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Caleb Williams (Liverpool)
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Dexim DCA103B Blue Pack Backup Battery for iPhone and iPod
Dexim DCA103B Blue Pack Backup Battery for iPhone and iPod
Offered by Memory On The Move
Price: £8.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent For The Committed Traveller, 4 July 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Glastonbury has just finished and it's a long plane ride to places such as the United States and Australia. Say you're doing one of those three. You have your phone or your ipod with you, but the battery is on its last legs and you're not even close to finishing your journey. The Dexim battery pack saves the day (granting you have that fully charged) by providing you with the simple plug in device that can give you more than well over 24 hours of extra time with your phone (if you're not playing movies constantly).

In this pack, it contains a number of different leads that can connect the backup battery pack to your ipod/iphone or blackberry or any other device with the same connection sockets. The battery itself is light and mobile that comes with a handy and neat carry case that will let you keep all the equipment together when you need it. It's a great gadget, but only really worth the purchase if you regularly travel long distances or take long vacations in which you would be unable to recharge your phone or ipod and would need to.


Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2-Disc) Special Edition [DVD]
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2-Disc) Special Edition [DVD]
Dvd ~ Shia LaBeouf
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good, But Too Much, 30 Jun. 2009
The original Transformers movie is an ultimate favourite of mine and I was delighted when I first heard there was going to be a sequel and Bay was going to turn up the juice. Unfortunately, in comparison to the first movie, this fell flat in many ways and left me feeling a bit empty when leaving the theatre. The amount of Transformer characters in this movie is four times as many and they have a more prominent presence on Earth in terms of their co-operation with the government in tackling the Decepticon menace.

The story is set two years after the original. More Autobots have come to Earth and formed a government alliance with the humans known as NEST which has the aim of eradicating the Decepticon presence on Earth. We see the return of our favourite Transformers and our favourite human characters such as Sam Witwicky (LaBouf), Mikaela (Fox), Major Lennox (Duhamel), Agent Simmons (Turturro) and Master Sergeant Epps (Gibson). This time the humans and Autobots face their biggest enemy to date as they have to tackle one of the original Transformers, from the Dynasty of Primes known as the Fallen.

17,000 BC the Dynasty was on Earth and the Fallen wanted to harvest the sun which would provide Energons for the AllSpark. His fellow Primes disagreed with his plan as Earth was inhabited by humans so, in order to prevent him from starting the sun harvester destroying the planet, they sacrificed themselves and hid the Matrix of Leadership which powered the harvester. The Fallen vowed to take his revenge on Earth by finding the Matrix and starting up his sun harvester and destroying the humans. Now in the present, Sam Witwicky is going to college, Soundwave has joined the Decepticon forces by hacking into a government satellite to mobilise those who will help The Fallen achieve his revenge.

On paper the plot sounds like it could work wonders and translate into one hell of a blockbuster extravaganza, however, what it translated to was a film that didn't seem to know where it was going and what it was trying to achieve. The human characters had to naturally take a step back in order to make way for the new and larger presence of the transformers, but what this meant is that the film makers still needed a reason to keep them around which ultimately, was ridiculous. The goofy humour is back but becomes way too childish for my liking. Bumblebee peeing on one of the Sector 7 agents in the first movie was pretty funny but, despite what imbeciles will tell you, dogs humping aren't. Sam's parents are also given a bigger and more annoying role as an attempt at some form of comic relief and also end up falling flat by destroying the plot line by breaking away from an important moment in the movie to see the parents being stupid.

Talking about a lesser point of the human characters, although this is to make way for the higher level Transformer storyline, it does end up meaning you don't care what happens to any character. One of the more important people in the movie does get killed and I just found myself thinking "who cares?" which is something you don't want in a movie. The fighting in this sequel has been altered somewhat to get away from the confusion of the fight sequences of the first film. One of the better battle sequences pits Optimus against Megatron and Starscream. The look and set up for the battle is really well done and presents an exciting scene that presents the enjoyable aspect of this film.

There's much more good and bad that I could talk about this movie, but I think it's best that you discover that for yourself. If you liked the first film then you will enjoy this but feel a bit dry coming out of it and there's the likelihood you will still prefer the first live action film. Character voicing is good, human acting is OK and the pacing and construction of the story is abysmal to say the least. When you blend them all together you are presented with a summer blockbuster that is just OK and nothing more than that. Judging by the fact that Michael seems to have learned from his mistakes of the first film, I'm hoping that if he does make this a trilogy, he manages to repair the numerous mistakes made by this one.


