Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Fitbit
Profile for Jimmy > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Jimmy
Top Reviewer Ranking: 566,073
Helpful Votes: 19

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Jimmy (Cambridge)

Show:  
Page: 1
pixel
Basketball Ball-Handling Drills - Perfect your Ball Handling Skills
Basketball Ball-Handling Drills - Perfect your Ball Handling Skills
Dvd ~ Ralph Junge
Offered by 1x1SPORT
Price: £12.99

2.0 out of 5 stars poor product, 29 Dec. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Well not the perfect gift for us . . . I got this for my son -- a relative newcomer to basketball but an enthusiastic one -- and the DVD was close to useless. Distractingly dubbed (and subbed!), low production values, and just not the content we were hoping for.


The Loney: 'The Book of the Year 2016'
The Loney: 'The Book of the Year 2016'
by Andrew Michael Hurley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Haunting, unsettling, etc, etc!, 16 Jun. 2016
As so many other reviewers have said, this book is superbly atmospheric and unsettling -- can't remember another novel in which the setting, desolate and rain-soaked, felt so integral to the story. If anything, for me the actual plot was just a little too . . . elliptical. So much is hinted at, out of focus, blurred, etc -- I realise this is sort of the point, but I still longed for just that bit more clarity as the story reached its resolution. Nonetheless, this is a gripping read.
One tiny complaint -- the book is, in the words of the TLS review, "beautifully literary", but on several occasions the author makes the same error involving pronoun case. Here's just one example: 'Clement . . . took Hanny and I by the arms.' OK, I know this is being dreadfully pedantic (sorry!), but I do not believe these are intentional instances of non-standard grammar by the first-person narrator; they just read as errors. As I say, the author has a wonderfully poetic turn of phrase; however, a decent editor should have caught these slips.


The Devil All the Time
The Devil All the Time
by Donald Ray Pollock
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars powerful stuff, but . . ., 26 May 2016
This review is from: The Devil All the Time (Paperback)
Having loved the short stories in Knockemstiff, I was eager to read Donald Ray Pollock's first novel. As expected, it works similar territory -- an unflinching portrayal of the lives of dirt-poor folk in a style that begins in the realms of gritty realism and somehow cranks it up to near-surreal levels. Like the earlier stories, it sure packs a punch. And yet . . . for me the plot lets the novel down somewhat. It's a fine trope to have apparently disparate threads come together, but in this story the various threads intersect at several points in a way that (for me) stretched credulity. Also, the sheer body count of the story began to feel like an instance of diminishing returns. All of this isn't to say I won't rush to get Pollock's next book, but I didn't feel this one quite scaled the heights of his first collection.


Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!: The Story of Pop Music from Bill Haley to Beyonce
Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!: The Story of Pop Music from Bill Haley to Beyonce
by Bob Stanley
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant but be aware -- "abridged for US tastes", 24 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As so many other reviews have said, this book is a superb account of popular music -- both satisfyingly wide-ranging and shot though with the author's opinions. Terrific stuff! The reason why I have docked a star is that I feel it was not clear that this edition is one revised for the US. There's a helpful note explaining that the original has been 'abridged for US tastes'. In the same note, Bob Stanley goes on to explain 'there is no mention of Winifred Atwell, Fairport Convention, Sparks, or Lieutenant Pigeon, but there is room for Daryl Hall and John Oates'. The thing is, I belong to the same generation of Brits as Bob Stanley, the ones who eagerly awaited the announcement of each new Top 20 at Tuesday lunchtimes on Radio 1! I'm delighted to learn more about Hall and Oates, but I WANT my Lieutenant Pigeon -- and any other oddities peculiar to the British music scene. This book is undoubtedly worth having, but I'm feeling the need to pick up a copy of the original also.


Something Nasty in the Slushpile
Something Nasty in the Slushpile
by Sammy Looker
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £8.99

1.0 out of 5 stars The depressing irony of this cynical book is that presumably ..., 4 Nov. 2015
The depressing irony of this cynical book is that presumably it took the place of a more worthy title in its publisher's list.


