Chimes of Freedom: Songs of Bob Dylan
While this epic collection of Dylan covers is largely redundant, and a downright woeful endeavour, it has been released to celebrate 50 years of Amnesty International. The sheer volume of material is its biggest problem. Simultaneously overwhelming and underwhelming, it buckles under the weight of its own significance, like a ghastly all-star charity concert which refuses to end. Although, there are a few highlights – Bettye LaVette's soulful reading of Most Of The Time, and Taj Mahal's Stax-Blues rumble through Bob Dylan's 115th Dream – there is absolutely no excuse for the likes of Natasha Bedingfield turning Ring Them Bells into an anthem, Sting busking Girl From the North Country in the manner of a deranged impersonator, or Lenny Kravitz being let anywhere near Rainy Day Woman # 12 & 35. Still, Mick Hucknall's uncannily accurate Dylan take-off on One Of Us Must Know suggests that, if nothing else, he's got it in the bag if they ever revive Celebrity Stars In Their Eyes. Ultimately, if this sprawling folly raises some money for Amnesty and introduces Miley Cyrus fans to Dylan's music, then no harm done. As for the man himself, he probably couldn't care less either way. So he's probably the real winner in all of this.
On The Shelf
Our pick of the NOT-TO-BE-MISSED books
Behind The Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, & Hope In A Mumbai Undercity
by Katherine Boo
In this brilliantly written, fast-paced book, based on three years of uncompromising reporting, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human. Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, sees "a fortune beyond counting" in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a childhood in rural poverty, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption. With a little luck, her sensitive, beautiful daughter – Annawadi's 'most-everything girl' – will soon become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest Annawadians, like Kalu, a fifteen-year-old scrap-metal thief, believe themselves inching closer to the good lives and good times they call 'the full enjoy'. But then Abdul the garbage sorter is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and a global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power and economic envy turn brutal. Behind the Beautiful Forevers carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century's hidden worlds, and into the lives of people impossible to forget.
by Vince Flynn
In the year since the CIA trained and then unleashed him, Mitch Rapp has been steadily working his way through a list of men, bullet by bullet. With each swift and untraceable kill, the tangled network of monsters responsible for the slaughter of 270 civilians in an attack become increasingly aware that someone is hunting them. Rapp is given his next target, and finds the man asleep in his bed in Paris. In the split second it takes the bullet to leave Rapp's silenced pistol, the trap is sprung and he finds himself in the fight of his life. The next morning, nine bodies are discovered in one of Paris's finest hotels—among them the Libyan oil minister. Back in Washington the finger-pointing begins in earnest as no one wants any part in what has become an international crisis and potential embarrassment for the CIA. Rapp's handlers have only one choice – deny any responsibility for the incident and pray that their newest secret weapon stays that way. Rapp must avoid capture or die quietly. One person in the group, however, is not prone to leaving such important things to chance. Rapp has become a liability, and Stan Hurley will not allow Rapp to be taken alive by the French authorities, even if it means killing him. Operating on his own and outside the control of his handlers, it will soon become clear that nothing is more dangerous than a wounded and cornered Mitch Rapp.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Xbox 360
In the world of Amalur, you exist in an area of the world known as the Faelands, or at least you used to. You died in the heat of battle only to be resurrected by a controversial project known as the Well of Souls. The gameplay in Kingdoms of Amalur is leaps and bounds above every other RPG. You have complete control of your character both in and out of battle and the means of doing so are incredibly easy. While the main game has a solid primary quest that will keep you occupied for well over 20 hours, the additional side quests and ancillary adventures will extend that immensely. The game does an excellent job of tracking and organising all of the quests that you take on, both primary and side. There is no limit to the number of quests that you can accept and they all show up on your map(s) in order to ensure that you know where the important locations are that apply to them. After you assign your skill points, you then are given a couple of points to dispense through a tree of abilities which focus on weapons and magic. These decisions drive your combat options in the game. It is a good thing that the game keeps you involved too as the world is pretty large and you will be covering a lot of ground on your adventure.
MAG's Trilogy Pick of the Week
In the Maya civilisation, a peaceful tribe is brutally attacked by warriors seeking slaves and human beings for sacrifice for their gods. Jaguar Paw hides his pregnant wife and his son in a deep hole nearby their tribe and is captured while fighting with his people. An eclipse spares his life from the sacrifice and later he has to fight to survive and save his beloved family.
Marathon Man (1976)
In New York City, the brother of an infamous Nazi war criminal is killed in a head on collision car accident. Shortly thereafter, members of a covert US government group called 'The Division' begin to be murdered one by one. When the brother to one Division member sees his brother knifed to death, it is revealed that former SS dentist Szell, "the White Angel" of Auschwitz, is wrapping up loose ends to smuggle priceless diamonds from the United States.
An older, reclusive man's best friend is his dog RED. When three teens kill his dog for no reason, the man sets out for justice and redemption within whatever means possible, legal or otherwise.
Fright Night (2011)
A remake of the 1985 original, teenager Charley Brewster guesses that his new neighbour Jerry Dandrige is a vampire responsible for a string of recent deaths. When no one he knows believes him, he enlists Peter Vincent, a self proclaimed vampire killer and Las Vegas magician, to help him take down Jerry.
There Will Be Blood (2007)
The film follows the rise to power of Daniel Plainview – a charismatic and ruthless oil prospector, driven to succeed by his intense hatred of others and desperate need to see any and all competitors fail. When he learns of oil-rich land in California that can be bought cheaply, he moves his operation there and begins manipulating and exploiting the local landowners into selling him their property.
Top Five Releases This Week
Smash 'N' Survive (PS3)
Gotham City Impostors (Xbox 360)
Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 3D (3DS)
The Darkness II (PC)
World Geography Quiz (iOS)
Dropkick Murphys – 'Going Out In Style'
Kelly Clarkson – 'Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)'
Kelly Rowland feat. Big Sean – 'Lay It On Me'
Will.I.Am feat. Mick Jagger & Jennifer Lopez – 'T.H.E (The Hardest Ever)'
Madonna – 'Give Me All Your Luvin'
Kill Shot by Vince Flynn
Defending Jacob by William Landay
Private Games by James Patterson
Catch Me by Lisa Gardner
I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella