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Are We Nearly There Yet?: A Family's 8,000-Mile Car Journey Around Britain

Are We Nearly There Yet?: A Family's 8,000-Mile Car Journey Around Britain [Kindle Edition]

Ben Hatch
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (525 customer reviews)

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Product Description


'disastrous five-month trip around Britain with two small children. The object... to write a travel guide.' -- The Bookseller, 29th April 2011

'mad-cap five-month tour of Britain... it turns out not to be quite the odyssey they had expected.' -- The Bookseller, 13th May 2011

"Ben Hatch makes me laugh." -- John Cleese

"A voyage of pain, suffering, argument, baby wipes, discovery and utter delight...Never travel in a car with children without this book by your side." -- Sir Terry Wogan

"A funny, touching cross country jaunt that's as much about being a kid as it is about being a grown up." --
Danny Wallace

“A wonderful book - hilarious and moving, all at the same time. Highly recommended for anyone with a family, a car or a sense of humour." -- Sophie Kinsella

“This is about a living, loving, occasionally quarrelsome but clearly very happy marriage and it felt curiously life-affirming to read about it. It’s very warts and all, extremely funny, very human and very sad. If you liked One Day or just like good books in general, don’t let this one pass you by.” --
Jenny Colgan

"Funny, touching and so, so, true to life. The must read of the year!" --
Mike Gayle

"Refreshing, insightful, very funny." --
Joanne Harris

"A wonderful book. Terribly moving and so so funny." --
Richard Briers

"Brilliant. Outnumbered in a car. I absolutely loved it. Funny, honest and moving." --
Tim Brooke-Taylor

“Very funny and equally moving. Ben Hatch is one of my favourite writers.”
-- Lisa Jewell

"If you're dreading a weekend car trip with small children this book can't fail t`o cheer you up." --
The Mirror

"Hatch humorously recounts his 8000 mile odyssey round Britain with his wife and two small children." --
The Times

Product Description

The number one non-fiction read that made John Cleese and Danny Wallace laugh and Terry Wogan and Richard Briers cry.

If you think writing a guidebook is easy, think again…

"‘Hurry up,’ I shout at Dinah, whilst on the overhead telly Ray Mears’ Survival is playing extraordinarily loudly because Charlie sat on the volume button of the remote. The kids writhe about in the V05 shampoo they just spilt, laughing as the last of their clean clothes bite the dust, and I’m thinking: ‘Survive driving round England with two under 4s, staying at a different hotel each night and visiting four or five attractions a day and sometimes a restaurant in the evening. Sleep all in the same room, go to bed at 7 p.m. after having had no evening to yourself, wake up at 7 a.m. and do it all again the next day with the prospect of another 140 nights of the same – then come and tell me about survival in your khaki ****ing shorts, Ray.’"

They were bored, broke, burned out and turning 40. So when Ben and his wife Dinah were approached to write a guidebook about family travel, they embraced the open road, ignoring friends’ warnings: 'One of you will come back chopped up in a bin bag in the roof box.'

Featuring deadly puff adders, Billie Piper’s pyjamas and a friend of Hitler’s, it’s a story about love, death, falling out, moving on and growing up, and 8,000 misguided miles in a Vauxhall Astra.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1176 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Publisher: Summersdale Publishers Ltd (19 Dec 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005K15D4W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (525 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,379 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Ben Hatch's latest novel is called THE P45 DIARIES: How To Get Sacked From Every Job in Britain. Currently being developed as a BBC sitcom, and a former BBC Radio 4 Book of The Year, it was previously titled The Lawnmower Celebrity and is based loosely on Ben's woeful experiences of his teens and 20s when his dad thought he was an oaf.
Ben was born in London and grew up there, in Manchester and also in Buckinghamshire, where he lived in a windmill that meant he was called Windy Miller at school for years, though he's not been scarred by this experience at all. He now lives in Brighton with his tiny wife Dinah, and two children, in a normal house. He likes cheese and is balding although he disguises this fact by spiking his hair to a great height to distract people he wishes to impress.
Ben (who is actually writing this and pretending to be someone else)has written for The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail and The Daily Express among other newspapers. Previously he wrote ROAD TO ROUEN: A 10,000 Mile Journey In A Cheese-filled Passat that was a Number One bestseller and ARE WE NEARLY THERE YET? 8,000 Miles Round Britain In A Vauxhall Astra, a BBC Radio 2 Book of the Year, and also a Number One bestseller. It is also under development as a film by Island Pictures.
Ben is the tallest Hatch who ever lived (5ft 9in) and is the son of Sir David Hatch, the radio performer and producer whose shadow Ben doesn't at all feel under. He also maintains that he knows the cure for the common cold (tweet him at @BenHatch to find this out) and that one of his relatives was John Couch-Adams who discovered the planet Neptune. Apparently, his aunty told him.

