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Rachel F-J (Edinburgh, UK)

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Warfare in Northern Europe Before the Romans: Evidence from Archaeology
Warfare in Northern Europe Before the Romans: Evidence from Archaeology
by Julie Wileman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish pictures, questionable research, zero referencing - all round awful!, 9 Oct. 2014
Although pertaining to be a review of the archaeological sources from Northern Europe prior to the period of intense Roman contact (a staggering task, and one which certainly cannot be comprehensively completed in 200 pages), this book seems unclear whether it wants to champion Classical literature, advocate for more archaeological work, eulogise the Romans or defend the natives. The sources are non-existant and not referenced anywhere in the text, which is a problem because several of the ideas that are put forward - though presented as fact - are highly debatable and, in some cases (northern Europe not having any metal resources, for instance) patently untrue. The research is out of date and fails to take into account many studies that have appeared over the last decade or so.

The images are horrifically awful - thick, blurred photocopies of pen drawings, all uncredited, many of which are completely unusable or illegible. The photographic plates in the middle of the book are all taken from a dubious internet site (dreamsites.com), are very poor resolution and do little to increase the quality of the arguments or the book itself. This is unsuitable for academic purposes, and though may appeal to the more casual reader, is a lot of money to spend for something out of date that doesn't even have decent pictures! Don't bother.


Talisker 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 70cl Gift Pack
Talisker 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 70cl Gift Pack

5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, 19 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Parcel arrived really quickly and in great shape. It's nicely packaged so just needs a bit of wrapping paper or a bow and you're good to go! Went to the Talisker distillery on our honeymoon and finished the bottle we bought there a few weeks ago, so this is the perfect birthday/anniversary present! Nice rolling glasses too.


Pest-Stop Super Mouse and Rat Killer Wholegrain Bait (25 x 40g Sachets)
Pest-Stop Super Mouse and Rat Killer Wholegrain Bait (25 x 40g Sachets)
Price: £11.65

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Effective and not messy, 8 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Took a few weeks to clear a moderate mouse infestation in our flat (tenement building) but the poison seems to have worked well and the mice are now gone. We have also used a sonic repeller and peppermint oil, but the poison played a major role. Three sachets per room, once a week for about three weeks, and everything's sorted!


Smart Weigh and Intelligent CSB2KG Ultra Thin Digital Kitchen Scales with Removable Inner Container 2000 g x 0.1 g - Black
Smart Weigh and Intelligent CSB2KG Ultra Thin Digital Kitchen Scales with Removable Inner Container 2000 g x 0.1 g - Black
Offered by Five Star
Price: £11.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely terrible, 8 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Scales can't find zero or weigh accurately AT ALL, regardless of what kind of surface they're placed on. Multiple calibrations don't make a difference at all. Absolutely rubbish - sticking with more robust, accurate and reliable models from now on. Avoid this brand - don't waste your money.


Pan
Pan
by Knut Hamsun
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.00

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting, 24 Sept. 2008
This review is from: Pan (Paperback)
Knut Hamsun's sparse and sometimes unforgiving prose can take a little adjusting to, but the end result is so worth it, it almost defies belief. Pan is perhaps not as famous as Growth of the Soil or Hunger or even Mysteries, but it is a small gem of a book.

Set deep in the forests of Norway, it follows Lt. Glahn as he struggles to juggle his unity with nature and the feelings and experiences that defines humanity. The forest itself becomes a third character, the jealous lover that skulks in the shadows and can never be wholly ignored as a separate and sentient entity. The psychological stand-off between Thomas and Edwarda is effotlessly rendered exquisite, and the culmunation of the dichotomy of nature and man that Ghlan exemplifies is treated with compassion and tenderness.

This book is perfect for anyone with a passing interest in Scandinavia, great writers or who is just bored wih effusive, meaningless prose. Instant classic.


Eirik the Red and other Icelandic Sagas (Oxford World's Classics)
Eirik the Red and other Icelandic Sagas (Oxford World's Classics)
by Gwyn Jones
Edition: Paperback

12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The making of an active reader, 25 Jun. 2008
The problem with any Scandinavian saga for a modern (non-academic) reader is that the culture no longer exists in which it is both a duty and a source of honour to recognise and glory in one's ancestors. Reading a saga becomes, therefore, either a study of medieval Icelandic culture or an engrossing tale of chivarly, blood-feuds and romance hiding beneath a thick layer of geneology.

