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Everything posted by Keenomanjaro

  1. Okay, a similar format for my question. What do these artists have in common? The Cult Jennifer Lopez Aztec Camera The Beatles The Cast of Sesame Street
  2. I think (although I'm not too sure about the Bosstones or NKOTB) that they are all from Boston, Massachusetts.
  3. I missed the first debate, so I can't really compare yesterday to their past performance. I thought Brown was weak and without ideas on quite a lot of points, especially immigration. He seemed keen to attack Clegg at every opportunity, but did so at the expense of getting his own points across. Cameron was better than expected, but some of his ideas, especially on Europe and pensions, seem regressive to me. Clegg came across the best in my mind. I thought he did well in the face of the inevitable backlash from the others and stuck to his guns on some tricky subjects. Looking forward to the next one. Yes, she was. It's a fairly common name in the Ethiopia/Eritrea region of East Africa.
  4. My personal favourite was 'The Pillars of Hercules' - a trip around the Mediterranean coast from Gibraltar to Morocco. So much of the book has stayed with me, not least some of the characters he meets on his way. 'The Old Patagonian Express' was a slightly dated, but memorable account of a trip from Massachusetts to Patagonia. The bits in Central America were especially interesting as was his encounter with Borges in Buenos Aires. 'The Happy Isles of Oceania' was a departure from his usual type of journey, it being a canoe based journey around the Pacific islands. Some of the islands he visits can feel a bit repetitive, but it was nice to read about places I'd never heard of before. They would probably be my top three. The last few chapters of 'Riding the Iron Rooster' was good as well - a terrifying car journey through the Himalayas to Tibet - although the book as a whole wasn't the greatest. I've not as yet had a chance to read his latest - 'Ghost Train To The Eastern Star'.
  5. I read this not long after it was first published. I enjoyed it so much that I was inspired to read all of Theroux's previous travel books. Hope you like it as much as I did.
  6. Keith Alexander - current manager of Macclesfield Town and all round legend of lower league football - passed away after his team's game with Notts County last night, at the age of 53.
  7. The mashed potato made me think of 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind', because of the great scene where the main character makes a model of the Devil's Tower mountain from a bowl of mashed potato. It's a bit of a long shot, but I've tried to fit the rest around that starting point. So I figured that the gas mask could come from the final scene, where I'm sure there were a lot of scientist types wearing protective clothing. The keyboard represents the famous tune played by the mothership. And the monkey is the weak link in my argument...and probably means I'm barking up the wrong tree.
  8. 2010 1. What a Carve Up! - Jonathan Coe **** 2. The Mayor of Casterbridge - Thomas Hardy *** 3. The Reluctant Fundamentalist - Mohsin Hamid *** 4. The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver ***** 5. Netherland - Joseph O'Neill ** 6. The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffernegger *** 7. Lolita - Vladimir Nabakov **** 8. Dear Undercover Economist - Tim Harford ** 9. The Children's War - J.N Stroyar ***** 10. A Widow For One Year - John Irving **** 11. Empire of the Sun - JG Ballard *** 12. Lunar Park - Bret Easton Ellis **** 13. Under the Frog - Tibor Fischer *** 14. Kafka on the Shore - Haruki Murakami ***
  9. 1. 'The Shock Doctrine' - Naomi Klien ***** 2. 'The Book Thief' - Markus Zusak **** 3. 'The Road' - Cormac McCarthy **** 4. 'Belching Out the Devil' - Mark Thomas *** 5. 'The Sopranos' - Alan Warner **** 6. 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' - Khalid Hosseini ** 7. 'Bobby Fischer Goes to War' - David Edmonds & John Eidinow *** 8. 'The Ragged Troussered Philanthropists' - Robert Tressell **** 9.. 'Moab is My Washpot' - Stephen Fry *** 10. 'East Riders, Raging Bulls' - Peter Biskind ** 11. 'Screen Burn' - Charlie Brooker **** 12. 'Kingdom by the Sea' - Paul Theroux *** 13. 'The Little Friend' - Donna Tartt *** 14. 'Naked Lunch' - William Burroughs * 15. 'The War of the Worlds' - H.G. Wells *** 16. 'Less Than Zero' - Bret Easton Ellis *** 17. 'Youth' - J.M. Coetzee *** 18. 'Dawn of the Dumb' - Charlie Brooker *** 19. 'The Hotel New Hampshire' - John Irving **** 20. 'A Kestrel for a Knave' - Barry Hines **** 21. 'The Remains of the Day' - Kazuo Ishiguro **** 22. 'Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil' - John Berendt **** 23. 'A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius' - Dave Eggers ** 24. 'Crash' - J.G. Ballard ** 25. 'The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes' - Bill Watterson *** 26. 'The Silent Twins' - Marjorie Wallace **** 27. 'Never Let Me Go' - Kazuo Ishiguro **** 28. 'The Rape of Nanking' - Iris Chang *** 29. 'The Human Stain' - Philip Roth ** 30. 'Rumblefish' - S.E. Hinton *** 31. 'America Unchained' - Dave Gorman *** 32. 'The Complete Maus' - Art Spiegleman ***** 33. 'The White Tiger' - Aravind Adiga ***
  10. Sounds like it could be a phishing scam. There appear to be grammatical errors in the quote you've posted, which is often a giveaway. Edited to add: Post no. 88 on this forum confirms this is a scam email http://www.baylinerownersclub.org/forum/showthread.php?p=392951
  11. They're not a Cowell act but they are signed to the same record label (Sony BMG) as those acts which Cowell manages. I'm not sure that Cowell would directly benefit from any RATM sales, but having a rival for top spot might encourage a few more kids to buy the McElderry record. Could this be the start of a concerted backlash against X-Factor style artists/contests? Sadly, probably not.
