Category Archives: Reviews

Zutons at the Engine Shed

Wow, my second blog post in as many days.

On Friday night the David, Estelle the misses and me went to watch the Zutons at the Lincoln Engine Shed.
Whilst at best I recognised around 7 of their songs (really should have listened to their albums before going), it was a great night.

The highlight was the encore where they just jammed for around 10 minutes including a great drum solo.

If you get the chance they are great live, and if you live near Lincoln and haven’t been to the Engine Shed you should. It’s one of the best venues I’ve been to.

7/10

11 hours and 607 pages later

Harry Potter This morning at 6.30 I headed down to Asda, knowing that if I went via Amazon the postman would only be arriving by now and also for only a fiver I was getting a much better deal.
Now if by this point you don’t realise that I’m talking about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, where have you been.
As this was the last book I was sure the spoilers would appear as soon as possible, so I put myself into a media blackout. The mobile was left upstairs, the TV was unplugged and the local newspaper was still in the door. Even the trip to the supermarket involved a silent car journey and fingers in my ears.
So why all the fuss? I only started reading Potter in 2001 after book 4 came out. Bored one day at uni I stole a copy of book one, the following day book two and by the fifth day all four were finished.
The books aren’t bad, a bit repetitive but I was hooked. So every time a new book came out I got it straight away. However this time I went for no stop reading.
The final book is a good read, it only drags a bit near the middle. Tales of good vs evil, right vs wrong and of course the predictable plot lines.
Now I could spoil it for you by saying how it end, so here it goes

well.

if you can still get a copy for a fiver it’s worth it. £8.99 at a push but not the £17.99 it says inside the cover. And whilst were there Bloomsbury were saying that it’s worth it, yet book 6 has the same number of pages and is a quid cheaper and 5 had almost 200 more pages! With sales in the millions surely some economies of sale could be reached in reducing the costs?
7 out of 10

The Stars’ Tennis Balls

The Stars' Tennis BallsSpending a night in A&E gives you a good chance to read so when Heather went home to get my stuff, I got her to pick up the only book I could remember that was on my book shelf that I hadn’t read.
First starting the book it felt quite a bit like The Liar, which was a good read from Stephen Fry. However not too long into the book the plot line felt even more familiar, to the point where I was sure I had read the book before. Then I realised that this book is a really crap rip-off of the The Count of Monte Cristo a book which I spent a year reading and really enjoyed. So by this point I knew what was going to happen. In the end the book was just a let down. Shame on you Mr Fry! 0/10

Spamalot

SpamalotHaving just watched The Secret Life of Brian on Channel 4, I remember that I’ve yet to post my review of Spamalot.
I took Heather along just before Christmas for her birthday to a Saturday Matinee (the only tickets left). The musical follows the basic plot line of the Holy Grail and includes scenes from the film, but has been re-scripted for Broadway, which is the first problem.
It felt like some of the English humour was taken away to accommodate the Americans, and forgot to be put back in for the West End version.
Tim Curry - King ArthurAlso the extra bits felt like they were written by either Mitch Benn or Richie Webb, both I can go and see for less than a tenner, a lot less that Spamalot!
However it was still funny. The set is really good and has been made to look like the original style of Python animation. The French and the Knights who say Ni. A full 10 out of 10 to Tim Curry who played a great King Arthur, if you do get a chance try and see the show before he goes (although if Keith Allen is free, I’m sure he would make a great replacement).
As per any West End show you will need to take out a small loan for tickets, programme and drinks but it was worth it.

Borat

BoratHeather and I went to Borat on Sunday. Whilst I laughed most of the way through it, I left the cinema feeling half entertained.
People criticise the film for portraying the Kazakhs as rapist and anti-semitic, however it’s obvious they are not. The film is partly sold on how stupid Americans are, however unlike Ali G the interviews are cut very short in a way that it seems that after 30 minutes of filming only 2 minutes could be used to make a point. Everyone seemed quite innocent, and only the frat students and the guy at the rodeo come across bad but I know people in the UK who hold similar views.
You’re never too sure which people were in on the joke or were actors, the hooker? And in those final scenes, if they weren’t in on it, surely he would have been shot at in the car park of the Virgin Megastore?
However there were funny bits, the ice cream van, the bear, and that fight scene.
If you’ve got nothing else to see and you’re going to the cinema, it’s worth watching, but you may just want to wait for the DVD. 6 out of 10.

Darkness and Light

Darkness and LightFinished this book off last week, but only now have got around to writing this review.
The book was picked up at the Lincoln Book Festival, when John Harvey and Mark Billingham did a crime novel talk. I’ve not read any Johns books before and he’s written quite a few, so wasn’t too sure of what to expect. I also don’t know what I’ve missed out on from not reading the previous novel.
However I was surprised to realise how much of the description of Nottingham I was able to recognise. I’ve been several times for various different reasons (although mainly drinking) yet I could picture most of the book. The plot is good and leaves you guessing , and when I finally started reading it I almost lost a Sunday. 7/10

The Manuscript

The Manuscript Having purchased this book by it’s cover some time ago, I’ve finally got around to reading and finishing The Manuscript and whilst it had some geeky Usenet and Grepping, it let me down on the blackberries (as featured on the cover) and a plot line that was just too unbelievable. I couldn’t workout where in the 2000’s the events were taking place as I’m sure they were mixing technologies. The story had too many organisations, too many escaping shootouts and not enough geek. 6/10

Buried

BuriedBack in May I went and saw Mark Billingham at the Lincoln Book Festival. Whilst there I got his latest book Buried signed. However only last week did I actually finish the book. It’s not that I’ve been busy reading other books or that the book was a slow one to read, it’s just that I haven’t actually read anything for 3 months. When I finally got around to reading it the book was finished in 4 days. Unlike other Billingham books this one is centred around a kidnapping and not a murder. It still has Tom Thorne and the rest of the usual characters appear throughout the book.
If you’ve enjoyed any of the other books, you’ll definitely enjoy this one. 8/10

ps, anyone got any idea why the new book Johnny Come Home by Jake Arnott isn’t on Amazon? I’ve just started reading it and had the book on my shelves for quite a while so it can’t be that new, but can’t add the link to my sidebar.