The Dead Yard: Tales of Modern Jamaica
The Dead Yard: Tales of Modern Jamaica
by Ian Thomson
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read, 27 Jun. 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
When people hear of the country Jamaica, the majority of us will imagine the palm trees, beaches and intense natural beauty. Others will think of drugs, violence and death, but very rarely there will be groups of people who can imagine the both visions blending. Ian Thomson takes the reader on a very unique journey through Jamaica which isn't spoken about as often as I would've liked it to. He touches on the many aspects of Jamaica that still make it a very desirable country to visit, whilst exploring the history and politics that have made Jamaica the murder capital of the world. Thomson tells a few hard to recognise truths about the history of Jamaica when talking about British colonialism and how we native Britons have effectively allowed the troubles faced by Jamaica today to happen.

Thomson is a very clever and insightful man and touches upon a lot of good points about the country that make it both desirable and detestable. Talking initially about the slave history of Jamaica, Thomson paints an intelligent picture of a people split by generational perspective. He was surprised to find how those who lived in Jamaica pre-independence and saw Jamaican life post-independence hold surprisingly fond memories of a Jamaica as a British colony when compared to the Independent Jamaica. This is discussed in a number of ways, but Thomson seems to focus more on the idea that Jamaica entered into this massive decline because it wasn't allowed complete freedom from the Monarchy and was simply given permission to self government. What I gained from this was that in my eyes Thomson seemed to be saying that Jamaica would have done much better if granted complete independence even from rule of the British Monarchy.

Corruption is also a massive part of Jamaican politics with its two party PNP and JLP system which is talked about in detail by Thomson. He gives a very insightful look into the history of the two parties and how, originally, they had the best intentions of their native land at heart, but were too easily tempted by the power gained post-independence. He paints the picture of how the post-independence civilians are kept in their place by money, drugs and guns supplied by the parties in exchanged for votes. He touches upon the illiteracy rates and how it's very unlikely any sort of social revolution would occur as the Jamaican people are simply too disorganised and uneducated to be able to accomplish something of the sort.

Aside from the negatives, Thomson does touch upon the good sides of Jamaica especially the musical influences of the Reggae and Ska music genres. However, he does also paint the picture of this being in decline in terms of significance and what the musicians have to say. He discusses how the music once had a political message or just something important to say, to being misogynistic and homophobic mainstream tat that has no real musical significance as it's exchanged the instruments for electronic robotic sounding beats that lack the effect that the old school beats had. Some of the personal encounters Thomson has with some people within Jamaica in the poor, middle and upper classes of the country are what made me think, "actually it's probably not that bad." His encounters with the people who are trying to turn the gang violence around and make the neighbourhoods better for the kids is something admirable.

Overall this book is an engrossing read with some personal accounts that allow you to become personally involved in the people and the story. If you've never been to Jamaica (I haven't) then I can imagine this book would give you a realistic idea of both sides of the Jamaican story. Those with a social conscience would be heartless not to feel some form of guilt for what their country did to Jamaica and how the British ravaged the country with slavery, then dumped it when it had no more financial benefit for us. Jamaica is a prime example of the selfishness of the British Empire and how, even though we have granted independence to most of the empire, our initial colonisation has destroyed certain countries to the point of no return and it saddens me to think that Jamaica is one of those countries.

This book has done one thing, and that's made me want to visit the country and see the real side of Jamaica. Not just the violent side, but also the kind and caring side which, although rare, does actually exist in some form. A marvellous read that everyone will benefit from.


Night At The Museum 2: Battle Of The Smithsonian [DVD] [2009]
Night At The Museum 2: Battle Of The Smithsonian [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ Ben Stiller
Offered by ReNew Entertainment
Price: £2.74

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, But Fell Short Of The Original, 21 Jun. 2009
The first Night at the Museum movie was a film I really enjoyed as, for a film that would primarily be aimed at attracting a young audience, it contained some marvellous humour coupled with stunning CGI effects. Ben Stiller is an amazing comic actor and would only be complemented by the plethora of additional comic actors supporting him in the first movie. Legends such as Mickey Rooney, Dick Van Dyke and Robin Williams featured in the first movie and made it that much more pleasurable to watch. Alongside the legends, we had comic greats such as Steve Coogan and Stiller's long time acting partner, Owen Wilson. The lot combined created one amazingly enjoyable movie for the whole family. The sequel, however, was not so enjoyable.

