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Alias is gaining recognition as another potential cult TV show that made it big in the States but is slow on the uptake in the UK. It?s currently being aired on Channel Four on Sundays. The show basically revolves around our sexy brunette heroine Sydney Bristow. Sydney (Played by Jennifer Garner) is a student with a difference. She has been recruited by a secret organization called SD-6. To begin with Sydney thinks that she is working for a secret department of CIA. But she?s not! SD-6 is not a part of the CIA - it's a criminal organization founded by ex-agents. SD-6 is THE enemy of the United States. This isn?t Sydney?s gig and she contacts CIA to bring SD-6 down! Sydney has only one other person who she can trust in SD-6 and strangely enough it?s her father and guess what, she barely knows him! She?s not sure if she can trust him yet. Was he involved in her mothers death? She knows he is a double agent too - but do his loyalties lie with the CIA or SD-6? Sydney?s cover is a job for a bank but they call her night and day and she disappears for worldwide business trips. Yes her friends get curious but if they get too curious they end up dead! Sydney has to manage her studies, being a double agent and most importantly not getting her friends killed! Each episode sees Sydney risking it all for SD-6 but she has ulterior motives. All the information she gets for SD-6 she gives to the CIA. The Main Characters (aside from Sydney) are outlined as follows: Jack Bristow (played by Victor Garber) ? Jack is Sydney?s father. He is a double agent working SD-6 as a main player but for the CIA as a senior agent. He?s deep undercover and unbelievable cool and collected on the job. He?s got nerves of steel and then some Arvin Sloane (played by Ron Rifkin) Arvin is the director of SD-6. He, like Jack, is cool calm and collected! He?s a huge player in the world of espionage. He the main villain but strangely is almost the l oveable rogue! He dotes on Sydney (there?s something more in this relationship ? perhaps he is her father????) and saves her life when she comes under suspicion as a double agent. His wife is very ill and is dying of cancer ? so not only do we see his villainous side we get to see the very human side of him too! Marcus Dixon (played by Carl Lumbly) ? Dixon is Sydney?s partner in crime. He?s SD-6 through and through but he thinks SD-6 are the good guys! Sydney wants to tell hi but she?ll blow her own cover! Marshall Flinkman (played by Kevin Weisman) ? Marshall is my favourite character. He?s a complete and utter nerd! He?s the techie that provides all the cool gadgets to the agents in SD-6. He is the kinda guy who never gets the girls but perhaps deserves to. Michael Vaughan (played by Michael Vartan) ? Vaughan is a junior CIA agent and is Sydney?s handler. There?s always an undertone of romance between Sydney and Vaughan but they have to meet in secret and under the strangest of circumstances! We?re talking messages dropped in bins as communication. He normally poses as a blood bank technician but only Sydney ever goes into the mobile blood bank to donate (strange that!). Most of Alias? girlie viewers will be wanting this pair to get it on, but at the moment they are close friends stopped from getting any closer because of their jobs! Will Tippin (played by Bradley Cooper) ? Will is one of Sydney?s best friends. After Dan (Sydney?s fiancé) was killed by SD-6 Will, a reporter, has been looking into Dan?s suspicious death. Of course he who knows nothing about Sydney?s secret identity or SD-6 but he is getting closer! He fancies the pants of Sydney but is a bit on the shy side! The cast have all starred in major movies and TV series. You?ll recognise some faces but that?s about it. There are no huge stars in Alias, but hey - how big was Sarah Michelle Geller before Buffy? The acting is first rate for a TV series. The cas t have excellent chemistry between them. For me this is why I like the show so much. The characters are realistic in that their human sides are displayed. Loyalty, family and friendships are major themes in the show. The writing is fabulous. Comic elements are ever present with through away line from Sydney and Marshall the techie. The central plot twists and turns and Sydney is often runs the risk of being discovered. Each episode continues directly on from another because the end is always a cliff hanger! The plus side is that you are desperate to watch the next week! The downside ? if you miss and episode you miss a good chunk of the storyline for the next episode! This is not a major problem and I would recommend this show to anyone who would like James Bond crossed with Buffy (but there are not Demons!). All in all this is a very watchable show though mild violence is to be expected as there are fights scenes every week. So if you like a good scrap, the odd explosion and some cool gadgets then give Alias a try!
