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grahamer "MadManxMan" RSS Feed (Isle of Man)

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Tunnel Vision-The Bomb Maker Arrives in Boston
Tunnel Vision-The Bomb Maker Arrives in Boston
Price: $2.99

12 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid at all costs, January 6, 2013
I don't review many books on Amazon any more; only those I feel strongly about. I don't know where all these 5 star reviews came from because, frankly, this book should be avoided at all costs. The storyline is okay but the execution is diabolical.

First of all, the characters are either flat or totally unbelievable. We have a martial arts expert who cries at least once every three pages. We have his brother, a tough drugs dealer and also martial arts expert, who also cries every couple of pages. We have mafia types who talk like they just fell out of a bad movie script. And we have stereotype muslim terrorists. There's not a single believable character in the whole book!

There are excrutiatingly long descriptions and sub plots that are meaningless. There is, for example, a whole, long chapter about spending a day on a boat - it added nothing whatsoever to the story. And that's just one example of many. And much too much of the book is written in the passive tense. It just distracts the reader, because it's not natural.

Sentence construction and the choice of words is atrocious... "He threatened the steering wheel's integrity with the fierceness of his grip and the wheeling of turns" (No, I promise you, I'm not making that up. There are several hundred pages like that!)

And the author doesn't seem to even understand the basic concept of "show, not tell", There are pages and pages and pages of "telling" that could easily have been used to build the characters bit by bit if small bites of information had been "shown" to readers along the way. In fact, there was so much "tell" in the first few chapters that I nearly didn't even bother reading on.

There are so many good books on Amazon that you should go look for something different if you want to enjoy your reading.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 14, 2013 6:09 AM PDT

Traffic Jam Formula
Traffic Jam Formula

1.0 out of 5 stars I am the author, March 10, 2012
I wrote TheTrafficJam Formula in 1993. It is now totally OUT OF DATE and not relevant to today's internet. I don't know who authorised its inclusion on Amazon, but I certainly didn't. DO NOT BUY this out of date product... there are lots of better books available that reflect up-to-date trafic methods.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 20, 2013 1:52 PM PST

Office 2003 All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies
Office 2003 All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies
by Peter Weverka
Edition: Paperback
Price: $25.70
120 used & new from $0.01

227 of 229 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best in a line of 'greats', November 5, 2003
The last book review I wrote on this site was close on one year ago... for no other reason than leading a busy life doing other things. But I just felt I had to come out of `exile' for this book because it's classic Peter Weverka at his stunning best.
Clear, precise, a touch of gentle humor, Peter cuts through the jargon like a hot knife through butter. There is simply NOTHING that doesn't get properly explained and simplified.
"Office 2003 All-In-One" is the Dummies Guide to not just one program but to no less than NINE. (Word 2003, Outlook 2003, PowerPoint 2003, Excel 2003, FrontPage 2003, Access 2003, Publisher 2003, Office 2003 - one step beyond and Windows XP). It's a true compendium of reference books - a genuine all-in-one library.
Just so you understand why I feel so qualified to comment on this publication, I should tell you that I am an 'expert user' at Excel and Access. I'm very much a middle-of-the-road user at Word, Outlook, PowerPoint and Windows XP, and I have never before even looked at FrontPage or Publisher. I reckon that gives me a unique insight into how effective Mr Weverka's writing for all types of users and all levels of expertise.
I can assure you it hits the mark at EVERY level. Never condescending, never too clever for his own good, always explained in clear simple language, this book is an absolute pleasure to own, and a real treasure house of information and reference.
Screen captures are clean and easy to understand, cross-referencing is more than adequate, and there's hardly a word of unintelligible jargon or computerese anywhere. (Oh, and the author throws in a few smiles from time, to time, just to stop you nodding off.)
Peter Weverka has really excelled himself, and has again produced a masterly tome that will stand the test of time. If you want to know more about the inside workings of Office 2003, THIS is the only reference book you will ever need... and that's a promise.

The Illustrated Brief History of Time, Updated and Expanded Edition
The Illustrated Brief History of Time, Updated and Expanded Edition
by Stephen Hawking
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.16
116 used & new from $9.96

69 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the original, May 13, 2002
I read the original version of 'A Brief History of Time' back in 1988. At the time, Hawking was into ground-breaking territory. The fact that his theories have gained such universal acceptance and that many of them have since been proved is evidence of the brilliance of the mind that thought through the logic.
In this updated version, Hawking moves from time travel to black holes to general relativity, quantum mechanics and even string theory, he never fails to captivate and entrance, even though some of the theories are difficult to grasp.
The sections devoted to black holes and time travel are, in my view, the most interesting... putting a human slant of a highly theorical subject. With the addition of hundreds of amazing illustrations and photos, Hawking has made his revised book extremely readable and colorful, both comprehensive and comprehendable, as one reviewer put it.
An excellent introduction to relativity, big bang, and anything else you might have scratched your head about!

Fall On Your Knees (Oprah's Book Club)
Fall On Your Knees (Oprah's Book Club)
by Ann-Marie MacDonald
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.81
1023 used & new from $0.01

28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, but..., May 13, 2002
I HATE doing this, but I have now closed Fall on Your Knees and will not bother opening it again. I struggled to about the halfway point, but can go no further.
It's not that it's badly written... in fact the prose in places is beautiful. It's not that there's no story... there's bucket-loads of story and the reader is dragged through it at a rate of knots that is sometimes breathtaking. And maybe that's the problem. So far, we've not stopped long enough in one place to care for any of the characters.
I really don't care what happens to any of them!
Honest, I struggled and struggled to keep going, but boredom finally broke me and I've given up. As one astute reviewer puts it ... "The traumas and tribulations were just never ending, with all the subtlety of a John Phillips Sousa march" ... Well here's a de Sousa fan who prefers the marches!
Sorry, but...

