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Profile for Mr. D. J. Underwood > Reviews

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Mr. D. J. Underwood "Excessional" (Lincolnshire, UK)
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Beck Song Reader
Beck Song Reader
Offered by A2Z Entertains
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Title Of This Review, 14 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Beck Song Reader (Audio CD)
Beck originally released these songs as a book of sheet music a couple of years back and YouTube has many videos of cover versions uploaded by muscians of differing levels of talent : ). Beck had annouced that he intended to gather an album of these covers together and, with almost no fanfair or publicity, here it is. And it's really good. Boasting both familiar artists (Jack White, Jarvis Cocker, Norah Jones and Fun &c) and several I've never heard of, this is an eclectic mix where the common thread is the quirky lyrics Beck wrote. There are many different styles represented here and some have taken more liberties with the material than others but they do all fit together really well. My only gripe is that the song "Do We? We Do" is covered by Loudon Wainwright III - there are some fantastic covers of this song on YouTube but this version to me is one of the poorest. I'll get over it though!


TCP 5W LED GU10 Spotlight 330lm 36° Beam Angle Warm White 3000K replace 50W halogen bulbs
TCP 5W LED GU10 Spotlight 330lm 36° Beam Angle Warm White 3000K replace 50W halogen bulbs
Offered by STARLIGHT LIGHTING
Price: £3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a lightbulb!!, 14 Aug. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Not the most life-changing purchase in your life. But...when we moved into our current home, the living room had (has) two light fittings each taking four halogen bulbs which don't tend to have a really long life and are relatively energy-guzzling in the light-bulb scheme of things whereas all the other more traditional bulbs in the house have long been replaced by more energy efficient ones. So I was reasonably keen to try the equivalent of the halogen world.

Well - it lights up! Actually, it's a much brighter light than is given out by the other 50W bulbs. The light-emitting area is smaller than the others but more than compensates in brightness. I clearly cannot comment on the longevity - perhaps I should come back in a couple of years as an update! I shall certainly be replacing the others in the meantime. My only negative comment is that it is white which is a tad noticeable in the daytime when both the light fittings and other bulbs are chrome - grrr.


In the Light of What We Know
In the Light of What We Know
by Zia Haider Rahman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Could I just explain about something else?, 21 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The plot? A derivatives banker, expecting to be laid off as a scapegoat in the recent banking crisis, is visited unexpectedly by a former friend who has a tale to tell - about his involvement with the UN mission in Afganistan, about love, about friendship, mathematics, racism, class, family, religion; in fact about anything. That is the plot. All told in a very conversational, if a little highbrow, style. The stories though are not told in a linear manner but move back and forth in the narrators life. Also, even within a conversation, there are many, many asides and digressions whilst the precise meaning of a word or expression is expanded upon or an earlier conversation recalled - sometimes at great length! If you can cope with the style, and you like your books quite erudite and philosophical, then there could be much to enjoy here. Three and a half stars would be my ideal rating as the journey is more interesting than the destination, although I am not at all sorry I went along for the ride.


The Black Eyed Blonde: A Philip Marlowe Novel
The Black Eyed Blonde: A Philip Marlowe Novel
by Benjamin Black
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

4.0 out of 5 stars "Where I come from, the polo stick is never out of our hands", 15 Jan. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Black-Eyed Blonde, by Benjamin Black, is a continuation of Raymond Chandler's Phillip Marlowe detective series. I'm not normally a fan of someone trying to ape the style of another - particularly where an iconic character has been created. The last one I had tried was when Sebastian Faulks wrote a James Bond novel which I thought was terrible. Anyhow, here Black does make a reasonable stab at capturing the style of Marlowe, though did find that generally there were less of the outrageous use of simile that Raymond Chandler had. I have not read any other novels by Black or John Banville but I can tell that he has a greater range of vocabulary which he brings to the characters. I did feel though, that the conversations tend to be informed by more modern standards; also, the author keeps referencing characters from the original novels to add weight to the "this is the same Marlowe" thought.

Moving away from the attempts to follow in Chandler's style though, I realy enjoyed the novel. There was enough there to give a sense of continuation for the characters, the story itself was interesting and I enjoyed the sarcastic one-liners such as my review title. Certainly a book I'll be keeping and I would read any further installments if more were written.


X Mark 1 White(12 Digit, Business Calculation Function)
X Mark 1 White(12 Digit, Business Calculation Function)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An object of desire!, 26 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I came across this after my previous calc packed in, and as I work with numbers, a good calculator is an essential item for me. There are a few features I always look for - especially a display that goes beyond the familiar 8 digits - this one does 12 which is great for adding up all those millions ;) as well as having "cost" "sell" and "margin" buttons and is quite weighty - it feels well made. I would be lying though if I made out that my choice wasn't also guided by the fact that it is so stylish - everyone notices it!! My only criticism is that there is little space between the buttons and I do have to check I have punched in the numbers correctly. It's still stunning though! Note that it only operates by solar power - there is no back-up battery at all.