Many years ago his novel the International Gooseberry was published by Orion. It was about a hapless backpacker with a huge ungovernable toenail. It was described as "hysterical and surprisingly sad" by the Daily Express. Ben Hatch was on the long-list of Granta's 2003 list of the most promising 20 young authors in the UK, but missed out on final inclusion possibly because of the toenail stuff. In association with his wife Dinah, he has also written three guidebooks for Frommer's.

You can visit Ben Hatch at although his page is a bit rubbish.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy and sad in equal portions 2 May 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
OK which one of my friends made me download this little gem to my Kindle/iPad? Because you have just ruined my chances of getting anything done. Just sat down to read a few pages and already I am hooked. A heart-warming and funny account of a great family adventure. Sadness and humour in equal measure this just delivers -can understand the good reviews-now buzz off I want to read to the very end tonight.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The UK's Bill Bryson 2 May 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I normally read quite heavy books, but when I heard about this book via Twitter - where I have found other hidden gems, incidentally - I bought it. I was far from disappointed.

From the start, I literally laughed out loud, and continued to do so all the way through (and getting very strange looks from people in my vicinity if I was reading it in public). The concept of spending five months travelling around Britain in a Vauxhall Astra with two small children sounds quite mad - but lends itself perfectly to a series of hilarious events, the children providing a great deal of these of course. Whether you have children or not, you will in turn sympathise with, and laugh at, Ben and Dinah's efforts to keep the peace (and what is left of their sanity) during their travels.

However, there is a background story in the book involving Ben's father, and Ben somehow manages to retain his customary humour whilst dealing with such a dreadful time in his life.

I also enjoyed the interaction between the family members, and felt like I sort of knew them by the end of the book - and really want to know what happened afterwards!

It is a very human book in every way, there are ups and downs all the way through, but all in all I believe anyone with a sense of humour, and who can laugh at life will absolutely love this book. I highly recommend it, cannot wait to read more from Ben Hatch (a sequel, perhaps...?). And he made John Cleese laugh you know. Want a better recommendation?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB!!! 7 May 2012
Anyone who had travelled in a small car with young children will sympathize with this adventure. Even the arguments between Ben & Dinah are funny (we've all been there).This book is funny, informative and, in parts, sometimes sad. Read it. You wont be dissapointed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh I've been there 9 Nov 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The joy of this book!
Places I've been to (or indeed lived in) and therefore so familiar.
A really funny travel guide that has parents everywhere nodding in agreement or cringing with familiarity!
But this is made more real by the tale of grief bought about by the sad death of the author's father and is passionate writing about the love he has within his family.
A real 5 star for me and I rarely read non-fiction.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful, honest, emotional and very funny 22 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Forget climbing Mount Everest, swimming the Atlantic or walking the Amazon - travelling 8000 miles in a car with two children is endurance and bravery in an altogether different league. Ben and his wife should go down in history for completing (and surviving) such an incredible journey. It's an achievement only bettered by one other, and that is Ben's wonderfully written, insightful, honest, emotional and very, very funny account of their trip. I cannot recommend this book enough.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laughed until the tears were tripping me! 14 Aug 2012
By M. Bell
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent book from Ben Hatch. I loved it and was in hysterics while reading it. Really funny descriptions and I identified with loads of both Ben and his wife's foibles and phobias. Loved it, loved it, loved it!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book!! 13 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having loved the old classic 'Notes from a small Island' by Bill Bryson, this book appealed to me because of the similarity of travelling around the UK albeit this time in a car with 2 kids and the wife in tow, and not alone on public transport.
I was pleasantly surprised; Ben Hatch has a very easy way of writing and this made me warm to him and his family in a way that in other books I have trouble doing (I find it hard to enjoy a book if I don't identify with the main character).
This is not only a story about the trials and tribulations of UK travel with small children (hotels, traffic jams, bad customer service, hospitals etc) as Hatch is very open in his descriptions of his inner feelings about the journey, his childhood, his relationship and most importantly the ill health of his beloved Father (I do admit to shedding a few tears). On the flip side some of the descriptions of Hatch's ill fated trip to hospital also had me in stitches!!
This is definitely worth a read, male/female, traveller or not and I guarantee you will enjoy it - I just hope the Hatch family feel they can cope with another long journey so I can read about it!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and moving 25 Oct 2011
Ever fancied upping sticks and travelling around the UK with your family while researching attractions for a travel book? I bet many of you have but one man who really did is Ben Hatch.