Not too long ago British comedy was in my opinion streets ahead of game. TV shows that are still popular today were in their heydays and Christmas specials were just that SPECIAL! In the modern era of Friends and Sex in the City good old fashioned clean living humour such as Open All Hours and Only Fools and Horses are being overlooked. Now I don't suggest remaking any of the series but a few repeats every niow and then wouldn't go a miss. Open All Hours (OAH hereafter) is best described as a comedy sitcom in the same genre as Only Fools and Horses. The two main characters are played byRonnie Barker and David Jason. Now Ronnie Barker was a big name in his own right and this show only added to his popularity. David Jason on the other was climbing the comdey ladder and I personally think OAH paved the way for bigger roles such as Del in Only Fools and Horses. OAH is set in a corner shop owned by Arkwright (Ronnie Barker) a fat, money obsessed scrooge of a shopkeeper with a vicious stammer. David Jason plays Granville, Arkwrites? nephew who is both generally and sexually oppressed. Each episode sees Granville ? the errand boy ? being forced into one of Arkwrites? money hungry schemes in order to save a few pennies! More often than not Granville ends up getting hurt and ironically being comforted by the very ample bosom of Nurse Gladys Emmanuel (played by Lynda Baron) ? Arkwrites? main object of desire (after money of course!). Who can forget the cash register striking fear in the hearts of all that used it; Arkwrite's moneybelt and distrust of banks and Granvilles desperate attempts to date the milklady! It seems hard to believe that this series could run for 4 series with such a basic story line. This is testament to the pure comedy genius of both Barker and the young Jason, who provided hours of classic comedy moments not only with impeccable timing but an amazing chemistry ? only rivalled in my opinion by Jas on and Lyndhurst in Only Fools and Horses. OAH was written by Roy Clark and produced by Sidney Lotterby. I can?t say I have heard any more of either but they did a top-notch job with OAH! The show ran from 1973 and was repeated almost constantly until the mid eighties! I?m sure it is doing the rounds of UK Gold ? if not, it certainly deserves to be! If you haven't already seen this show then I would whole-heartedly recommend renting the videos from your local library or checking UK Gold (and equivalent channels) for repeats. OAH maybe a little dated now and almost certainly some of the funniest bits might be deemed a little politically incorrect - but this will always be a favourite of mine!
I'm a fan of James Patterson but I won't spend stupid amounts to buy books as new releases. I prefer to wait a while and make full use of my local library. Roses are Red finally made its way on to the shelf of my library a few weeke ago. It has, however, been available at all good book stores for some time now. Price, well I borrowed mine from the library but I have seen prices ranging from as little as just under a fiver all the way up to £16.99 for the hardback. The choice as they say is yours library - free, bookstore - not free :) Anyway, I haven't not thoroughly enjoyed any James Patterson (JP hereafter) book. Most get devoured within days if not hours. So i was keen to get my hands on this title. I would recommend any JP novel to anyone that reads. The subject matter is never too gruesome or sexually explicit but to those over the age of say 13 just to be safe. Mainly I would recoomend JP to people with an interest in the crime thriller genre. If you want forensic accuracy try Cornwall and for psychological analysis perhaps Kellerman - What JP provides is a fastpaced crime thriller with characters that are human and easy to relate to - except for the psychopaths tho' :) Roses are Red is the sixth book in the Detective Alex Cross series and because I don't want to spoil anything (for people that might want to read the book) I'll do my damndest not to give too much away. Detective Alex Cross, our hero, is a tough but fair cop, blessed with good old fashioned family values and a strong sense of right and wrong. Alex is a black african american - working the beat in a run down black area in Washinton DC. But Alex is no ordinary cop. He's a PhD in pyschology and somewhat used to investigating the crimes of weirdos, freaks and general psychopaths. In fact, the feds (the FBI) will often turn to Alex when tough cases are proving too hard to crack. In Roses are Red, Alex is faced with a tough case invo lving some unusally brutal bank robberies. As per usual there is more than meets the eye and it is up to Alex to put his personal life on hold and try to save the day. Each robbery is planned down to the smallest of details, but still ends in murder. Are the murders just for kicks? Is someone sending a message to the banking community or is it part of a vendetta? Which ever is the case, someone is playing mind games and its up to Alex to stop it! That's all i'm going to say because if you want to read this book i'll let you discover how the story develops yourselves. The continuity between the Alex Cross series is maintained and if you have read the entire series you develop the ability to get lost in each book almost as if you are reading about people you know. If you do want to read the Alex Cross series then try to do so in order. Reading out of order will not ruin anything major, but there are a few links throughout the entire series that are best read in sequence. This order is as follows:- 1. Along Came a Spider 2. Kiss the Girls 3. Jack & Jill 4. Cat & Mouse 5. Pop Goes the Weasel 6. Roses are Red 7. Violets are Blue 8. Four Blind Mice I have always found JP novels start quickly and in no time at all you'll find yourself engrossed to the point of it being a true page turner. Roses are Red is no exception and is a great book by a truly great author in this genre. Not everyone's cup of tea I'm sure but for me a great read! Perhaps if you'd prefer to wait until the movie release you can avoid the plot twists.... but it make take a long time for production as only two jp's are movies and neither was anywhere as good as the book!