How to Talk to Absolutely Anyone: Confident Communication in Every Situation
How to Talk to Absolutely Anyone: Confident Communication in Every Situation
by Mark Rhodes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.68

4.0 out of 5 stars Excuse me, could I get your quick opinion..., 26 Aug. 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
...on this review which is of a book. One that encourages us to face our fears and be more confident at both starting and maintaining conversations - even with complete strangers. I'm not usually a big fan of self-help books but this one called out to me as I had vivid memories of being at a function whereat I was introduced to, then left with, the shy friend of a friend and the next five/ten minutes seemed like hours and was painful - some tips would be useful if ever such a scenario occured again, I thought.

And on the whole, this book does tick all the boxes - showing why we usually have such reservations at speaking up and some practical tips on how to combat them; what to say; how to speak in a way that draws people to listen and how to direct a conversation. The latter stages of the book are particularly concerned with business communication and trying to sell to people which I didn't need so much as I do not have that kind of job - but I would guess that this is what most people who are tempted to purchase would be looking for and I think it would be money well-spent. The author even offers a complimentary online plan to further the information provided.

One step I particularly noted was a practical tip to deal with anxiety when it arises that I am trying to apply - which incidentally has nothing to do with communicating - so there are potential other life-enhancing benefits too!


Late Night Tales: Friendly Fires
Late Night Tales: Friendly Fires
Offered by jim-exselecky
Price: £6.00

5.0 out of 5 stars A few more late nights for me!, 18 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is about the fifth of these Late Night Tales comp series that I now have and frankly, it's the best of them. The idea, before you run out thinking it's the latest album by your favourite group, is to get an artist/group, usually from a clubby background to put together a mix tape (remember them?) often throwing in some obscure tunes. This selection, chosen by Friendly Fires, is a real winner for me starting off with some disco tunes and dance up to their own cover of "Why Don't You Answer?" then the beats start to slow down and towards the end there are a few "shoe-gazing" selections which is what had sold it for me originally. It all segues together beautifully too, and at the end is the first part of a story narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch - to read you to sleep perhaps :)


Heart of Nowhere
Heart of Nowhere
Offered by Great Price Media EU
Price: £4.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nearly as good.., 14 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Heart of Nowhere (Audio CD)
..as their previous album "The Last Night on Earth", their sound certainly has not changed much from then, but whereas that album is a joy to listen to from start to finish, this one for me only picks up from the fourth song Lifeline but from there to the end it is stocked full of their melodic stories, just not quite as catchy. Even so, well worth the purchase and it amazes me that this group in their career should only have managed two hit singles and one platinum-selling album - so go and buy it!!!


English Electric
English Electric
Offered by records_discs
Price: £9.67

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Retro Modern!, 21 April 2013
This review is from: English Electric (Audio CD)
I've not been the biggest fan of OMD - only having one of their singles collections and The Pacific Age in my collection - though my favourite singles period would be Enola Gay to Maid of Orleans. This album was almost an impulse buy - partly for a nostalgia trip, partly drawn by the invitingly bold jazzy blue and red cover design. But what a welcome surprise - I already love this album. Perhaps it has more in common with the early-90's Sugar Tax period, but there are also echoes of earlier songs too - Helen of Troy reminding me a little of Joan of Arc. I can also hear Kraftwerk influences - Europe Endless in a couple of tracks. But the melodies are strong and it is a welcome return with instant appeal.


The Black Balloon [DVD]
The Black Balloon [DVD]
Dvd ~ Rhys Wakefield
Price: £4.34

4.0 out of 5 stars A difficult film, 20 April 2013
This review is from: The Black Balloon [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I saw this film a couple of years ago but have hesitated to review it as it seemed too difficult to give an opinion on! A film portraying a family with two sons - one (Rhys Wakefield) adapting to a new school, friends, and a prospective girlfriend; the other suffering from autism - and the film appears to demonstrate the difficulties and stresses that living with one with such a condition such as dealing with the "fits" and the reactions of others. I say appears to - I have never been in such a situation and have no idea what it would be like - it certainly looked convincing and I was cringing in the appropriate places - Luke Ford, who portrays the autistic son, particularly does an exceptional job. The tone of the film is reasonably light-hearted but not at the expense of making fun - the main focus is the son trying to live a normal life. I enjoyed the film but part of the subject matter clearly makes for difficult viewing.


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