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Product Reviews

9 (78% helpful)

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  1.  Great story, well written, so enjoyable - a must read


    This book is a classic - first published I believe around 1984 - it still stands the test of time and really hasn't aged a bit when read today - which is unusual for science ficiton. Yes this is the book which popularised the cyberpunk genre, it was so ahead of its time when written (this was before the internet and about 15 years before the movie "The Matrix"). Yet it predicted the world of the internet (although the version in the book is still ahead of current internet technology in the early 21st century) and the style of the book especially the few fight scenes that the character Molly is invovled in are described in such a way that directly lends itself to the visual imagery of the matrix - slowing time down almost decribing the fight motions an minutae details the way the movie does. This has definitely influenced following works in the genre in both book and other media forms, although some of this dark future written here also take influence from scifi film noir "Blade Runner". This book also coined the word "cyberspace". The book is fast paced and every paragraph advances the story - no fluff here - so this is not a book to scan through. Its such an enjoyable read - Its a shame it had to end.

  2.  Practicle Advice and hands on teaching


    As with any good painting book you'll benifit most from actually practicing and repracticing the techniques in the examples laid out in this book over and over so as to perfect your own painting technique. What makes this book a 5 star rating in my opinion is the book's presentation and method. It gives step by step lessons for several paintings so you can see with your own eyes how they develop and how this expert painter (the author) plys his trade. There is a lot of painting books out there that always show the exact same basic material and once you have read one you've more or less read them all and they don't take the reader much beyond the absolute basics. This book offers so much more and offers practicle advice and actually helps you develop methods for painting water scenes in watercolour - although some could be used with acrylics and oils also. This book has personally been a great help to me and I go back to it time and time again as a reference.

  3.  More relevant to modern society than ever


    This book although published first I think around 1962 is timeless and probably more relevant today in the 21st century than ever. Set in a dark grim future/alternate reality based closely on our own world, this novel has hit quite close to the bone in the direction that modern western society seems to be heading. This thought provoking novel is justly considered a fine piece of modern literature. However I give it only 4 stars because in my humble opinion the over use of the author's made up teenage slang "nadstat" made the book almost indecipherable at times and could be very easily frustrating for some readers. Its quite adviseable that you find a "nadstat" dictionary on the internet and print the few pages out to have with you as a reference while reading this for the first few chapters until you are familiar with the language. However that aside this book presents a dark intriguing tale of morality/or lack thereof for the principle character and the society in which he lives. Short, consise, there is no wastage of pages with the book's fast moving plot. Ultimately you'll be enlightened for reading this and once you get to grips with the books obscure "nadstat" slang then you'll definitely enjoy this story.

  4.  A Classic that stands up there with Dracula and Frankenstein


    A totally different tale from the two mentioned above - but this is the book that gave rise to Hellraiser - Short - less that 180 pages - it is singularly one of the best tales of terror I have ever read.

  5.  This Trilogy is a gem of a tale - superb


    I first read the Borribles when I was about 11 or 12 years of age - and while travelling came across an old copy of the first book of this trilogy in a bookswap - so I picked it up again for a read and the magic is still there. It was a trilogy of books I loved as a kid and remember how gutted I was when my mother accidentely gave my copies to a charity shop with other books at the time. When the trilogy came back into print I had to get it. Really this book is aimed at young teenagers (10 to 14 I would say) . But adults would enjoy it also. The tale revolves a group of Borribles - children that live forever and never grow up (unless they get caught by the police and get their ears clipped) - it is a dark almost gothic tale based in London, the era could be from any time - it is a story of bravery, friendship and the joy of youth really - not as well known as such classics as Peter Pan and the Tales of Narnia, but it should be.

  6.  Excellent tales of the Macabre and Horror


    This book is well worth the read if you are into horrow or supernatural fiction. This is Clive Barker at his rawest pure horror fiction - the vast vast majority of the stories in this book are excellent horror or gruessome and enthralling tales. Also they all have their own individual twist so the reader won't feel that each tale is repetitive of others in the book. I much prefer Barker's Horror to that of King. Barker is the true master ... a pity he strayed from horror in his later works to more fantasy type novels, but works such as this and also Hellbound Heart, The Damnation Game and of course Weaveworld are well worth the read.