The story takes place 3 years after the original and former night guard of the New York, Museum of Natural History, Larry Daley has left his job and become a massive success as the CEO of his own company. He hasn't visited the Museum for a while and when he does finally pop by to say hello to the old gang, he finds out all his favourite exhibits are being moved to the national archives under the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. Larry realises where his real loyalties lie and travels to the Smithsonian to rescue his old friends, Octavius (Coogan) and Jedediah (Wilson). While there, the ancient Egyptian tablet brings to life all the exhibits within the Smithsonian archive releasing the evil Pharaoh, Kahmunrah (Hank Azaria) who plans to use the tablet to open a gate to the underworld, releasing his army of minions.

This sequel really seeks to up the ante in the case of magical exhibits being brought to life, including everything in the National Air and Space Museum and even Abraham Lincoln. When done well things such as that can really work, but I felt the bringing to life of the Abraham Lincoln of the Lincoln monument was a real stretch to increase the bizarre and ended up falling really flat. The inclusion of Hank Azaria who's primarily famous for his voicing in the Simpsons does actually work brilliantly as he becomes a marvellously eccentric evil. With his lisping ways and flamboyant clothing, you struggle to take him seriously, but he is a really funny presence that would not have been done better by any other actor.

Coogan and Wilson are also magnificent parts within the film as would be expected and it was made even more delightful by the odd Partridge-esque display from Coogan's character. The character of Amelia Earheart played by Amy Adams sought only to impress as the distracting good looking female to carry the more chauvinistic viewers amongst us, as I really saw no other purpose for the character. Ben Stiller was fantastic as always and there was some excellent dialogue within that made it a very enjoyable watch.

Both Night at the Museum movies are good in their own respect, but in all honesty, this was trying much too hard to fit more in than the original. It featured some excellent comic moments, but the overall plot and inclusion of Ricky Gervais made it sometimes frustrating to watch.


Friday The 13th: Extended Cut [DVD]
Friday The 13th: Extended Cut [DVD]
Dvd ~ Aaron Yoo
Price: £7.93

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I Really Hated It, 14 Jun. 2009
This is more a review for those who aren't wholly dedicated or even really familiar with the original Friday the 13th film series. I have never seen any of the original movies apart from the terrible Jason X which I come to understand has nothing really to do with the Jason mythology. This rehashing of the series for me was a perfect way to try and understand the crazed attraction to the Jason character and the infamous hockey mask. I was hoping to go into this film and really enjoy it as a stand alone piece. Fans of the original series were going to be naturally critical of the film, because it's a restart of the original series, but telling it in a new way. Because I've not seen most of the original films, nor do I hold any loyalty to the original series, I can guess that I had a bit of an advantage as I had no pre-conceived ideas of what to expect. That aside, I supremely hated the film and found watching it a chore.

The first part of the film introduces Jason as the deformed child of a mother who has gone on a killing spree of all the counsellors of camp Crystal Lake for allowing the drowning of Jason. The opening credits show Jason's mother facing her final victim on her murderous revenge rampage, but is decapitated by the last counsellor with a machete. Jason approaches the headless body of his mother, takes the machete and silently vows to kill anyone who dare step foot near Crystal Lake. Fast forward a few years and we meet a few campers who stumble upon Crystal Lake and are all brutally murdered by Jason, except one girl by the name of Whitney who is taken captive by the killer. Fast forward again and we're introduced to a group of annoying college students who are staying in the log cabin of the parents of their friend Trent (Travis Van Winkle). Whilst on their journey to the cabin, they meet the brother of Whitney searching for her, Clay (Jared Padalecki) and soon discover that all is not well.

I honestly can't tell you everything I hated about this film, but I can honestly say the worst thing about it was the cast. They're the type of irritating people you see on shows such as Dawson's Creek and The Hills. Maybe it was deliberate as they became so insufferable I actually wanted them to die at the brutal hands of Jason Voorhees. There is not one character I found myself hoping would survive as they each caused me to hate them in individually vicious ways. By around the half way mark, I acquiesced to the notion that I wasn't going to like the characters, so just enjoyed the fact that the majority of them would die at some point. Once the rise of Jason story was told, the film simply comprised of 3 different things; murder, sex and swearing. They are all great when put together properly, but this film is made for an entirely unimaginative audience and I found myself resenting the film as the minutes dragged on by.