Good clean cut storylines with a good cast and all round wholesome entertainment. The show Stateside is an hour in length but over here the adverts are removed and it is about 40minutes. I wouldn?t call it captivating television but it is sufficiently good enough to have a late lunch in front of or a good break from your studies. It is ideal student or should I say daytime television. From a medicine standpoint it seems relatively accurate and i'm sure they employ a bona fide MD to supervise and advise on certain details to the show. Its no ER thats for sure! Its not DM season at the moment - its Quincy repeats. But during the DM season, its on daily and every episode features Dr Mark Sloan (played by the legendary Dick Van Dyke ? yes, the same guy from Mary Poppins ? just much older) who is a kind-hearted physician with an overactive mind and substantial detective skills. His analytical brain allows him to both practice at the LA Community General Hospital and solve crimes with Steve Sloan - his son (in real life and the show - Barry Van Dyke). Other regular cast members include Amanda Benteley (Victoria Rowell) a young black pathologist at the CG Hospital and consultant medical examiner for the LAPD; and a young white doctor Jesse Travis (Charlie Schlatter). These two are the only other main characters worthy of a mention but even they normally play second fiddle to the Van Dykes. ?Guest Stars? are normally aplenty ? but to be honest I don?t always recognise them! Van Dykes grandchildren have been known to feature - nepotism of the highest order - but why not i suppose! The format is pretty much the same as all the lunchtime detective shows. So what makes this one any better than the others. In my eyes - absolutely nothing. Diagnosis Murder is on a par with both Quincy and Murder She Wrote. The acting is generally strong and the cast both regular and guest have a good chemistry and rapport. This is not classic entertainm ent and this probably explains why it is shown at weekday lunchtimes. If you happen to be able to watch TV at this time then it is worth watching but I certainly don?t expect many people to be recording episodes to watch after work! I certainly wouldn't!
Now, when God gave out DIY skills I was otherwise engaged - I have no natural flair for DIY what so ever. I always reckon that I should pay for somebody else to do it, as it will cost more in the long run for that person to have to fix the mess I have made! Unfortunately money is nearly always far too tight to have the luxury of not having risking life and limb! I am learning slowly and perhaps improving but it is slow progress. Fortunately my wife is very understanding. In fact she does all the painting, as she knows she can do a better job. Anyway, enough about my DIY failings. I was extremely pleased to find polyfilla in a squeezable tube because I find it very hard to use the old fashioned fillers. In fact, this was the very reason I bought this product – ease of use when compared to substitutes on the market! Firstly, there is no need to mix filler powder and water to a paste that always seems to dry to quickly during use. With “Squeeze and Fill” all I needed to do was to cut the top of the nozzle and squeeze. You control how much and how fast the filler is applied to the area you are filling by simple altering how hard you squeeze the tube! I find the old fashioned guns quite hard to use and they often get lost or broken so this squeezable bottle is a big time saver for me! Squeeze and Fill can be used to fill “gaps” of up to 4mm and is suitable for wood, plaster, brick and aluminium. It’s not recommended for permanently wet areas so it’s not overly suitable for filling by the bath and sink but is excellent for finishing off skirting boards nicely! They might do other colours other than white but I didn’t notice any in the shop I bought mine (but it was a small shop that didn’t specialise is DIY materials). I have used it to seal kitchen cupboards and doorframes. It has done everything is claims to do on the tube label. It’s easy to clear up excess mess when it’s sti ll wet, but does dry quite quickly and you can paint over the filler once it’s dried! Always ensure you fit the cap tightly after use as it will stay “fresh” for future use! I would recommend this product to anyone looking to tidy up doorframes and small cracks. It is very easy to use but I would offer one word of caution from my experience with this product. If you squeeze too hard the whole cap/nozzle will pop off! What this means is that you end up with polyfilla all over the place.
