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This was a book I wanted to read for a long, long time. Out of the best tennis players of now, unfortunately few of them have written an autobiography. Indeed there will probably be a short burst of them after the players finally retire (whenever that may be since we're noticing an extension of the number of years players are active for!) Nadal can be a polarising figure, for some he seems arrogant in his on-court celebrations and for others there is huge admiration for his sportsmanship and achievements. For non-Spanish speakers, probably not much information that comes from the Nadal family is available due to the language barrier and is another reason why this book is such a treat. Nadal talks about his more important matches up until 2011 which are arguably his best years still and include achieving a career slam (winning all 4 grand slam titles) as well as an Olympic gold medal. Since then there has been the dominance of Novak Djokovic as well as other players who are making the game a more even playing field. Much of the book reads like a live-commentary of the important points and feelings during the match which can be interesting for some and probably a little repetitive for others. In interviews Nadal is one who complains rarely and instead makes it clear that the other player performed better and the focus should be that. In this way, it was interesting to hear how he coped with losses, the injuries that he went through that were career-threatening and how they were overcome. But also true to Nadal, when there is talk of his personal life it feels distant and reserved. Most of it is about his relationship with his uncle and his respect for his family and team. For those who were hoping for him to talk about his girlfriend more, you can pretty much forget about that! After reading it, I can understand some things that many find irritating such as his set-routine during matches. Everything seems to have an order and what it has been established, he sticks to it no matter what. There is also this feeling that he is incredibly humble and down-to-earth. His description of Manacor and how special it is for him makes you want to go see it for yourself. It is home to so much comfort that straight after one of his matches, he got the only flight possible (Easyjet) just to arrive quickly. It made me think more about the life of somebody constantly in the public eye. For instance he mentioned about being unhappy when people see him and shove things in front of him to sign without asking or saying anything beforehand. The book is written with a journalist, John Carlin, and although you can see Carlin's own thoughts in each chapter it is not clear how much involvement he had with the telling of Nadal's life. Even so, it is still a really good read but for those wanting never before revealed stories, please don't expect too much. It is not a book full of anecdotes that happened with other players, or him revealing more intimate and unpredictable details about his life. Instead you see all the more the discipline and hunger for the game that he has and that, just like for anyone else, success wasn't always so easy. I would recommend Agassi's autobiography for a more intimate picture.
As I mentioned in a previous review, I recently found a 4-in-1 set of autobiographies compiled by Readers Digest. It's out-of-print now and was purchased because I liked half the books and was at a good price!
I cannot say that I'm a big fan of Agassi, but I know of his impressive achievements and unfortunately with the number of tennis autobiographies being a little lacking, thought that this might be interesting! It has excellent reviews and one thing that is consistently said about this book is the honesty.
Honesty that includes him talking about wearing a wig during matches to hide his hair loss, how he met Steffi Graf - and whilst I'm here, he doesn't call her Steffi, and much more (but I wouldn't want to spoil it for you!) He adds a lot of humour to the writing that is refreshing and makes duller parts of the book easy to read. It also paints a sad picture of what life can be like for a child when it is the parents pushing and living their dreams out on them, which seems to be the case with Agassi's father. Before reading this book, I wouldn't imagine that such a successful athlete actually grew up loathing tennis because of the training he was put through. It would have been nice for him to talk about his later life since much of it is devoted to what happened up to him getting really successful and calling it a day. The ending finishes on a satisfying note and the book is a bestseller for a reason. I would even say that it is a must-read for tennis fans and gives a lot of insight into the life of a high-performing athlete such as Agassi. You go through many emotions reading this book from sadness for parts of his childhood, to happiness for his triumphs and everything in between. For a more intimate picture, I would recommend this for a first tennis autobiography!
Not long ago I spied a 4-in-1 set of autobiographies for an excellent price. It's a Reader's Digest book that is out-of-print now, and was bought because of the Michael Caine and Andre Agassi autobiographies. (For those curious, there was also Fern Britton and Susan Boyle.)