Possibly the only good thing about the film was Derek Mears as Jason. He had the character worked down to a tee including the posture, movements and frighteningly cool persona. Frankly this was not enough to save the film as everything bad about it just clouded Mears' performance. If you're a fan of the slasher movies, then you will probably like it as that's certainly all it was good for. Even the cheap nudity was dull and un-entertaining, so for movie go-ers who enjoy a good film, with good acting, good script and good setting, I would advise you to keep away from this one for as long as you can.


Bronson [DVD]
Bronson [DVD]
Dvd ~ Matt King
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £3.98

53 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Indeed, 14 Jun. 2009
This review is from: Bronson [DVD] (DVD)
When you mention the name Charles Bronson to most people around the world usually, the first person that will come to their minds is the actor of the movie Deathwish. To most British people, the name is synonymous with the most violent person held within Her Majesty's Prison system. Most movies like this, I will turn away from in an instant as when it comes to biopics and books alike, I generally like them to be about people of importance who have achieved something of worth. Bronson is a fascinating character to me as, although he obtained his country wide recognition through his violence actions, he has proven himself to be an articulate and artistic human being with his books and poetry. However, it's hard to ignore his violent past and that's certainly the primary focus of this movie. I was hoping for a bit more focus in the progression of his artistic side, but we were given merely a glimpse.

The story of the film gives a very brief look at Bronson's youth before prison, pointing out that even as a youngster he had a violent side. Fast forward a couple of years and he holds up a post office for mere change and lands himself a prison sentence of 7 years, for which he would have probably just served 4. Unfortunately, Bronson took to prison and found it an exciting surrounding and saw his fists as a way of gaining recognition, which he surely did. We then are given a brief look at his time in a mental health institute and also an even briefer glimpse at the Broadmoor protest. The film also shows a number of other events of Bronson's life, including his short release from prison and the hostage takings.

I'm really on both sides of the scale when it comes to my perception of this movie. On the one side, the artistic vision of director, Nicolas Winding Refn makes this film beautiful and fascinating to watch and the stunning performance by Thomas Hardy makes it even more so. On the other side, the film was quite shallow and seemed to focus too much on his violent exploits and painted the picture of him being this eccentric weirdo with an extremely short fuse. The majority of the film takes on a monologue style of story telling in which Bronson is on a stage, telling or performing his life story to an audience but will cut to the scenes being told to the audience and go from there. It's certainly not something you see everyday and certainly made the film enjoyable in its own right.

The acting of Tom Hardy in this as Bronson was truly superb throughout. He seemed to become entirely engrossed in the bizarre personality of Bronson that, insane eccentricities aside was an extremely realistic character. Some of the mannerisms displayed by the character are quite comical but also frightening. I can honestly say this isn't one of the best films in the world, but it's certainly worth the watch, even if you're not a fan of biopics in general. I would recommend it to almost anyone just looking to kill an hour and a half or, of course, those who hold an interest in Bronson the man.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 2, 2010 6:27 AM GMT


What Price Liberty?: How Freedom Was Won and Is Being Lost
What Price Liberty?: How Freedom Was Won and Is Being Lost
by Ben Wilson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening, 9 Jun. 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Now I'm not very good with philosophy. I always find it difficult to get my head around particular concepts as there is never a set sequence of ideals due to them all being based around different theories and perspectives. I went into this book with slight trepidation as I expected to read it and have my mind wander page after page. However, I was delighted to find that I became more engrossed in the book after the turn of each page and now have much more appreciation and understanding for the theory of liberty and how we have fought for the liberty we have today over numerous centuries.

Covering 4 centuries of British, American and European history, Ben Wilson creates a truly intriguing historical look into the liberties of state and the individual. He explores how the British are privileged in a way that the only reason we have the freedoms we do today is because of our courage and willingness to fight for it. He touches upon many interesting historical situations, such as the written media battling with parliament in the late 1600's and early 1700's and the American Revolution and truly expresses the passion and reasoning of the American colonists for their independence from the British monarchy.

There are, of course, many other events that are talked about within the book that can be talked about, but it's something I think you should all try for yourselves. Ben Wilson is an immensely talented writer who manages to make such a complex concept as liberty easily understandable and the history involved is truly inspiring. I honestly had grown tired of the seeming tidal wave of what I saw as the robbing of our civil liberties of recent years, with the ridiculous ID cards, the masses of CCTV cameras amongst other such absurdities until I read this book.