This particular collection of Icelandic sagas deals enirely with mortal men, which may put off some of those looking primeraly for Odin and the like. What Eirik the Red provides is a detailed and insightful cross-section of Icelandic society after the invasion of the Norwegians fleeing their new-formed kingdom. Particularly interesting is the discovery of America by the Greenlanders, several centuries before Columbus. I would heartily recommend this collection for anyone with more than a passing interest in medieval Scandinavian culture, but would add that the plethora of names and places mentioned requires the reader to be fully awake!


The Haunted Hotel: A Mystery of Modern Venice (Nonsuch Classics)
The Haunted Hotel: A Mystery of Modern Venice (Nonsuch Classics)
by Wilkie Collins
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.00

4.0 out of 5 stars The original whodunnits, 9 Jun. 2008
Wilkie Collins never fails to provide gripping and intelligent detective novels, and The Haunted Hotel pretty much does exactly what it promises. Set in Venice and London, both brilliantly evoked, the plot twists and plethora of suspicion and revelation serve to make this book unputdownable. Whilst lacking the length to rival The Moonstone or the Woman in White for complexity, The Haunted Hotel is a fine example of the 'detective-fever' that swept Victorian England in the 1860s.
Incidentally, I would definately recommend this copy rather than an Oxford Classic or whatever, merely because the size and binding make you feel like a real lady of leisure, sat in a bay window admiring your estate or something. Also draws approving looks from people on public transport. Find a park bench in the summer and spend an afternoon trying to guess who the culprit is before the novel closes.


Victory Songs
Victory Songs
Price: £28.33

0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing in comparison, 7 Jan. 2008
This review is from: Victory Songs (Audio CD)
Dammit! We need half stars! When listened to successively, Victory Songs does seriously stand out as a weaker album. As so rightly pointed out by Mr Epitaphred, the change in vocals and the glaring lack of one-man-choirs makes Victory Songs less distinctive than the previous three LPs, although taken as a first step into the crazy world of Ensiferum, it aint half bad.

The rubbish track listings above fail to mention track 6, Wanderer; I hate to call it a ballad as most soppy ballads don't have a screaming riff-fest half way through. Stand out songs are Ahti and Deathbringer From the Sky, and Victory Songs itself is marvellous when you've got used to the general sound; a little grating if new. In all, a fine folk metal album, but I'd recommend Iron or my personal favourite, the debut Ensiferum. 3 and a half stars.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 1, 2008 6:49 PM BST


Roll The Bones
Roll The Bones
Price: £6.12

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ace, 5 Sept. 2007
This review is from: Roll The Bones (Audio CD)
Listening to Rush's albums chronologically, it's clear to see where Roll the Bones fits in. After the magnificent Vapour Trails and Presto, I think that RTB is the last consistently good album until the new release of Snakes and Arrows - Feedback doens't count cos it ain't their songs. Dreamline is possibly one of the finest songs they've ever written, and the rest of the album - as so rightly pointed out before me - is great from the first listen, although still benefits from repeat playings. Anthemic live, the skeleton rap in the middle of the title track is magnificent. A fine starting point if you're new to the whole prog rock scene, and more accessible than some of the older and more complex(?) albums like 2112.


The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death
The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death
by John Kelly
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, 7 Jun. 2007
An easy read, strange as that is for a book about the Black Death, The Great Mortality is a well-researched history-travelogue hybrid, with some interesting asides like the effect of plague on the Jewish population and city relations, as well as outlining the debate on plauge/anthrax viruses. It must be treated as a 'hobby' book, rather than a serious text for use in degree work etc, as it does cater for morons like me who read it for fun. The fiction does creep in, with the slightly annoying 'sunsets on a field of gold' twaddle, but it saves it from being a morbid account and makes it intimate. Hats off to John Kelly for giving all the facts, plus a few superfluous ones, without sounding like an especially boring History teacher.


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