The book was entertaining overall with plenty of good anecdotes including growing up during the war, strokes of luck, how he got his stage-name? but you couldn't go a few pages unfortunately without a famous name dropped here and there preceded or followed closely with "my good friend"! This was not irritating at the beginning, but then after half way through it became a bit of a repetitive spell that wasn't particularly necessary. I appreciate that such a prolific actor will probably have a fair few friends, but nearly everyone given a mention throughout his life was one of these 'good friends' or 'close friends'!
I did enjoy following all his projects over the years with nice little stories from some of his most famous films. It is also admirable the time-scale of his portfolio of films and he fully deserves to be a household name. His own personal beliefs are highlighted and overall the book did read to be quite an honest and "if you don't like it, leave it" account of his life from the beginning. Poor upbringing, war, starting as a fledgling actor with not much luck, big films, love life? It truly reads like a life well-lived.
Part of the rating is also based on something I'd read after reading the book. I'm one who likes to know how others have received the book after I've read it, especially if I finish a book with mixed feelings. I can say it was disappointing to hear complaints that his book has many stories re-used from his previous autobiography. Actually, in the preface of my copy he does mention this clearly and makes no apology for it since he feels it is part of his story. But I do think some readers will be disappointed since it isn't simply one or two stories lifted.
Overall, I would give this book 3.5 stars. I hope I've managed to give a general overview of the book and really think that 'thedevilinme' has done a great job to give a detailed review of more specifics. If you're a die-hard fan or simply curious and have no other knowledge about Michael Caine, then chances are you will enjoy it more than you dislike it. It is quite inspiring since he was a struggling actor for many years and has achieved success beyond words.
I bought this watch from Amazon in the second half of 2009. Back then it costed me £39.10, which is not a bad price for a DKNY watch. I was on the lookout for a new one since my other one had broken, and was very excited after reading the reviews on Amazon which proclaimed this watch to be good! It seemed to balance price with some elegance and even glamour - at least that was what I thought back then!
I wasn't sure whether the real thing would look similar in the pictures at such a price, but it completely resembles all the images. It is studded with many diamante crystals on the bezel surrounding the watch face, which is about 3.5 cm in diameter and made of hard glass. This makes the dial bigger than most ladies watches, especially after the bezel is included, but luckily it didn't look silly on me when worn. The watch was very noticeable, being a little bulky more like a man's watch and completely white, and got plenty of comments. The leather strap is generously sized so would probably fit the wrists of most ladies - it is fastened with a buckle. It is advertised as being water resistant, but I never really tested this aside from being in a little drizzle! The watch is quite lightweight and you don't feel it much when it's being worn. It also comes with a manual and a nice glossy white, hard box that gives the watch added luxury.
So far so good right? But I would only give it 3.5 stars. I worn this watch for over a year since I'm really not the kind of person who will go out and buy another one of something the moment it causes me discomfort, etc. The discomfort in question was the white leather strap which irritated my wrist and crinkled and cracked till it looked really quite ugly at least to my eye, since a friend of mine has adopted it recently and wears it with certain outfits. The watch is very beautiful but I feel like they focused more on the design of the watch face than quality in all areas! I did want to just replace the straps and be done with it, but I was quite hesitant especially when straps can cost as much as a new watch in themselves!
If you still wish to buy this watch, in most major retailers it is sold out. But on Ebay it can still fetch prices similar to what I paid 4 years ago. Other lesser known retailers also sell it for varying prices. I would perhaps recommend this as a going out watch to be worn for more special occasions rather than a daily, everyday watch!
I love reading all types of books and sometimes crave certain genres or settings. The latest of my cravings was for a good, old love story! I haven't read a love story since Love in the Time of Cholera and really didn't want a typical chick-lit. This combined with an instant obsession to obtain and own some Flipback books - which I'll talk more about at the end of this review - bought me to One Day by David Nicholls.
If you haven't heard of this book yet, you may well recognise it by the distinctive front cover. The book is an international bestseller by a British author, and has been so successful it got turned into a film starring Anne Hathaway as the female lead in 2011. Incidentally, the screenplay was also written by David Nicholls. The book follows two characters, Emma and Dexter, from 1988 to 2007 on the same day every year, 15th July. The premise sounds good enough, right?