Thanks to this I now have a greater appreciation for the perception of the politicians who want to bring in such seemingly preposterous laws. Reading about the idea that the argument of bringing in a national police force was some sort of invasion of privacy, makes me appreciate what we have as a society today. Sure, it may feel like we're being watched all the time, but when compared to other countries we are by far still the most free as we're given the ability to be anything we want. We are not told to act in a certain way or achieve a certain status. We, as individuals are allowed to be anything we want as long as we don't cause any harm on any other individual and infringe on their civil liberties.

An amazing book that I would recommend to anyone with an interest in philosophy, politics, law or history as it certainly delivers information and a perspective on all points. Remarkably intelligent and very well written and certainly provides great reference points for further readings on historical figures and further philosophy.


Assassin's Creed - Platinum Edition (PS3)
Assassin's Creed - Platinum Edition (PS3)
Offered by uniqueplace-uk
Price: £12.94

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Next Gen Visuals, But A Let Down In Playability, 7 Jun. 2009
Assassins Creed is a game that, before its release, received a lot of hype because of its historical and religious plot, the free running acrobatics and stunning visuals. There is a lot of good to say about this game, but unfortunately, there is also quite a bit of negative to say about the game. Over the past decade or so, thanks to the massive Grand Theft Auto series, the free roaming game has taken on many different platforms from racing to superhero, but none have paled in comparison to the GTA franchise. Assassins Creed was ready to change all that with its deep storyline, detailed and large maps, realistic characters and a free running system that would allow you to scale and jump across buildings to escape your enemy.

The plot is mainly set in 2012 and Desmond Mile, a bartender is kidnapped by Abstergo Industries to be used as a test subject for the Animus Device. The device calls up the memories of an individual's ancient ancestors and Desmond just so happens to be the ancestor of an Assassin during the Third Crusade of the Holy Land during 1191. The majority of the game places you in the shoes of Desmond's ancestor, Altaïr Ibn La-Ahad (Arabic: "The Flying One, Son of None" or "The Bird, Son of None") during his quest to assassinate 9 people in Damascus, Acre and Jerusalem, who are seen by the Assassins brotherhood as troublemakers and their demise would bring peace between the Crusader and Saracen forces.

The plot is certainly deep and steeped in historical splendour, but with that the game play falls flat in a lot of ways. The free running and climbing aspect is superb and certainly replaces the need for any type of car jacking, but when it comes to one of the best assassins of that time, you would expect the combat sequences to be much better than they are. In this, it's simply a one button system in which you draw your weapon and just hit the melee button at the right time. The reversal killing sequences are kind of cool, but the overall combat system is weak to say the least. Stealth killing can be fun and the blending sequences are interesting, but again, they just tend to fall flat and become very boring indeed. The missions generally consist of investigations such as eavesdropping, pick pocketing and interrogation in order for you to gain information about your targets location, then the assassination itself.

The settings are immensely detailed and are truly amazing to look at from a very tall point within the city. The other civilians seem realistic but also very generic as they don't differ at all and really only seem to consist of those who carry pots on their heads, preachers, crazy people and just people walking by. There is so much that could have made this game an undisputable 5 star winner, but the negatives really drag it down in a dramatic way which is a disappointment. The conspiratorial aspect of the plot is what is most interesting and things such as the Knights Templar featured within the game are something I will be researching just out of interest. Looking forward, it seems like the sequel may repair the short comings of this game to make one hell of a gaming experience.


Assassin's Creed (PS3)
Assassin's Creed (PS3)
Offered by Game Trade Online
Price: £10.89

3.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Next Gen Visuals, But A Let Down In Playability, 7 Jun. 2009
Assassins Creed is a game that, before its release, received a lot of hype because of its historical and religious plot, the free running acrobatics and stunning visuals. There is a lot of good to say about this game, but unfortunately, there is also quite a bit of negative to say about the game. Over the past decade or so, thanks to the massive Grand Theft Auto series, the free roaming game has taken on many different platforms from racing to superhero, but none have paled in comparison to the GTA franchise. Assassins Creed was ready to change all that with its deep storyline, detailed and large maps, realistic characters and a free running system that would allow you to scale and jump across buildings to escape your enemy.

