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Beiträge von Andy
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Andy (Germany)

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Hama Audio-Splitter "AluLine", 3,5-mm-Klinkenstecker - 2x Kupplung, stereo
Hama Audio-Splitter "AluLine", 3,5-mm-Klinkenstecker - 2x Kupplung, stereo
Wird angeboten von B&B-Computer
Preis: EUR 10,10

2.0 von 5 Sternen Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't, 1. Oktober 2014
Verifizierter Kauf(Was ist das?)
With two sets of headphones plugged into my iPad 2 the sound only works sometimes in all four earpieces. Often it cuts out on one side of the second pair of headphones.

At Home: A short history of private life
At Home: A short history of private life
von Bill Bryson
  Gebundene Ausgabe

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3.0 von 5 Sternen Good but not one of Bryson's best, 30. September 2010
As a big fan of Bill Bryson, I have to start by saying that ANY book from Bill Bryson will pack you so full of trivia that you can use to impress the masses at fancy dinner parties and will entertain on a level not easily accomplished by other, less talented authors. I have read not all, but many books from the vast Bryson library; A Walk In The Woods, I'm A Stranger Here Myself, The Life and Times of Thunderbolt Kid, A Short History of Nearly Everything, Shakespeare and Notes From A Small Island.

For Bryson standards "At Home" is merely okay and although entertaining, is not up to the standards set in a "I'm A Stranger Here Myself" or "A Walk in the Woods", which I consider to be Bryson's best. I found "At Home" to be meandering and even, dare I say it, at times a bit boring because of the sheer amount of information presented. Bryson's research and detail, as always, is unsurpassed and I assume his facts are correct, although looking through some reviews at Amazon UK I see that this is brought into question in a couple reviews.

One problem that I have with the book is that it is not at all what I expected given the title and book description. The themes throughout the book are often only very loosely connected to any typical room or item in a modern home, and often Bryson wanders off topic and the connection to home life is no longer evident. This is not to say that what is covered isn't, for the most part, fascinating, Bryson discusses topics such as child labor during the industrial revolution, the significance of the spice trade and how bloody it became and Charles Darwin and his little excursion where he formulated the theory of evolution. Although I did enjoy this book my expectations of what I would be reading about and what I ended up getting were not one and the same.

Another reason that "At Home" isn't as great as some of his other books is that the fresh and clever humor that I have come to expect and cherish in a well crafted Bryson tome is for the most part, absent. Bryson weaves his facts and stories artfully as always but mostly without the little obvious or clever comment that makes one laugh out loud such as the following gem in which Bryson recounts the goods on display in London's Crystal Palace in 1851:

"If the building itself was a marvel, the wonders within were no less so. Almost 100,000 objects were on display, spread among some 14,000 exhibits. Among the novelties were a knife with 1,851 blades, furniture carved from furniture-sized blocks of coal (for no reason other than to show that it could be done), a four sided piano for homey quartets, a bed that became a life raft and another that tipped its startled occupant into a freshly drawn bath"

Unfortunately passages like these that make you laugh out loud are few and far between in "At Home".

Most of "At Home" centers on the Victorian age in Britain (and to a lesser degree in America) as that is the time when Bryson's home was originally constructed and many of the terms Bryson refers to come from the original architectural blueprint that was used to erect the home. So "At Home" could have easily been titled "The Victorian Homestead" or something that gave a nod to the time period and we would have had a clearer idea of what to expect.

In any case, any, and I do mean ANY Bryson book is always worth a read, but if you are not familiar with Bill Bryson's work, I would recommended starting on one of his earlier books and eventually coming round to "At Home" after you have tasted the best Bryson has to offer first.

The Camel Club (Camel Club Series)
The Camel Club (Camel Club Series)
von David Baldacci
Preis: EUR 5,99

3.0 von 5 Sternen An Experiment in Plausibility, 18. Mai 2009
As someone who is always interested in finding new great authors I am continuously scouting for new great writers through reviews, recommendations and online browsing. Through one of these hunts I stumbled across "The Camel Club", a story promising intrigue, conspiracy, action and plenty of suspense, a recipe I can rarely turn away from. I had never read a Dave Baldacci book before but after reading the summary of "The Camel Club" and seeing that it had consistently good reviews I decided to give it a shot.

