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4.5 out of 5 stars73
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 4 March 2007
Tales from a country auctioneer, Philip Serrell. You may recognise him from "Bargain Hunt", "Flog it", or the "Twentieth Century Roadshow". He's been in the auctioneering business for the last 30 odd years and knows the Hereford/Worcester area... well, maybe not as well as he should considering the number of time he seems to have "got lost" in his travels!

He has the same literary style as James Herriot (the "Shouldn't Happen to a Vet" books). Just alter the focus from veterinary to antiques and the content is just as engaging, and in places, hilarious! The book is autobiographical, but although obviously based on actual events, I'm sure some of the names, places, and events have been changed slightly. I was a bit bored in the first few chapters, where the tales are about how Philip got started in the business beginning with livestock sales. However, when the focus turned to antiques I was hooked!

Philip's obvious love for his trade, and his endearing portrayal of human nature in all its' richness and variety, make this an uncomplicated and compulsive read. Enjoy!
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on 4 November 2009
An Auctioneer's Lot An Auctioneer's Lot shows Philip Serrell to be a natural raconteur with an innate gift of comic timing.
He recounts his training, as he learns the various branches of his trade, with a faintly bemused detachment reminiscent of Gerard Hoffnung. He `shows' rather than `tells' his readers the crises which arise in each adventure. The reader breathes a sigh of relief at his escape from the difficulties he encounters.
Through all the hazards he endures there shines an irrepressible optimism and a need to make the best of each challenge. He has an exceptional level of tolerance and affection for the strangest people with the most unusual habits that mankind can produce.
This book would make an excellent Christmas present, though it is guaranteed to provide considerable cheer at any time.
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I chose this book, because I was after something different from village school teachers and school inspector's tales. Not because I was bored of them, but thought it might be interesting to see another take on village life and village characters.

Philip Serrell's novel doesn't quite fit the criteria of this genre of books. These are tales of a country auctioneer, which have been put together throughout the book as `lots', a clever technique by the author. These lots represent stories and anecdotes from Philip's past, and within their own right, I feel they are great. However, strung together as they have been did not quite sit right with me.

The setting of the books, in Worcester and its outlying areas provides us with all the quaint farm owners, little old ladies with strange habits, possessions to sell and the workforce with their idiosyncrasies and out of tune whistling.

But this book has no timeline structure and I felt I was jumping backwards and forwards with stories, from the seventies to eighties to current day. It opens promisingly with the start of Serrrell's venture into the antiques, and in my opinion it should have carried along from that, at the pace that was set by the first chapter/lot. We would have at least seen how Serrells expertise and experience got better, the tales would then have all slotted in nicely.

Nonetheless, this is a heart warming tale and if you can overlook my personal comments, and just feel you want a book to while away a few hours then this is the one for you.
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on 12 May 2005
if you've ever seen an antiques show then you will know Philip Serrel..this book is very funny as he descibes how he started in the antiques business after deciding not to follow his dad into farming....full of stories of the colourful characters he met....a couple of get rich quick schemes he and his mate tried out, some more successful than others....a very funny book....
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on 20 September 2010
I have watched Bargain Hunt on the BBC at lunchtimes for some time and my favourite expert has always been Philip Serrell because of his caustic wit and dry sense of humour. So really wanted to read this book and was not disappointed. It describes how he got into the auctioneering in the first place and generally follows his career in a series of amusing anecdotes - the 'chapters' are called 'Lots' and generally describe a particular sale or lot. The thing that makes it come to life is a number of hilarious characters he encounters along the way, both in his own company and clients. The one that really stands out is his first boss Mr Rayer, the man with the tin leg, who amongst other things drives with a total disregard for other road users. He doesn't stop this disability stop him from doing anything, often with near disastrous consequences for all concerned.

Overall a great read although I did think the initial humour tailed off a bit towards the end but looking forward to reading the sequel.
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on 28 April 2010
pleasant, chatty stories, like the author talking (with pint in hand?)
also, interesting insight into the business of auctioneering.
CH
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on 9 February 2012
What a lovely light read with some great stories and interesting characters. The way he writes makes reading this book so enjoyable. Don't expect to get lots of information about the antique trade and what to buy, it is not that kind of book its a journey about his early days in the trade and the little encounters he had with customers and colleagues.
A Great Read
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on 24 April 2010
An amusing and happy read. The sort of book you can pick up any time and put down without losing the plot. Ideal for waiting rooms, long bus or train journeys and perhaps just sitting in the sun. I look forward to some more.
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on 25 June 2014
Being a big fan of Bargain Hunt and other similar TV shows I was aware of Philip Serrell as an Expert & Auctioneer but was totally unaware that he was now an author. I was therefore delighted to find "An Auctioneer's Lot" and "Sold to the Man With the Tin Leg" whilst browsing through the Kindle Store last month. I found them outrageously funny and "unputdownable". I look forward to Mr. Serrell's next efforts and (in the nicest possible way) and see him becoming the "James Herriot" of the Auctioneers world.
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on 18 January 2012
I enjoyed the jolly tales of the goings on at the various auctions, but was slightly confused by the timeline, it was unclear if Philip had left the place where he trained or was still there. The biggest problem for me was that the book ended with about 7% of sneak preview to the next book. This really infuriates me and try not to buy another book from that author in protest. Surely if we have the intelligence to buy, read and understand a book, we also have the intelligence to decide whether or not to buy another book.
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