Emma is a smart, outspoken girl who can appear a little snobbish but definitely means well and is altogether kind and likeable. This contrasts with Dexter who is very self-centred and a little too confident for his own good. Needless to say, I didn't like Dexter too much especially with his general attitude to love and constantly behaving with the knowledge that he is incredibly good-looking and that is the be all and end all.
Even though each chapter deals with only one day of each year, the chapters are strung together such that you don't feel that there are any unexplained gaps; even when there is something touched upon e.g. a new relationship, it will be mentioned again in a later chapter so the plot is pretty cohesive.
Without giving too much away, the plot was a little predictable and long-winded to get to where it was at the end. The characters get on really well together, but even so Emma and Dexter fall in and out of favour with each other throughout the book. The most interesting thing for me was probably watching the characters grow since the book does start from when they are both in their early twenties, fresh-out from university. By the end, you grow to love all the people introduced because you've seen them develop; this does not just apply to Emma and Dexter, but also boyfriends, girlfriends and even parents. The jobs that Emma and Dexter both go through during these years also plays a big part in their characters, especially Dexter who by chance ends up in the public eye.
I do feel that I'm going against popular opinion when I say that this book is only average (3.5 stars out of 5). There are nice messages and the characters are very believable, but it did not grip me. Who knows, maybe I might even have enjoyed the book more if there wasn't so much hype surrounding it! This has often been the source of a lot of disappointment - I'm sure some of you have picked a film or a book because it was doing well, only to find that it's boring as dishwater! The ending wasn't what I was looking for and the story bored me in several places; I found myself thinking "xyz will probably happen", I was usually right except it would take a chapter or two to happen! It was a fast read so in this way I think there is no harm in giving it a go if you like the general outline of the story!
***********My Copy of the Book***********
As I mentioned above, my copy of One Day is actually a Flipback version published by Hodder. Very briefly now, there have been roughly twenty popular books published in the Flipback format - a 12x8cm book with super thin pages to be turned from the bottom to the top. Reading One Day was also my first Flipback experience - overall, I'd recommend!
A few years ago Lush did an offer where if you purchased 2 body butters,which are bars for the bath and are designed to make your skin feel soft and buffered, you'd get a free Lush tin to store them...(or rather one) in. The body butters themselves were expensive then and now. I think I paid around £5 for each one - please don't ask what came over me... Sadly for any hardcore Lush fans, I don't think they've done this offer for a while now so if you wish to get this 65% recycled aluminium container, you must pay up £2.95.
By my (rough) measurements, the tin is about 7x7x2.5cm and is a cuboid shape as shown. It has its own square lid with a raised 'Lush' logo. The website description includes the following sentence: "Our square tins were designed with our body butter shapes in mind, so you can snugly fit our best-selling Buffy to take it to the gym, holidays or when you need a scrub on the go." I did use it for my Aqua Mirabilis body butter and at the beginning it was a joy to carry it in my Lush tin. As time wore on though, and my body butter became flatter with less perfect edges, it got jammed and had to be scraped out with a kitchen knife! Having said that though, anything smaller than the dimensions of the tin are absolutely perfect. I use it for my Lush dry shampoo that gets damp and a little mushy if left around the bathtub. It is also the perfect container for transporting it in. My tin is around 5 years old and with a little clean has kept its sheen!
Overall I really like this Lush tin, but probably am not ready to paid about £3 each for a few more. I think it IS fantastic that Lush are so environmentally conscious and try to make packaging that is either recyclable or reusable. If the tins were even a pound cheaper, I would buy at least one more. Price aside, it does what it says... on the tin...
Maybe you'll think that I'm a greedy person, but I found myself regularly borrowing these eyelash curlers from another family member until I managed to buy my own; so regularly in fact that after finishing with them, they'd be stuck in my makeup bag for the next time! The ones I own now, however, are not No7 but Shu Uemura. I no longer use the No7 ones and I'll tell you why now!
