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Keith Douglas (Wales,UK)
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Piece of Cake (R.A.F. Quartet Book 1)
Piece of Cake (R.A.F. Quartet Book 1)
Price: £5.22

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb read., 14 Aug. 2014
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This is a superb novel, which although fiction, is historically accurate. The characters are wholly believable, flawed men like all people, but forced to take part in a war they were only partly ready for. The flying sequences are superbly written. You may not like all the protagonists, but you will probably recognise that these are real people with strengths and weaknesses like you and me.
I cannot recommend this enough. I cannot wait to read the second of Derek Robinson's WW 2 novels.


Roberts CD9959 Swallow LW/MW/FM Radio CD Player
Roberts CD9959 Swallow LW/MW/FM Radio CD Player
Price: £43.13

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb value for money., 10 Aug. 2014
I dithered and hesitated before buying this. At this price there are many choices of product that roughly do the same thing. The tipping point that made me chose this over the Sony CFDS50D was that this has long wave, so I can listen to test match special.
However, the CD player is excellent too, the sound is clear with a good bass. I tried playing it loud with several CDs, Rautavaara's Cantus Arcticus came through brilliantly clear, as did Jean Michel Jarre's Magnetic fields and Arpegiator, both real tests of sound. Beethoven's Eroica sounded brilliant, filling my living room with wonderful sound.
For forty pounds this is superb.


Cockroaches: An early Harry Hole case (Harry Hole 2)
Cockroaches: An early Harry Hole case (Harry Hole 2)
by Jo Nesbo
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.49

28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not yet fully formed., 29 Dec. 2013
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My first Harry Hole novel was `the Redeemer', an odd place to start, but the book was in Sainsbury's, so I bought it on impulse. It was excellent, so I then bought `the Redbreast', the first of the Oslo books, but now the third book overall, as the two books originally only available abroad are now in English too.
So `Cockroaches' is the second book.
Confused yet?
I looked forward to both `the Bat'(the first book) and this second book, and although both are very good, they are not, for me, a patch on the later books, all set in Norway.
In the same way as Morse away from Oxford was never the same, or Wallander out of Ystad, Harry Hole is a product of Oslo, and it is in his native Norway that we get his full character and personality traits that make him such an appealing, if flawed, man.
In Cockroaches he has been once again sent abroad to solve the murder of a Norwegian national, this time the Ambassador. The action this time takes place in Bangkok, Thailand, and the atmosphere is well drawn, giving us the feeling of claustrophobia and suffocation of the overcrowded and polluted Thai capital.
We get hints of Harry's background, and his demons, but as in `the Bat', set in Australia, I felt as if he was far more superficial a character than in the Oslo novels.
If you are coming anew to Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole novels, by all means read them in order, starting with `the Bat', then Cockroaches.
But I would suggest that you would probably find starting at `the Redbreast' just as fulfilling, and you would not miss any information about Harry that you don't find out later.
And once you have read `the Redbreast' you will have to read the rest of the books, they are addictive!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 27, 2014 8:09 PM GMT


Breaking Bad: The Complete Series [DVD]
Breaking Bad: The Complete Series [DVD]
Dvd ~ Bryan Cranston
Price: £40.00

124 of 145 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A TV series without equal., 11 Nov. 2013
This is without doubt the most compelling series I have ever watched, after reaching the end of one episode I could not wait to see the next. The transformation of Walter White from chemistry teacher and mild family man to drug kingpin is a triumph of acting from Bryan Cranston. He seems not only to change physically, in bearing and stance, but you can almost feel the evil beginning to take him over. As the seasons progress the episodes do get darker, and towards the end of the fifth series I found some hard to watch, so involved did I become with the beautifully drawn and believable characters.
But the end is worth waiting for, and all in all, I cannot praise this series too highly.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 12, 2015 12:31 AM GMT


My Outdoor Life
My Outdoor Life
Price: £4.31

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book by a true inspiration., 17 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: My Outdoor Life (Kindle Edition)
I have followed Ray Mears career since he first appeared on 'Tracks' in the mid nineties, and avidly watched each of his TV series and read his books as they came out. He always struck me as a man who has lived life to the full, and I always hoped he would write an autobiography.
And here it is, and I was not disappointed, this is a superb read. Coming up to his fiftieth birthday, he has crammed as much into these years as most would in ten lifetimes.
It follows his school years, judo, and his friendship with the man and mentor who helped to spark his obsession with the outdoors.
His determination and drive, even at an early age, were admirable, and he seemed to possess a maturity, determination and intelligence that few people have.
His career has been fascinating, and left me with a feeling of huge admiration for the man.
His life has not all been sunsets and exotic places, like everyone he has had set backs and tragedies in his life, and he deals with these honestly and unflinchingly.
Overall, this was the book I always hoped he would write, and it is an inspiration to anyone interested in the outdoors, bushcraft , conservation, or the future of the natural world.
I cannot recommend it enough.


