#AlwaysLookOnTheBrightSideOfLife a Sortabiography by Eric Idle, mini review

Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life, labelled as a "sortabiography" by actor, comedian, director, musician, writer and ex-Python Eric Idle, is a brilliantly witty insight into the life of one of the UKs greatest comedic minds and a genuine in my opinion national treasure.

The book talks about Idle's rise to fame with the Python posse, from joining small comedy troupes whilst at university, into the beginnings of Python and meeting the rest of the gang. Then it goes on to talk about Idles own projects; moving Pyhton to the stage, more film and acting work and so on. All with a brilliant sense of humour and feeling of genuine love and nostalgia for the work he's been involved with, the book is always a pleasure to read through.

It's not all happy-go-lucky and Idle doesn't shy away from the troupes struggles with alcohol and substance abuse; the passing of other close celebrity friends and even his own divorce.

I especially liked the inclusion during the mete…

#TheFurthestStation by Ben Aaronovitch mini review

Firstly, as a novella this book is expensive. Less than a cm thick and still on Amazon for £8, does the quality of the story really warrant that? In short... no, not really.

Not to say it's bad, but the length and style of story don't itself well to Aaronovitch's normally heavily descriptive writing style. And as such it's probably only one for the fans. Saying that, I actually can't imagine anyone wanting to start a series a book at entry number 5 and a half, set between the writings of Foxglove Summer and The Hanging Tree.

Despite the failings though, I did enjoy this little mystery novella and the premise of the story was one that kept me reading. Ghosts have been set loose on the metropolitan train line harassing the commuters of London town. In search of something, Peter in his typically geeky 21st century wizard way sets up a series of experiments to try and lure the spectres out, only to learn of a magical abduction...

The ideas are great; an elderly couple…

#StarWars #Shatterpoint by Matthew Stover mini review

Shatterpoint is a Star Wars novel set after the events of the battle of Geonosis and focuses on our favourite purple blade wielding Jedi, Mace Windu.
Mace finds himself back on his home world of Haruun Kal where he is to investigate the disappearance of his former student, Depa Billaba. The only clue he has is a vague warning discovered at the site of a brutal massacre on the planet. Has his former student ventured to the ways of the Dark Side? Or is there more to it...
The planet is not only a part of the great war, but is also suffering from brutal civil war between  the local Korunnai and the Balawai, who have their own sets of brutal traditions that have continued throughout the Summertime war.
Mace takes it upon himself to resolve this and the mystery of his old padowan in one. 
What is good about this book is the nature of Mace Windu, and the exploration of the dark side of the force. Mace often feels himself pulled to it's seductions in this naturally dark planet and it fe…

#InYourDreams by #TomHolt mini #Review

The second tale in the ludicrous stories of the company J.W.Wells and Co, and business specialising in magical pest control; acquisition of magical resources and more often than not employs a shape shifting goblin for a receptionist.

Paul Carpenter this time is abruptly promoted to the role of hero which makes a change from his usual role of searching for bauxite. He unwittingly tackles a dragon by sitting on it, discovers the leader of the Fey wants him dead and accidentally on purpose dies... twice...

In true Tom Holt style, there are lots of good things about this mix of fantasy and comedy - some really interesting ideas, especially about the afterlife, and story devices to keep things interesting.

I can't quite read Paul sometimes - he often does things uncharacteristic of his supposedly dull, fearful self, and I can't tell if this is bad writing or if he's just a bit...weird.

I enjoyed the story, and the unique ways in which Paul has to tackle the Fey who have been h…

#TheLastOfUs #LeftBehind mini review

I played The Last Of Us: Left Behind on PS4 a while after playing the main story, which I was completely besotted with, on PS3.

Firstly, it looks completely stunning. It definitely still has that sheen that comes with most games that have been given the PS4 HD treatment, but the environments, lighting and facial animations are all beautifully detailed. The clickers in this seemed less scary - they're more obvious and seem to move in less varied predetermined patterns, making them more predictable. I also found that they were more inclined to bite your face off, even if you were crouched down, not moving and being completely silent. Only a small niggle.

The story is set after an event in The Last Of Us that leaves Joal gravely injured, and sees Ellie making tracks to retrieve medical supplies to sort him out. She must navigate an abandoned mall searching for supplies whilst avoiding or tackling a hostile group of humans. More often, the encounters with humans feel more tense than t…

Penderyn Whiskey Tour - Wales

As an avid Whiskey fan in an entirely non pretentious capacity - moving toward the realm of amateur-connoisseur should there be such a thing. Whiskey is my tipple of choice and Penderyn is one I have tried before and enjoyed a lot. I was rather happy when a recent trip to Wales meant I could do the factory tour of Penderyn and sample myself a few more varieties. The admission is reasonable but cheaper if you book online in advance.

The only other distillery tour I've done before was the Jameson tour in Dublin, Ireland. Not for better or worse the Jameson tour feels more polished and rehearsed; there is a quality to it that makes it feel like a museum experience in a similar vein to that of touring the Cadbury factory in Bourneville. The museum experience in Ireland is larger with more merchandise and a larger more touristy bar at the end of it. 

The Penderyn tour however is a much smaller affair; I felt the information around the distillery to be detailed but I didn't really g…

#ThePortableDoor (J. W. Wells & Co. #1) by Tom Holt mini review

The story of Paul Carpenter attending a rather unusual interview in a rather unusual building for a rather unusual firm with some very unusual employees that eventually leads him to accept a post in a very unusual job as junior clerk for a company where everything is not quite as it seems...

If nothing else though, Paul is just glad to finally have some semblance of a job. Not only that, but serendipity has brought him into a job working alongside a girl from the interview he finds himself inexplicably falling for. Yet is it serendipity bringing these two unlikely people together, or is there some other worldly malevolence playing with Paul and Sophie's lives...

Things just keep getting stranger and stranger, and as one thing leads to another and the truth about the job and the firm Paul has joined slowly begin to make themselves apparent, our unlikely star finds himself solving a mysterious conspiracy within the company with help of the titular device; A Portable Door - a time a…