Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Changeling

It's only taken a year, but I've finally gotten around to putting up a review of the Mike Oldfield biography, The Changeling.

In one word, I suppose you could call label it as disappointing, for a number or reasons.

Firstly, without even reading a page of the book, it's clear that we wouldn't be getting a major exposé on his relationship with Richard Branson, as the book is published by Virgin Books. By dealing with Branson, he effectively gagged himself from discussing his long and highly publicised dispute with Virgin. If you read between the lines though, it's clear that the animosity between Oldfield and Branson has not been completely forgotten.

Another disappointment was the writing style that Oldfield engages in. Too often, when Oldfield is describing events of his past; they end up as rambling, stream of consciousness-type meanderings that often fall short in detailing the event itself. It's obviously not fair to expect him to compare with James Joyce, but I do think he could have done more research in backing up his sources.

While his childhood is covered reasonably well and his Tubular Bells piece is quite well done; everything after that feels rushed, fuzzy and written as an afterthought. It struck me that Oldfield had lost a bit of interest himself in the story at this stage, but was obliged to complete it for finality.

Overall, it's an interesting read for Oldfield fans; but completely avoidable otherwise.

Interesting fact I never knew: The name of his album Ommadown, is actually a bastardization of the Irish word for idiot, amadán.

Monday, January 19, 2009

ISEQ Stock Market Crash - Again

It's at a time like this that I'm reminded of our great statesman, Patrick Bartholomew Ahern. He imparted this bit of wisdom on us last year.

"Bank of Ireland shares are €3.80 today. Now if I meet you here next year, or the year after, do you seriously think Bank of Ireland shares will be €3.80? I'd go out and buy Bank of Ireland shares . . . that's what I'd do,"

Bank of Ireland share price today - 40 cent.

I suppose he was half right.

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I can't say that I am all that keen on the revamped Blogger.