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I McIntosh (United Kingdom)
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The Scarlet Letter
The Scarlet Letter
by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.49

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This was fine apart from the fact its font size was so ..., 24 April 2017
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This review is from: The Scarlet Letter (Paperback)
My review reflects 2 aspects:
-the story. This was interesting, with sections of brilliance (such as a description of an American eagle crest, referring to the governent's treatment of its citizens), an insight into attitudes and society in seventeenth century New England, but with a weaker mid section relative to a strong start and end.
-the physical book itself. This was fine apart from the fact its font size was so small it made reading under artificial light a challenge. I don't normally find this a problem with other books


PetSafe 400SGIFD Staywell Luxus Magnetic Cat Flap in White
PetSafe 400SGIFD Staywell Luxus Magnetic Cat Flap in White
Offered by MMP Living UK
Price: £39.30

4.0 out of 5 stars Simple magnetic flap, 15 Mar. 2017
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Worked as described. Kept out unwanted neighbourhood cat. Our cat a little annoyed by magnet on her neck locking into metal furniture....


Leki Women's Cressida Poles - Nacre/Green/Anthracite, Size 64 - 125
Leki Women's Cressida Poles - Nacre/Green/Anthracite, Size 64 - 125
Offered by ALL OUTDOOR LTD
Price: £83.02

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 7 Nov. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Arrived promptly and as described.


Neoteck Aluminum SCART To HDMI Converter 1080P SCART to HDMI Adapter + 3.5mm Headphone Stereo Audio Video Adapter with UK Power Adapter for Smartphones to HDTV STB PS3 Sky DVD Blu-ray
Neoteck Aluminum SCART To HDMI Converter 1080P SCART to HDMI Adapter + 3.5mm Headphone Stereo Audio Video Adapter with UK Power Adapter for Smartphones to HDTV STB PS3 Sky DVD Blu-ray
Offered by Neoteck
Price: £20.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Arrived quickly. Simple to install. Worked for me ..., 7 Nov. 2016
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Arrived quickly. Simple to install.

Worked for me in taking audio and video signal from an old Sky box and a DVD player which only had SCART outlets to my new digital TV's HDMI inputs.


The Tale of Genji(Roughcut) (Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions)
The Tale of Genji(Roughcut) (Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions)
by Murasaki Shikibu
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.90

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Men behaving badly 1,000 years ago in Japan, beautifully observed by a woman, 19 April 2016
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I only purchased this as it was listed in one of the lists of 1001 books to read. I find in almost embarrassing that I hadn't heard of it, given that it apparently has claims to be the earliest prose novel we have (I had thought this was Don Quixote), that it was written over 1,000 years ago and written by a woman. I guess this just shows the Western-centric focus of my education.

The positives outweigh the negatives. You are introduced to a completely different culture, societal structure and moral and religious outlook, vastly different to the post-Viking, pre-Norman state of England at this point over 300 years before Chaucer. The language and the imagery get to you, but take time. It has a languid, gentle style which is not complicated in the sense of long sentences or difficult vocabulary, but you feel that everything has layers and layers of associations and imagery, which are partially conveyed by the notes. It's like the many layers of screens, curtains and fans that stand in the way of the male lover's attempt to see his beloved.

Most of the plot concerns men behaving badly in their attempt to secure one, or usually more, wives or conquests and follows familial relations at the Japanese court over several generations. There's bullying assertiveness (often aided and abetted by the women surrounding the female targets of affection), rape and a disturbing suggestion that the best way to get the perfect wife is to 'grow your own' from age 10 onwards. But there is also romantic imagery and real tenderness and loyalty shown by the better of them.

There is also a strong sense of a society whose elite really appreciate nature and the seasons, with festivals celebrating particular blossoms and arguments between the proponents of Spring v. Autumn. There is also a parallel world of monks and nuns dedicated to celebrating the underlying Buddhist beliefs of the time.

On the negative side, it's very long, it's hard to keep up with all the characters as most are known by their job titles which continually change (a family tree would have helped). The plot can also get a little repetitive with continually infatuations and conquests. However, it's worth sticking with it and the last 1/3 has different characters and a more sustained narrative which has stayed with me.

Very pleased I read it, but as the introduction suggests: 'The tale is for readers who have time'. Makes me want to visit Japan.