My opinion of British Gas (BG hereafter) is perhaps best kept to specific BG opinion but let me just say that they are not a company that I would willingly do business with. After purchasing my first house I took all gas/electricity meter readings ready to receive bills and start paying! Not as simple as you might think but to cut a long story short it didn’t take long for me to be so despondent with BG that I was desperate to change supplier. On shopping trip to Safeways I was approached by a NORWEB (now TXU) energy representative and was easily convinced to switch from BG. From that day on, NORWEB were both my gas and electricity supplier. The process of changing supplier was extremely easy. NORWEB took full responsibility. All I had to do was take a meter reading and pay the outstanding balance from the previous suppliers. Since then I have enjoyed lower prices for both gas and electricity. Whilst the saving is not massive enough to warrant an extra holiday or a shopping bonanza for the wife, every penny does count in the long run. More importantly, and one of the main reasons I changed to NORWEB (rather than the other suppliers on the market), was the deal with Tescos. Whereby NORWEB customers receive club point vouchers for every pound spent on NORWEB utility bills. This represents a nice bonus at the end of each quarter as we get almost £4-5 worth of Tescos vouchers for already saving money on our bills. As if this wasn’t enough, NORWEB customers receive a Goldsaver card which entitles the bill payer to discount at a variety of shops around the country. For me living in Portsmouth there are relatively few shops that accept the Goldsaver card promotions but there are restaurants and shops in Blue Water, Lakeside and other regional outlets that do and you receive a booklet highlighting participating retailers. The offer I use most commonly is the one at Dominoes Pizza where I receive 30% discount on normal ly full price purchases. Not a bad saving really! I try to keep it in the car as I get a good discount at Granada service stations too. I originally thought that the energy suppliers were all a much of a muchness in their ineptitude - but I was very wrong. On every occasion I have needed to contact a NORWEB representative they have been courteous, professional and above all helpful. For example I am in credit on one utility and wanted to reduce my DD instalments. This was done instantly and my refund cheque was received two day later! Yes, two days later – I nearly fainted! It took BG 7 months just to organise my account properly! I have little doubt that as long as TXU energy remain price competitive I will keep my custom with them and in the same respects I have no qualms with recommend TXU to everybody paying a gas and electricity bill.
Giving a section title of “Summer Riots” is offensive in my eyes! It is too light hearted and therefore you can take my title as condemnation of this fact! Firstly, “summer riots 2001” reminds me of either a festival or the Grease song "Summer Nights" but maybe that’s just me. This section title implies that it doesn’t necessarily have to be taken serious by our “whole” society but just by those involved. After all it was just because of the summer and people got a little too over heated! Well my friends, we have a big problem in our society, one that needs to be fixed and fixed PDQ. All we have seen is racial hatred build up in a poor area to such an extent that all hell was let loose and communities have been shattered. But here I stand as a complete neutral. I side on the side I believe to be right and well in terms of the riots I believe both sides to be wrong! I believe in free speech, so then why should we ban the BNP? I believe in a multicultural mixes/societies and the benefits we can derive from them - so why should we stop immigration and persecute ethnic minorities? But more importantly I believe in peaceful protests, and any protest that isn’t peaceful carries no valid argument in my eyes! In case you have already decided that I must be a racist simply because I have sided with the ethnic protesters then please wait before you judge me and hear me out. To get the crux of the matter directly, I believe that the ethnic minority protestors (for want of a better word) have in my eyes played right into the hands of the BNP. If the BNP rally then they might attract a few “social misfits” to their ranks, but as soon as you protest they get more media attention and thus wider coverage for them to spread their word! When you retaliate, then all hell is let loose and you get “summer riots” and they really did happen so fas t! I truly believe that anyone (white or non-white) caught on camera throwing missiles at the police should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. In fact minorities attacking the police has only the potential to breed further alienation racial hatred between both parties. These riots have seen the work to join communities being set back years! Let us prosecute all violent protestors and start the process over again! Let us educate our children to live a multicultural society!
