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Profile for A. Miles > Reviews

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Content by A. Miles
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Reviews Written by
A. Miles (Al Khor, Qatar)
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Written off
Written off
by Paul Carroll
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Funny farce on the publishing industry., 26 Jun. 2016
This review is from: Written off (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There is, of course, an inherent irony in the fact that a book about the doubtful benefits of being a published author is available for 39p only four months after publication, and is at 684,120 in the sales list. Imagine sweating blood for years over your creation, being pretty much unanimously positively reviewed, and then your pride and joy sinking immediately into obscurity. But as the author points out, that's the fate of most novels, 'properly' published or otherwise, and that likelihood still doesn't seem to be stopping anyone - apparently more people are trying to get published than ever.

The plot of this very funny book revolves around a scam organisation called The Write Stuff, a sort of media-era version of the old vanity-publishing racket, which holds seminars promising to tell authors how to get published: A quartet of novelists at various stages of their careers and a number of publishers juggling with the new demands of the new era are drawn into it's annual conference.

It's quite an old-school middle class farce in it's way, reminiscent (perhaps purposely?) of the sort of one-book-a-year humorous writers who had a loyal market in the 1970s like David Nobbs and Guy Bellamy who made enough out of it to retire to Spain. they don't read 'em like that any more, though.


Verbatim 44403 Bluetooth Headphone
Verbatim 44403 Bluetooth Headphone
Offered by tecnoprogramm
Price: £54.83

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Office equipment presented as consumer technology., 21 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
An odd item, really. Verbatim are generally known for manufacturing data storage devices and the like, and possibly the last thing you'd expect what is essentially an office equipment manufacturer to do is to enter the highly design-driven, brand-name obsessed field of headphones, .especially at this price point. These, including the postage, are currently going out at not far off 70 quid, which puts them in the same bracket as equivalent products by the likes of Sony and Sennheisser.

These, on the other hand, immediately betray a work-cubicle aesthetic with their cheap foil labels and will-this-do design, and technically they're merely adequate - even the blurb doesn't make any great claims for their sound quality.

So what you have here, then is a piece of mediocre office equipment that is being presented as a piece of consumer technology at a price point that puts it into competition with some quite desirable kit. I honestly can't see why anyone would ever buy these.


Mantona DSLM Travel Tripod with Ball Head, Maximum Load 5 kg, Rotating Centre Column, Compact Pack) for System Camera, DSLR Cameras and Compact Cameras
Mantona DSLM Travel Tripod with Ball Head, Maximum Load 5 kg, Rotating Centre Column, Compact Pack) for System Camera, DSLR Cameras and Compact Cameras
Price: £82.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Full spec. tripod that fits into your hand luggage., 21 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A full spec. well engineered, 1.5m tripod that fits into your hand baggage and weighs 1.3 KG in total, this is a highly versatile piece of kit, adjustable from ground level to 143cm, and convertible to a monopod.

Other features are a ball head with two spirit levels, a hook to weight the tripod, a panorama scale, etc - basically everything you would expect from a professional-level tripod. Looks the business too. It comes with a carry case, recommended maximum load is 5kg.

In summary a great little travel tripod.


Venum Challenger 2.0 MMA Gloves - Black/Matte Black, Medium
Venum Challenger 2.0 MMA Gloves - Black/Matte Black, Medium
Price: £43.70

4.0 out of 5 stars Stylish , well made gloves., 21 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm finding boxing training an oddly suitable sport for a unathletic middle aged man to pursue. It reminds one of a lot of long-forgotten muscles, and if you can only fit 15 minutes in, you still feel like you've done a decent spot of exercise. Plus, of course, there's all the cool branded kit, v. important for the menopausal sportsman.

These gloves are indeed very cool, with their multiple logos, and whilst it's very unlikely that I'll be entering any Mixed Martial Arts contests in the foreseeable future, they're obviously well made and tighten snugly around the wrists, and give both a little extra heft and protection when I'm doing a bit of bag-whacking, as I believe is the technical term.

The only issue, then, is the price, which is at the top end for this kind of kit, in particular the odd 60% price differential between some of the colours and sizes.


