Monday, 14 June 2010


Voodoo Child: The Jimi Hendrix Collection (Audio CD)
The Jimi Hendrix Starter Pack -a 5 star review.
This isn't all the Jimi Hendrix you'll need but it is the best place to start listening. If you don't like this then you just won't like anything else he's done. Hard to believe but there are some people who don't like Jimi Hendrix but then they probably don't like rock and blues electric guitar anyway  
As an introduction to Hendrix this can't be beaten, though it can be argued that various alternate takes of famous tracks which, while attractive to the hardcore fan, do the official versions (i.e. those that appeared on his albums) a disservice. I certainly prefer the original All Along The Watchtower to the alternate take which appears here. That said, CD1 can't be faulted as a comprehensive selection of his studio work. 
CD2 is a sampler of the many live recordings which have been released since his death. There's no doubt that Hendrix was brilliant live. Rougher is undeniable and understandable as his studio material was meticulously put together. There are only two live versions of tracks on the first CD and, like the rest, are noticeably longer with a whole lot more energy. Hendrix was as good live as he was in the studio, just in a different way.

After this, the only way to go is to his official studio albums and after that dive in to the plethora of live albums. Me, I rather like the compilation Blues which, surprise, focuses on his bluesier side. Me, I'd like a Blues vol.2 but sadly there's no sign of one.

I must mention the brief but fine liner notes and reasonably detailed track listing.

So, here you are: an excellent introduction to one of the greatest rock artists of all time. How can you resist? 

Sparky! A 4-star review.

Other reviewers have given an adequate plot summary, so I'll spare you that. Well, not you, the Amazon readers. You get the synopsis. A mutant virus has turned thousands of Bostonians into zombies -just not the cannibalistic kind of George Romero- so other supernatural creatures have come out of the woodwork, including our heroine.

To be honest, this isn't that much different from all the other paranormal adventures/romances going around. It's set firmly in the genre of attractive and powerful female in the modern world plus supernatural entities, handsome men who may be heroes/villains/romantic interest candidates, etc. No different, just that little bit better which makes it a good read. The author is currently at work on a sequel and I'll be in line when it's finally published. Read this and I'm sure you will too.

  A E Van Vogt for the 21st century, a 4-star review.
If that means nothing to you, let me explain. Van Vogt was part of the Golden Age of Science Fiction, a term that tends to refer to the 1940's and 1950's which was essentially a period in which modern SF as we know it was born. Writers who emerged then include the greats such as Asimov, Heinlein, and Sturgeon. And A E Van Vogt. Van Vogt was known for his mind-boggling concepts and galaxy-spanning stories and this is where Wilson resembles him. Except that Wilson writes very well, has characters who act like believable human beings, and his stories make sense.

Start to read Darwinia and you think: aha! this is a parallel world novel. When actually it's nothing so simple and what it's actually about is one of those mind-boggling concepts which, unlike old VV, makes sense and really does boggle the mind. This is the third novel of Wilson's I've read and I have three more on a table next to me. While they do vary in degrees of satisfaction, I've enjoyed every one and eagerly anticipate the next book of his I'm going to read.

Mr Wilson, you're terrific. 

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