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Westham (Brussels, Belgium)

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The Universe versus Alex Woods
The Universe versus Alex Woods
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Kurt Vonnegut lovers will enjoy this book., 8 Jan. 2014
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The narrator (himself a declared Vonnegut fan) has something of the same deceptively simple style, draws strong characters economically, can hold a complex plot together and has one or two things to say that are worth saying. I understand it's his first published work, so we can look forward to more in the same vein.


THE COMPLETE SERIES OF RICHARD HANNAY (Annotated and With Active Table of Contents)
THE COMPLETE SERIES OF RICHARD HANNAY (Annotated and With Active Table of Contents)
Price: £0.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A curate's egg, 20 July 2013
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I first read and enjoyed "The 39 Steps" as a boy and thoroughly enjoyed it. Then I saw two first class film adaptations (both very loose interpretations of the book - and none the worse for that). Coming back to the book as an adult, however, I was less impressed. The outstanding characteristic of both the author and his protagonist seemed to be self-satisfaction - you really wouldn't want to share a drink with either of them. Amazingly, both of the film versions are not only wittier and faster paced than the book, they are also deeper and have better plots.
As for the remainder of the Hannay books, well, I'm afraid it's all downhill after 'The 39 Steps'.


The Complete Raffles Collection by E.W. Hornung (Unexpurgated Edition) (Halcyon Classics)
The Complete Raffles Collection by E.W. Hornung (Unexpurgated Edition) (Halcyon Classics)
Price: £1.49

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I'd hoped., 20 July 2013
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"Raffles the gentleman thief" was part of English mythology when I was a boy, but I'd never come across the books anywhere, so I seized the chance to read this complete collection. What can I say? Frankly, it all seemed very pedestrian; the plot lines in particular being flat and predictable and there was something about the underlying assumptions of the author about politics and morality that I found constantly irritating (but maybe that's just me).
I suppose it says something for the book that I nevertheless finished the volume, but for a while there it was in the balance.


Night of the Assassin: (Assassin Series Prequel)
Night of the Assassin: (Assassin Series Prequel)
Price: £0.00

3.0 out of 5 stars It passed the time., 20 July 2013
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Written to appeal to young men with a short attention span, I suspect. Intellectual content was, of course, zero - what else would you expect from a book with that title? Nor should you search for any humour ; there's none there - and it seems to revel in wholly unnecessary violence from time to time. That said, the guy is a competent writer whose action scenes are usually exciting.. .


You are Not So Smart
You are Not So Smart
Price: £6.71

5.0 out of 5 stars Quite an eye-opener, 20 July 2013
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I chose to read this because I'd already learned a little about how illogical and self-serving our "memories" can be. This book gave me much more trustworthy information. I would recommend it to anybody, but particularly to those who hold strong and immovable opinions. My one gripe with the book is that - possibly in an effort to broaden its appeal - either the author or his editor has dumbed it down.
Nevertheless, I still loved it.


The Origins of the British: The New Prehistory of Britain: A Genetic Detective Story
The Origins of the British: The New Prehistory of Britain: A Genetic Detective Story
Price: £7.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A more scholarly and scientific work than I had been looking for., 10 April 2013
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In tracing the populations of the British Isles - through their DNA - back to their origins in Northern Spain and the Adriatic during the last Ice Age, this book does something that I was only vaguely aware was possible. I read it on an old kindle, with the result that the maps were tiny, and their keys unreadable. Thus, instead of pointing up the text, the maps served - if anything - to obscure it. This problem is doubly important given the scientific and scholarly nature of the text (the author is no David Attenborough).
That said, the book spread a whole new light on a subject that I find fascinating. Had I come to it with more background knowledge, I would have got even more out of it - that, of course, is my fault, not the book's.


London: the Autobiography
London: the Autobiography
Price: £1.99

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice idea, 15 Jan. 2013
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Great idea to tell the whole history of the world's greatest city by showing the reader a great selection of the historical documents that have survived and leaving him to draw his own conclusions. There should be more books like this.


Wonderful Wodehouse 2: A Collection: Thank You Jeeves, Right Ho Jeeves, The Code of the Woosters
Wonderful Wodehouse 2: A Collection: Thank You Jeeves, Right Ho Jeeves, The Code of the Woosters
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Up to snuff, 15 Jan. 2013
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I was about fourteen years old when I first came across Jeeves and the rest, and couldn't stop laughing out loud then. Over fifty years on, Mr Wodehouse is still as funny - and much funnier as reading-matter than as a TV programme.


Fifty Shades of Grey: Movie Tie-in
Fifty Shades of Grey: Movie Tie-in
Price: £4.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Quite sorry I bought it., 15 Jan. 2013
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A bit like the Da Vinci Code, in the sense that after a while you just have to find out what all the fuss is about. My fault, I used the "Look Inside" feature on Amazon, but still bought it - my excuse is that I just couldn't believe that a book so badly written could sell so well.


1,227 QI Facts To Blow Your Socks Off: Fixed Format Layout
1,227 QI Facts To Blow Your Socks Off: Fixed Format Layout
Price: £3.09

3.0 out of 5 stars Three stars., 15 Jan. 2013
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Yes, it's OK. If you enjoy the TV programme, you'll pass a happy few hours with the book. If you don't, you won't.


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