101 Cocktails to try before you die (101 to Try Before You Die)
101 Cocktails to try before you die (101 to Try Before You Die)
by François Monti
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Stylish, informative, and useful collection of classic cocktails., 17 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Stylish little hardback with a lot of information packed into it: Each classic cocktail gets a colour photo, a recipe, a bit of it's history, and tasting notes, as well as little grid telling you the type of glass to use and such. In addition the index is done by primary alcoholic ingredient, so that you can make something out of whatever's in your drinks cabinet at the moment. Both informative and useful.


BWT Vida Water Filter Jug, White, 2.6 Litre
BWT Vida Water Filter Jug, White, 2.6 Litre
Price: £16.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars filter jug with added health benefits., 17 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Filter jug whose USP is that as well as purifying tapwater, it actually adds magnesium , therefore making the water more like bottled water in taste and health benefits.

To use, one steeps the filter for five minutes before rinsing out the jug, and it's ready to use. The filter needs changing once a month or so (there's a little electronic counter to tell you when to change it) and cost about four pounds each. Design wise, it has a slim profile so that 'it'll fit into a fridge door.

Tastewise, perhaps there's a little more mineral taste than tapwater, but of course there are the health benefits too. Overall I think it's a bit of an unnecessary luxury, as I probably spend less on mineral water per month than the cartridges cost, but it's a fine filter jug nevertheless.


Rapesco Hole Punch - Zero-40, 40 Sheet Capacity
Rapesco Hole Punch - Zero-40, 40 Sheet Capacity
Price: £21.35

5.0 out of 5 stars Well designed both visually and mechanically., 17 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Robust, accurate hole punch that can do 20 pages at a time with ease. It's a lot more visually appealing than your average item of office equipment, so if you have a home office it's something you wouldn't object to having on your desk. Recommended.


Manuka Doctor Manuka Honey 12+ Total Active 250 g
Manuka Doctor Manuka Honey 12+ Total Active 250 g
Price: £19.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Posh honey., 13 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Luxury, I reckon, is a principle of diminishing returns. A pair of stereo speakers costing £100 pounds might well be 10 times better than a pair costing £10, but a pair of speakers costing £1000 will not be 10 times better than the £100 pair. The more expensive a thing is, the less justification there is for it's price point.

So this mid-range Manuka honey. at £20 a jar, is 15 times the price of your basic supermarket honey. Is it nicer? Yes, it is. It's a dark, mellow, caramel- flavoured puree -like substance that's completely different to the sweet syrup of the former. Is it 15 times nicer? I wouldn't say so, but of course, some might disagree. And at the other end, is it only 1/5th as tasty than the £100 plus jars of Manuka honey you can buy? I'll never know.

As for the 12 plus UMF (Unique Manuka Factor, which is a thing) this refers to the honey's proven antiseptic properties, and it's totally unproven ant-cancer, diabetes, etc properties. But if you've got a 20 quid jar of honey instead of a 2 quid tube of Savlon in your medicine cabinet, we probably don't have much else to say to one another.


Venum Challenger 2.0 Boxing Gloves - Black/Matte Black, 12 oz
Venum Challenger 2.0 Boxing Gloves - Black/Matte Black, 12 oz
Price: £42.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Stylish and well made gloves., 13 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm finding boxing training a surprisingly suitable exercise regime for an overweight middle aged man, the range of movement involved reminding one of the existence of some long-forgotten muscles. Good excuse to get some new gear, too, like these very cool gloves. They're really comfortable and well made, with a triple foam padding, velcro straps, and embossed and raised branding on the wrists and back of the gloves.


Rimmel London Insta Flawless Primer Shade 006, Light Medium 30 ml
Rimmel London Insta Flawless Primer Shade 006, Light Medium 30 ml
Price: £6.99

3.0 out of 5 stars More a foundation than a primer. And why is it scented?, 13 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This comes in a titchy tube, but you don't really need a lot, though it's very viscous and needs a lot of rubbing in. It's quite obviously tinted, so I'd really see it as a foundation rather than a primer. - I'd want a primer to be colourless, ideally. It also has, for no reason I can grasp, a strong lemon verbena scent. Add to that the SPF 15 and you might see it almost as a stand alone product to even out your complexion.


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