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I would only recommend two out of the three books that make up the Gormenghast trilogy. The first, 'Titus Groan', is a masterpiece. Although, it is a book that people either love or hate. It is full of dark humour - too dark for some. It is written by a man who obviously looked at the world from a slightly different angle than the rest of us. The author, Mervyn Peake, was encouraged (some would say pressurized) by the publishers to write the other two books. So the second, 'Gormenghast', is not quite as inspired as the first. It is however, still enjoyable and worth the read. The final book, 'Titus Alone' has, in my opinion, nothing to recommend it. It is a unfocused muddle, that illustrated the deteriorating health of the author.
First in the series of (unrelated) books about the 'Culture'. This is a truly original book. A lot of science fiction books are all science and no story. This is very different. This story just happens to take place in another place and time. Although the setting has been well thought out, it never becomes more important than the characters. Iain M. Banks is brave enough to follow the story to its natural conclusion, rather than look for a neat but implausible ending. Well worth a read.
La Redoute has a good range of clothes, most of which you won't find in shops or in other catalogues. The have a good selection for women and children. The mens range is very small and some of it is a bit odd! The clothes come from France, so if you like to have a next day delivery service, then this is not for you. They charge for delivery, but returns are free. The prices cover all ranges from the cheap and cheerful to more quality items.
It probably isn't fair that I writing this after only using the service once, but I thought I'd share my irritation with you. I decided to order from here because they were a lot cheaper than Amazon - especially when taking advantage of their free postage offer on orders over £20. The books were for a birthday present and I needed them in a hurry. They state that books in stock are normally delivered in 2-3 days. I was careful to choose books with the 48hr logo next to them, thinking that meant they were in stock. To my horror, they e-mailed me to confirm that all the books were on order - ON ORDER, I thought they were meant to be all available for immediate delivery! Two books arrived after 4 days - the day of the birthday. I am still waiting for the other 3, after a week. I would probably use them again, but only if I didn't need the books in a rush. They are after all cheap. UPDATE: It's nearly a month later and I'm still waiting for one of the books!
I have been buying from this firm via their mail-order catalogue, for years. So, it's really good they've now got a web-site. The site is really good for giving you an idea of their range and prices, but I would recommend that you send for the free catalgue. There is far too much on the site to take in all at once. They stock an excellent range of greeting card blanks (both with and without apertures), card, paper, envelopes and other craft materials and packaging products. They offer good discounts for bulk buyers. I have always found that they deliver promptly. They make the odd mistake (don't we all), but these have always been sorted out quickly via e-mail.
This is a great mobile phone, if you want something that's basic and easy to use. I got mine on Orange Just Talk and it only cost me £40. Why pay more, if all you want it for is to keep in touch. The battery standby time is around 4-5 days, which is one of the longest I've seen. There is the usual answer phone function, if you don't want to keep the phone switched on all the time. There is also a text-message option, which I personally don't have much use for. There are more options available, if you are not on Just Talk, but it suits me just fine as it is!
I registered for my NTLworld disc back in April. After three months, I phoned to inquire why it hadn't arrived, only to be told that my details had mysteriously disappeared. I re-registered and was told to expect my disc mid August...then late August...then September. By this point, I was fed up and signed up for World-on-line. After 5 days at World-on-line, they informed me that the price was to rise by nearly £10/month. My NTL disc had eventually arrived - after a 5 month wait - so I thought I should try it out. Although I'm in the NTL franchise area, they haven't laid the cables here yet, so I had to transfer back to BT to connect through a BT line. I had to pay NTL £10 for the compulsory dial-up box, so my voice calls can be routed through them. They also charge a minimum of £10/month for these calls. I thought my problems were over when I installed the disc, but they had just begun. Firstly I had problems registering, then I had problems changing my username and password from the default. My main problem has been that I am having major problems accessing some sites. If I'm on a site for a long time, after a while it starts blocking it. On the rare occasions that it does let me on, after 5 minutes or so, everything freezes up. I have e-mailed technical support, but so far, they haven't been much use. They just encourage me to phone the £1/minute technical support line. A conn or what! I am seriously considering going back to World-on-line. They may be more expensive, but they were reliable.
This is a fantastic customer service orientated company. The post and packing is free worldwide, which you should keep in mind when comparing prices with Amazon. The delivery is quick, though not next day. They even offer a video search for deleted items. They charge a flat fee of £16 for the video if they find it, but don't charge anything if they don't. The only disadvantage I can think of is that once you order from them, they send you up-date e-mails ad infinitum!