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50 People Who Buggered Up Britain Hardcover – 6 Oct 2008

106 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Constable; First Edition edition (6 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845298551
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845298555
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 2.8 x 20.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 365,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Quentin Letts is parliamentary sketch writer and theatre critic for the Daily Mail. A regular broadcaster on radio and television, he was formerly New York correspondent for The Times and gossip columnist for the Daily Telegraph. He recently presented Radio 4's series 'What's The Point Of?' He lists his recreations, in Who's Who as 'gossip' and 'character defenestration'.

Product Description

Review

Nobody is better equipped to nominate the 50 people who have damaged this country most grievously in the past five decades, and [Quentin Letts] discharges his duty with flair and tracer precision. (Michael Henderson The Spectator)

Very Funny (Chris Guyver Public Affairs)

Book Description

50 savage and witty pen portraits of those responsible for destroying Britain by the Daily Mail's star sketch writer, Quentin Letts.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

127 of 144 people found the following review helpful By Drambuster on 2 Dec. 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Letts' book comes from an interesting perspective; acerbic and amusing pen pictures of those who, as the title tells us, have not made such a positive contribution to our national life. All well and good if the target is a pompous and hubristic politician whose words and actions fail to match, or some greedy business person who puts profit above humanity. But to target someone because of how they look or the way they speak is not only cruel but cheap and lacking in imagination.

In places, the book is amusing but too many pieces have a sense of the school bully about them. Picking on someone whose only apparant failing, according to Letts, is that they are on TV or that they choose to dye their hair is childish. Such writing becomes a cheap shot and as such, lacks any credability.

There is a smug attitude to much of Letts' writing. This is a pity because those targets deserving of scrutiny also deserved more of the authors attention at the expense of those who simply annoy him.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jbsandown on 4 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback
I borrowed this little tome from my county library. Its slightly tatty condition and the copious date stamps inside the cover told of its frequent meanderings in and out of the households of, I suspect, many of the liberal cognoscenti of North East Flintshire. The celebrity cameos are gloriously politically incorrect and hard-hitting to the point of sublime insensitivity. Mr Lett is to be congratulated for holding nothing sacred. I suspect, as in the case of his acerbic 2009 summary of the late, unlamented Jimmy Savile, his views are well ahead of the pack. With a saloon-bar guffaw bursting out of every paragraph this is thought-provoking, top-drawer satirical writing. Please can we have volume 2. And just for devilment, a page or two on Jeremy Clarkson?
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54 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Marshall Lord TOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
I suppose "Fifty five people who made a mess of Britain" would not have sold as many copies.

And "Angry rants against fifty-five people who annoy me, and another one against twenty people who don't quite rate an individual chapter slagging them off" would have sold even fewer. But it would been a much more accurate title.

And it was the height of hypocrisy to include a chapter which slags off Stephen Marks, the head of French Connection UK who made a point of trying to sue for ownership of the mis-spelled F-word, for his contribution to "the coarseness of language" in a book which itself has an offensive word in the title. The name of this book is an example of exactly what Letts pillories in that chapter.

Most of the pieces in this book are witty and entertaining, at least for those who either sympathise with the high tory traditionalist right or can laugh with a view expressed from that direction even if they don't necessarily agree with it. I suspect there will also be few who don't agree with at least some of the charges made against Letts' chosen targets: Dr Beeching, Jeffrey Archer, and Paul Burrell for example.

Some of his other articles are interesting whether you agree with them or not, and this particularly applies to some of the minority of essays where the attack comes from left field rather than being easily predictable. For example, in one of the less vitriolic pieces in the book, he pins the blame for the start of the "Health and Safety" culture on the late Harold Walker MP (who he is careful to emphasise "often meant well. But that is not the same as saying he acheived good things. Not the same thing at all.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Road Rocket on 3 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent read which should now be updated. There are scores of witty and funny sketches of so many of the people which I am sure most of us would have loved to write. There is much here that is brilliant and truthful so ignore the 'one stars' ratings because almost all of them will have been offended because Letts has had the balls to ridicule one or more of their heroes or heroines.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stepas on 27 Dec. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As this was reduced, I thought I would download it to my kindle as a bit of light reading. Most of the book is amusing and witty. As many reviewers have commented, most people would agree with many of Letts' targets - eg. Paul Burrell. However, some are surprising, particularly for someone who writes for the Daily Mail, including Margaret Thatcher. Some I had never heard of, but Letts explains it is not necessarily the person but what they stand for - eg. anodyne weather presenters - bring back John Kettley.
The book is very quick to read and witty but don't expect detailed political insights.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ventris Arden on 29 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
Plodding, pedantic and pompous, but the book offers some relief for those pent-up feelings for which you have no outlet. Many comments are simply hurtful, especially the physical descriptions, and this detracts from any merit of the criticism. Any humour is spelt out, signalled paragraphs in advance, and if the cliche is too hand, then it's used - and extended (as people say). Peolple often don't say.

It's good, though, to see some of the altars kicked away - the dreadful Beeching gets an excellent seeing-to - so the appeal of the writer matters less than the lack of appeal of some of his subjects.
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