Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Ed Sheeran on Amazon Music Shop now Shop now
Profile for N. DAVIES > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by N. DAVIES
Top Reviewer Ranking: 57,438
Helpful Votes: 293

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
N. DAVIES (Manchester, England)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
pixel
Boys in the Trees: A Memoir
Boys in the Trees: A Memoir
by Carly Simon
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Honest, compelling, from the heart, 25 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I got in to Carly Simon when I was 14 with her album "No Secrets"; part of my aunt's superb record collection that I enjoyed while baby-sitting for her children. The cover on that album was a mesmerising image for a 14-year old, and to find that person with such a generous smile had such talent as a musician and lyricist was a potent combination.

I thought this book was her (at last) autobiography but it's correctly titled "A Memoir". The book ends when she is just 35 with another 35 years of her life yet to go. Her mastectomy, chemo and reconstructive surgery get no mention. Her partners and husband after her marriage to James Taylor are confined to a single sentence. Because this is largely an obituary for her marriage and a paen to the love of her life: James Taylor. Despite Taylor's behaviour, from womanising to substance abuse, Carly is still clearly besotted with and in love with James Taylor.

Carly is not without regrets for her own behaviour. She acknowledges the wrong she has also done. The list of men she has slept with has been extraordinary, admitting that there were few men that she hasn't been drawn to. On her wedding eve she was in bed with James Taylor when he received a call from Bianca telling him that he shouldn't marry Carly as she was having an affair with Mick. Carly was racked with guilt and regret but Taylor hung up saying he trusted his wife-to-be and that it was nonsense. Yet, years later, Carly learned that Taylor knew all along but somehow tolerated it and proceeded with the wedding.

Often you have to read a biography to get to the truth. Autobiographies are often sanitised to project the image that the artist wishes to maintain and protect. It is therefore to Carly's credit that she has been so honest throughout this memoir. However, during the reading, after having adored her as a person and an artist for most of my life, sometimes I wished, often I wished, that I never knew, some of the secrets of hers.


ACT HDMI Switch, Switcher 3 Port, Gold Connectors, 3D Support, HDMI v1.4 for HDTV, PS3, Xbox One, 360, Bluray Player, DVD Player etc HDMI Switch
ACT HDMI Switch, Switcher 3 Port, Gold Connectors, 3D Support, HDMI v1.4 for HDTV, PS3, Xbox One, 360, Bluray Player, DVD Player etc HDMI Switch
Offered by Dr.Cable(VAT Registered)

3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't seem to to be compatible with Firebox, 2 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Strange. Plugged my Sky, DVD Player and Firebox into this and all work except the firebox. Plug my firebox direct to the TV and it works fine. Only if routed through this unit does the firebox not work. Need to look for another one.


HD 1080P Dash Cam for Cars Dashboard Camera Stealth Vehicle Camera Recorder,170 Degree Super Wide Angle 6G Lens Car Black Box Camera, Car DVR With G-Sensor Motion Detection - Novatek 96650 + AR0330
HD 1080P Dash Cam for Cars Dashboard Camera Stealth Vehicle Camera Recorder,170 Degree Super Wide Angle 6G Lens Car Black Box Camera, Car DVR With G-Sensor Motion Detection - Novatek 96650 + AR0330
Offered by Super AutoCam
Price: £98.99

40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb piece of kit, 2 April 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
What I wanted from a dashcam was:

- as compact a unit as possible to discretely fit behind the rear view mirror so I can't see it
- for it to be not obviously visible to anyone from outside of the vehicle
- a long enough cable to wire it discreetly in the cabin
- HD quality
- auto switch-on and switch-off when I start the ignition and turn the ignition off so no messing about remembering to switch it on
- continued recording for a few minutes after I've left the vehicle
- automatic cyclic recording replacing old files when card is full
- install-and-forget referring to it only when I need to if an incident occurs requiring evidence to prove the truth

I see some people have these dashcams dominate their journey being stuck in the middle of the windscreen with cables everywhere. I just wanted a high quality, discreet recorder that even I forget is there until I may need it.