The Murdstone Trilogy
The Murdstone Trilogy
by Mal Peet
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointed not to like it, 14 Sept. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Murdstone Trilogy (Paperback)
Given Mal Peet’s untimely death in 2015, I very much wanted this book to be the one that introduced such a talented author to a new audience. It seems that it may have done so, but for me this slight, sour novel is far from the work he should be remembered for. Yes, the prose is beautifully rendered and the occasional turn of phrase raises a smile, but the overall feeling is of a story without affection for any of its one-dimensional characters and what befalls them. A lot of the plaudits for this book seem to be from publishing insiders, perhaps flattered by a joshing depiction of their world of literary agents and author appearances, but I feel it’s poor fare for the general reader. Satire ought to have some purpose, and yet it’s hard to discern the satirical intent here, either about the nature of writing, the state of publishing, or anything else. Try Peet’s books for younger readers – in contrast to The Murdstone Trilogy, these show real care for the work and its readers.


The Country of Ice Cream Star
The Country of Ice Cream Star
by Sandra Newman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.99

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ridley Walker Lite, 16 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I can only think that reviewers praising this book's original use of language aren't familiar with Russell Hoban's Ridley Walker, written some thirty-odd years ago and genuinely, dazzlingly original in its post-apocalyptic pidgin. Like so many recent science fiction books seem to have done, Ice Cream Star takes a known premise -- and, in this case, its execution (first-person narration in a corrupted English years after the Fall) -- and makes it more accessible and conventionally 'novelistic'. As such, it's certainly an enjoyable read, but for something truly astonishing and original -- in both quirky detail and language -- I choose Hoban.


I Am Pilgrim
I Am Pilgrim
by Terry Hayes
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars underwhelmed, 20 Nov. 2013
This review is from: I Am Pilgrim (Hardcover)
Like many others, I suspect, I was hooked by the 'only thriller you need to read this year' tagline. (It's a genre I enjoy, but only occasionally.)

I realise I'm flying in the face of the vast majority of reviews here, but I found this book hugely disappointing. I know that prose style isn't the most important thing in a book like this, but I found the clunky, leaden style in I AM PILGRIM distracting. (Just one example - there's a child character who seems to be referred to consistently -- by narrator and characters alike -- as 'the little guy'.) This isn't just a literary niggle: the action scenes read flatly to me because the prose just didn't generate enough tension or excitement.

A more serious flaw, in my opinion, is the plotting. The novel employs the common technique of dovetailing two apparently disparate plot threads. The problem here is that the link between the two threads depends on a frankly astonishing coincidence. (I won't say give any spoilers and say what this is.)

Final comment -- having a hero who is practically superheroic is par for the course (witness Bond and Bourne.) But having a superheroic hero in a book narrated in the first person lends it a strangely boastful tone. (This not lightened by a jarring passage in which the narrator admits to fundamental cowardice.)

I didn't hate this book -- I stuck with it to the end, for one thing, and I can't say that about every book. The negative tone of this review is really a response to what feels like an awful lot of hype about this book.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 20, 2014 12:49 PM GMT


Seasonal Suicide Notes: My Life as it is Lived
Seasonal Suicide Notes: My Life as it is Lived
by Roger Lewis
Edition: Paperback

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars over-hyped, 16 April 2010
I bought this book on the strength of one of the most glowing newspaper reviews I'd ever read -- a review back up by the equally glowing endorsements on the cover. It was somewhat irksome then to discover that these recommendations for this (no more than) moderately entertaining book were by the author's chums. Given his predilection for railing against modern life, this strikes me as pretty rich. I am usually someone for whom a term such as 'scabrously funny' is enough to make me seek out a book, but I felt short-changed by this one -- for me, far from the classic some are claiming.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 20, 2010 3:40 PM BST


Artemis Fowl and the Lost Colony
Artemis Fowl and the Lost Colony
by Eoin Colfer
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars another winner, 13 Sept. 2006
Artemis is back on top form. His encounter with another young genius -- a girl! -- is priceless.


Page: 1