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Borg

Borg

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Good day to you all. I have an Amazon page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Paul-McAvoy/e/B008NP1LWK/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Reviews written

since 16/08/2001

325

Mr Mercedes - Stephen King 08/10/2014

Mr Average

Mr Mercedes - Stephen King I love Stephen King books, I love his horror, love his stories about growing up, love his adventure tales, his Dark Tower series, and although I liked Mr Mercedes, I didn’t love it. It was an okay read. Perhaps this is because I don’t read Thrillers/Detective stories, I think they usually end up the way you expect, whereas horror stories don’t always do that. Mr Mercedes is a thriller. The Story Bill Hodges is a retired detective, depressed, feeling useless now his career is over. Until one day he receives a letter in the post from Mr Mercedes, a multi killer who ran into a group of people waiting for a job fair to start. Bill Hodges never caught Mr Mercedes and this has always bothered Hodges. The letter taunts Hodges, but it does make him look at his life and where he is, depressed and contemplating suicide. The letter sort of re-invigorates Bill, and with the help of some friends he starts to look into the case again. Mr Mercedes has invited Bill Hodges to talk to him on an on-line chat site called Blue Umbrella. A technophobe, Bill Hodges asks his gardener and friend, the young Jerome to help check the site out, find out if it is a safe site. Brady Hartsfield is a techno whiz and he is Mr Mercedes – we find this out pretty quickly, so this is not a spoiler. He lives with his alcoholic mother and they have an unhealthy relationship. We learn his father left when he was young and his brother died of an apparent accident – or did he? Brady Hartsfield is unhinged, like any ...

Joyland - Stephen King 26/05/2014

Utter Joy

Joyland - Stephen King There is no introduction needed for Stephen King, as I am sure you have heard of him. For those who haven’t, he is the multi selling author of many books; in fact he has sold over 350 million and many have been adapted into movies and TV, most notably The Shawshank Redemption, Carrie and It. His first novel was Carrie and he started off as a teacher when he left university. Joyland Joyland was first published for the Hardcase Crime series, an American imprint of Hardboiled Crime novels founded in 2004. This is Stephen King’s second book to have been published by Hardcase, the first being The Colorado Kid. The story is told in the first person by young Devin Jones, a young guy who is on the brink of splitting up with his long-term girlfriend. To earn some money over the summer holidays he applies to work at a North Carolina amusement park, Joyland. Here he meets some great friends who will be lifelong friends and is also told by a resident fortune teller that he will help two children. At the amusement park it is hard work, but he sometimes ‘Wears the Fur,’ which is to dress up as Howie the Happy Hound, and it becomes clear he is quite good at this. There is a story of a woman who was murdered at the park, and he ghost still haunts the ride on with she was killed, The Ghost Train. After his friend says he saw her, Devin becomes obsessed in trying to find her killer. We meet the children that he helps... a girl and a boy. And the boy’s mother. He comes to terms with the ...

The Silence of Ghosts - Jonathan Aycliffe 05/02/2014

Silence Will Fall

Jennings Cocker Hoop 20/01/2014

A Corker of a Cocker

Jennings Cocker Hoop Having received some lovely gifts of Real Ale recently, I have decided to devote my reviewing time on this site to mostly these ales. Don’t go expecting any deep and thought-provoking reviews full of suspense and comedy and over descriptive writing, this is just a catalogue of some of the ales that are out there, bit of history and my own personal opinion on the ales in question. What is Real Ale? In the seventies, CAMRA termed the phrase Real Ale, to help people distinguish between insipid process beers that were being served up by the big breweries and traditional beers. As per the CAMRA website “Real ale is a natural product brewed using traditional ingredients and left to mature in the cask (container) from which it is served in the pub through a process called secondary fermentation. It is this process which makes real ale unique amongst beers and develops the wonderful tastes and aromas which processed beers can never provide.” And do you know what? I love it! I like it because you do not know what you are going to get from one ale to the next, whereas most lagers or bitters are similar to one another. I like the quirky names these ales have and sipping them and discovering their textures. Cocker Hoop Cocker Hoop is a 4.2% in bottle (4.6% in draught) and made at Jennings Brewery in Cumbria (in between Keswick and Cockermouth to begin with but moved to Cockermouth in the late 1800s). It was founded in 1828 by John Jennings. As per the website Cocker Hoop is an ...

Ringwood Forty-Niner 11/01/2014

Golden Rush

Ringwood Forty-Niner Having received some lovely gifts of Real Ale recently, I have decided to devote my reviewing time on this site to mostly these ales. Don’t go expecting any grandiose writings full of padding and descriptive writing, this is just a catalogue of some of the ales that are out there, bit of history and my own personal opinion on the ales in question. What is Real Ale? In the seventies, CAMRA termed the phrase Real Ale, to help people distinguish between insipid process beers that were being served up by the big breweries and traditional beers. As per the CAMRA website “Real ale is a natural product brewed using traditional ingredients and left to mature in the cask (container) from which it is served in the pub through a process called secondary fermentation. It is this process which makes real ale unique amongst beers and develops the wonderful tastes and aromas which processed beers can never provide.” And do you know what? I love it! I like it because you do not know what you are going to get from one ale to the next, whereas most lagers or bitters are similar to one another. I like the quirky names these ales have and sipping them and discovering their textures. Ringwood Forty-Niner Forty-Niner is brewed at Ringwood Brewery in Hampshire, not far from Salisbury. According to the website: “Beer has been brewed in Ringwood for centuries ever since medieval man first mixed the crystal water of the River Avon with the malted barley harvested from the surrounding fertile ...