I've used 3 eyelash curlers in my life on a regular basis before chopping and changing for the next ones. The first was a cheap, cheap pair that actually functioned as a pair of scissors; it did not curl, it snipped off the hairs and left you with sparse looking patches. So when I moved onto the No7 ones, I felt so happy to be able to curl my lashes and not cut them! The curls were ok, but many times I was left with a rather harsh line where the curlers had bent my lashes. The results varied, but I couldn't really get consistency; Should I press harder? How close to the lash line should I be? If I came too close to the lash-line, the hairs would get rudely pulled out. Even with a nice upward curl though, by the end of the day the lashes would be a lot like they were before I used the curlers. With mascara, the lashes stay put for longer, but I am not really a fan or a regular user of mascara. I would say that theses eyelash curlers are average more than anything. They retail at a little over £7 each on the Boots website and I would give them about 3.5 stars out of 5.
I wanted to solve the problem of my incredibly dry skin and decided to look at the Boots online catalogue for the market leaders in gentle lotions for dry skin. I wanted something that was unscented and widely used by other people who suffered from the same thing as I did. The reviews on the Boots website were mostly glowing for this lotion and I found that they'd expanded their range considerably from when I first heard of them many years ago. I picked what I felt to be the most basic of their products - a simple lotion for the whole body. This is rather dull and strange, but I waited with excitement for my order to arrive - at last a miracle!
No...just another disappointment. A £4.85 disappointment in the form of a 200ml bottle with a flip-open cap. I used the semi-runny white lotion diligently for over a week - not sure why... the stuff stank! It reminds me somehow of the smell of a laboratory! My skin did not really feel soothed. It looked noticeably hydrated but in the more tender areas the lotion made my skin tingle and sting just a tiny bit. It really wasn't among the most gentle products that I've used and I wish that in my haste to find a effective solution, I'd waited for my E45 sample to arrive. These come in the form of handy sachets you can use a few times through the post for free. You can order on: http://www.e45.co.uk/our-offers/lotion-campaign/
Needless to say that I won't be buying this product again but think it is still worthwhile for anyone to give the samples a go - it may be just the thing, but not for me unfortunately!
I'm sure many of us have heard the story of how these little sticky notes originated. The tale of the scientist working for 3M in America has indeed been a popular one and also goes to show how great ideas often have serendipitous beginnings. If it weren't for the 'low-tack' adhesive powers of this glue from the 'failed' experiment to find a super-strong adhesive, we may never have known what a Post-it was! Furthermore it is quite crazy to think that the superiors of this little known scientist were not very enthusiastic with his idea and only took it on board much later!
Happily since the product debuted in shops in 1980, hundreds of thousands have taken to this product. This has been particularly with manufacturers coming up with increasingly inventive ways to sell them: stylist refillable dispensers, flower shaped post-its and huge multicoloured blocks to name a few! Indeed, the brand now sells more than 4000 unique products! They're used by everyone to jot down notes and even by artists to create fun, large scale works!
There are a multitude of post-it facts around the internet, and I'll share a few of them in this fun review.
(1) Did you know that in 2000, a designer actually created an avant-garde clothing line made of post-its? This line included a wedding gown and hats!
(2) In order to go around our planet once, you would need approximately 506,880,000 of these sticky notes!
(3) Why is it yellow? You may hear different stories about this one, but according to Geoff Nicholson of 3M and the 'Father of Post-it Notes', it was because the laboratory next door had 'some scrap yellow paper'!
I'm not the biggest post-it user, but I have found that by taking a standard post-it note (by this, I mean the standard 3inch by 3inch square) and cutting it into strips, they make cheerful looking bookmarks. Even more so when you're using them frequently in a large piece of text. You can even use different colours for different topics to make revision that little bit more fun!
On the more serious, and slightly unhappy side, I'm giving this review 4 stars and not 5 purely because of the price. For what the product is, it does stray on the expensive side. A quick example being a 450 sheet cube retailing at £7.65 rrp!
On a healthier note, long live the post-it note!!
I was actually quite excited to read this as it would be my first Barbara-Taylor-Bradford-book! I'd heard some good things about the author and felt very hopeful. It's been laying around for a few years now, but I was rather happy to find it, thinking it would make a nice bedtime read... as the title suggests though, I wasn't very impressed with it.
