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Amazon Customer RSS Feed (Alameda, Calif, USA)

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On Chesil Beach
On Chesil Beach
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $9.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing setup, but not much payoff. Disappointing., August 29, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: On Chesil Beach (Kindle Edition)
The first half or so of this book reminded me somewhat of pre-Black Dogs era Ian McEwan, when it seems to me his writing had more vigor and power to it. In On Chesil Beach he does a good job of conjuring up the minute details of dread and nervousness that bride and groom feel on their wedding night.

Unfortunately the tension and interest all fizzle away in the second half of the book, leaving me somewhat dissatisfied. It's as if McEwan got tired of the story half-way through and just rushed through to finish it off.


The Life of an Unknown Man: A Novel (Lannan Translation Selection (Graywolf Paperback))
The Life of an Unknown Man: A Novel (Lannan Translation Selection (Graywolf Paperback))
Offered by Macmillan
Price: $8.89

3.0 out of 5 stars Overly romantic for my tastes, August 19, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I enjoyed the first section, about a failed writer in modern times reckoning with the loss of his young lover. It had a bit of a wry Philip Roth edge to it. But the central part of the book launches into an extended story about the siege of Leningrad. Believe it or not, the author not only makes the siege of Leningrad into a romantic story, but in my opinion goes over the top, into schmaltzy territory. I lost a lot of interest when it became apparent that I was reading something that had been artfully crafted to be poetic and poignant, but had lost the heft of real life.


Champion Men's Champion Eco Relaxed Band Pant, Black, Large
Champion Men's Champion Eco Relaxed Band Pant, Black, Large
Price: $14.02
14 used & new from $14.00

2.0 out of 5 stars Too scratchy - are they really 80% cotton?, May 16, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've got a pair of 85% cotton sweatpants that I really like, but these - which claim to be 80% cotton - are too scratchy.


Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 12.1 MP Digital Camera with CMOS Sensor and 24x Optical Zoom - Black
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 12.1 MP Digital Camera with CMOS Sensor and 24x Optical Zoom - Black
Price: $297.99
44 used & new from $288.80

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic camera! Beyond my expectations!, May 16, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I finally graduated from a point-and-shoot, and over the past two months I've used the FZ200 to shoot pictures in the Mojave Desert, at sunny baseball games, portrait shots both indoors and outdoors, items for eBay and Craigslist, etc. I've also shot several hours of video (every pitch of about six Little League games).

Through it all I've been very, very happy. The camera has surpassed my expectations in several ways. First of all, it's so FAST compared to point-and-shoots I've had in the past. Also, the long optical zoom is fantastic. I never thought I would need such a long zoom until I wanted to track outfielders chasing after balls way out in the outfield. And the optical image stabilization has meant that my videos don't have that amateurish bounce and jiggle they used to have.

I like the dedicated video button, so even if you're in photo-taking mode, you can immediately start taking a video without changing modes.

If you're tempted to buy a camera without a viewfinder: DON'T! Having a viewfinder has two big advantages. Obviously it allows you to see the scene clearly even in bright sunlight, but also it lets you hold the camera much steadier than you would if you were holding it in front of you to look at the lcd screen.

If you're tempted to buy a camera with just a 3X or 5X optical zoom: DON'T! There are many occasions when you will need the longer zoom, especially if you're shooting video. Sure, you could always buy a separate zoom lens for more $$, but in the heat of the action you're not going to want to swap lenses.

There are a few ways it could be improved, however.

- The zoom control wants to go full speed unless you're very very careful with how far you push it. I've finally gotten the hang of it, but when shooting video you would rarely want to zoom in or out quickly.
- When in shooting mode I wish there were a "delete last" button so I could immediately delete the last photo or video.
- No support for 24p "cinema mode" video.
- No Internet or WiFi support, but I can live without that.

The Case Logic DCB-304 carrying bag is just the right size for this camera. The camera fits in with lens cap and lens hood (in reversed, storage position) with the grip pointed up so you can grab it and pull it out fast. The bag also has room for the Vivitar 3 lens filter kit in its thin carrying case, and a spare battery in a side pocket.


Player Piano
Player Piano
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $7.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Not so great as I remembered, May 16, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Player Piano (Kindle Edition)
I originally read this in college, and thought it was great. Upon re-reading it, however, I was disappointed. The theme of the book is repeated endlessly, with various characters giving the same speech, with little variation, over and over. All right, all right, we get it ...

It also wasn't clear to me why the main character decided on the course of action he took. All the characters are too obvious marionettes doing the author's bidding so he can make his Point ... again and again ...

Oh, well, on to "Sirens of Titan" ...


SanDisk SDSDU-064G-A11 64GB Ultra SDXC UHS-I Card 30MB/s (Class 10)
SanDisk SDSDU-064G-A11 64GB Ultra SDXC UHS-I Card 30MB/s (Class 10)
Offered by True Modern Electronics
Price: $35.95
85 used & new from $23.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Have shot plenty of video, and it hasn't let me down yet!, May 16, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Using my Panasonic FZ200 I've taken video of about 8 Little League games, and the card hasn't failed me yet. It's also held several hundred pictures. It's worth it to maybe spend a bit extra to get this and not take chances with some off-brand. Also worth it to get 64GB so you never have to worry about running out of space!


Rich and Strange
Rich and Strange
DVD

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A "Strange" movie all right, May 16, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've been watching all of the Hitchcock movies in order (skipping only "Juno and the Paycock") and was surprised to see he'd made a few films that could be described as romantic comedies. However, until "Waltzes from Vienna" (viewable on YouTube as "Strauss' Great Waltz") they are all pretty bad. This one is no exception ... the male lead in particular is a pretty unlikable fellow. But the film does gain a star because, when I was about ready to throw in the towel there was an unexpected plot development that kept me watching to the end. Still, this is for completists only.


Boars, Bazaars and Bugging Out
Boars, Bazaars and Bugging Out
Price: $3.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Desperately Needs Editing, May 16, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The good: Some nice, on-the-ground observations from different points of view (almost all American service people or their families, of course). I learned a lot about the way of life of ordinary Iranians. It was also interesting to read their impressions of the coming revolution, where much of the information and mis-information was passed along by rumor and conflicting reports.

The not so good: Repetitive to the point where I had to start skimming or I would lose my mind. There are only so many pages you really need to read about Iranian driving habits before you get the point, and so many boar hunting stories.

Also, some of the accounts have wayyyy too much detail. There are accounts of vacations where they tell you, for each day, what hotel room number they were in, what time the kids went down for a nap, what they had for lunch, etc, etc.

I was also hoping there would be first hand accounts of Americans actually in the embassy when it was taken over, but there were not.

So by all means buy the book if you're interested in the subject, but don't be afraid to start skimming!


Who Goes There? (RosettaBooks into Film Book 3)
Who Goes There? (RosettaBooks into Film Book 3)
Price: $5.99

2.0 out of 5 stars A Shambles, May 16, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Was disappointed. The idea for the story is interesting, but it's not written in a way that builds any suspense. The characters are all cliches ... it was hard for me to care about any of them as individuals. My advice: skip it - there are plenty of much better books out there to read.


Solaris
Solaris
DVD
Price: $2.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unwatchable, April 24, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Solaris (Amazon Instant Video)
The movie is slow and claustrophobic. No-one smiles. No-one gets to the point when talking or tries to clear anything up, preferring instead to talk in riddles. The characters don't act like humans - so why should I care? Made it through the first thirty minutes before throwing in the towel.


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