Several choice cuts above the usual disposable loo book genre style, 'Has Britain Gone Bonkers?' is a quietly hilarious and surprisingly well-written argument against some of the weirder excesses of modern life. The formulaic approach to each vignette-sized chapter creates a pleasing and moreish rhythm to reading the book, while judicious snippets of research are refreshingly relevant. Examples of bonkers Britain range from the predictable - roadworks, people carriers, bus lanes - to objects (one assumes) of the author's personal prejudice: Norfolk, Pete Doherty, Wayne Rooney, Heston Blumenthal... The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, gets a particularly stern examination, which he fails, Chris Martin concluding that Eastenders' Phil Mitchell would make a better spiritual leader than the 'pro gay rights but anti gay clergy' druid. A mark is deducted for a few too many typos and a lack of currency (knocking students for not rioting proves particularly ill-judged) but this bite-sized pastiche of Clarkson's World is really much funnier, more thoughtful and readable than the format suggests, and excellent value at the price offered here.
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