I’m a reader – always have been always will be but sometimes I just don’t get the time to read as much as I would like! Then came the solution being a dual income household with only one car! The result is that I get the bus home from work and that’s about enough time to read 60 pages so a book takes nearly a week before I move on to the next! Anyway, my family all being readers buy books by the dozen at boot fairs and charity shops and we lend them out on a very regular basis! Luckily we all share the same tastes give or take a few spurious authors! We just so happened to stumble across Michael Connelly by mistake! We though we were buying books by the author John Connolly as they have similar styles! Anyway the first book was great Blood Work so we move on this one! Angels flight is told in the first person through the eyes of Harry Bosch. Now Bosch is not your typical homicide detective! He cares enough to break the rules and is not frightened of the consequences just as long as he’s doing it for roughly the right cause! A renegade cop to a certain extent. The story line is based around the killing of Howard Elias who is a black lawyer on a mission! To get justice for blacks and this is all fine and dandy but at the same time he wants to screw over the white dominated police force at every available opportunity! The police hate him and the civil rights movement absolutely adore him – particularly those partaking in criminal activity. Anyway he’s found dead on in the carriage of the tram system known as Angels Flight! Hence the name of the book - but the killing is no ordinary killing! Elias has been shot and if you pardon my French right up the arse! This is not you common or garden robbery - the killer meant business and it was more than likely a punishment killing. All eyes fall on the police department as Elias was about to start a big case that could bring down several officers & #8211; who actually probably deserved to be brought down but the police are running scared it could have been one of their own. But if they uncover the truth they’re going to have to admit it! I’ve set the scene but all is not as it seems! Bosch is restricted in his work by many sources and there is a cover up going on but by whom and to protect whom! If I tell you any more I will totally ruin the plot but the plot develops quickly and it will keep you turning pages and on the edge of your seat! The book is about justice but you don’t know who’s going get it in the end! I would recommend this to anyone who likes reading and particularly those with a taste for crime thrillers! I would be surprised if anyone liking this genre didn’t like this book! M. Connelly is a former police reporter for the LA Times and this makes the book flow easily and efficiently as you get real police influence. Even if you didn’t know this, you can tell straight away that the book was written by some one with detailed knowledge of the police procedure. This makes the story line believable and brings the story to life. If you can’t get hold of this book then there are about 5 others in the Harry Bosch series! All those that I have already read are equally as good! For general interest my copy is a softback and cost £5.99 RRP but i bought it for 50pence and it was worth a lot more than that!
The Black Echo Michael Connelly is a former police reporter for the LA Times and this makes the story line flow effectively giving a true to life police influence. There is detailed knowledge of police behaviour and procedure and this only adds to what is an enthralling story line. If you had read some of my previous literature reviews before you’ll know that I will be doing me best not to give away and twists in the plot and revealing anything that I deem too important. The Black Echo is part of the Harry Bosch (HB hereafter) mysteries and it is in this book that we learn about Harry’s past in Vietnam. HB was tunnel rat. He basically spent most of the wars years under ground and praying not to run into booby-traps! After Vietnam, HB became a RHD (robbery homicide detective) and well, to be frank he’s bloody good at his job. HB plays by the rules 85% of the time but he does spend that extra 15% bending the rules. He’s not an officer of the law that has crossed (i.e. been bribed or one that is corrupt) but he uses his renegade reputation to get the job done and protect society from the ills he sees on a daily basis! Anyways, this book starts with a teenage misfit who witnesses the disposal of an unidentified item in a sewer pipe! He hides because he is a lawbreaker himself and doesn’t want to get caught. He watches from a distance and then when the coast is clear goes to investigate. It’s a body and running scared he calls the police and makes himself scarce! The police are called, they deal with the body and if it wasn’t for HB the verdict would have been an OD (over dose). But HB is smarter than that. All tracks into the pipe have been swept clean! His suspicions start a homicide investigation and it turns into more than anyone had expected. The victim (Meadows) was a fellow tunnel rat! Not only that he was a rat that served alongside HB. Together they cleared t unnels of the Viet-con. They all had a pact and HB wasn’t going to let the department sweep Meadows’ death under a bureaucratic carpet! HB traces Meadows last known movements it becomes clear that he was involved in a famous bank job where they tunnelled into the vault during the Labour Day weekend and spent three days collecting their haul! HB becomes a pawn in the ongoing FBI investigation but not only that he is a suspect too! Now this is as much as I’m going to divulge. But if you have read a Connelly book before then you’ll know that HB has to have a slight love interest with a fellow investigator or with a leading figure in the plot. You’ll also know that there are several expected and unexpected twists in the plot and you’ll also be aware the HB’s department rarely trust him, so not only is HB investigating the most audacious bank job in history, he himself is a suspect! They keep him out of the information loop at the own peril! If you can read, then I recommend you trying either this book or another from the M. Connelly collection. It’s as simple as that. He writes excellent crime thrillers that really will keep you turning pages into the wee hours!
