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Son of King (Yorkshire, England, U.K)

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Gwendy's Button Box
Gwendy's Button Box
by Stephen King
Edition: Board book
Price: £10.99

2.0 out of 5 stars A good introduction to the world of Stephen King for Young Adult readers..., 10 Aug. 2017
This review is from: Gwendy's Button Box (Board book)
Not really sure if this novella was intended for the "Young Adult" market but it certainly wouldn't be out of place under that category on Amazon. The prose is simple and straight to the point without getting bogged down in reams of aimless narrative you sometimes find in King novels, I think this has something to do with Chizmar's writing style, and it is refreshing to read a story with King's name on it that doesn't weigh in at 700+ pages. The writing flows along quite nicely and it had me turning the pages (I finished it in two sittings) but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was reading a book aimed at a young audience. By all means, this is not a bad read, it definitely has some bite and would make a great starting point for a YA new to the world of Stephen King (essentially it is a coming from age tale) but it just didn't really do it for me as a seasoned Constant Reader (and a man in his late thirties!).


Weed Species
Weed Species
by Jack Ketchum
Edition: Hardcover

2.0 out of 5 stars A rather pointless exercise in depravity... One to keep in a drawer..., 11 July 2017
This review is from: Weed Species (Hardcover)
I own a Cemetery Dance Lettered Edition of this book and having just finished reading it I am now left wondering why CD even bothered to publish this story from Jack Ketchum as a standalone title. Firstly at 86 pages it can barely be called a novella, I've read short stories longer than this, it has the thickness of a Ladybird book and a similar typeface. I almost regret buying it for this reason alone but as with most books published by Cemetery Dance it is beautifully presented with some cool interior artwork from Glenn Chadbourne. So I was further dismayed to find that the story contained within was not particularly good.

As with some other works by Jack Ketchum (The Lost, The Girl Next Door) it has clearly been inspired by a real-life criminal case; anybody who is familiar with the so-called "Ken and Barbie" killers will instantly recognise where Ketchum has drawn his inspiration from after the first few pages. Don't expect a slow build up with this one like "Hide & Seek" or "I'm Not Sam", Ketchum floors the gas pedal from the very beginning with a graphic sexual depiction of the likes I haven't read since "American Psycho" and which continue throughout the book (with little in the way of a story between).

There's really not much on offer here in terms of plot and characterisation and you start to feel like this was a deliberate attempt to simply shock the reader as much as possible with the most depraved transgressions imaginable, it almost gets embarrassing at times where it is apparent that Ketchum is clearly trying to write the most profane prose he can think of and it just comes off as contrived and forced. There's some half-baked philosophising about the nature of human cruelty before the book suddenly ends as if it was never actually finished properly. Due to the short length "Weed Species" is worth a passing read (it can also be found in the 2010 Leisure Books trade paperback edition of "Joyride") but look to other Jack Ketchum titles if you want to find out what this author is truly capable of as a (usually) very good writer.


Sid Meier's Civilization V - The Complete Edition (PC DVD)
Sid Meier's Civilization V - The Complete Edition (PC DVD)
Offered by Netro Enterprise
Price: £29.88

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth its weight in gold!, 17 Nov. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My first experience of Civ was with the original Sid Meier's Civilization (with a Z, of course) which I played on my trusty Amiga 600 when I was but a boy many moons ago, I got hooked on it straight away as I did with another classic called Sim City. I've paved my way through all the sequels with the exception of Civilization 2 and Alpha Centauri which never really appealed to me, feeling that hook sink in deeper each and every time I start playing another iteration of this truly remarkable game.

Each sequel improves on its predecessor without fail but I never got round to playing Civilization 5 until now. I wanted to jump straight to Civilization 6 but unfortunately my PC is nowhere near powerful enough to run that so I plumped for this Complete Edition, and already I have pumped 82 hours worth of time into this game, which is astounding considering that I don't really do as much gaming as I used to. You get everything you could wish for and more in this edition, all the expansions and DLC making it a no brainer for the paltry price tag of £13.06, I've wasted a hell of a lot more money on comparably poor tablet games with in-app purchases in a matter of days, I forgot about the joy of buying a full game with a one off payment and enjoying it without any limits or constraints. As for the gameplay, well I'm not sure how good it was when it was first released without the DLC etc. in its vanilla state, I've heard that it did in fact need all the expansions to bring it up to the world class level we have now, but for me that doesn't matter because it is the most detailed and well rounded version of Civ I have ever played and I'm still not bored with it yet. Literally the only thing that did bother me and caused some confusion was the inability to stack units but you get used to it and alter your strategy accordingly after awhile.