Review of the Year 2013 04/01/2014

Borg's Personal '13

Review of the Year 2013 Borg’s 13 It was the worst of years... it was the worst of years... My god and am I glad to see the back of it. Okay, it was not all bad and I am absolutely certain that others have had much worse years than mine, but it just seems that this has been particularly bad for me. Things started pretty quiet. My daughter who had started living with me full time in June ’12 was still with me and is still with me full time, after a big fall out with her mother, which I won’t go into. Their relationship has been strained this last year – actually ‘Non existent’ is more appropriate a phrase. I got myself a new phone in January, and nice little HTC windows phone and I am quite pleased with it. My daughter and I took our still small puppy spaniel to Beacon Fell and I took picture using the said new phone. In February several members of the family decided we would do this year’s Blackpool fun run in May. In fact my daughter volunteered me for the task, even though I had thought I had retired from all that. We were running for the children’s charity “Wish Upon a Star,” who did a lot for my young nephew, who died ten years before of leukaemia. So I went out for my first run in over a year and felt just awful, coughing my guts and cursing my aching limbs... In March, one of my favourite authors of the past, James Herbert died. I grew up reading Herbert, and although I had stopped reading his later books, I have fond memories of Moon and The Rats. I will just take a moment here to ...

Hawkshead Brodie's Prime 30/12/2013

The Prime of Hawkshead Brewey

Hawkshead Brodie's Prime Having received some lovely gifts of Real Ale over Christmas, I have decided to devote my reviewing on this site to mostly these ales. Don’t go expecting any novellas full of suspense and comedy and over descriptive writing, this is just a catalogue of some of the ales that are out there, bit of history and my own personal opinion on the ales in question. What is Real Ale? In the seventies, CAMRA termed the phrase Real Ale, to help people distinguish between insipid process beers that were being served up by the big breweries and traditional beers. As per the CAMRA website “Real ale is a natural product brewed using traditional ingredients and left to mature in the cask (container) from which it is served in the pub through a process called secondary fermentation. It is this process which makes real ale unique amongst beers and develops the wonderful tastes and aromas which processed beers can never provide.” And do you know what? I love it! I like it because you do not know what you are going to get from one ale to the next, whereas most lagers or bitters are similar to one another. I like the quirky names these ales have and sipping them and discovering their textures. Brodie’s Prime: Today I am going to review Hawkshead’s Brodies Prime (the bottle version). Hawkshead brewery was first established in Hawkshead village in the Lake District. Imagine the surrounding hills, such as nearby Coniston and lakes, such as Windermere transgressing their very essence into the ...

My Favorite Headache - Geddy Lee 17/11/2013

A Nice Headache

My Halloween horror story 31/10/2013

The Witch

Famous Last Words - My Chemical Romance (Single) 31/03/2013

Famous Last Words

Famous Last Words - My Chemical Romance (Single) Please note this is a review of a single from an album and therefore is a brief, to the point review of the song. I have also included the full lyrics for you to sing along to. On the 22nd March 2013 My Chemical Romance announced on their website in a brief statement that after 12 years they were splitting up. Whether this is a permanent thing, or if they return under another name as some rumours suggest, only time will tell. Later readers of this review might have an answer. I found this quite sad as over the past six months I have been getting into this punk-pop band from New Jersey. My daughter and I have been collecting their albums and she is always listening to their music, so I guess it hit her more than me. But I am older, I guess, and have known many bands split up and reform, such as Deep Purple or even Take That. Of all the songs the band recorded, this will always be my all time favourite. It is the song that made me go out and buy The Black Parade album, from which this song arises. It is a good, stomping rock song filled with passion. It leaves you feeling positive, and it has a kick ass chorus too. Its starts with a vocal and guitar intro in which Gerard Way’s vocals are filled with such utter passion. Fine sleazy guitar riff ensues, followed by a stomping, anthem like beat. The all song builds and builds with high passion and fine musicianship. Of all the songs on the album, this is the most ‘rockiest’ and a lot lighter than songs from their previous two ...

