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Free Country: A Penniless Adventure the Length of Britain

Free Country: A Penniless Adventure the Length of Britain [Kindle Edition]

George Mahood
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,048 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description


"...spent last night laughing so much my coffee came out my eyes..."

"...this book is quite simply the best I've read in years..."

"...a completely bonkers challenge and a brilliantly funny read, I couldn't put it down..."

" reminded me of some of Danny Wallace and Dave Gorman's best bits..."

"...this wonderful story had me crying with laughter more often than not..."

"...inspiring, uplifting, need I say more? Quite brilliant..."

"...funny, totally engrossing and actually quite moving..."

" of the most heart-warming, genuinely funny books I have read in a long time..."

"...not many books keep me up 'till 4am, endangering my marriage in the process... Read it now..."

"...for the price of half a pint of beer you'll fill at least 4 pint glasses with tears of laughter..."

FREE COUNTRY: A Penniless Adventure the Length of Britain

The plan is simple. George and Ben have three weeks to cycle 1000 miles from the bottom of England to the top of Scotland. There is just one small problem… they have no bikes, no clothes, no food and no money. Setting off in just a pair of Union Jack boxer shorts, they attempt to rely on the generosity of the British public for everything from food to accommodation, clothes to shoes, and bikes to beer.

During the most hilarious adventure, George and Ben encounter some of Great Britain's most eccentric and extraordinary characters and find themselves in the most ridiculous situations. Free Country is guaranteed to make you laugh (you may even shed a tear). It will restore your faith in humanity and leave you with a big smile on your face and a warm feeling inside.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2997 KB
  • Print Length: 319 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0085W00M8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,048 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,563 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

George Mahood is an award-winning writer. Specifically, he was placed third in the Little Brington Village Fete's limerick competition (Under 11s category) in 1988. It was the same year that Mrs Marriott's legendary fruit loaf was beaten in the WI cake contest for the first time in six years.

George studied Communication Studies and English Literature at Leeds University. After spending a year travelling in the USA (with clothes and money), he worked for several years in a variety of jobs including charity fund-raising and garlic bread making. He currently works as a photographer, specialising in weddings. George has been the lead singer and guitarist of a rubbish band and the chairman and midfielder of an awful Sunday-league football team.

George has plenty more madcap ideas that will form the basis of future books. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook to keep in touch, see more photos, and to hear about future projects.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A risk well worth taking 21 Jun 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wanting to do the Land's End to John O'Groats (LEJOG) bike ride I looked to the internet for advice and found a website all about George and Ben, two guys who had decided to do the trip in a pretty special way. Starting with nothing but a pair of boxer shorts (each) they did the whole trip relying entirely on the kindness and donations of the people they met. It sounded like the idea of a genius or an idiot so when I found out that one of them had written a book about the whole trip I thought I'd give it a go.

I didn't expect much from the book as doing a trip is one thing, but writing about it takes a different kind of skill and a different kind of stamina. However, I reckon Mr Mahood has cracked it. The book is funny, totally engrossing and actually quite moving. There's just something simple and direct about the writing that brings the trip back to life right there in front of you. Maybe it's the sheer riskiness of having to ask complete strangers for food, accommodation, clothes and even bikes that pulls you in. It's hard enough to ask for anything nowadays in our ordered, atomised, urban lives, but these two succeed in pulling out not only the generosity of the people they meet, but sometimes the most bizarre and interesting stories.