Life: A User's Manual
Life: A User's Manual
by Georges Perec
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.68

15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An exercise in futility, 22 April 2012
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This review is from: Life: A User's Manual (Paperback)
Sadly did nothing for me. I'm sure writing within the bizarre constraints the author has imposed on himself is technically admirable and he has clearly spent enormous effort in imagining in microscopic detail multiple aspects of the many lives described but, for the most part, it was like reading a book of sudoku or an index. There are minute detailed descriptions of apparently every item in every room, there are interminable lists.

To be fair, there are occasional quaint and entertaining diversions into the back stories of some of the characters which engage temporarily from the tedium; like finding a few loose leafed short stories interspersed in a dry encyclopaedia.

Most of the characters seem to fail in their plans. The supreme irony for me is that the author convinced me to waste my life away reading it, not unlike Bartlebooth's time-wasting master plan of futility.

User tip: Live your life: don't read this...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 11, 2016 10:27 PM BST


Boyle: Between God and Science
Boyle: Between God and Science
by Michael Hunter
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Worthy, 15 Jan. 2011
This thoroughly researched account of Boyle is unfortunately a pretty tough read. A significant amount of time is spent laying out the precise set of publications he produced with less on the man himself or on putting his experimental findings and theories in more of a scientific context: what did he discover that was new and why was it important.

In part, I suspect this is because it is only the publications which survive. As Michael Hunter decsibes in the last chapter, many of the more quotidien letters and documents which would have rounded out our picture of Boyle have been lost. That said, this book added hugely to my understanding of an important and complex figure I had known only from 'Boyle's Law',


The Idea of Justice
The Idea of Justice
by Amartya Sen
Edition: Hardcover

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 11 Nov. 2009
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This review is from: The Idea of Justice (Hardcover)
Having greatly enjoyed Mr Sen's lectures at university 25 years ago, I was disappointed by this. Maybe it's because I now consider myself a 'lay' reader out of practice with the extreme theoretical tone of many philosphical papers.

It would assist his view, with which I concur, that just outcomes are more likley after wide public scrutiny of ideas, if the book was more publicly accessible. He spends too long countering a wide variety of other philosophers' ideas, rather than in seeking to illustrate how the application of his own theories would lead to different actual practical recommendations.

He is rightly critical of approaches that rely on a perfect 'transcendental' idea of just institutions and says we need to focus on actual outcomes. To me the book is at its best when he uses real examples of dilemnas. How much more powerful would it be to set out examples of many more real ethical dilemnas and suggest how the recommendations he believes would emerge from his approaches would differ from competing theories of justice.

Overall, it comes across as a long theoretical discussion of topics related to justice rather than a coherent theory in its own right.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 7, 2010 4:38 PM GMT


Masquerade Party Game
Masquerade Party Game
Offered by SJH TRADING
Price: £19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fun communication skills, 11 April 2009
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This review is from: Masquerade Party Game (Toy)
We've played this for years. Has the flexibility to work as a brilliant fun game in very different groups: from 16 '20-somethings' playing most nights in a ski chalet to a family game with full participation for kids from 8 upwards.

Great way of getting kids to communicate in a way schools don't normally teach.

At it's heart it's basically charades without the constraint of film/book/play and with 3 difficulty levels it gives everyone an easy entry point. We generally play as 2 teams; boys/girls, family splits, etc, which also means it's less daunting for first time players.


Everything's an Offer
Everything's an Offer
by Robert Poynton (author)
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Accepted with thanks, 24 Jan. 2009
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This review is from: Everything's an Offer (Paperback)
Hard to categorise this book, which I suspect would please the improvising author. As the title suggests you can take what it offers in many ways: part philosphy of how to approach life: e.g. be open, observe and use what's around you, celebrate the unexpected, part business guide, part snippets of autobiography, part guide to improvisational techniques, part self-help guide.

Very readable with mix of improvisational theory illustrated by Gary Hirsh's fun diagrams & doodles and engaging anecdotes from personal experience that brings it to life.

As one of life's planners who can agonise about how to deal with events that never occur, I found this a welcome challenge, not to 'wing-it' but rather absorb and use the energy of '**** happens' in a positive way.

Quirky size and lovely little details (e.g. told in the microprint at the start that the book is printed in the bagel capital of the world) round off an intriguing package.


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