The blurb tells us that the book is about a very successful woman who owns several international inns and whose daughter will be engaged very soon. During this time she starts to suffer from a strange illness and needs to see a psychiatrist who helps her to discover things from her past. Slowly she unlocks memories that have very much shaped the person she is now.
Without revealing too much, I felt the book was poorly constructed with things just thrown in to force a plot. The details were not revealed gradually either but all at once; bad news after bad news after coincidence. The book started off average, but after the first few chapters I was already bored...no, make that very bored. Determined to persevere, I was then rewarded with more boring characters and predictable subplots. I didn't feel any emotion for the characters, of which quite a number were introduced. Sadly they added little value to the book.
I felt that the author wanted to portray Meredith Stratton, the main character of this story, as being very likeable, mysterious and smart. She was definitely not that likeable... I'd say an average person on the like-ability scale. If being mysterious is someone whose thoughts occasionally wonder off, who speaks what is on her mine without realising and who refuses to talk much about her certain topics...then I guess she is very mysterious by those standards! Unfortunately, by normal standards, the character was just that bit too same-y. And is she smart? This I would probably agree with overall. One out of three though isn't good, is it? Quite a few things that happen in this book somewhat go against the grain of what her character is supposed to be. She is described as a hard-worker, but in several cases seems to give up the chase all too easily. She is meant to be astute, but has gone into several situations rather naively. At times she was that little bit frustrating!
It also annoys me (sorry!) that the title of the book was mentioned several times throughout this 327 page story, as though to justify why this choice of words was used. Usually it makes me cringe when this happens and in this case, it did! From the middle of the book to the end, the reader will no doubt make a mental note every time this occurs. It doesn't happen subtly either.
I want to add that I was surprised after reading that other reviews on Amazon, however, were favourable, both on the UK website and the US one. Reviews that particularly stood out to me were those that said their attention was gripped throughout the book. Have I been reading the wrong one?! It may be worth noting that in 1998, this book was dramatised on TV. (This scores a low 4.5/10 stars on IMDB.)
[I got this product as a gift with purchase online so my version is a little smaller - 3ml (Black). Bobbi Brown sell this product on their website for £18 (4.2ml) [January 2013]]
I'd never tried anything from Bobbi Brown before and was overjoyed when a friend decided to buy me a few products as a present. With these gifts, I also received a small version of this mascara for free. Usually I hate wearing mascara as my lashes are on the sparse side and I just find them not doing anything for me... In the past I've had bad (clumpy) experiences that put me off anything that wasn't subtle. Generally I'm very sceptical about mascaras since companies advertise so many different ones with slight modifications to the wand that it irks me!
BUT...since this one was free, there was no harm in trying...
This was one of the few times since using mascara that I could see really flattering effects. It gave my lashes some nice separation and good length. Combine this with eyelash curlers and the effect was pretty good! It was even good at reaching the corners of my eyes as well as for my sparser than sparse bottom eyelashes! Unlike some other mascaras I'd used, there wasn't any clumping either. The major, MAJOR downfall of this mascara for me was that it didn't last very long at all. I went for a shopping trip in a department store and was horrified when I passed a mirror that showed me with the beginnings of panda eyes. My top lashes didn't look so bad, but it was the bottom eyelashes (which I was so proud of before) that had rubbed against my skin below to give me this new look... ;/ The mascara is not waterproof and is so easy to take off that right there and then at the department store, I simply got a tissue out and could relatively easily wipe off the smudges and some of the mascara on the lashes......
The packaging of this mascara is just like all other Bobbi Brown products - black with minimal amount of writing. My mascara has 'Extreme Party Mascara' and 'Bobbi Brown' written on either side. At the bottom is a small information sticker stating the shelf life, colour, and address. The wand is long, straight and tapered at the end. My travel-sized version is really comfortable for a small makeup bag and the simple shape and design make it very nice to use too. The mascara itself has a very faintly sweet smell from up close. (I didn't notice this smell until giving it a sniff for this review!) I've had this product for more than 6 months now (probably going for a year......) and it is not dry at all as some mascaras can be.
