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My Family and Other Disasters Paperback – 7 May 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Guardian Books (7 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0852651244
  • ISBN-13: 978-0852651247
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 69,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

One of the Guardian's most popular columnists shares her unique view of family life.

From the Back Cover

'Hi Dad.'

'Who's calling, please?'

'It's Lucy ... Your daughter.'

'Ah, yes.Which one are you again? The one that reads or the one that shops?'

For Lucy Mangan family life has never exactly been a bed of roses.With parents so parsimonious that if they had soup for a meal they would decline an accompanying drink (soup IS a drink), and a grandmother who refused to sit down for 82 years so that she wouldn't wear out the sofa, Lucy spent most of her childhood veering between extreme states of anxiety. Not surprisingly, this left her with plenty to get off her chest, and in this, her first collection of Guardian columns, she shares her hilarious take on everything from her eccentric relatives to how to survive Nigella Lawson's Christmas show and why organised sport should be abolished.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S.M. Gidley on 3 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
I never read Mangan's column in The Guardian, I am more of a Tim Dowling fan and not mad on "Ooooo, isn't my life wacky?!" columns at the best of times, but I came to read this as a colleague was ranting and distraught that the column had disappeared (a brief hiatus as it has been promoted to a whole page at the back of the mag), and I am very pleased that I did.

Mangan's take on life happily - or worryingly - corresponds with my own. I too am not particularly impressed with the modern world although thankfully my family was a bit freer with the cash when it mattered. She writes well and her years with her head in a book have clearly paid dividends with a use of language that indicates a love of English in all its shaggy dog glory. I don't think that they are as hilarious as the other reviewers here (that's where Tim Dowling comes in) but there are certainly some very funny parts and humour is, after all, a realm of very personal preferences.

The book is divided roughly into five sections including a final one on Mangan's take on television, something that would usually bore me to death but was actually really engaging and bang-on-the-money.

If you're a train or bus commuter this is also an ideal book for you. You can get through several columns in a journey and you'll be engaged enough for the tinny emissions from the iPod sporting idiot opposite not to disturb you.

Just one thing - there are only so many times you can use the word discombobulate, brilliant word though it is.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Nick on 24 May 2009
Format: Paperback
Her column was the first thing I turned to in the Guardian Weekend magazine and it had me laughing out loud, and reading her out loud, nearly every week.

Self-deprecating, wise beyond her years, bookwormy, Book Token promoting, modern nonsense popping, eccentric of family, married to a Toryboy...

If you've read her, you'll know to buy this now. If you haven't, you need to catch up - so buy this now.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Jefferies on 3 Jun. 2009
Format: Paperback
Thought the jacket was really appealing which is why I picked it up in the first place and then I was really pleased I did.

I don't read the guardian so the pieces were all new to me.

In the last 7 years there have only been 3 books that made me laugh out loud, embarrassingly so especially on the train!

Allison pearson

Peter Kay

Dawn French

And now I can add a 4th.

I love the bits with her father but the whole thing is just charming and funny and oh so true!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By AL on 15 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoy Lucy Mangan's column, so went for overload with the book. A collection of free-wheeling tales and interesting observations. So, (Slippers ON) last few pages, here I come...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By helenbells on 23 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
but very different from reading a short extract in the Sat guardian ! very intensive humor but interesting opening to the book which leads the reader in .
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By Gilly Fraser on 22 Jun. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love Lucy Mangan's writing and this one has all her best qualities. Irreverent sharpness and yet real affection for the suburban world she comes from.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read Lucy every Saturday so am familiar with her family [I am sure they cannot be that bad]. Am still wondering how on earth she managed to marry a Tory?????
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