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Profile for Mr. S. F. Bashford > Reviews

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Content by Mr. S. F. Bashford
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Reviews Written by
Mr. S. F. Bashford "steve bashford" (South West England)

Page: 1
Life Of Pi
Life Of Pi
by Yann Martel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 19 Feb. 2004
This review is from: Life Of Pi (Paperback)
I agree with the reviewer who called it unputdownable. Its the sort of book where everything can be put on hold, and justifiably. I think the whole story essential, even the slowish beginning as it sets up the sea survival part brilliantly-a lot of the speculative ideas are brought to life at sea.
The novel contains one of the great twists which leaves you pondering for months afterwards. In this period of reflection, you begin to realise the book provides healthy backing for religion in the context of science v religion. About time too, and im not even religious. Beautifully written, hitting all the right buttons in a literary sense..Outstanding.

The God of Small Things
The God of Small Things
by Arundhati Roy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent in parts, not a masterpiece, 7 Jan. 2004
It took me quite a while to finish this novel, it wasn't brilliant enough for me to put everything on hold to finish-i was craving the end a little! But there are some really great pieces of prose, and the writer has a great talent for pushing the boundaries of the English language. A casual reader may see poorly structured sentences,poor grammer,poor spelling..but this is in fact the sign of an author creating her own, new dimensions..this impressed me most about the whole book. It reminded me a bit of the style of early Joyce. It also has a very poetic edge to it and also very exotic.
Sometimes,however,the descriptions border on being pretentious and you think 'well i think she's overdoing it here..theres probably more than a language quirk (similie,metaphor..etc) a page, which can be a bit sickly sometimes, like too much icing, sugar,chocolate.
This aside its actually a very good novel, and the plot unfolds in a unique yet easily digestible fashion. The way the moment of passion is left to the last pages, even though it happens midpoint, is so very clever and satisfying..a good ending.
Recommended, but a little short of the masterpiece people are hailing it.

Take Them On, On Your Own
Take Them On, On Your Own
Price: £2.84

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very cool, 22 Nov. 2003
I brought this album on the basis of hearing the single 'stop', which i thought sounded really cool-like The Jesus & Mary Chain or early Oasis. I was pleasantly suprised to discover that its a pretty good album and found myself listening to it over and over. The first 4 tracks are the best-'We're all in love' a very simple catchy pop song, the romp of '6 barrel shotgun' and (perhaps the key track)'In Like The Rose' with its distinctive 'Crush with Eyeliner'-type guitar sound and a really powerful chorus.
The only thing stopping this album from being a great one is the fact that it doesn't quite maintain the quality hinted at in the first four tracks. However, after a dip in the middle there are 3 crackers to finish, especially 'Rise or Fall', with the memorable lines "Mothers teach you to crawl, Fathers teach you to rise and fall".
I expect some journalists to get terribly excited about the US government references and start hailing them as the political saviours of rock'n'roll...the (annoying!) idea that bands only mean anything if they have something to say. Its not a political record, just a very promising rock album and only a few tunes short of an excellent one. BRMC are one of the better bands of the new crop, keep an eye on them, these guys have potential.

The Crimson Petal And The White
The Crimson Petal And The White
by Michel Faber
Edition: Paperback

27 of 48 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the quotes!!, 12 Nov. 2003
Nowadays it seems that books are literally plastered head to foot with positive quotes taken from just about every paper under the sun. I have learnt that reading these before hand can seriously damage a read. This was the case when i read The Crimson Petal and the White...or perhaps its just a very plain novel! This is not a masterpiece and the mention of Farber in the same breath as Dickens makes me feel slightly unwell.
The fact is this novel takes almost 600 pages to get going!...and even then its probably just pure relief that you're nearing the end. The plot is very thin indeed and it is stretched over 800 pages. You may argue that Lawrences novels had basic plots, but there was compensation with wonderful imagery and characterisation. This book fails on every front. You cared about Dickens' characters because they were intriguing-not necessarily nice, but you were glued to their fate. Farber fails to create real characters and you simply don't care what happens to them. He tries too hard to convince you that you do, but you just don't. The main character Sugar is a rather muddle of a character, and this is due to Farbers poor writing. He doesnt seem to know where he's going with her...neither weak nor strong, and not nearly compelling enough.
It is far too long for what it is, the writing seems so plain and shallow on the paper..there seems nothing beyond, he has not created a convincing world at all.
The old novels are the best because they have the best characters, the best plots and this is why they are timeless. The CPATW may be set in the past but it is a depressingly new book, and will certainly not stand the test of time. Please don't be fooled!

Dog Man Star
Dog Man Star
Offered by digitalmediadistribution
Price: £19.99

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Album of the 90's, 9 Nov. 2003
This review is from: Dog Man Star (Audio CD)
An album of great depth and lyrical beauty. Dog Man Star is a masterpiece from one of the most overlooked bands of the 90’s. Open the blinds in your mind and indulge in one hell of a ride. The first half of the album posseses the more straight forward rock numbers reminiscent of their debut but better (We Are The Pigs, Heroine, New Generation), interspersed with some truly innovative songs such as the opener Introducing the Band and the eerie Daddies Speeding. The Wild Ones is a more straight forward romantic pop song with a truly memorable melody. DMS is an incredibly adventurous record that oozes with possibility, and has terrific depth…there’s so much going on and like all classics it will keep you interested for years. The piano led The 2 of Us has to be one of the most beautiful songs ever recorded and makes Coldplays The Scientist seem shallow, some achievement!(My favourite lyric: the snow might fall and write the names on the silent page). The epic The Asphalt World and its unique structure propel the album into the stratosphere and the closing track Still Life is one of the great album endings. There are no weak songs on this album.
I think most people remember Suede for their later more poppy stuff, but to me they became a different band after this album and not nearly as good. Anderson and Butler are one of the all time great song writing partnerships and Dog Man Star is a very special album. It takes a few listens to realise its real power but this is a trademark of many great albums. I urge people to listen to this forgotten album and to remind themselves how great British music can be.

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