This does all of the above and for a great price.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 17, 2017 10:01 AM GMT


Thin Lizzy: The Boys Are Back in Town
Thin Lizzy: The Boys Are Back in Town
by Harry Doherty
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.86

3.0 out of 5 stars Harcore Lizzy fans will tell you TL were one of the greatest rock bands, 13 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a compelling book co-authored by the late Harry Doherty and Scott Gorham. It purports to be a "warts and all" account of Thin Lizzy and while it contains no sex, there's plenty on how drugs destroyed the band and loads on the rock 'n' roll lifestyle.

Harcore Lizzy fans will tell you TL were one of the greatest rock bands, if not, the greatest. The strength of this book though is its honesty and insight into the many TL shortcomings: Scott speaks of doubts about his guitar-playing ability that made him consider quitting the band; that the record production was poor until Visconti came onboard for Live & Dangerous; that the band didn't know how to write songs until Black Rose; that the band lacked direction with none of the albums having any continuity; Gary Moore describes TL as the "most unprofessional professional band in the world"; Midge Ure speaks of Spinal Tap moments like waiting at American airports for hours to catch flights that took just 20 minutes to reach their destinations. It's this honesty rather than myth-making that is to the book's credit. And great photos help make you feel you're actually on the road with Lizzy.

A bit too much pre-occupation with Ireland for a band that was Anglo-Irish-American-Scottish - I bought the records and went to the concerts not caring whether a couple of the members were from Ireland or Timbuktoo - but overall an engrossing read.


Mens Leather Biker Jacket Black Vintage Look Biker Style Crinkle Retro BNWT (2XL)
Mens Leather Biker Jacket Black Vintage Look Biker Style Crinkle Retro BNWT (2XL)
Offered by brandslock
Price: £189.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice jacket. As per the comments elsewhere the size ..., 1 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Very nice jacket. As per the comments elsewhere the size guide is very unreliable though. I am a 42" chest so ordered the Large (43" - 45") to be safe but it was tiny. Ordered the 2X-Large size (chest size 47"-49") and it is perfect in every way.


The Shakespeare Guide to Italy: Retracing the Bard's Unknown Travels
The Shakespeare Guide to Italy: Retracing the Bard's Unknown Travels
by Richard Paul Roe
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.08

21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Yet another egregious addition to the discredited authorship debate, 26 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The author's enthusiasm for Shakespeare is admirable but the appalling lack of scholarly rigour used to produce this book is jaw-dropping at virtually every turn of the page.

Roe sets out his stall in the prologue when he says he is merely interested in facts and not what would/could/should have happened and also isn't interested in theories of an alternative author. Yet he then writes a book that disregards the facts, mangles others and would have been half the size it is if he didn't indulge in so much fanciful theorising. He makes ridiculous remarks that Shakespeare was never known to have left his house in all of his 52 years except to do business as a grain merchant - a comment that says far more about Roe than Shakespeare. He goes on to say no letters survive from Shakespeare, alleging he was illiterate. That there are virtually no letters of any playwrights that have survived the 400 years since the English Renaissance, that Shakespeare and his contemporaries plied their trade in London, 90% of which was razed to the ground in the Great Fire of 1666 destroying everything in its wake and that Shakespeare's own home was looted of all its books, desks and letters in 1637 as recorded in the associated court case does not give him food for thought. I contend that Roe was ignorant of these events that are directly responsible for the lack of survival of such perishable materials.

In his 1st chapter one would expect a compelling account of why we should believe Shakespeare visited Italy but it falls flat on its face. He first locates a grove of sycamores that he claims is referred to in Romeo & Juliet, evidence of "intimate and detailed knowledge of Italy". But there is no grove of sycamores, just the odd number to the west and south of the city of this weed of trees that has been regularly cut back so they don't over-run the place. Roe is blissfully ignorant of the fact that the only reason Shakespeare depicts Romeo depressed around Verona in a sycamore grove is as a literary device in Act 1 Scene 1 to emphasise the love-sick theme of the whole play as "sycamore" is a pun on "lovesick", i.e. syc = "sick" and amore = amour, French for "love". Shakespeare uses the same lovesick device in Othello when he has Desdemona singing a love song: "The poor soul sat sighing by a sycamore tree, Sing all a green willow, Her hand on her bosom, her head on her knee, Sing willow, willow, willow, The fresh streams ran by her, and murmur'd her moans; Sing willow, willow, willow; ...etc."