  7.  Good build-up but weak ending


    I read this book without having having read Warhammer 40K books or played the warhammer 40K board or PC games before.
    However it didn't matter - the book stands up on its own merit and you don't feel lost for not knowing previous material before.
    The book builds up with good forboding tension in the first 1/2 of the book but then drawls into a slightly repetitive blast the bad guys sort of affair and is ultimately marred by a weak ending - but not so much that the book isn't enjoyable. It is the first in a long series of books about the Horus Heresy so in that respect the ending can be forgiven as it is leading on to the further stories in the series. I will read the next books in the series as it has great potential.

  8.  Not the best in the Civilization Series


    I really, really want to love this game however honestly Civilization 4 is a bit of a disappointment for me. Although I prefer it to Civilization 3 it certainly was not able to regain the magic that was Civilization 2. Why? It's very hard to pin point exactly why but please let me try to explain.
    Honestly it's hard to compare - Civilization 4 definitely gives a better graphics (3D models), fully more dynamic diplomacy system, extra features such as religion etc but the basic premise stays the same as the older versions of this game.
    However I honestly think they have overcomplicated the game to the extent that it's just not as much fun as Civ2. Culture while good (was in Civ3 also) doesn't Allow cities to be built inside enemy zones of control without causing war - while this is probably more realistic it lessens the gameplay or at least makes it more difficult to expand. This is a more difficult AI alright than Civ2 but not necessarily a more fun one. Needing Resources to build certain units is a nice addition but frustrating at times as it depends on luck if a resource is near you or not at times.
    I think it would be a good idea to allow pre-game options to change these rules to old style if required / culture/no culture option, special resource/no special resource requirements etc.
    System requirements and patching - make sure you get the latest patch for the game otherwise it will be prone to crashes and freezes and all other annoying buggy things. It used to take forever to load before a few patches came out at first. Also you need quite a powerful graphics card (at least relatively speaking 3 years ago when this was a new game). Why do developers always try push the graphics to the lime - that's just annoying that you need to update hardware continuously to satisfy developers whims). This is a turn based game - it's generally like because of gameplay not graphics, honestly 2D sprite would have done fine.
    Modding - now this is a big issue for me - I'm not a 3D modeller. They say that Civ4 is meant to be one of the most moddable games ever. However sadly in practice this is not the case. Let me explain: Back in the days of Civ 2 using non-animated 2D sprites the technology was relatively simplistic to mod a game with user defined graphics - the simple Paint program supplied with windows was enough to create your own units. Name descriptions and attributes for units could be updated easily in text files. The consequence was that very creative people with minimal tekkie knowledge were able to create their own mods and scenarios for the game. The result was that there was an abundance of user made mods and scenarios available on the web. Some of these admittedly were quite bad but there was a lot of gems there too that were better than any of the commercial scenarios bought in expansion packs for the game. Sadly all that has disappeared with 3D models - you need skill at 3D modelling and animation now and vaster programming skills to make any worthwhile mod at all for the new game. Now there are a lot of skilled modellers out there but this doesn't always go with creativeness. I'm not saying that there aren't good mods out there - I'm just saying the consequence of the 3D model graphics is that it narrows the band of people who can contribute mods and scenarios that might have good ideas.
    My complaints are a matter of personal taste, some people absolutely love this game - I enjoy it from time to time but never got hooked like I did with Civ 2. The magic is lost I'm afraid.

  9.  An alright read - the film is better


    I think its fair to say that the film is better than the book in this case (the film is excellent for its genre). Take out all the fancy cinematogrophy from the film and you are left with the book basically. I wouldn't read it a second time so gave it to a charity shop after reading. It's not a bad read by any means, just nothing special.

  10.  Great Civ Game


    This has more of the feel of Civilization II (with better graphics) than the sometimes over-complicated Civ IV. The game is fun and challenging with difficulty levels to suit all. It has a more light-hearted feel to it than Civilization IV - not saying it's better, just different. It's much quicker than its PC Civilization counterparts (civ I to IV) so good for a more casual experience or those who cant afford days at a single game.