The concrete blonde Hieronymous Bosch – Harry to his friends, is the lead character in what is not surprising called the Harry Bosch mysteries. And according to the chronological order of publication “The Concrete Blonde” is number three! I first picked up Michael Connolly books by mistake and now I have read most of them. The story lines are excellently written and because he was a former police reporter you get a sense of factual input in terms of police behaviour and procedure! This makes the plot twists even more enthralling and all his books that I have read so far have been page turners! In addition this laso makes the character of Bosch more beleivable as the human side of the renegade behaviour is visable! Without destroying the story line and the plot twists, this book is based around a court case whereby Bosch is being tried in a civil case for using excessive force and killing a suspect in the case of the “Dollmaker”. The Dollmaker dealt a period of havoc for the prostitutes of Los Angeles. He picked on women of easy virtue and murdered them for his own sexual gratification. He painted their toenails with crosses and plastered makeup very unprofessionally over their faces (after death). Bosch got call late at night form hooker claiming that she had just escaped the Dollmaker and to be honest Bosch didn’t believe but he investigated the claim none the less! When he arrives on the scene and meets the alleged victim, he realises that she just might be telling the truth and he burst into the now suspects house to find him standing naked in his bedroom. Bosch orders the freeze or I’ll shoot command but the suspect (Norman Church) reaches for something under his pillow! Bosch gives another order to freeze but Church still moves towards what Bosch assumes to be a gun! Bosch shoots and kills him with one clean shot! The case is solved as there was enough evid ence (mainly makeup from the victims) to close the case! But now Mrs Church, the widow of the deranged sex fiend is claiming that he is innocent and that she wants compensation for the loss of her innocent and loving husband! It’s a civil case so Bosch isn’t facing jail but he wants to clear his name and that of the department! He did what he though was best for his safety and what he deemed was reasonable force! With the case pretty much going against Bosch another body is found! The body was dumped in concrete and was a porn actress with blonde hair and big assets! She died after Church had been shot so did Bosch shoot the wrong guy? Is the Dollmaker still alive and still killing? Did Church work alongside another sex killer? Or is there a copycat killer? I’ll leave you to find this out for yourselves. Just don’t be surprised by storyline and plot twists! Thee are becoming a hallmark of this excellent author who really should be held in the same regard as James Patterson and Jonathan Kellerman! I’m waiting for the film deals! I wholeheartedly recommend this book to any that can read and in particular to fans of crime thrillers! I can’t see you being disappointed with this one! I would however recommend reading the Black Echo and Black Ice before this book and thereby trying to stick to the order in which they were written
I?m a reader. I always have been and I always will be. The problem is that I can read into the wee hours of the morning and then struggle to get up for work. SO I have to limit myself. In doing this I get annoyed when I find a book that turns out to be a deadloss. In fact? How often have you read the front and/or back cover of a book and seen the words PACY! POLISHED!, ENTHRALLING! A REAL PAGE TURNER? Well the answer my friends, is probably on almost every fiction book you've ever seen. It?s artistic license gone crazy! For me about 50% of the books I read live up to the expectations generated by the blurb on the cover - but the ones that do make the whole process of finding new authors worth the time and money investment. I find books in charity shops, read them, pass them on to my family to read (we?re all readers you see!) and return them to the charity shop for them to resell! This is exactly what happened with this book. I picked it up at a local charity shop for a measly 99 pence when compared to the retail price of £5.99. I?m not going to ruin the story line for you. Its pretty obvious but just in case you don?t follow the so-called twist I?ll leave it for you to read until the end - in "suspense". Well suspense is too strong a word. This book is a medium paced crime story with average attention paid to forensic/policy policy and routine. Where the book does shine is in the field/industry the book is set. The majority of the story line revolves around the magazine publishing industry. The detail is exceptional but that?s because the author is the managing director of a well known magazine publisher in the UK. You really will know a lot about this industry after reading the book and that?s a relatively impressive externality of the book Anyway, back to the story line. Our hero Kit Preston is the editor in chief of a magazine company in the city. He controls everything but owns nothing! The real boss is an interfering know-nothing. Kit Makes all the decisions and take a risk in publishing an expose on one of the richest men in Europe! The fact that the contributor (Anna Grant) is his favourite employee and lover has nothing to do with it! The piece is excellent and the magazine takes the risk of printing and certainly reaps the reward! But then it all goes pear shaped! Anna is murdered and Kit is the main suspect! He?s innocent of course because he?s our hero and we know exactly where he was a the time of the murder! But the police and everybody else think Kit is the prime suspect! We then follow him through avoiding the police and trying to identify the real murderer! There are several suspects and they all keep doing things to arouse suspicion! Add kidnap into the equation and it should be hard to determine the killer! Unfortunately it?s not that hard but I have read so many of these types of books there is little change in the twists after a while! I would recommend this book to all reader and recommend any book to non-readers! Its better than average but it certainly isn?t the acidly smart thriller the Times describes it as! This one is worth the read if not only for the detailed information on the magazine industry!
