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Cream Teas, Traffic Jams and Sunburn: The Great British Holiday Paperback – 26 May 2011


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Cream Teas, Traffic Jams and Sunburn: The Great British Holiday + Are We Nearly There Yet?: A Family's 8000 Mile Car Journey Around Britain
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (26 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847377262
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847377265
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 521,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Brian Viner was born in 1961 and grew up in Southport, Lancashire. He was the Mail on Sunday's award-winning television critic between 1995 and 1999, since when he has been a columnist on the Independent. He lives with his family in Herefordshire.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By P Gregory on 30 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
Cream teas....etc. is a really informative, interesting and incredibly funny book. It evokes memories, of past holidays; the highs and lows of getting there, and surviving. Brian Viner is an entertaining writer, and makes even the most mundane facts, interesting by his personal anecdotes...and those of friends and family. The book revived memories of long forgotten holiday incidents, some enjoyable, some devastating. A memorable read, worthy of 'dipping into' for years to come. Will recommend to my Reading Group.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Peco59 on 30 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
This was my first Brian Viner offering and what an entertaining and informative book it was. I honestly never thought that I would find an author that would make me laugh out loud, in the way Bill Bryson has over the years, but Brian Viner certainly did. I have read this book in the USA and found it refreshing that the author chose not to jump on the bandwagon in bashing America, or indeed Americans, except where justly deserved and furthermore, affording similar treatment to Great Britain and its inhabitants. So in a nutshell, if you are a seasoned traveller, who likes to relate to many of the scenarios and also to be informed of areas you don't, you will love this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By AWalker on 12 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoy Brian's column and really liked his earlier books. This one combines interesting history with lots of fun stories along the way. If you like Bill Bryson, you'll like this. Thanks Brian!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bantam Dave TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
Brian Viner must be one of the most entertaining writers around at the moment. It doesn't matter whether he is writing about TV, football or even about his home life in Herefordshire every one of his books have been a pleasure to read. He is one of the writers that I most look forward to reading and his latest book, Cream Teas, Traffic Jams & Sunburn, didn't disappoint in the slightest.

In this book he turns his attention to the Great British Holiday, investigating how they started and how they have developed, the many diverse type of holidays that we now can choose from and the people we can thank for this. He does all this in a manner which as well as being very informative is also very funny, because his text is peppered with some excellent anecdotes about his or his acquaintances experiences whilst holidaying. For example I loved the tale about the couple searching for Knickety Knackety Street whilst visiting York when they should have been looking for the equally unusually named Whipmawhopmagate.

I also enjoyed reading about the heroes of the British holiday, which feature well known names like Billy Butlin, Freddie Laker, Richard Branston and Charles Forte but also include long forgotten but equally important people like Sir John Lubbock, whose Act of Parliament introduced the bank holiday, Vladimar Raitz, who pioneered the package holiday and the unlikely sounding Gerard Blitz, who came up with the idea of the all inclusive holiday resort. As well as these though, there are some other people included that you wouldn't usually associate with the holidays; people like the executed war-time traitor Lord Haw-Haw and even Hitler himself.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Reynolds on 4 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
Have read all of Brian Viner's previous books, all very good, in fact "Ali, Pele, Lillee & Me" is among one of the best books I have ever read, however this book just grated with me. There are some good bits, but a lot of it came across as annoying. It seemed that there were unnecessary sneering at people if you come from a certain place, Kettering, Kidderminster, Horsham & Southend spring to mind. The story about the friend who turned up at the airport with 3 out of date children's passports but were not allowed to board the flights was blamed on the smug check in desk girl, the references to the lawyers, stockbrokers & captains of industry who frequent the beaches where he holidayed for 10 years & the university reunions after dinner party pieces stories just came across as irritating. I would recommend borrowing the book from the library rather than buying. Am hoping this book is a blip and the next one sees a return to previous excellent form
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jane on 2 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
A friend bought this book for me, knowing that I was already a big fan of Brian Viner's writing. It's a wonderful read, as I'd expect - funny, engaging and informative. Brian Viner uses his own experiences - and those of a variety of friends and family members - to explore the subject, and along the way digs up some fascinating facts about the iconic names and places of the holiday industry. For anyone who's ever huddled in the lee of a windbreak on a British beach, looking anxiously at the sky for signs of a break in the clouds, this is the perfect read. It made me nostalgic for the simple holidays of childhood. Excellent.
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By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 22 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback
"The politics and power shifts of the girls' weekend away would do justice to a G8 summit and, good friends though they all are, there is evidently always a moment when Friend A is doing the cooking and Friend B, watching, says 'Oh, you do it like that?' Meaning, of course, 'What a stupid way of doing it.' According to (my wife) Jane, this ritual exchange invariably involves scrambled eggs. It is an oddity of the British ... that we simply cannot seem to agree on the best way to scramble eggs." - Brian Viner, in CREAM TEAS, TRAFFIC JAMS AND SUNBURN

An accomplished newspaper and magazine columnist, author Brian Viner draws on a lifetime of traveling from childhood to adulthood to provide in CREAM TEAS, TRAFFIC JAMS AND SUNBURN a peripatetic commentary on the evolution and nature of the British holiday.

Except for its division into two parts, "The British in Britain" and "The British Abroad", this charming narrative seems comprised of a haphazard collection of subtopics taken in no particular order from the author's mental file cabinet. But no matter, as Viner's relentless and occasionally self-deprecating humor carries the day.

In "The British in Britain," the author bounces between Blackpool, caravans, Butlins, bank holidays, traffic jams, boarding houses, Clint Eastwood and lochs. And, in "The British Abroad," between suitcases, passports, misfortune, postcards, tour companies, naturism, foreigners in general, cruising and Claudia Schiffer.

At one point ("... since this is my book and I'll do what I want to ..."), Viner reminisces about the ten most memorable meals he's had abroad - memorable because of the food, ambience or associated circumstances.
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