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Crap at the Environment Paperback – 17 Apr 2008

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Paperback, 17 Apr 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (17 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340962550
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340962558
  • Product Dimensions: 15.1 x 3.7 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,277,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


'Expect to hear plenty more about him'

(Observer )

'Packed with brilliant observations and sharp one-liners'


(The Times on A Light-hearted Look at Murder )

'Intelligent, humane and desperately funny'

(Independent on Sunday )

'Eloquence and wit . . . an absolute gem'

(Metro )

'Woody Allen and William Boyd have had a bastard love-child and his name is Mark Watson'


(Stephen Fry )

'Watson operates on more octane than the average car, but his observations are charming as well as funny'


'Unfailingly funny'

(Sunday Age )

'A sharp comic mind wielded to devastatingly hilarious effect'

(Adelaide Advertiser )

'A delight'

(New Zealand Herald )

About the Author

A former Cambridge Footlighter, Mark Watson first made an impact on the comedy circuit in 2002 when he won the Daily Telegraph Open Mic competition and was a runner-up in 'So You Think You're Funny?' He has become known for his Edinburgh shows (2005's 50 Years Before Death And The Awful Prospect Of Eternity was nominated for the Perrier) and his gruelling shows that last more than 24 hours. Perrier's successor, the if.comeddies, awarded the panel award for best capturing the spirit of the fringe, in 2007. Watson won the Chortle award winner for innovation in 2005, when he was also nominated for best breakthrough act, and was nominated for best compere in 2007. He is also a novelist, with his debut Bullet Points, published in 2003; has written for TV and in 2007 landed his first radio series, Mark Watson Makes The World Substantially Better.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Andrew R. Hamilton on 6 Aug 2008
Format: Paperback
Mark Watson might be preaching to the converted as far as I am concerned, being as I am already a green writer and campaigner. That aside I would have no trouble giving this book to my less than green friends or relatives.

Even I learnt a thing or two from this book, well to put it another way I was re-told a thing or two I had conveniently forgotten. Such as methane being 25 times more damaging than co2, making me drastically consider my cheese intake.

The book might not be as high energy as some of Watson's stand up but it is a bloody book. It is however funny, light hearted and has the feel of chatting in the park rather than being preached at.

If you are green and your mates are crap buy it for them but make sure that you read it first.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kid Ad on 6 April 2009
Format: Paperback
I've enjoyed Mark Watson's Radio 4 appearances over the last few years, and I'm always glad to see him pop up on the odd TV panel show, so I think it's fair enough to pin my colours to the mast at the offset and say that I opened the book as a fan. Thankfully, I also closed the book as a fan, and possibly even a bigger one.

Mark Watson's aim is that over the course of a year he'll learn more about the environment and mend his polluting ways. It's all set up rather nicely to be one of those themed comedy journals that have become so popular. You know the type; say yes to lots of people with the same name as you while travelling around with a fridge on your back. Many examples now seem to start with a zany premise that barely manages to raise the merest hint of a smile, and then flog it tirelessly while going nowhere. This book starts with a rather studious idea, but builds an interesting tale around it. On the comedy front it's a winner hands down. Watson is an undeniably likable fellow to follow around for a few hundred pages, and he frequently manages to be laugh out loud funny. It loses its way a little towards the end, but that is easily forgivable as it never becomes a chore.

The environmental points weave into the humorous tale of the author's green journey seamlessly. Such a stern message could easily jar against the tales of 24-hour comedy shows and railway adventures, but they never get too serious to become preachy, and, to my mind, didn't go too far to the other extreme and end up as flippant either. That said, it's not transformed me into an environmentalist either, but that was rather unlikely. However, I not only enjoyed the read, but I now think of it when someone offers me a plastic bag, so it must have worked on some level.
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Format: Paperback
OK, I will admit, I am already a convert to reducing my environmental impact as much as possible. However, I read this book in the hope of finding out why others find it so difficult to do even small things that could make a difference and therefore to be able to try and win others over. I was also hoping to find ideas about how I could make further improvements along the way. However, I am not sure if it is because the book is two years old now and there has been a lot of media coverage about how to green your life, but it seemed to me that there were only the most obvious suggestions in the book - walk or use public transport, don't fly (although the author does make 2 trips to Australia in the course of the year long diary), eat less meat, eat locally produced seasonal food. These are tips you can pick up from anywhere on the web.

What I did find particularly disappointing was his lack of information about the effects of modern lifestyles on the environment (although these would probably be classified as the boring bits), but, even more was his constant wish to do something bigger, that had more impact. I thought I was going to discover something I had missed at last, but, no. It involved a successful application to attend an Al Gore training session in Australia so he can go and deliver the Al Gore message / lecture. Not that I have anything against Al Gore, but it is hardly applicable to the rest of us.

Whilst the book is an accessible read, there is is much more relevant information available on the internet for free and, most of it is just common sense. The idea of demonstrating that you can make a difference even if you had no previous interest in the environment is a good one, but, as the author continuously points out - are these small things going to make enough of a difference?
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Format: Paperback
When I first saw this book I thought it would be brilliant. A fantastic concept by a comedian who I saw seen live a few times and enjoyed.

Unfortunately I was disappointed and really had to battle to the end. It's written like one long diary entry, and has no other characters (although some are mentioned) in the book other than Mark himself and his opinions. There's no change of pace or actual drive behind the book and is basically 300 pages of waffle about how difficult it is to change our lifestyles to save the environment and whether it would be good in the first place. There is nothing about it that wants you to turn the page.

There are some vaguely humorous one liners and anecdotes as you would expect from some one with Watson's skill, he hasnt become a leading figure on the British Stand Up Circuit by accident, however the way in which they are delivered and where, amongst a raft of boredom, makes it difficult to find them amusing. Often at times I found myself having read 30 pages before realising nothing was going in. I expect this to happen when reading War and Peace but something that shows itself to be light and entertaining shouldn't do this to the reader but sadly it does.

In conclusion it was a good idea by a good talent but very poorly delivered with no central theme to grasp onto. It saves itself a one star review as having been mildly educational but thats not what I bought the book for.
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