  12. Has anyone else read about the 'Rage Against the X-Factor' campaign? According to the NME, the Rage Against the Machine track 'Killing in the Name' is number 1 in the download charts, ahead of the X-Factor winner's song. This is thanks to a Facebook campaign, set up to attact music fans who are fed up with manufactured pop acts dominating the charts. http://www.nme.com/news/rage-against-the-machine/48854
  13. My favorite so far has been 'The Shock Doctrine' by Naomi Klein'. However, I'm currently reading 'The Complete Maus' by Art Spiegelman and it's looking like this will trump everything else.
  14. I really enjoyed this book (and the subsequent movie adaptation) as well. The moral dilemma that Simon faces is the real talking point of the book, but it was Joe's journey back to base camp that stuck most clearly in my memory - such determination to survive against all the odds. If you haven't seen the film, I'd recommend giving it a try. I found it helped me visualise some of the terminology I'd struggled to get to grips with in the book. By the way, I believe there is already a thread for this book, so a merging may be in order.
  15. I have 14 of these albums on my shelves, but I'm familiar with quite a few more thanks to streaming services such as Spotify. No surprises to see the NME have put The Strokes and Libertines at numbers 1 and 2 given the amount of over-exposure the magazine gave these bands. The only surprise is that the Arctic Monkeys didn't quite make it into the top 3 as well. Would anyone care to put forward their own Top Ten for the decade?
  16. Naomi Klein first came to my attention almost a decade ago with the publication of her classic manifesto for the anti-globalisation movement, 'No Logo'. A detailed and passionate account of the hidden implications of a global marketplace, I fell in love with the book in my student days and have eagerly awaited a follow-up ever since. The Shock Doctrine is that follow up. Moving away from her anti-globalisation roots, this book looks at the rise of what Klein terms 'disaster capitalism'. This is the notion that those in power are using incidents of chaos, confusion and catastrophe, be they natural or deliberately engineered events, as a means of imposing a capitalist free market upon unsuspecting communities. From the scramble to rebuild war torn Iraq, to the rise of the homeland security industry in the USA after 9/11 to the destruction of Sri Lanka's fishing communities by hotel companies in the aftermath of the tsunami, Klein travels the globe bringing stories of 'shocked' communities who have found their ways of life transformed whilst they were in recovery. Each chapter covers an event, or series of events, which have shaped the course of disaster capitalism, starting with the USA's experiments in South and Central America, progressing through the exploitation of emergent regimes in China, Poland and South Africa and culminating in the war on terror and the tsunami. The book was published towards the end of George W Bush's tenure in the White House and is a fairly unashamed bit of neo-con bashing, and although Klein tries to treat the matters she discusses even handily, her passion for the subject lends it a noticeable bias in places. That said, I loved this book from start to finish. Not only were Klein's examples of the disaster capitalism movement engrossing and in many cases, very moving, but the book also helped me to improve my understanding of global economics. This was the first book I read in 2009 and with only two months remaining, it's still the best.
  17. This is the strange and compelling story of the Gibbons sisters; identical twins growing up in the Welsh outpost of Haverfordwest in the late 70's - early 80's. From an early age, the girls refused to communicate with any adults outside of their family circle and as time goes by, they retreat further and further into a solitude shared only with each other. Wallace spent a lot of time pouring through the millions of words written by the twins in their diaries and is able to give a great insight into the psychological problems that the girls and countless teachers, doctors and specialists are unable to get to grips with. As the story unfolds, we learn of the girls attempts to achieve literary success from their bedroom, their obsession with the boys from the nearby military base and their eventual decent into a life of crime that sees them end up in Broadmoor. With so much of the book taken from the girls own words, the reader is left to ponder the strange conflict between the bubbly characters of the girls on the page compared to the taciturn, emotionless children their outward behaviour suggests. This was a fascinating and heartbreaking account of the wasted youths of two clearly talented individuals. The eldest twin, June Gibbons, has actually had a book published (Pepsi-Cola addict); a testament to what might have been achieved.