Ridgeline Monsoon II Euro Jacket - Teak - 5XL
Ridgeline Monsoon II Euro Jacket - Teak - 5XL

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Looks great, lousy performer., 16 Sept. 2013
This jacket looks great, rather like the Swazi jacket favoured by Ray Mears. It is made by a New Zealand firm, so my expectations were high. It has a generous number of pockets, an excellent hood, and is completely waterproof. However, the big drawback is the membrane, which is supposed to be breathable as well as waterproof. But it isn't, in any way that I understand the term. When you put the coat on, over your head, the black membrane looks and feels like a bin liner. And I found that unless I was stationary, it had the breathable qualities of a plastic sack. Any movement from me, such as walking or working, and I sweated like a pig in a plastic bag, and the membrane did nothing to wick the sweat away. From then on, wearing it felt extremely unpleasant, and pulling it off over your head is a deeply unpleasant experience. I then had to turn it inside out to dry, which took ages. Do not be fooled by looks, this coat does not perform well.


Humble by Nature
Humble by Nature
by Kate Humble
Edition: Hardcover

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring read., 28 April 2013
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This review is from: Humble by Nature (Hardcover)
I really enjoyed this book. Kate Humble has a very readable writing style, and her account of how she moved from London to South Wales, first to buy a smallholding, but then to buy a farm, makes compelling reading.
I found myself admiring both her and her husband Ludo Graham immensely, as they overcame a daunting number of hurdles to realize their dream of owning a farm, and creating something very special.
Red tape and inertia of the local Council, by no means the complete support of their neighbours and local community, and even bolshy Architects, were some of the many problems that would have made most people give up, and just go back to enjoying their fulfilling careers and life.
But Kate Humble has proven herself to be so much more than the average television celebrity. She has put her money where her mouth is, and (with the considerable support and help of her husband) created something of lasting value, to farming and conservation alike.
`Humble by nature', the business they have created, teaches people to reconnect to the land, by running courses for adults and children, teaching them farming, rural crafts, sustainability and conservation.
This is an inspiring read, and Kate and Ludo's efforts should be greatly applauded by all who care about the future of farming and the countryside. Recommended.


16cm Zebra Head Billy Can
16cm Zebra Head Billy Can
Offered by Survival School
Price: £18.90

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Plastic clips over an open fire, oh folly., 2 Dec. 2012
This review is from: 16cm Zebra Head Billy Can
My old Zebra billy can came without plastic clips to hold the lid on, and worked very well for years, right up to the point where I left it on the train and never saw it again.
So I bought a new one, this one was provided with plastic clips.
Now most of my outdoor cooking is done bushcraft style, over an open fire, so I was sceptical, thinking surely they would melt. I was sure that no one would provide them unless they were fireproof, so yesterday I tried cooking a casserole over an open fire in my new can.
As expected the plastic clips turned molten inside a minute are of no use at all.
As much use as a chocolate tea pot, or an ash tray on a motorbike!
However , the can still works without them.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 23, 2013 7:24 PM BST


Party Party [DVD]
Party Party [DVD]
Dvd ~ Daniel Peacock
Price: £5.00

2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It was good thirty years ago., 2 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: Party Party [DVD] (DVD)
I saw this film on its release in the Odeon Leicester square while I was at University.
I remembered it as being incredibly funny, with hilarious characters and a great soundtrack.
So I bought the DVD. This was a lesson in how your memory can play tricks, and not to try to relive your youth.
Thirty years on I thought it was awful. The acting was appalling, the story non existent and the humour on a par with a carry on film. It has actors such as Karl Howman, Caroline Quentin, Nick Berry and Clive Mantle in it, and is scripted by Daniel Peacock, who also plays Toby, the main part.
Everything about it seems dated, from the lads calling the girls `birds' to everyone smoking and getting `paralytic'. The eighties seemed great at the time, but if this film is anything to go by, they were lousy, and this film is one of the reasons we no longer have a British film industry.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 19, 2013 7:21 PM BST


Phantom: A Harry Hole thriller (Oslo Sequence 7)
Phantom: A Harry Hole thriller (Oslo Sequence 7)
Price: £5.31

164 of 176 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harry's last stand?, 23 Mar. 2012
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I have read all the Harry Hole novels in order several times, and I eagerly awaited this instalment. Unlike many, I enjoyed the Leopard, even if at times it did feel over long.
Phantom is just the right length, and continues three years after the end of the Leopard, as Harry steps off the plane from Hong Kong, this time in an expensive suit, no sign of the trademark Doc Martens and Diesel jeans.
He is back to investigate the death of a junkie, the man accused of his death being Harry's surrogate son Oleg.
No longer a policeman, Harry does not know who he can trust, and many of the characters we have come to know from previous novels turn up along the way, CSI chief Beate, Gunnar Hagen, Bellman, Beavis and of course Rakel, Oleg's mother and the love of Harry's life.
The plot unfolds through the seamier side of Oslo, and we meet the drug dealers, pushers and prostitutes, this is not a tour of Oslo for the tourist.
Poor Harry, having been scarred for life in the Leopard, he has to undergo all manner of physical and mental battering in this one.
Some of his escapes from death do stretch credibility a bit, he is after all meant to be a chain smoker, alcoholic and opium user in his mid forties, but this did not detract anything from this stunning book for me.
The final third is a complete roller coaster, with so many twists and turns, that I read it in one chunk, and I was completely stunned by the ending.
I cannot recommend Phantom too highly, but I do recommend you read all the Harry Hole novels in order, plot and characters will be easier to understand.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 1, 2013 12:25 PM BST


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