Ben and his wife Dinah were approaching forty with little work and money drying up and so decided, after a deal with an American publishing house, to pack their two kids into their Vauxhall Astra to travel the country hunting out child-friendly attractions as well as fun for the adults. Perhaps this was a naive idea considering they were taking two year-old Charlie and three year-old Phoebe.

As a twenty-something non-parent, I wondered how I would react to 'Are We Nearly There Yet?'. Would it make me never want to procreate? I haven't had a UK holiday since I was seven and I wondered what this book would have to offer me. After reading this book, there are plenty of places I'd like to visit and it definitely reinforced to me the joys (and tribulations) of parenting.

It is important to note that 'Are We Nearly There Yet?' is not their guidebook. That said, it does mention plenty of UK attractions. That's more to give you an idea of the setting for the dramas that occur.

'Are We Nearly There Yet' catalogues a five-month trip that is heart-warming and funny. There's drama as well as comedy and I frequently found myself laughing aloud at Hatch's anecdotes. The book also chronicles Hatch's father's final few months of life - and Hatch's feelings about this. There were plenty of tears as well as laughs. This book is a lovely tribute to his father, Sir David Hatch.

Whilst reading this book, I felt inspired to do something similar which is something I would never usually consider.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A hilarious trip around Great Britain
This book is yet another really funny read by the legend that is Ben Hatch, the king of comedical travel writing. This book is also tinged with sadness due to his father's cancer. Read more
Published 1 day ago by gdj
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read.
I loved this book, at times I laughed out loud , other times it was so poignant and touching. Very , very entertaining.
Published 6 days ago by H. Hayes
1.0 out of 5 stars ... I would find this amusing but it was just annoying. It started out...
I thought I would find this amusing but it was just annoying. It started out far too rushed and lacking any real detail, with events skipped over or simply referred to as already... Read more
Published 8 days ago by Midlandscas
2.0 out of 5 stars Just not a funny read
Brought this book as described as 'a laugh out loud read' maybe it was me but found it depressing with an occasional chuckle marathon. Read more
Published 15 days ago by DME
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh out loud Hatch sparkle - fan-flipping-tastic.
This is one of my favourite books - Ben is an absolute comedic marvel. His observations on life and the way he takes them, twists them, and finally add's a bit of Hatch sparkle to... Read more
Published 17 days ago by MISS SJ HAWKINS
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this funny, sad, charming book
Charming, funny and sad. I loved this book. One or two reviews are negative, but I'm so glad I ignored them.
Published 18 days ago by Laura J. Conlon
3.0 out of 5 stars A haphazard tumble of tedium
What is worse than looking at someone else’s holiday snaps? The answer – listening to how the photo album was put together. Read more
Published 18 days ago by William Olson Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars An epic, funny journey!
An enjoyable read that captures all emotions, whilst offering insight into where to visit with small children. Look forward to reading the next book.
Published 18 days ago by Kirst J
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read. Well
A very daring exploit by this family. An excellent read. Well recommended
Published 19 days ago by Peter Boston
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for me
Sorry but the writing seems very amateur and only really scratches the surface of what it is like to travel with children. Read more
Published 22 days ago by miss c m gordon
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