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maklhouf

I've been on Ciao a few years and had a lot of hostile comments when I began. It's interesting, to look over them now, especially , after I read a Ciao announcement, pleading with members to be nicer to new recruits. Hmm ...

Reviews written

since 20/06/2003

101

The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand 12/01/2014

The Fountainhead of Objective philosophy.

Lonely Planet Lisbon - Lonely Planet 07/08/2013

Lonely planet lisbon, no flaws?

Flashfire - Richard Stark 18/07/2013

Flashy flashfire

Comeback - Richard Stark 15/07/2013

Stark comeback

Comeback - Richard Stark Stark by name, stark by nature. This author favours a succinct delivery with no unnecessary frills. In this terse novel we get a chance to look at two kinds of criminal - dumb crooks and smart crooks. It all ends in a climax of brutish violence. Not what you would usually find in the wake of a Christian crusade, perhaps. Parker`s gang have decided to steal the love offerings of preacher Archibald´s congregation. Archibald gets his offerings in cash and that is the draw. This novel was written in the nineties and it appears very dated, because this was the moment when everything was changing for criminals and for us honest people as well. Cash was going out of fashion. Credit cards and E payment were on their way in. The average robber could no longer be sure of finding any money in the till he robbed. Most likely it had gone straight to the bank by electronic transfer. Only a few outlets continue to deal in cash and religion is one of them. Parker never puts a foot wrong. if he did he would be dead. However it is hard to sympathise with a character who never appears to feel any emotion, never makes a mistake or shows any weakness. He has a girlfriend, Claire, but we do not get a chance to look at their relationship. We see them living in a respectable community, when Parker is "off duty". What does she see in him? He is a very unattractive "hero". But we keep reading because the story is gripping and we want to see how things turn out. It is quite unusual to read a cops ...

Lisbon Chillout Hostel, Lisbon 03/07/2013

Chill out Lisbon Chillout!

The ComeBack Girl - Katie Price 11/06/2013

The Comeback Girl - what Katie wrote?

The Tiger's Wife - Tea Obreht 17/01/2013

Tiger in her Tea

Winter In Madrid - C.J. Sansom 12/01/2013

Long, hard Winter in Madrid

Winter In Madrid - C.J. Sansom This is a substantial novel, so do not expect to devour it in a couple of sittings, as you might, a thriller by Dean Koontz. Although it is placed in the thriller section here, its publishers, Pan, describe it as a love story, and the Sunday Express calls it part historical drama. Certainly, the author , C.J. Sansom, does not seem particularly to have set out to write a thriller. He seems more concerned to portray the devastation bought about by the Spanish Civil War. I find it very interesting to go back to a time, when many people really believed that Great Britain had already lost the Second World War. At such times the shady world of secret agents comes to its own, and we have the dubious pleasure of observing how these dubious characters conduct themselves, for instance, at the Ritz Hotel in Madrid, where all luxuries are avaiable, in contrast to the starvation and desperation outside in the streets. A group of British operatives are sent there, simply to act as if they are enjoying a wonderful dinner together, without a care in the world. This is for the benefit of the other guests at the Ritz, who are mainly fascists and high placed Nazis. A happiness match ensues, with the Germans and British, in turn trying to outdo the other side at guffawing and generally being cheerful over the entrees. There is a lot of talk about democracy and this is what Harry, the protagonist, tells himself he is fighting for, when he allows the secret service to talk him into spying on his ...

The Good Guy - Dean Koontz 10/01/2013

Postpone the chores, finish this Good Guy first

A Freewheelin' Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties - Suze Rotolo 08/01/2013

Freewheeling live beat

A Freewheelin' Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties - Suze Rotolo My last review , Greedy Goliath versus last man in tower, was of a book that transported me in space. This book, by Suze Rotolo, transported me in time. More than that, it carried me to a state of mind in which things were possible. A person could make his or her own way in life, and Suze Rotolo´s boyfriend, Bob Dylan, certainly did that. Suze does record, that at that time, Bob Dylan had the least control he would ever have, over his music career, but compared to the industry puppets of today, he was a free (and freewheeling), man. I like the fact that the book´s layout is as freewheeling as its title. Its various sections are introduced with arty titles along the margin and the paragraphs start with huge cursive capital letters. For a publication that uses only black and white print, it is very attractive. It is worth getting for the reproductions of old restaurant menus, advertisements and book covers it displays, especially as all this comes in a size that you can easily stuff into your pocket. Dylanites, like myself will drool over the very early copies of sheet music for his songs. This was a time when the stuffy shackles of post war Western life had been loosened by Jack Kerouak and the beat generation and were just about to be further kicked over by the hippy revolution. You can feel the hope and excitement coming off the pages of the book. Suze Rotolo reminds us also of less positive aspects of the beat/hippy culture, in particular, the way that women were used ...

Last Man in Tower - Aravind Adiga 29/12/2012

Greedy Goliath versus Last Man in Tower

Reheated Cabbage - Irvine Welsh 22/07/2012

Tough dish of Reheated Cabbage

Unreal Hostel Lisboa, Lisbon 17/07/2012

Unreal Hostel Lisboa, Lisbon

Lisbon Amazing Hostels-Sé/Alfama, Lisbon 06/06/2012

Lisbon amazing hostel, in the alley of the dark arch

Lisbon Amazing Hostels-Sé/Alfama, Lisbon In the alley of the dark arch. That is my translation of the address of the Lisbon amazing hostel in the Sé/Alfama area of Lisbon. Trouble is, there are lots of alleys and lots of arches, dark, bright and in between, in Lisbon and this hostel is the very devil to find. Its actual address is Beco do Arco Escuro 6, Lisboa, Portugal, but some guides list it at number 2, which is also its address, in this fascinating Sé/Alfama area. You should finally work out where it is after wandering about for a long time. The map is not much use and after that, you will be able to find the alley of the dark arch by following your nose. The old drains are usually a little smelly,but if you prefer, you can look out for the angels grafittied on the walls. And that last sentence probably sums up the experience of staying at the Lisbon amazing hostel in Sé/Alfama. The showers are good: modern, warm and available twenty four hours, but the old plastic doors on them are so sticky that it is not impossible that you may have to spend the night locked in the shower, because you cannot open the door to get out. The bed linen is clean and bright, with a nice warm duvet, but , for some reason you get only one sheet. The building is old, historic, in fact, but there is a strong techie feel to the place, with WiFi, DVD and several computers available. The atmosphere is warm, friendly and extremely laid back, but there is an alarmingly Big Brotherish door entry system. You can only enter the hostel by ...

Hostel Bookers - Discounts & Voucher Codes 05/06/2012

Let Hostel Bookers do the walking

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