Overall...... No...not again... maybe I would wear this for an hour...maybe... but I would never, ever buy this!! 2.5 stars from me!!
So...before I really get into my review, I want to point out that aside from the name of the product, the picture and description on Dooyoo is completely wrong. It is not for your head of hair but for your unwanted body hair...... so please ignore 'frizz-free results' and 'protection against heat damage'...... Parissa does not make that type of hair product!
Now...let's get started! I've used several Parissa hair removal products in the past and found that they were much better than Veet and other popular products out there. Parissa products are widely available in Boots, but the prices are generally more expensive than competing products. They make wax strips, hot wax, body sugar and azulene oil.
Currently (January 2013) the product is selling on Boots for £13-14 but the rrp is around £20. The contents are housed in a medium-sized box (around 15 x 11 x 7.5cm by my measurements) and has full instructions on the side. Opening the box you are met by a lime green opening with a hole where the top of the bottle pokes through. There is a small warning to 'remove plug seal before use'. This is the part where excitement went down for me...140ml worth of sugar paste looks a lot smaller than you think and the box is really much too big...typical!......
(2) One lime green spherical container the size of a small apple that houses the sugar paste with a detachable roller for applying the paste. Unscrewing the roller you can see the plug seal that stops the paste from pouring out. This must be removed for obvious reasons, especially since the hot paste will make it too difficult to take off when in use. Detachable on top of these is a semi-transparent cap to put over the top of the roller.
(3) 20 white washable strips
You can either use a microwave or hot water to heat up the paste. When it is ready to use you put the roller on, wait 20 seconds and apply slowly onto the desired area. After this you put the strip over and pull...
The first time I used this, I dragged the roller too quickly and hardly any paste came out. Not only that, but it applied in a very streaky and uneven way with a lot of the paste wasted on the sides of the roller. You have to go slowly and firmly which can be frustrating since it starts to solidify after some time. I like that the paste is really easy to wash off with water unlike wax. When you do manage to get an even layer of paste, the results are quite good with a few stray hairs here and there.
The product was generally easy to use, but unless you want to do small areas, using this sugar paste may prove to be too time-consuming. Before I bought it, I thought that a roll-on product with washable paste would be convenient, but actually the other items in the Parissa range are much better and at a better price point. The results from this roll-on sugar lasted a few weeks (as much as I wanted it to last for the 6-week maximum limit advertised). This again was comparable to other products by Parissa below the £10 mark. Ergonomically the product feels very nice to use when you get the hang of it however unlike other heatable products it is definitely clunkier. It's advertised as being for beginners and pros which I think is a fair claim. Overall, this product is just OK...and for OK and costing this must, I would give it 3.5 stars!
The 'Fujicolour Quicksnap Flash' (Superia X-tra 400) disposable camera
I've used several different disposable cameras whilst travelling and I've found this one to be the best one. The price is around £7 with 27 exposures. Although I have other cameras available, I really enjoy using disposable film cameras since they are resistant to drops and knocks as well as given some really good quality photos. Altogether I've used around 5 of these cameras in the space of a few months - the film seems to be better quality than other disposables and the view finder is also bigger which makes it very nice to take photos with. I also like that there is a flash button at the front for you to flip up and on to charge. There is a handy red light indicator telling you that the flash is ready after you've flipped the switch. It takes only a few seconds to charge. In the past, I bought cheaper disposables e.g. a Kodax disposable camera which had a push switch and no light indicator for the flash. This led to the frustration of the flash being used when it wasn't required and wasting precious film as well since there were no indicators.
At the beginning when I first started using disposables, I found myself wasting several exposures and producing very blurry photos because I'd judged the focal distance incorrectly. With flash, the distance to get a good image is 1-3m and without flash and good lighting it is at least a metre. This is more difficult to judge than you would have thought, but after having my first one I can judge the distance a lot better and most of my photos develop.