The Domain Name Handbook; High Stakes and Strategies in Cyberspace
The Domain Name Handbook; High Stakes and Strategies in Cyberspace
by Ellen Rony
Edition: Paperback
34 used & new from $0.01

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Out of touch and out of date, April 19, 2002
I have to agree with one of my fellow reviewers - this book is way too technical and dry. With heavy, heavy chapters devoted to the development of the domain name system, trademark challenges, dispute case studies etc., The Domain Name Handbook reads more like a govenment manual than an istructive and entertaining piece of writing. Ten out of ten for so much research but not many out of ten for entertainment value, (and, yes, even an instruction manual can be enetertaining).... Theirwell-linked pages will take you some interesting routes to wherever the real knowledge lies.
If you're a sucker for tables, lists, facts, data and specifics, this book with inform. If, like me, you prefer that learning should be fun, you'll find yourself in the wrong hands here. In any case, the book was published in mid 1998 and, with so much having happened on the Web, is in dire need of a revised update.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 7, 2013 4:53 PM PST

Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest
Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest
by Stephen E. Ambrose
Edition: Paperback
240 used & new from $0.01

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent collection of soldiers' memories., April 1, 2002
Stephen Ambrose does an excellent, craftsmanlike job of piecing together the memories of the men of Easy Company, 101st Airborne. In 'Band of Brothers' he recounts the 18 months or so from the formation of Easy Company under the disciplinarian Herbert Sobel, to their disbandment at war's end. To many, the fact that men can accept death in such an uncomplicated way is puzzling, yet many books that have been written from the soldiers' perspectives indicate that this attitude was prevelant to all fighting men.
One of the telling moments for me was, I believe, when Lt. Col. (later Gen.) Harry W.O.Kinnard said of the Battle of the Bulge, "We never felt we would be overrun. We were beating back everything they threw at us. We had the houses and were warm. They were outside the town, in the snow and cold." Every surviving member of E company kept copies of that newspaper story with comments which could best be translated as "What battle was he in?"
To me, this shows that Ambrose really did get the soldiers' take on the war. The trenches, the deaths, the cold, the hunger. If I may make one small criticism it is that, in places, he relied TOO much on the soldiers' memories... he talks of E Company's 'triumphant capture' of Berchtesgaden (Hitler's Eagle's Nest). History says he is wrong. In fact the French, under orders from General Leclerc, but against the orders of deGaulle beat the Americans into Berchtesgaden by almost a full day. The differences in recollection may well come from the fact that the Americans were first into the sections of Eagle's Nest they considered important - the French, led by an engineer called Bernard de Nonancourt had gone straight to the wine cellars to reclaim their half-million bottles of captured wine! Difference of priority - difference of perspective!
Band of Brothers is an excellent account of man's inhumanity to man; of men's love for their fellow men, and of mens' sacrifices for mankind. It is also an interesting perspective on the actions undertaken by Easy Company during the last 12 months of the war in Europe.

No Title Available

20 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Logical, precise and undemanding, March 30, 2002
I'll not boire you with the content - that's simple enough to deduce. John A. Keel has penned a worthy addition to his other works. He says at the outset that he draws no conclusions - he simply throws up his ideas for discussion.
In fact that's a neat start but, by the end of the book, it's very obvious that he's blasted apart a load of myths, sunk the Lovers of Atlantis, and mystified the Men from Mars. And it was all done so neatly!
Keel is logical (I like that). He offers evidence of his observations (I like that). He shows the flaws in other theories (I like that). He's written a great book (I like that!).
Get it. Read it. You'll like it too.

The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, Book 3)
The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, Book 3)
by Stephen King
Edition: Hardcover
53 used & new from $27.50

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Third in the series... but not the last., March 30, 2002
In The Waste Lands, Roland and company get ensnared in a civil war in the urban waste of Lud, acquire a delightful talking pet named Oy the Bumbler, and find themselves captives of a psychotic train called Blaine the Mono.
The plot is complex, yet weirdly logical. But take warning: this series is addictive, and you may need to also buy book 4, Wizard and Glass. Otherwise, you won't know what happened when Blaine went insane with Roland's gang onboard.
The Wastelands begins a few months after the end of The Drawing of the Three. Both Eddie and the newly merged Suzannah are learning gunslinging abilities, and both are learning not only to escape their pasts but use them to their advantage. Eddie has taken up an old childhood hobby, whittling, and they are about to resume their quest for the Tower. However, one thing greatly impairs their progress - the fact that Roland the gunslinger is losing his mind...
No plot-spoilers here ... just buy the book and read it! You'll not regret it.

The Drawing of the Three (Dark Tower)
The Drawing of the Three (Dark Tower)
by Stephen King
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
246 used & new from $0.01

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional, March 30, 2002
In The Drawing of the Three, Roland is attacked by marvelous, poisonous "lobstrosities" and enters our world for help. He takes heroin addict Eddie Dean from 1987 New York and Odetta Holmes from 1964 New York as his team. In a powerful time-tripping scene, Roland confronts Jack Mort and actually changes Jake's Earth history, which has heady implications for Roland's world.
The Drawing of the Three is different again from The Gunslinger. What really got to me was the fact that Jack and Odetta were so intimately joined without ever knowing it, and that Roland, in Mort's body, bought bullets from someone who worked with Balazar, Eddie's drug czar. All the coincidences that weren't coincidences, the terror of the lobstrosities (not to mention Detta Walker), the disturbing mind of Jack Mort, and the action-packed shootout at Balazar's. These combine effortlessly to join a remarkable novel that is one of King's best. The joy when Eddie finally overcame his physical addiction, or when Detta/Odetta joined finally, or the dark happiness when Jack Mort finally kicked the bucket... Just read it!

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