I wish I could think of just one thing I could tell you about Hull, oh yes its very nice and flat for cycling. Philip Larkin
To be honest this is no work of a genious, it is based on opinion and it takes about 5 minutes to flick through. But you have to admit that the people that wrote this book do have a point about the grotty places they wrote about. Some of them you wouldn't send your worst enemy to, I know because I've been to most of them!
The only thing that offended me about it was that it didn't include my home town which I would've have thought would score quite highly!
If you are easily offended and patriotic about your home town perhaps it isn't the book for you.
First of all though, having had it a week, and after some of the dust has settled I think it's worth referring to the reviews already here on amazon. I'm willing to bet money that all the one-star entries are written by the disgruntled local councillors that the book does such a good job at hammering. They seem to be as ill-informed about the book as they are about how to run a town. They clearly haven't read it. Few, if any of the contributors seem to be students. The authors clearly received thousands of emails. They have visited the towns in question (like, er, how else did they manage to take all those photos?)
On to more positive things, however. It's hilarious. Wonderfully sharp prose, briliant observation, genius photography. I come from Morecambe and the entry for my poor town was just spot on.
And it really set me thinking. This book really does make a serious point about the way we live our lives. It's satire at it's finest and most cutting - which is why I'm sure so many people find it difficult to cope with. If ever a book summed up the State Of The Nation, this is it.
It's a call to action to get rid of hopeless local authorities and try to do something about the ugliness and snobbery that surrounds us. I'm at Univesity at the moment, but when I'm done I'm going to go back to Morecambe and try to do something for the poor place. I feel that strongly now.
And, of course, back to my original point, it's funny too. I loved it.
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