As for the Steam issue... well I'm not going to dig too deep into that because I've never really had a problem with it, I understand that PC gamers don't like having extra crap imposed on them in order to play a game that has already been bought and paid for, I kind of feel the same way and miss the simplicity of just installing a game from a disc and playing it, but times change unfortunately. And I mean c'mon... is Steam really that much of a pain in the backside? I first came across it when I bought Half-Life 2 over a decade ago and gradually my perception of it changed from "irritating pointless piece of software that I would not otherwise have installed" to "handy gaming tool with some nice features that enrich gaming". You will also find some insanely cheap offers for games on Steam, if you are prepared to live in the 21st century and have access to an internet connection above and beyond 56k.

Anyway this is about the game itself and "Civilization V - The Complete Edition" is easily worth every penny!


The Biggest Secret: The Book That Will Change the World
The Biggest Secret: The Book That Will Change the World
by David Icke
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.99

0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to the crazy gang!, 17 Nov. 2016
Hollow moons? Shape-shifting reptilian humanoids?? David Icke is clearly totally and completely off his chump, just one more in a long line of nutters that have insulted mankind's intelligence with their ridiculous crackpot theories, like GALILEO ("the earth goes round the sun" - oh, sure it does!), DA VINCI ("it's possible for man to fly like a bird" - yeah right, in your dreams, Leo!), COLUMBUS ("the earth is a round ball" - did he seriously want to be locked up?) and EINSTEIN ("time can speed up or slow down depending how fast you move" - whaaat?? Why didn't someone just buy him a decent clock?!)

To be honest, I shudder to think what would have become of the human race if mainstream science had actually paid attention to such such sad loonies. Ended up sailing off the edge of the world into the jaws of some giant dragon, I shouldn't wonder!

Essentially, this is Mein Kampf rehashed for the postmodern global age but instead of gunning for jews Icke puts reptiles in his sights and blames them for the world's problems and injustices. Dangerous ideas which can provide fuel for hatred through fear and suspicion if allowed to go unchecked. Most sane rational people would point to capitalism, the political system or social intolerance as areas which need investigating and analysis to rectify fundamental flaws in our way of life but Icke is basically saying that EVERYTHING and EVERYONE is the enemy including your own MIND. This is not constructive in fact it's outright destructive. Luckily most normal people will not give any credence to this piece of work and will see it as the nonsensical ramblings of a money chasing attention seeker that Mr. Icke so obviously is.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 18, 2017 9:10 PM BST


Sennheiser HD 429 Ergonomic Closed-Back Stereo Over-Ear Headphones with Kindle Compatibility
Sennheiser HD 429 Ergonomic Closed-Back Stereo Over-Ear Headphones with Kindle Compatibility

4.0 out of 5 stars Great range of sound from the drivers but why they ..., 26 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bass! How low can you go? Bought these as a replacement for my old headset which started dying (the atypical headphone "sound out of one ear" symptom) for my Desktop PC. Mostly listen to music, watch YouTube videos and play the odd game with them. Great range of sound from the drivers but why they put such a weak cable on a moderately priced pair of headphones I'll never know, waiting to see how long they last, will have to be careful not to pull the lead around too much.


iLuv iPhone iPod Remote with Headphone Headphones Adapter for VoiceOver in Black (IEA15BLK)
iLuv iPhone iPod Remote with Headphone Headphones Adapter for VoiceOver in Black (IEA15BLK)

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Broke after six months of casual use, 17 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Wish I'd paid more attention to the other reviews before I bought this product, I tried to be especially careful with mine and didn't even use it very often but it still broke after about six months (sound only comes out of one ear through this lead now). Very poorly manufactured product, headphone leads should never be this fragile and short (useless without an extra 3.5mm M/F extension lead). Shame because the remote control system worked great but I can't recommend this product at all, you may get a few months use from it before it breaks and ends up in the bin.


Psychonauts (PC)
Psychonauts (PC)
Offered by stopnshop2000
Price: £6.97

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Take me back to Fords... I mean my sanctuary, 1 Sept. 2006
This review is from: Psychonauts (PC) (Video Game)
Psychonauts is a breath of fresh air in the world of gaming. If 'generic FPS number 897' or 'RPG number 5836' is your bag then you needn't bother with Psychonauts, or maybe you should! Try something new and different, explore something that is truly innovative and original for once in your life! You never know you might actually like it. Psychonauts is like an exotic food you've never tasted before, you might not like the look of it but if you don't try it then you won't know whether or not you like it. And at a snip at just under £10.00 now, this game is definitely worth taking a chance on. Be open minded as you approach the game.

I don't usually like platform games and very rarely play them, but after hearing such rave reviews about this game I thought I would give it a go and find out for myself just what all the fuss was about. And it didn't disappoint, infact I was pleasantly surprised. It took me approximately 16 hours to complete the game in total, and most of the time spent playing was thoroughly enjoyable.

