recommend the installation of such and b) I'm somewhat reluctant to give it a try.

So, a great tablet in many ways but one that also makes me want to save up the extra pennies to get myself an iPad in a year or two.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 8, 2013 11:42 AM GMT

Stargate Universe - Complete Season 1 [DVD]
Stargate Universe - Complete Season 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Robert Carlyle
Price: £12.65

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A more mature approach to the Stargate universe, 10 Sept. 2010
First off, I've seen every episode of SG-1 and Atlantis and enjoyed them very much. However, I am much more into dark and serious drama, so SG-1 and Atlantis were, for me, always simple and easily digested shows; like slipping on comfy slippers and sipping at a hot cup of tea on a cold Winters night.

Generally, I'm much more a kind of Battlestar Galactica, Lost, Dexter type of person, and Stargate Universe appeals to that side of me. It is slow to start, but I can't say that bothered me as I was luxuriating in the atmosphere and the characterisations, the latter of which really allow one to fully enjoy the second half of the season when things kick off into far more intense action and storytelling.

It's got great characters, this show, and even though much has been made about Robert Carlyle's excellent portrayal of Doctor Nicholas Rush, there are many other very fine performances to enjoy here, not least from Louis Ferreira (Colonel Everett Young), Alaina Huffman (Lt. Tamara Johansen) and Jamil Walker Smith (Master Sgt. Ronald Greer).

Some old-school Stargate fans hate this show so much because they feel that it betrays the Stargate they know and love. They may have reason to believe such, especially if strong adult drama is not their cup of tea, but I understand why the producers chose to make something so new as SG-1 and Atlantis are of a different time, when television was more episodic and more simple and, one could say, a little less respectful of the potential intelligence of its audience.

I implore you - if you enjoy a well constructed adult drama and are a fan of the SF genre - to give SG-U a chance as it is a captivating and thoroughly enjoyable show. You may well be surprised. If you are missing a fine ship-based/space-based show now that BSG is over, if you enjoy the concept of a group of disparate individuals being stranded on an ancient ship millions of miles from the Earth, if you appreciate excellent acting and finely crafted scripting, then get on-board Destiny and take the SG-U ride.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 15, 2010 1:59 PM GMT

Ultimate Comics Avengers: Next Generation Premiere HC
Ultimate Comics Avengers: Next Generation Premiere HC
by Mark Millar
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, violent and exciting stuff!, 14 July 2010
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Surprisingly dark, this wonderful little Superhero book. It seems somewhat darker than Mr Millar's previous work on the Ultimates (although, of course, this is more a tale of the Ultimate universe's version of The Avengers). Gripping, too; a thoroughly engaging superhero thrill ride that has a very mature flavour to it, though I'm sure it can be appreciated by many an age, especially as many teen readers love a touch of the old uber violence (I know I did when I was a young 'un!).

The villain of the piece is the Ultimate universe's version of the Red Skull, and I don't want to give anything away here but he is far more connected to this Steve Rogers (Captain America) than the one in the standard Marvel universe. The Red Skull here is pretty much a deranged, Joker-esque psychopath (only without the quips) and, after some self-mutilation, looks rather splendidly nasty and, all in all, is a fine dark mirror image of the honourable (though terribly un-PC at times) Captain America.

The story thunders along at a fine pace, pulling the reader along with it. It concerns a Captain America who has gone rogue when he hears of the existence of the Red Skull and his horrible past, and the two plot strands of S.H.I.E.L.D. sending the Avengers to both pull Cap in and also deal with the Red Skull (who leaves a trail of eviscerated bodies behind him) are finely woven together. There are powerful revelations and also some dark and disturbing moments (the back-story of Red Wasp is gut-wrenchingly devastating and very, very adult comic fare). Nicely enough, Captain America does have a very strong role within this book, and he naturally comes across as a very able soldier and survivor, but many other characters shine through too and, thankfully, along with the brilliant but bleak moments, there is also some of that trademark dry wit that Mr Millar is so good at writing, especially with the introduction of the you-can't-help-but-love-him Nerd Hulk.