In a very basic sense for me there are four types of authors out there whose overall skill level can be comprised of two main criteria: the first is writing skill and the ability which consists of fleshing out realistic characters, writing realistic and snappy dialogue, and basically crafting prose that sounds like it was considered before it was put down on the page. An author with talent in this arena can make a mere novel seem like a piece of true literature. The second criteria is pacing and plotting which results in keeping one interested in the plot and turning each page eager to find out what happens next. This is the critical ingredient in creating a "page turner". A well plotting and pacing author can write an interesting book without great writing skills, but a well trained author that doesn't know how to plot or pace will seldom create anything worth reading in anything more than one page chunks. Of course an elite author is an author who possesses both skill sets in spades.

Unfortunately my first encounter with Mr. Baldacci does not convince me he is in this top class of writers. "The Camel Club" is definitely well paced and keeps one interested but plausibility seems secondary, suspension of disbelief is one thing, but Baldacci stretches plausibility to its absolute limit. Characters are either good or evil and completely predictable in their cookie cutter way; like the rookie secret service agent with a chip on her shoulder because she has something to proove to her father, or the superhuman secret ops agent who is nothing short of bulletproof and supersonic in his martial arts and weapon skills. Dialogue and prose are both very amateurish, soundling like they were composed in a Creative Writing 101 class rather than by a published author with NY Times Bestsellers to his credit. While this may sound like I am bashing Mr. Baldacci I do acknowledge that his book is quite readable and I did find some very interesting and thoughtful parts in the book dealing with the depth of the roots of tension between the U.S and the Middle East. The story follows various characters throughout the book and the Middle East story is more developed and more skillfully written than the rest, I would've like to see more of this plotline and less of the other, not so developed and meandering plotlines.

All in all, while I would not, without reservations, recommend this book, I would say that someone who has an interest in the political thriller/conspiracy genre and is a fan of Mr. Baldacci will probably enjoy this book, but even they should not expect it to end up on their top 10 lists. There is however enough promise in this book for me that I expect to give Mr. Baldacci another opportunity somewhere down the line to find out just why he is so successful. "The Camel Club" is very pulpy and requires a real stretch to maintain your belief in this what-if scenario, but if you can get past the sometimes clumsy writing and flat characters it is an entertaining, easy read that might be worth a look.

World Without End
World Without End
von Ken Follett
  Gebundene Ausgabe

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4.0 von 5 Sternen Solid Followup, 5. August 2008
Rezension bezieht sich auf: World Without End (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Ken Follett is at times a great writer and at times a so so one. With "Pillars of the Earth" Follett delivered not only a great read but also exquisitely well written prose that could easily be classified as "literature" rather than "pulp". "Pillars" has always been, in my humble opinion, one of the finest pieces of writing of modern times, so for me "World Without End" had a very tough act to follow.

Follett does an admirable job in this sequel, but top "Pillars" it does not. Again, Follett delivers an exciting story with believable twists and turns, good dialogue, believable characters and good pacing. The atmosphere is very fleshed out and you can really envision yourself in a realistic middle ages setting, Follett has obviously done his research exhaustively (though I must admit I am not an expert). I would not put "World Without End" in the "literature" category however, this level the book does not reach. This is more of a bookstore find than something that should be taught in a college course on modern lit. This is not so much a criticism of "World Without End" but praise for "Pillars of the Earth", for "Pillars" is a book almost without equal. "World Without End" is definitely well worth the time and money invested and would certainly please anyone with even a passing interest in the middle ages or even just someone fancying a good read.

If you haven't read "Pillars of the Earth" then you are doing yourself a disservice and should read this brilliant masterpiece first, but "World Without End" while occasionally referencing "Pillars" can easily be read on it's own and will not disappoint.

False Impression
False Impression
von Jeffrey Archer

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2.0 von 5 Sternen Bad First Impression, 5. August 2008
Rezension bezieht sich auf: False Impression (Taschenbuch)
Poor and flat character development, oftentimes forced dialogue and a not so thrilling plot make for a poor overall story. I had never read a Jeffrey Archer book before and this one doesn't make me think I've been missing much. I don't wish to give the impression that the book is a total loss. I did finish it and would not say that it is so bad as to be unreadable, but it is certainly not a book I would recommend to someone looking for an "edge of your seat" read. The one thing it did do for me was to stir my interest in learning more about Vincent Van Gogh and impressionism. That side effect however, is not a credit to the story but the sprinkling of a few interesting tidbits of art trivia throughout the story.

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