A boy band with real musical talent - a concept that I find hard to picture and stomach but with Savage Garden you have a boy band but at the same time a band with a reasonable amount of musical credibility. They (SG) write their own songs, play their own instruments on top of having decent voices. Moreover their music isn't comparable to the manufactured Westlife/Boyzone music sound. This doesn't mean that its suitable to everybody - the band music is still marketed towards teenage girls but this one just isn't as band as some of the other "bands"! I first heard this self-titled album before its release in this country. The band is Australian and was (and of course still is) popular in their home territory, general Asia and the States before they got noticed here. The music didn't really fit into my musical tastes so I wasn't overly keen to listen to them when I first heard about them. My girlfriend, however, loved them and after a few listens on the radio I bought the album. I bought it because I was in Malaysia - where CD prices are generally lower than in the UK but more importantly because I got a special edition Asian Tour Package with a bonus CD. A bonus CD with 8 extra tracks - some of which do not feature on the original album. I would be surprised if you haven't heard any SG songs as their big hit (Truly Madly Deeply) was a big hit world-wide (#1 in the USA) and open the doors to charts world-wide for their later releases. TMD is track three on this album as is by far the mushiest love song on the album. It's a slow paced end of school disco type song. The lyrics are extremely romantic and TMD is likely to feature in modern day love song charts. SG has a slight electronica influence but it is so very subtle. Its good clean and wholesome pop (disposable pop for some people) but it has a slight edge over your average everyday boy band produces. Not surprisingly the songs are about love and to be brutally honest are aimed at the teenage girl market. Their slightly edgier sound, however, has almost certainly won them a huge fan base in and outside of the teenage girl market. When this debut album entered their domestic charts it went in straight at the number one spot and stayed there for 13 weeks. According to the CDNOW web page this is the third longest for any Australian artist. It is therefore not surprising that this album won 11 Australian ARIA awards on the back of 11 million global album sales. My personal favourites are TMD and Universe as traditional love songs with Tears of Pearls, Promises and To the Moon and Back as more upbeat pop songs. There are no real weak links to this album and this is made more impressive by its debut nature. I honestly find it hard to fault. SG aren't really my normal listening material but this is one boy band I am happy to keep both in my CD collection and my frequently played section. I wholehearted recommend this album to anyone - I can't guarantee it will be your cup of tea but you might be surprised on the first couple of listens. Obvious if you tastes only include Nirvana and Korn then stick well clear!
Here we have a soft rock band that could potentially take the UK by storm but they are never marketed in this country! They come to the UK as part of a very small European tour and “do” three venues! The gig in London was great but come on - only 3 venues! All I ask is if you get the chance give this band a listen and see what you think… Surely you've had enough of Hear'say by now! Matchbox Twenty (MB20 hereafter) are quite frankly HUGE in America. They are played on almost every single radio station numerous times a day! They are apparently Britney's favourite band! Yet, most people haven’t heard of them in the UK. They are simply not marketed in this country – for reasons I can’t even begin to imagine. Even lead vocals (Rob Thomas) in the smash hit SMOOTH with Santana didn’t help much! This is their second album as the band MB20 –but some members were previously in a band called Tabitha’s Secret, so it’s their fourth album together! MB20’s first album (yourself or someone like you) was so good people thought this second album would never be able to live up to it. Well, the second album on first listen was disappointing but its gradually becoming a favourite of mine and IS as good as their debut album! The English release of this album contains 13 tracks that are all written or co-written by the lead singer Rob Thomas. His voice is quite distinctive yet still “soulful”. The music is a little bit more mixed than the first album but it doesn’t sway too far from their award winning soft rock style. Lyrics (thanks to Rob alleged slightly dodgy experiences growing up) are sublime. Thought provoking - yet simple. Obvious - yet full of hidden meaning. A personal favourite comes from a song called RESTSTOP and is typical love angst Thomas: “While you were sleeping I was listening to the radio wondering what you’re drea ming when it came to mind that I just didn’t care”. If I had to pick out favourites then CRUTCH and BENT must be near the top of the list as they are the most uptempo. IF YOURE GONE is a classic love song likened to 10CC’s I’m not in love. BUT Being brutally honest this is an album full of tracks that are singles in their own rights. There are no weak links what so ever! I can’t recommend this album enough. It’s great soft rock music that borders on American style pop/rock. It’s so popular in America I can’t see that it’ll never make it in this country but I think it just needs a little helping hand!