The plot is mainly set in 2012 and Desmond Mile, a bartender is kidnapped by Abstergo Industries to be used as a test subject for the Animus Device. The device calls up the memories of an individual's ancient ancestors and Desmond just so happens to be the ancestor of an Assassin during the Third Crusade of the Holy Land during 1191. The majority of the game places you in the shoes of Desmond's ancestor, Altaïr Ibn La-Ahad (Arabic: "The Flying One, Son of None" or "The Bird, Son of None") during his quest to assassinate 9 people in Damascus, Acre and Jerusalem, who are seen by the Assassins brotherhood as troublemakers and their demise would bring peace between the Crusader and Saracen forces.

The plot is certainly deep and steeped in historical splendour, but with that the game play falls flat in a lot of ways. The free running and climbing aspect is superb and certainly replaces the need for any type of car jacking, but when it comes to one of the best assassins of that time, you would expect the combat sequences to be much better than they are. In this, it's simply a one button system in which you draw your weapon and just hit the melee button at the right time. The reversal killing sequences are kind of cool, but the overall combat system is weak to say the least. Stealth killing can be fun and the blending sequences are interesting, but again, they just tend to fall flat and become very boring indeed. The missions generally consist of investigations such as eavesdropping, pick pocketing and interrogation in order for you to gain information about your targets location, then the assassination itself.

The settings are immensely detailed and are truly amazing to look at from a very tall point within the city. The other civilians seem realistic but also very generic as they don't differ at all and really only seem to consist of those who carry pots on their heads, preachers, crazy people and just people walking by. There is so much that could have made this game an undisputable 5 star winner, but the negatives really drag it down in a dramatic way which is a disappointment. The conspiratorial aspect of the plot is what is most interesting and things such as the Knights Templar featured within the game are something I will be researching just out of interest. Looking forward, it seems like the sequel may repair the short comings of this game to make one hell of a gaming experience.


When the Lights Went Out: Britain in the Seventies
When the Lights Went Out: Britain in the Seventies
by Andy Beckett
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Informative and Enjoyable Biography of the 70s, 24 May 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I don't want to use the cliché reference of it being surprising that Andy Beckett can write such an engaging book about an era he never knew because that can be applied to any historical writer and I don't see the point in that. What is great about this book is that it is so engaging, informative and readable that it's a genuine surprise. I usually find it quite difficult to understand books of a social and political nature as they are generally filled with complicated terms and difficult scenarios that only those familiar with such terms and scenarios would understand. Beckett, however, manages to deliver the decisive biography of 1970s Britain that focuses around the politics and economy of the times without becoming too confusing or overusing some of the more technical language. This isn't to say the book is entirely dumbed down; it's just that Andy Beckett has a superb way of writing in a way that anyone can understand and gives you some excellent reference points if you want to research a subject further.

The book starts off at the end of the Harold Wilson, Labour government and takes us right into what many would consider a truly disastrous Ted Heath, Tory government. It touches upon the horrific oil shortage which led to the 3 day week, the peak of the violence in Ireland, the UK's entry into Europe amongst other tragedies that put the country on the verge of economic trouble matching that of third world countries. One of the more interesting stories told of the Heath government was that of the idea of Maplin Sands, in which it was planned that a massive construction project would take place to build a third airport that would help take the air traffic strain off Heathrow. This project was unfortunately dropped after the Wilson government surprisingly got back into power after Heath called an early general election. On paper, the Maplin Sands project, although an ambitious one, was one that would have surely helped the country massively in the long run and would have offered a large opportunity for mass employment.

Beckett concentrates a lot of the book on one of the biggest difficulties faced by government in the 70s and that was the unions. The unions are well researched in their influences on the governments of that decade and Beckett has spoken to some of the most influential figures of that time in order to make sure that what he writes about is accurate. The book also takes on another side from the biography of the 70s, and that's the story of the man looking to get the information he needs. The descriptions of the current state of the important figures of that time are very welcome as it presents a more human image to those who you may not be familiar with apart from the stories you have heard. Because Beckett has no defined memories of that particular decade, it helps him remain completely objective to the decisions or mistakes made by the politicians of the time which may have lead to them gaining a negative reputation.

Beckett is a truly brilliant writer that managed to keep me interested in subjects I would usually find difficult to get my head round. I hope he stays with what made me a fan of his and in future writes a biography about another memorable decade, probably the 80s would do nicely.


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