Next, he attempts to locate Juliet's house and finds the tourist trap of Cappello Street. He admits that there is no evidence that R&J ever existed, it is just a story; he admits that this house has no orchard as portrayed in R&J; he admits a balcony was added in 1936 to attract more tourists to the 3rd most popular destination in Italy due to R&J; he admits there is no evidence atall that anyone called Juliet, let alone the Juliet of R&J ever lived there. Then, he proceeds to speak of it as Juliet's house! Next, he hunts for the St Peter's church referred to in the play assuming this will be a challenge. He seems blissfully unaware that St Peter's Basilica in Rome is the seat of the Catholic church, that there are countless St Peter's churches in Italy and that Verona itself has no less than four. Faced with an abundance of St Peter's churches to choose from rather than the challenging hunt he expected he chooses the one that he claims is Juliet's as it is in "her parish", closest to the house he previously dismissed as nothing to do with Juliet. Mind-boggling.

When a local corrects him that a fight scene portrayed in the play wouldn't have happened where set because it was right under the noses of the authorities he doesn't repeat his claim of the playwright having "intimate and detailed knowledge of Italy", he just quietly moves on.

In the 2nd chapter he indulges in battling one of Shakespeare's most egregious mistakes in portraying Verona and Milan as sea ports. Occam's Razor tells us that the simplest solution is the most credible and discourages us from creating unnecessary complexity to explain a problem. The simple explanation is that Shakespeare simply did not know or care that Verona is not a sea port - he was writing for a London audience with the tidal Thames outside of the Globe and dramatising a story to resonate with that audience who equally did not know or care, he was not preoccupied with geographic or maritime accuracy. But Roe embarks on the most tortuous and incredible water-borne journey between those cities imaginable, travelling via rivers (upstream and downstream), canals and locks to get from one city to the other - one half expects him to claim they even travelled through streams and puddles to get there. For chapters he is baffled by what the playwright means by "flood", again blissfully ignorant that the term simply means a river swollen at high tide, enabling large ships to set sail. He claims an obscure Anglo-Saxon meaning for tide meaning "schedule" or "time" that leads him to conclude the tides the playwright refers to are locks in canals and claims locks are operated to schedules, not whenever boats simply need to pass, which is what actually happens. Unable to resolve a 20 km stretch that can not be traversed by water he claims to have found a schematic of canals in that area but fails to demonstrate that they were operational at the time of all the other waterways nor navigable. But Roe's insurmountable problem is that whatever a Heath Robinson of a trip he contrives, Verona is not a sea port as portrayed in the play that shows inarguable evidence that the playwright didn't know or didn't care that it was.

And this goes on in the rest of the book. He claims to have found Shylock's penthouse in the Venetian Jewish Ghetto, the only penthouse there, by using an obscure meaning of penthouse as an apartment on stilts or columns rather than the commonplace English meaning of a top-floor penthouse of which there are countless in Venice, not least in the Jewish Ghetto. He claims Shakespeare had intimate knowledge of St Luke's church at the same time as showing a map from centuries earlier that clearly shows it, meaning Shakespeare needed to travel no further than his desk to know of it. He correctly refers to the Aenied as being one of the sources for The Tempest but deliberately omits its reference to "yellow sand" so requiring Shakespeare to literally stand on Vulcano to know it has "yellow sand". Again, Shakespeare's source has all the content he needed to travel no further than his own desk. When the evidence shows Shakespeare's ignorance of Italy, Roe breathtakingly says Shakespeare was writing for an English audience, not an Italian one, so the errors don't matter.

He then concludes that the Shakespeare canon was written 20 years before scholarly analysis and evidence shows it to have been merely based on a line referring to perfumed gloves and Roe's beloved Earl of Oxford having given Elizabeth a pair in 1576. That perfumed gloves were popular as early as 1560 and that Shakespeare's own father was a glovemaker, literally evades him.