When you finish it you will want to do the whole trip yourself. I know I do.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, uplifting and oddly gripping 19 Jun 2012
By Mickie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Genuinely could not put this one down. The urge to see what sort of adventure would face the boys next as they traversed the length of Britain on nothing but wit and charm was irresistible. Wonderful little stories about the many people they meet along the way, as well as every joyous moment and sodden grumble. Very entertainingly written, and truly inspirational in an era when trust seems a rare commodity. Probably the most fun I've ever had for £1:53
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm amazed they made it! 8 Feb 2014
By Cherry
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm not sure which is the most remarkable achievement: cycling 1,000 miles, starting without a bike, clothes, food or accommodation or writing about the adventure in such an amusing and engrossing way. One thing is for sure, I'm surprised Ben and George made it and in such relative comfort too! How on earth did they manage to blag their way into staying a night at such places as top hotels, cosy Bed and Breakfasts, barns and a narrow boat barge? They must have lots of charm and look incredibly honest, even when looking rough, strangely dressed and no doubt smelling a bit too! In the the same circumstances, I think I'd be sleeping in a ditch with an empty stomach and no bike at my side!
I loved the narrow boat story because that happened only a few miles from where I live and it was great to see my home area written about. I'm glad we were so generous. Yes, George, I live in the area where you were getting confused about whether you were in England or Wales. Your confusion was understandable- even the locals get confused as to where the very convoluted border is. And at least you got to sleep in a boat.
What interesting characters Ben and George met on the way, from helpful old ladies, shop assistants and students, to "hitman" Ronnie, two would-be thieving deaf boys and a pair of delightful Llama farmers. And they didn't cycle all the time. They took time out from their struggle with The Falcon, Pinky and others, to watch a film, take a slow speed boat round a lake, visit Robbie Burns' cottage(at least it was warm), look out for the Loch Ness Monster and go whisky tasting, still without spending any money. Quite brilliant and it really does say a lot about the generosity of the British that they managed it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book to lose yourself in. 16 July 2014
Travelling in South East Asia and Skydiving in New Zealand are common fodder when it comes to exciting adventures, but doing something original makes for the best stories, and that’s just what George Mahood’s ‘Free Country’ provides.

George and his mate Ben embark on an end to end journey of Great Britain starting in only a pair of Union Jack boxers, and attempt to make the 1000 mile journey without spending a single penny. The result of this is stories such as ending up sleeping next to bulls in a farm barn, singing Christmas carols for food in the middle of summer, and other little moments which genuinely made me laugh. The book is one of the first I’ve read for a long time for pleasure and is one I can whole heartedly recommend because of the laughs it provides but also the warm hearted gooiness the reader feels from the realisation that on our fair isles, there really are some great people out there.

The masterstroke of ‘Free Country’ comes from the relate ability of the two main ‘characters’ the book focuses on. The adventure is recalled from George’s perspective, who comes across the more reasoned of the pair, whereas his friend Ben comes across with a slightly shorter fuse. Both are young, and just out to do something a bit different because they have the time. Further to this, the adventure is one almost anybody could recreate as it is without cost, unlike a trip to Thailand or New Zealand, meaning when reading, I couldn’t help but imagine myself in the same situation.

The brilliance is writing was never the point of the journey and as such is written by a person the reader is likely to have a similar individual within their own friendship group.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars I hate it
excellent great entertainment
Published 1 day ago by Mr Chris Dyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Just brilliant
This is the funniest book I have ever read! I have read countless cycling/adventure books and this is the best of the lot. Off to buy George's other book now.
Published 1 day ago by Tennis nut
5.0 out of 5 stars Proof that decent people exist
I tried this book purely out of interest and have thoroughly enjoyed it. The slightly crazy idea of starting with nothing and travelling the length of the UK is a novel concept but... Read more
Published 2 days ago by flugella
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
Read this.
Published 2 days ago by Indecision
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fantastic read
Published 3 days ago by Mags P
5.0 out of 5 stars marvellous read
What an achievement and what an adventure, made me laughed all through
Well done!
Published 3 days ago by SH
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I really enjoyed this book. Plenty of laughs and a real feel good factor from reading it.
Published 4 days ago by James
5.0 out of 5 stars laugh out loud
Brilliant, my husband really enjoyed the book, he thinks we should do the same thing! I think not. Funniest book I've ever read
Published 4 days ago by Janice Westbrook
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A good read and interesting travel-log. entertaining and humorous .
Published 5 days ago by cathy holmes
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Enjoyed reading this book. Was crying laughing in places. would recommend this book.
Published 6 days ago by John Tallentire
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