A HUGE mention, of course, should also go to the absolutely wonderful artwork by Carlos Pacheco. This is dramatic, superbly detailed stuff and I found myself delighting in many a panel and imagining them blown up and placed on some gleaming gallery wall. Mr Pacheco's work stands as a great tribute to the sterling work done by Bryan Hitch on the original Ultimates series and he is, most definitely, a worthy successor.

If you like the work of Mark Millar, particularly his more adult stuff such as Kick Ass or Wolverine: Old Man Logan, then I cannot recommend this enough. You might want to try out his original The Ultimates stories first, though, as this does follow on from them. But, even as a standalone piece it shines. It really shines!

Killing Made Easy
Killing Made Easy
Price: £2.97

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful modern punk classic with Toyah Willcox on vocals!, 23 Jun. 2010
This review is from: Killing Made Easy (MP3 Download)
Killing Made Easy is a collaboration between Toyah Willcox and the very fine punk band Chester. It's a thunderous 'road movie' of a track that ploughs along with great energy and enthusiasm and evokes a feeling of riding in an open-top Cadillac through a dusty desert with a nameless corpse in the trunk, on the way to New Orleans to indulge in voodoo and dodgy dealings. The instrumentation is superb on this track, with a thudding, powerful bass line and machine-gun staccato drumming that is all led fiercely on by a wild-cat howling guitar lead. On top of this, of course, there are the very fine, sharp and distinct vocals of Toyah, which add great energy and an almost cheekily-evil approach to the whole affair.

Apart from the title track there are two very fine mixes on this CD. The first - A Shot in the Dark - evokes a 90s style, Sheep On Drugs-like industrial riff with some great sampling in it. The second - Lime Pickle Mix - is a very surreal affair with Sitars a-plenty and warbled vocals that is both amusing and highly enjoyable to listen to.

Highly recommended by me if you fancy something with great energy and imagination that is a little different to today's bland guitar bands.

The New Avengers
The New Avengers
by Brian Michael Bendis
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So surprised that I enjoyed it so much!, 29 April 2010
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This review is from: The New Avengers (Hardcover)
I'm not going to go on about the plot synopsis here as that's detailed above. I'm more going to stress the flavour of this book:

I'm not your biggest superhero fan, and I generally don't like team ups as it's difficult for a writer to really do justice to so many characters, and often the plots descend into no more than punch fests, which can bore me in the extreme. Also, I'm more into darker, more adult fare when it comes to comics, so I distrust the mainstream books and believe that, as a reader in his mid 40s, I may well find things all a little, well...juvenile.

However, I do know that Mr Bendis has already had one of the most intelligent, mature and imaginative runs in modern day superhero comics with his excellent run on Daredevil, and I read the first issue of this New Avengers run as a freebie on my Marvel Comics application on my iPod. I enjoyed that a fair old deal so I ordered this big ol' hardcover and settled down for a read.

I could barely put it down! I found it an utterly engaging and fairly riveting read and had whizzed through it in two mammoth sessions in only a couple of days. It has to be said that Mr Bendis is a bit of a master at weaving plots strands superbly round each other and heightening tension continuously. In these two stories he allowed the characters to breath and grow and begin to bond, and there was much in the way of his usual very fine and believable dialogue.

And, of course, I can't review the book without mentioning the very fine artwork by both David Finch and Steve McNiven. Finch can be somewhat overly extravagent with his line work, but here his art is clean, crisp and pleasantly restrained. McNiven is one of modern comics better artists and his work is both sharp and dynamic at the same time. These artists complement each other well and add to the overall pleasant comicy goodness that is this sumptuous hardcover.

I'm sold, and I've already ordered volume 2 as, I have to say, once I'd finished this the team had grown so fondly in my mind that I had an instant wish to carry on reading. I may even have to check out his Mighty Avengers books too. It's great when these discoveries happen but it can be a bit of a drain on the old bank account. But, as they say, you can't take it with you and you can get in some mighty fine reading before you go.

Surprisingly...very, very much recommended.

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