Roe's most appalling crime is reserved for the last chapter. He correctly concedes that the trip that Prospero and Miranda make from Milan to the sea and on to Prospero's island could not happen. This relatively simple trip of "some leagues to sea" as portrayed in The Tempest would instead require a 400km eastward river trip down the Adage and a huge voyage around the east then southern coast of Italy to reach destination. One thinks Roe has finally found that his theorising is balderdash but instead he simply says that the playwright really meant Florence and claims Elizabethan authorities insisted on an edit to the play before publication. Utterly astonishing.

This is the world of the conspiracy theorists, especially the Oxfordians: avoid most facts and sensible explanations; warp the remaining facts; treat Shakespeare unlike everyone else in the world; if the facts don't fit, then bend them, create your own facts from myth.

This is another great addition to the conspirasist's canon: from the silly film "Anonymous" to TJ Looney's "Shakespeare Identified" to Malcolm X believing Shakespeare was actually a French playwright called "Jacques Pierre". All tales full of hot air and myth, told by fools, signifying nothing.
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 17, 2016 9:07 AM BST


The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band
The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band
by Tommy Lee
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.08

5.0 out of 5 stars Excess all areas and a heartbreaker, 18 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Never been a fan of MC nor could I recognise any of their songs but read this to extend my consumption of rock literature and the extensive recommendations here on Amazon. How they have all survived what they indulged in is truly astonishing: every sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll story imaginable? They did it. The chapter on Vince's daughter's death though will break your heart. Heart-wrenching stuff.


The Lodger: Shakespeare on Silver Street
The Lodger: Shakespeare on Silver Street
by Charles Nicholl
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.59

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but padded, 21 Aug. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The book benefits from an analysis of a civil court case that involved Shakespeare as a witness and the associated characters to trace the author's lodgings and the people he knew. It's an intriguing insight into Elizabethan times, where Shakespeare lived, who he associated with. You feel as if you are walking through the very London streets of Shakespeare's times.

Its shortcomings are its tedious descriptions of "tire making", the occupation of his landlord and landlady, and its needless obsession with the prostitution of the time. The "tire making", in particular, is tiresome and of no real relevance to Shakespeare. It's like writing a book on Churchill and finding he lodged with a gardener for a while so using that to justify analysing the internal workings of a lawnmower. Some justification for this is sought by finding any reference to "tire making" in the plays but it smacks of padding out a book that has little substantial material to work with at the start.

A worthwhile buy and read but not the landmark publication some critics have hyped it up to be.


TP-LINK TD-W8960N 300 Mbps Wireless N ADSL2+ Modem Router for BT Connections
TP-LINK TD-W8960N 300 Mbps Wireless N ADSL2+ Modem Router for BT Connections
Price: £23.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely superb, 11 Feb. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought a Cisco WAG120N router 2 weeks ago (see my separate review) and returned it as an awful product. Did better research then settled on this device from the rave reviews. Absolutly faultless. Signal strength and range at optimum. Speed superb. Setup a piece of cake. Price perfect. Very strongly recommended indeed.


Linksys by Cisco WAG120N Wireless-N Modem Router - 150 mbps  (for ADSL / telephone line connections i.e BT Broadband)
Linksys by Cisco WAG120N Wireless-N Modem Router - 150 mbps (for ADSL / telephone line connections i.e BT Broadband)

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, 6 Feb. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Sorry to say purchasing this item was an awful experience.

I previously had a Netgear g-wireless router and decided to "upgrade" to an n-wireless one to benefit from better signal, and, more importantly, range. So I bought this and a Cisco n-wireless client adaptor for my PC. I chose Cisco as we have Cisco industrial-strength kit at work so thought I'd go for what I thought is the best in its field. Boy, was I wrong.

Signal strength has gone from 4 bars on my g-wireless to 1-2 on this and the router is just 4 metres away in the next room. Only when I place the router adjacent to the PC do I get a full 5-bar signal. The ports don't work either. Got the latest firmware but no good. Changed the wireless settings to those recommended on various websites to no avail. Researched elsewhere on the web and found the WAG120N is notorious for poor signal range and strength so I've bought a known dud.

Ironic that I can see 4 other wireless networks throughout the neighbourhood at 2-3 bars but I can't get a decent signal off a Cisco n-wireless modem router in the next room in my own home! I've spent over 30 years in IT and have never seen an alleged advancement in technology actually be such a significant jump back.

Amazon's outstanding returns service invoked to see the back of it.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4