I only gave this game 4 stars because unfortunately it wasn't perfect, in my opinion there were some minor flaws here and there. Collecting the 2D figments can be frustrating at times, as you can easily fail to pick them up due to poor edge detection. The camera angles in the game can be a tad annoying, and it's also very difficult to make Raz look upwards. The american 'Pixar style' accents can grate at times, and I feel the game tries a bit too hard to be Tim Burtonesque, I'd go as far to say that it actually rips him off at times (think 'The Nightmare Before Christmas', 'Edward Scissor Hands' etc).

But these flaws can easily be overlooked and the greatness of the game by far outweighs it's negative aspects. At the very least, everyone should give this game try. I'm fairly confident that most of them will be pleasantly surprised by this great little gem of a game.


Four Past Midnight
Four Past Midnight
by Stephen King
Edition: Paperback

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as 'Different Seasons', 24 Aug. 2006
This review is from: Four Past Midnight (Paperback)
I am a Stephen King fan and have read quite a few of his books. Often Mr King will write a novel that is a stroke of genius, at other times he will produce some real stinkers (Dreamcatcher anyone?). I feel that 'Four Past Midnight' encapsulates this observation. The book contains 4 'short' stories (well short for Stephen King) or novellas as King likes to call them. 'The Langoliers' and 'Secret Window, Secret Garden' are excellent. 'The Sun Dog' is okay. 'The Library Policeman' is ridiculous. However, 'Four Past Midnight' is well worth the cover price for the first two stories alone.

Having said that, be prepared for the mildy irritating 'King phrases' that he seems to use in every single novel he writes. For example:

1. "The nape of the neck"

2. "When you get right down to it"

3. "Ayuh"

And so on... He uses these phrases in almost every book he writes to some degree and this one is no exception. In 'Four Past Midnight' he uses 'King phrases' quite often.

To sum up, if you like King you'll like 'Four Past Midnight'. A hit and miss collection of novellas, but in true King style there is more of the former than the later. I recommend it, but I didn't think it was as consistantly excellent as, say, 'Different Seasons'. 3/5
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 16, 2010 1:38 AM GMT


Up the Bracket
Up the Bracket
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £5.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a great Rock and Roll album, 3 Dec. 2005
This review is from: Up the Bracket (Audio CD)
I didn't have much time for The Libertines when they first appeared on the scene, the few songs I heard from them on the radio at the time, just seemed like more of the same to me.
But I got hold of a copy of 'Up The Bracket' a few months ago and upon a few listens I was really surprised by how good they actually are. I was wrong to dismiss this band as another Strokes, and am kicking myself for missing out on this album for so long (and of course it looks like I'll never get the opportunity to see a live performance from them now). This is one of the best albums I've heard, ever.
It's a real shame Pete is better known for his drug fuelled antics (thanks to the incessant coverage by tabloid newspapers) than he is for his songwriting ability. The man really is a great lyricist and song writer. This quickly becomes clear upon listening to songs such as 'Death on the Stairs', 'Horroshow' and 'Tell the King'.
Their debut album is better than the self-titled second effort 'The Libertines' (which is also excellent in it's own right, however. And definitely shouldn't be missed either). 'Up The Bracket' /will/ go down as an all time classic album. If you want a great rock and roll album, you can't do much better than this. Top stuff, don't miss out like I did.


Duke
Duke
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £9.55

3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be sure to listen to this great album., 10 Dec. 2004
This review is from: Duke (Audio CD)
I've been a big Genesis fan ever since the release of this, their 1980 album, Duke. Before that I really didn't understand any of their work. It was too artsy, too intellectual. It was on Duke where Phil Collins' presence became more apparent. I think "Invisible Touch" is the group's undisputed masterpiece. It's an epic meditation on intangibility, at the same time it deepens and enriches the meaning of the preceding three albums. Listen to the brilliant ensemble playing of Banks, Collins and Rutherford. You can practically hear every nuance of every instrument. In terms of lyrical craftsmanship and sheer songwriting, this album hits a new peak of professionalism. Take the lyrics to "Land of Confusion." In this song, Phil Collins addresses the problem of abusive political authority."In Too Deep" is the most moving pop song of the 1980s about monogamy and commitment. The song is extremely uplifting. Their lyrics are as positive and affirmative as anything I've heard in rock. Phill Collins solo efforts seem to be more commercial and therefore more satisfying in a narrower way, especially songs like "In the Air Tonight" and "Against All Odds." But I also think that Phill Collins works better within the confines of the group than as a solo artist-and I stress the word artist.


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