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Curing Hiccups with Small Fires: A Delightful Miscellany of Great British Eccentrics Paperback – Unabridged, 4 Sep 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Boxtree (4 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752227033
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752227030
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 619,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

`As the author of this latest entertaining collection of remarkable specimens points out, true eccentrics are never acting. They believe their peculiar conduct is entirely natural and reasonable...There is a rich harvest here of a peculiarly English kind of weirdness.'
--Daily Mail

`a collection of the most interesting, informative and amusing..' --South Wales Argus

`This delightfully entertaining miscellany records many little known eccentricities of the great and the good...'
--Leicester Mercury

About the Author

Kark Shaw trained as a journalist (for NME and others) and is the author of several humour books, including Gross, Royal Babylon: An Irreverent History of European Royalty, and the American bestseller Five People Who Died During Sex and 100 Other Terribly Tasteless Lists. He currently works in marketing for the largest manufacturer of stool jars in the country, and lives in Staffordshire with his family.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By TAYLOR on 1 Dec 2009
Format: Paperback
I bought this book in the airport on my way on holiday. I picked it up just as an easy read for the beach - I can honestly say this is one of the most interesting and funny books I have read in a long time! I literally was laughing out loud. I have now passed it to loads of my friends who have also loved it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ghostgrey51 TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was going through one of the 'Why Not' phases when you come across bargin books, although I was cautious considering the in depth review but 'Neutral' in 15/10/10. However 'Why Not' won out in this case. So bearing in mind there is a question of the accuracy of some of the entries it was still one of those books that you find yourself saying, 'err..I'll just read one more item then I must get on with...'. There are a few funny and a number of very interesting reads, however I was quite suprised how many of these characters just plain annoyed me by their antics. In this it was a reminder to me that eccentric is not always amusing, only at distance of time and place. (And also an example of the old adage along the lines of ' Rich and Influential are eccenrtic. Poor and lower classes are mad or criminals'
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Neutral VINE VOICE on 15 Oct 2010
Format: Paperback
Books such as Karl Shaw's "Curing Hiccups with Small Fires" are by their very nature problematic. On the one hand there's the danger of repeating existing tales, even if they're false, while on the other there's the danger of being too trite and failing to research properly. In addition, the word "eccentric" usually means out of the ordinary while some of the incidents referring to are simply cases of bad manners and ill-breeding. Finally there's the problem of relevance. For example, Fred Archer killed himself at the age of 29 but no reference was made to the fact that he had suffered the loss of his first child and the death of his wife in quick succession and was suffering from delirium at the time of his suicide. It may have placed his death in its proper conext.

The lack of a rounded picture in one instance tends to leads to skepticism in others. Hence when Shaw reports the death of Helen Exeter as occuring in 1914 when in fact it was September 1918 further doubts are raised. Curiosity aroused, the trail then leads to the Rector of Skiffey, Harold Davidson, someone not unfamiliar to the reviewer but of whom Shaw appears to know little. According to Shaw, Davidson travelled to Paddington (which was part of the Great Western Railway) every Monday morning when in fact he travelled from Norfolk to Liverpool Street on the Great Eastern line. Shaw claims Davidson returned on a Friday night when in fact he travelled back on Saturday night. When Davidson missed the last train in November 1930 he missed the Armistice Day service the following day. In addition, notwithstanding what Shaw and Wikipedia claim, Davidson's wife was named Moyra (Mimi) not Molly.
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By K. L. Macdonald on 30 Jun 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As I have bought this as a present, I have not read it.....I am sure it will be much appreciated
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