  18. I'd never considered reading any Ishiguro before, but a chance purchase from a charity shop based purely on the chapter titles and a vague notion that it had won an award yielded an unexpected treat. I think the reviews earlier in this thread seem to sum up much of what I felt about this novel. The character of Stephens was brilliantly drawn and I loved the sense of his self-importance that came through, perfectly accompanying the first person perspective used. This isn't really the sort of book I'd normally read, but it must have left some kind of lasting impression as I went out and bought 'Never Let Me Go' as soon as I finished it.
  19. I had the dubious honour of seeing one of the Stone Roses' final performances, at the 1996 Reading Festival. It has seemingly gone down in rock legend as one of the worst gigs ever. John Squire and Reni had already left the band and their replacements were upstaged by Ian Brown's shocking vocal performance. I remember 'I am the Resurrection' seemed to go on forever, but in a bad way, and people were flooding past me after about four or five songs. I'm not sure I'd bother if they re-formed. I also had the pleasure of seeing Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros about a year before he passed away. They did plenty of Clash songs, and knowing that they were a band that would never reform, that was good enough for me. As a 90's teenager, I'd add Nirvana to any list of bands I'm sadly no longer going to be able to see.
  20. Damn...I thought this thread was going to be about Thomas Pynchon!
  21. Ballard's controversial novel sets out to explore the link between sex and car crashes. After being involved in a fatal car crash, the narrator finds himself drawn to a group of car crash survivors/ fetishists, led by the charismatic Vaughan, who recreate accidents, view crash footage as if it were pornography and find sexual liberation in exploring the wounds, deformities and disabilities their accidents have inflicted upon each other. The plot is really an aside to Ballard's unrelenting graphic descriptions of twisted metal, shattered glass, broken limbs and endless stretches of concrete. This cold, calculated way of setting a scene (combined with the emotionless characters) presents a bleak portrait of 20th century life, presumably designed as a response to the relentless consumerism and reliance on technology that 1970's Britain was experiencing. This doesn't make for an enjoyable reading experience though. After a few chapters, I was fed up hearing about the resemblance of a bare thigh to the curve of a car's instrument binnacle or other such comparisons of flesh and metal. I think the biggest problem I had with the book was that I couldn't understand why this strange link between the automobile and sex had been the means by which Ballard tried to expose modern society. I think many of his ideas get buried beneath the sex and death scenes. Maybe a second read would help, but this isn't a book I'd want to revisit in a hurry. Reading tip: If you imagine that the character of Vaughan is Jeremy Clarkson, your enjoyment of this book will increase ten-fold.
  22. Yes, please do. There's no need to stick to Amazon reviews, and I suppose there's no need to stick to book reviews either - music, movies, TV etc... could all work in this format.
  23. Bit of a stab in the dark, but is the second one 'London Orbital' by Iain Sinclair?
  24. As a Dorset lad born and bred, I've taken far too long to read my first Hardy novel. I really liked this book, not just for the fantastic descriptions of the countryside I grew up in, but for the fine characterisation that runs through the book. Whilst I found Bathsheba quite an annoying character at times, I thought she came across as being very complex - on one hand a strong woman running a farm full of men, yet powerless when faced by Troy and naive in dealing with Boldwood. The set-pieces that highlight Gabriel's virtues were really enjoyable - saving both the harvest during the storm and the sheep that have been poisoned. I wish I could say all Dorset men are like this, but I'm afraid Mr Oak puts us to shame. I'm quite keen to give a few more Hardy books a try and was thinking of trying 'The Mayor of Casterbridge' next. A lot of people have mentioned the 'dark undertones' in this story and I'm keen to see how these manifest themselves and develop in later works. How did I go for so long without Hardy in my life?
  25. It's interesting to read that people enjoyed one half of the book more than the other. If I'd read the second half of the book in isolation, I don't think I would have enjoyed it at all - a fairly standard courtroom drama which probably drags on too long. Not my cup of tea. But the first half of the book (essentially a love letter to the town of Savannah and those who live there), did such a great job of introducing the cast of characters that I found myself gripped by the second half, as each side fought to gain the upper hand in the trial. The anecdotes and characters that Berendt presents in the first half of the book were hugely entertaining. Whether any of it is factually accurate or not is really irrelevant; it's excellent travel writing and Savannah is now well and truly on my radar.
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