Red Dwarf X (DVD) 23/02/2013

'X' cellent

Red Dwarf X (DVD) For several years many people thought that the British sitcom Red Dwarf was dead, and that is was simply one of those shows that ‘used to be on telly.’ More Dead that Red, perhaps? However its co-creator Doug Naylor always thought otherwise and tried to get it back on the screens, be they big screen or small. In 2009 this happened in a mini three part series commissioned by Dave TV, who regularly show quite a number of the repeats, called Back to Earth. Then in 2012 the series returned, again commissioned by Dave TV, with Red Dwarf series ten… or X as it is better know. But what is Red Dwarf? Well… Dave Lister is the last human being alive and he resides on the mining ship Red Dwarf, which is light years from Earth. How did he become to last human? Well he was put into stasis on the ship because he smuggled a cat on board and would not give it up when asked, as he knew the cat would be killed. Meanwhile a radiation leak kills everyone on board and the ship’s computer keeps Lister in stasis until it is safe to come out, which just happens to be three million years later. In that time, his cat gave birth to kittens who evolved into humanoid beings, but these all die save for The Cat, who becomes a companion for Lister. The computer also resurrects Lister’s crew mate Rimmer, who Lister hates, but Holly (the computer) chooses Rimmer to keep Lister ‘sane.’ In series 3 the three characters are joined by a robot Kryton. The series is all about Lister’s slobby, curry eating and beer ...

Remington R 5150 Pivot & FLEX 26/01/2013

Livin' on a razor's edge...

Remington R 5150 Pivot & FLEX R5150 In October last year we got a new arrival at the house, a puppy cocker spaniel. One thing about puppies, other than the fact that they are immensely cute and loveable, is the fact that they like to chew almost anything there is. Carpets, tissue paper… and wires… which brings me nicely onto why I bought a new razor last year. I’d had a Philips razor for going on ten years and it had served me well, but one day I woke to find that cute and loveable puppy had decided to chew the wire on the charger, and without a charger the razor could not be charged. I had a look for another charger, but would have had to get one off the internet and pay a third of what I’d pay for a brand new razor… so I decided to go in search of a new razor instead. When I began my search, I had a few things in mind as to how my razor should look and act. Firstly, though, I wanted a bargain. Hey, we are in a recession! I also want a three heads, for it to be rechargeable (and therefore cordless) and I wanted a side, pop up, trimmer. I did not want a cheap make either. I looked at a Philips, and nearly went for it, but then realised that it did not have a side trimmer. Then I took a lunch time walk to Argos, saw that this razor was on offer. I think there was twenty five pounds off. I promptly went to buy one. I had a Remington before, many moons ago, so I knew how good a razor they usually are. So, what of the shaving? Yes, it shaves quite close. I cannot use wet razors as they give me rashes, ...

2012 Year in review 05/01/2013

Borg's 12

2012 Year in review Review of 2012 There were three major events for me in 2012, but I will get to those in due course and go through each month one at a time. Anyway, I am Borg, to those new to my writings, pleased to meet your acquaintance and to those who know me, well here I am again with a review of 2012, both personally to my life and also with regards to this site we know as Ciao. This is my third annual review, and is great to look back on as the years go by, just to see how things were. I used to keep a diary as a child, but I guess we don’t have time for these nowadays. In this busy world they are, well, too much like hard work… Got to say, though, that Ciao has been quiet this year. Don’t get me wrong, there have been reviews, but less participation in the reading of reviews. In 2011 I got roughly a hundred reads per review. But during 2012 I seem to have received around eighty. I know that this is still a lot of reads from you fine people, but I do wonder why this place is quieter. I don’t think it is me, I have read reviews too, and returned rates. I guess I have been busy with other writings, but I always like to pop into Ciao every day. Is it the silly pop-up ads that appear on our screens…? I reckon that might have something to do with it. I accept ads for the site and I know they are what keep it alive, but intrusive pop-ups that block your page every time you move… they are ridiculous. Looking back over the year, I notice I have written mostly reviews on music and food. ...

Discovery Complete Nachos 18/12/2012

A Great Discovery

Power Within - DragonForce 11/11/2012

Powerful

Power Within - DragonForce I have said this before, and I will no doubt say it again, YouTube is just great for stumbling across some interesting music and this is just the thing that happened when I discovered the band for whose album I am about to review now. I don’t really know how I came across Dragon Force, but I did and I am glad I did. How did I come to buy this album? It was on offer in HMV for a price you just could not ignore – three shiny pounds! But what of the music? Well with a name like Dragon Force, you are going to expect Metal, right? And that is just what this is. Fine Speed, Progressive Metal. If you were to have a cauldron and were to mix a good helping of Helloween, with a bit of Metallica, and some Symphony X, then Dragon Force would be what you would get once cooked. The Band: Marc Hudson – Lead vocals, Backing vocals (This is actually his first album with the band) Herman Li – Guitars, Backing vocals Sam Totman – Guitars, Backing vocals Vadim Pruzhanov – Keyboards, Piano, Backing vocals Dave Mackintosh – Drums, Backing vocals Frédéric Leclercq – Bass Guitar, Harsh vocals, Backing vocals The Songs: 1. Holding On (Sam Totman, Herman Li) 4:56. We have a feedback/echoey intro and things slowly thrust into being. Fine reverb here and nice vocal scream to introduce us to the new singer. Then everything speeds up, with great harmonies. A chaotic first verse ensues, in fact this all song has an air of chaos about it. Hudson, it becomes clear, has a great voice with an all range ...
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