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Are We Nearly There Yet?: A Family's 8000 Miles Around Britain in a Vauxhall Astra

Are We Nearly There Yet?: A Family's 8000 Miles Around Britain in a Vauxhall Astra [Kindle Edition]

Ben Hatch
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (476 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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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: 746 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1849531552
  • 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: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (476 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,289 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
4 of 4 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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4 of 4 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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4 of 4 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you have to stay in bed for a number of days, 20 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you have to stay in bed for a number of days, you should read this book. This book is not just about going around all the tourist parts of England, Wales and Scotland, but also about his family life, the tears of joy and sadness, over a one-year period.
The way he writes you will come to know the family and you will feel that you known the family for a long time. I will not give the story away here but `be surprised the way I was'. By the end of the book, you will be sad that you have finished it. However, you will be very glad you did read the book.
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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
4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing book unwittingly raises other issues 29 Mar 2012
By Peter Durward Harris #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Humor is always a very subjective matter, so I understand why any book that is intended to be funny will appeal to some people and not others. This book is no exception. I found the book to be very funny at first and it looked for a long way as if I would give five stars, although I ended up giving it four as it does become a bit too repetitive, At one point in the later stages of the book, but still a fair bit from the end, the author comments about increasing boredom because he is visiting the same kind of attractions that offer variations on the same theme. At that point, it suddenly hit me that the book itself reflects that, with the author simply repeating the same story in different locations. I didn't try to read the book all in one go - it actually took several bursts of reading, so the repetition didn't bother me, but I think it would have been a better book if it had been around 250 pages rather than close to 350. .It is particularly unfortunate that he describes the road from Aberdeen to Dundee as being on the north-west coast of Scotland. I seriously hope that this description didn't make it into the guide book. (It's on the east coast.) Occasional blunders (of which this is probably the worst, though the Wedgwood / Darwin relationship is another contender) and the book's length are my reasons for knocking a star off.

So it's a four-star book, but it arises from an ill-conceived project.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book. I cried laughing and laughed crying!
As a fellow dad of two, I know those highs and lows of car journeys with kids. A great book
Published 4 days ago by GrahamS
5.0 out of 5 stars Exhilarating, exhausting, hilarious, poignant - I didn't want it to...
This amazingly "together" (in every sense) family is a joy to travel with. Humour, tolerance, spats, grief, adorable & exasperating children and some wonderfully acerbic... Read more
Published 6 days ago by snowbird
5.0 out of 5 stars ace book
Reminded me of trips with my two children around Yorkshire and Lancashire in a Ford estate that kept braking down
Published 14 days ago by A. J. Ivory
5.0 out of 5 stars A hilarous and heart warming read
`Are We nearly there yet?' was recommended to me on Twitter and it did not disappoint. It is a frank, hilarious and heartfelt account of a Ben, his wife and their two toddlers,... Read more
Published 20 days ago by Mrs Wendy Lennox
1.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointing
I started off enjoying the book and was looking forward to some interesting stories about places I have enjoyed visiting over the years. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars it was ok
it was ok, but got a bit bored in places, ended up skipping pages, so would not buy again thanks
Published 22 days ago by June Spiller
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional journey.
I really enjoyed this. Was expecting a light hearted, frothy travel book, but it turned out to be an emotional rollercoaster. Equal parts funny and heartbreaking. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Mr. N. Berrow
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun
Fun, real family life whilst trying to do something different, also touching. Very likeable, yet not gripping, took a while to read although not long
Published 1 month ago by BevyL
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read
If you've ever endured a long car trip with your family then this is for you! Funny and well written, easy to read when you want to be entertained
Published 1 month ago by V. Hill
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed every page.
Really impressed with this book. As much about family life as it is about the actual travelling. Having had children myself mayb helped me appreciate some of the scrapes they find... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kazbe
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