In this short book Beryl Bainbridge retraces the journey that JB Priestley documented in "English Journey". The original book was the account of a journey around England in the autumn of 1933. This book is an account of a similar journey in 1983 - both journeys occurring during times of economic stress. At times this book seems rather short on insight and long on accounts of going to the pub. The author also seems to have a liking for short sentences. Annoyingly so. This seems to make some sections of the book seem curt and rather cold. The accounts of some areas are rather depressing, as the economic improvements that have occurred since the Priestley book seem to have bypassed these areas. What is even more depressing is the idea that there may now be scope for a book that revisits these areas yet again to see what impact the GFC has had on these communities. If you enjoyed the original book I think you should read this one for completeness sake, but don't expect the grace or charm of the original.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A nice travelog....19 Aug. 2000
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This book is about 158 pages long and reads like a serial in a newspaper--reminds me of Charles Kurult's bus trips across the U.S. except the camera crew travels across the U.K. Bainbridge records the daily trip in a writer's jounal. The sections are laid out in journal form covering events day by day and many of the cities warrent a separate chapter. Like a motion picture camera, Bainbridge vividly records the detail of what is to be seen -- the view from the bus, the accomodations, the food, the highlights and frustrations. Her trip begins in Southhampton, then goes to these places: Salisbury, Bristol; Cotswolds; Birmingham; Stoke-on-Trent; Mancester, Liverpool, Bradford; Newcastle-upon-Tyne; Stockton-on-Tees; York, Lincoln, and Norwhch; and ends in Milton Keynes. Baninbridge's trip is a "sort-of" southwest-northeast drive and one you might consider replicating in part if you're thinking of taking a motor trip though England. You'll miss many historic places (London), but you'll get a feel for the diversity of the land and it's people.