In terms of the actual camera, it has the usual advance wheel and a simple click button to take a photo. When the wheel hasn't been turned, the film cannot be used. (The click is somewhat unspectacular potentially leaving you wondering whether you took the photo or not in a noisier environment!) There is a good indicator telling you how many exposures you have left and all the important information is well labelled. The size of the camera is around 10 x 5.5 x 3cm. This makes it a good size for carrying around even in a coat pocket. The camera is easy to open up if you want to take out the film.
I would recommend this camera, although it is an expensive habit...... so 4.5 stars from me!
This is a lovely game that I completed twice altogether with no loss of enthusiasm! The game's main character is a endearing little robot who you guide around using your mouse. Along the way there are many puzzles that your robot must solve to progress. Although there isn't a dialogue in this game, it is clear what is happening and there are prompts readily available including hints if you get stuck (...it's much more fun not using these)! The antagonists of this story are three robot thugs who are hatching a plan that your little guy must try to stop!
There are many good points about this game including the relatively low price point of $10 as a download from the site. I bought this game as part of a discounted bundle, so you can get it for even cheaper than $10. This was also the first game that I played together with my partner and it proved to be so much fun. In the end we completed it in around a week by playing a few hours each day. The skill level is good for everyone - for an adult the skill level is set about right, and for a young child I would imagine parts of it would be hard but the hints are available if needed so progress can be made without frustration. I've found with some games that after completing it, it's difficult to have the same level of enjoyment playing it a second time round, but the puzzles and settings are numerous and diverse enough for you to love playing it over again.
This game has been very successful scoring high marks on several aggregators as well as winning several gaming awards including the Best Soundtrack award from PC Gamer a few years ago. You can even buy the soundtrack on the official Machinarium website. The game is also available on both Windows and Mac operating systems. The animation is lovely - it looks like a beautifully illustrated book and is highly imaginative overall. The backgrounds are very detailed and there are many interactive features in each new scene that you enter. I really feel that this game would be great for anybody, but if you aren't convinced about this game, then you can check out the website where you can play a demo from the game. The demo is the opening part of the actual game - I'm sure you'll want to play more afterwards.
Rating: 3 Stars
Being a big book lover, I couldn't help but notice the hype surrounding this book. It seemed to be everywhere! Having been heavily disappointed by such books that have received huge amounts of support before, I read quite a few reviews before getting hold of a copy. Still uncertain, but very curious, I went ahead and read it.
The basic story is that there is a woman who wakes up every morning to find that she is in a foreign bed in an unknown room. Moreover and most disturbingly, she wakes up each time next to a man whom she has no recollection of. So each day she must piece together the same story. This man is her husband, and she has been suffering from this form of amnesia for more than a decade. She is a 47 year old woman who only has vague recollections of her past and thinks that she is in her twenties. But the more she finds out about herself and those around her, the more she doubts what is true. Gradually she begins to piece together more and more, forming a detailed history of how she got there.
This outline sounds very promising and just like other readers, I was hooked quite quickly from the beginning. By the time I reached the middle however, I just felt that the story had been dragged out quite a lot and the ideas exploited too much. At the beginning I liked that she questioned things a lot, but at many points I just felt that it was a little bit overdone. From the half way point to the end, potentially the juiciest part of the book, it became a little too obvious for me. I felt that the drum roll moment was far too predictable, without writing any spoilers.
Aside from the predictability factor, there were other things that I didn't like the book. There were things that I felt strange about the novel, for instance it didn't seem very logical to me for her husband to let her wander off freely outside whilst he went to work. Granted that she has a developed adults brain, but she has only just been told who she is, where she is and what's happened (and then only briefly!). After these revelations...suddenly her husband has to go off to work! I also didn't like the ending. Not only did it seem a little abrupt given the previous long-windedness, but it almost seemed to read like a little bit of a cop out on the authors behalf from giving the story a proper finish. There were explanations that were given out quickly about the how's and the why's and all rounded up with a big, "maybe"!
Overall, a non-taxing read that has some nice little twists. Having read it once, it's really not a book that I'd want to read again. I didn't feel attached to any of the characters by the end, which I found quite surprising given what has happened to the main character. The story is quite predictable and a little too drawn out, which is a huge shame since the premise of the story had so much potential!