A firend lent me this DVD after we'd seen The WaterBoy with a whole bunch of mates. We laughed so much at Sandler as the geek-cum-hero on the football field that he went straight out and bought Big Daddy. The story is typically American and blends Jerry Maguire with Dumb and Dumber. The emphasis is definitely on the latter though! Our hero, Sonny Koufax, played by Adam Sandler – the well know comedy genius famous for Saturday night live and hit films such as The Wedding Singer and as previously mentioned The Waterboy. As per usual Sandler plays a social misfit but this time his character is a misfit by choice. Mr Koufax senior is a very well respected lawyer and Sonny has the potential to emulate his father. Sonny, however, shirks responsibility here, there and everywhere. He is off work after a legal settlement won him several hundred thousand bucks but in reality he could earn that in a year if he put his mind to it. Sonny is happy and content in his responsibility free life – well he is until his girlfriend (Vanessa) dumps him. No great loss as she wasn't that great anyway! She decides that she needs more from a relationship and from her man – Sonny’s irresponsibility simply doesn’t cut it on the man front! But then through several strange twists of fate Julian, the five-year child of his room-mate that’s just moved to China, is dumped on Sonny’s doorstep. Sonny tries to call social services but it’s some strange American holiday so he’s stuck with the kid for just a day or so! After successfully “taking care” of Julian for a day, Sonny decides that adopting Julian will impress Vanessa and consequently pretends to be Julian’s real father to get custody! He then discovers that Vanessa has already started dating a much older guy with a life plan and is not at all impressed with his attempt at becoming “Mr ResponsibilityR 21;. The rest of the plot is extremely predictable but is very funny! Sonny and Julian bond with the worst parenting skills you could possibly imagine! I kinda don’t want to ruin the story line any further as you guys might want to watch this movie at some time. This is a “sickly” heart warming comedy that will appeal to all ages. It won’t win any Oscars but hey it wasn’t made with that in mind! The acting is very good and there seems to be a real rapport between the major characters and this helps by providing excellent comedy effect. Julian is played by identical twins (Cole and Dylan Sprouse) who are likely to become even hotter property after this performance. Sandler is as funny as he always is and it is he that naturally steals the show. There are also a few big faces palying relatively small parts - so you'll sit there saying things like I've seen him/her before! The DVD has extras and plenty of them! As well as subtitles in many languages, you have a choice of wide screen or full screen. The disc includes a “feature” about the making of the film, as well as trailers, talent profiles and two music videos (namely Sweet Child O’ Mine by Sheryl Crow and When I Grow Up by Garbage). I recommend this film/DVD to anyone liking comedy films and in particular Adam Sandler. At about £18 it’s comparable price wise with other titles. It’s not a classic like Dumb and Dumber so I can’t see me watching it over and over again! I’d therefore recommend renting rather than actual purchase!
Watching this show worries me. It's ewnjoyable don't get me wrong. In fact it can make compulsive viewing! But waht concerns me is this show highlights what is worng with society today! For those of you who might be totally unaware of this program it involves sending 17 younger people (late teens/early twenties) on to an uninhabited island and capturing their "lives" for 10 weeks. You see how individuals cope without the modcons that we all take for granted! The second series is well underway and the new inhabitants of the island are into a routine of rice meals and community squabbles! If you haven't seen it before its worth a watch particularly if you like real life fly on the wall shows like Big Brother! Back to why it worries me: I am not overly old fashioned but then again i am not overly liberal! I am not "too" sexist (in that i like tradition whereby my wife took my name) and I am not homophobic! BUT.... Point 1: We have seen a lesbian selected for the show as a token lesbian! This kind of positive descrimination I do not like. There were other more deserving and probably more able people turned down in favour of this lesbian! I believe in equality but "selection" on the basis of ability. Point 2: A blonde girl Jo was selected purely because of her looks! Yep she is sure lovely! But during the training course that provided the ultimate selection criteria she was unable to rough it in a tent and had to sleep in her more comfortable car! this for me made her automatically unsuitable but because she's a looker she got it (or on the island should I say). This focus of IMAGE is disturbing! We have God knows how many girls fighting with eating disorders and low self esteem! The media is behaving extremely irresponsibly at the moment! Point 3: Two of the girls stole food from the crew who are on the island for part of time. Life got too hard for the poor litt le darlings so they stole! Then couldn't admit to it and lied through their teeth! Furthermore two lads stole rum and got slaughtered one night! this was obviously a selfish act and quite rightly was met with anger from the other contestants on the island. Point 4: Even though many of the guys on the island are getting hungary they are reluctant to eat octopus caught fresh just off the island! Too fussy and damn right pathetic! Point 6: The punk girl vicki has left the island because it was too hard for her! well why the hell go in the first place! She took a spot that deprived others of going! an opportunity of a life time! Maybe its just me, but this show epitimises whats wrong with society today! we have lost the general community spirit that our grandparents claim was around in their days! People today are whiney and not prepared to stick things out, its become too easy just to give up! I'm far from perfect In the first to admit! It may just be petty theivery and loutish behaviour but it makes for good viewing figures and isn't setting the best of examples!