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I Left My Tent in San Francisco [Paperback]

Emma Kennedy
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 May 2011

It's 1989, and Emma and her best friend Dee head to the USA to make their fortune. But completely inept and virtually unemployable, they discover that they can't even get a job in McDonald's.

Forced to travel from California to New York with only pennies in their pockets, they bounce from scrape to scrape, surviving on their wits and the kindness of strangers. Bad luck and misfortune throw everything their way - snakes, earthquakes, black magic and incontinent dogs. They even get kidnapped by a sex-crazed midget in a Ferrari. This never happened to Jack Kerouac.

Startlingly honest and ridiculously funny, I Left My Tent in San Francisco is the miraculous story of how the hapless pair made it back alive to tell the disastrous tale.

Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (5 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091935954
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091935955
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 224,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


"I love her writing" (Jon Ronson)

"You really ought to take Emma Kennedy on holiday with you. In book-form only. Never, ever, in person" (Dave Gorman)

"Supremely good fun and oozing with warmth and enthusiasm" (Heat)

Book Description

More hilarious tales of holiday disaster from the bestselling author of The Tent, The Bucket and Me

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the brilliant laugh I'd expected 3 Jun 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Like one other reviewer, I absolutely adored the author's first recollection "The Tent, the Bucket, and Me". It was the kind of book that you couldn't read in public or on the train because you would fall into hysterical, dog-barking-like laughter. When I learnt that the author had another book coming out, I pre-ordered it immediately. When it arrived I delightedly tore into it and found that it was...ok. Just ok. Charming in some parts. A few laughs here and there, but nothing like her first book. Perhaps the first book set an expectation of hilarity that was unmet in the second, and perhaps that was my downfall. It's a nice read and an interesting view of the US in the 1980's. She's a thoroughly likeable character who is the walking definition of "Sod's Law". Additionally, she's one of the few authors who can write about Americans and not come across as unkind, no matter how backwards some of the people she came across were. But the book, once finished, has not left much of an impression on me. I'm hoping her next book does the trick, for I will continue to buy her books in hopes of recreating The Great Laugh of her "Bucket" book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An ill-fated American adventure 21 May 2011
By Curiosity Killed The Bookworm TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The time is 1989. Very few people have mobile phones, the internet is in its infancy and British graduates flock to America for working holidays. I think Camp America and BUNAC's Work America style programs have gone a bit out of fashion now but I do remember them being very popular. Emma and her best friend Dee go for the Work America option, convinced they will make a fortune.

Of course, they struggle to find jobs and when they do they're not well paid. Having a contact in San Francisco, they'd decided to base themselves there however their return flight leaves from New York. Emma and Dee must somehow get across the country on a barely there budget. Not only that, but Emma seems to have inherited the holiday bad luck gene from her parents.

Not as funny as The Tent, the Bucket and Me but then I don't have any experience of back-packing to compare this to. Maybe you'll read it and identify with lots of their struggles. One thing that does ring true, the more you try and do things on the cheap, the more likely things are to go wrong... When they do go wrong, they appear ten times worse because you have no money to get yourself out of it!

Emma's books document a slice in time that we won't see again. Just like her family's camping experiences, working and travelling abroad has changed so much. I don't think anyone would be naive enough to set out without back-up funds and there is the constant communication we have in the internet to help us out.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 14 Aug 2011
By kw
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Tent, the Bucket and Me is, myself being part Welsh too, one of my fave books of all time. I think it would make a great film with someone like Rob Bryden playing the part of Emmas dad. Everyone I lent it to thought it was hillarious. I have also read her book How to Bring Up Your Parents (if you already have a parent or are thinking of getting one....) which was also very funny and original.

Therefore I was so looking forward to reading this, but it was not so good. Not as believable as the previous books, and in parts silly and cringe makingly embarrassing, I managed to read it but was not impressed. Shame.
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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Also for balance 5 May 2011
I am appalled that people are leaving one star reviews without having read the book. You don't give a book one star just because Kindle, who set the price NOT the author, have overpriced the product.

I have read the book and it's brilliant. Warm, filled with hilarious anecdotes, thrills and spills - a perfect follow up to The Tent the Bucket and Me. But most impressively, the book is a wonderful exploration of a great friendship. It made me laugh (it even made me well up in places). An essential read for anyone who understands what it's like to not know what you're going to do with your life and who has ever loved a friend. So that's everyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I expected more. 9 Jun 2011
By Channie
I was disappointed and couldn't relate to the characters. I did finish the book but found it hard work and I am sure that within a week or two I will have forgotten what the book was about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Certainly not for anyone wanting a belly laugh 22 Aug 2012
By LisaB
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I downloaded the first chapter on my Kindle and thought it seemed promising, so gave it a try. But by the end of the second chapter I was struggling and it didn't get any better. It's impossible to tell which were Emma's real experiences and which she elaborates in the hope of a laugh, as every one of her stories seems completely improbable and not particularly funny. And the stories of her parent's travels through Europe are equally as puzzling - they got locked in a deserted hotel - how, why? I kept waiting for the punch line to kick in but it never did. She just seems to amble from one disaster to another and truth be told, I found myself getting rather depressed by the time I was half way through and just willing the bus to get to New York so the whole sorry tale would end.

If Emma was trying to turn herself into the dizzy but likeable heroin who finds herself unintentionally falling into one hilarious scrape after another then she's failed. In fact, I found her rather irritating and couldn't understand how a 22 year old Oxford graduate could be so completely unworldly and at times downright stupid. This was set in 1989 not 1979, who had not heard of a microwave? And if she didn't know how to use one, surely she might have asked the supposedly slick and worldly wise Dee for some advice? Dee was even more irritating, in that she was supposed to be the smart one, yet she just seems to follow Emma like a lamb to the slaughter into these ridiculous situations.

Unfortunately this is my first Emma Kennedy book and from reading the reviews I clearly should have read The Tent, The Bucket and Me first. This book helped pass the time on my tube journey to and from work but I was certainly never in any danger of belly laughing on the train.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value for money
Excellent value for money, I love this book (along with The Tent, The Bucket and Me). Hilarious to read, I originally had it and lent it to my sister and as I haven't seen it... Read more
Published 15 days ago by Tinkerbell
4.0 out of 5 stars easy read.
Having now read two Emma Kennedy books, I must remember never to go on holiday with her! An entertaining, easy read.
Published 19 days ago by laura117
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Did everything it promised and more. Dwarf and all. Thanks :)
Published 1 month ago by ID&TBlockheads
5.0 out of 5 stars Great condition and Great book
Great condition and Great book! Bought it for a friend. It's an easy book to read and a feel good book
Published 1 month ago by Miss J E Nimmo
5.0 out of 5 stars Just as good as her last biography
Another cracking read. Had Me laughing out loud. Just as good as her last biography.
Published 2 months ago by debs1973
5.0 out of 5 stars so funny
I read the first book and could not stop laughing. I read this second book thinking it can't be as funny as the first but I was wrong. Absolutely hilarious. Fantastic read
Published 3 months ago by helen
4.0 out of 5 stars a good read
After reading and thoroughly enjoying the The Tent the Bucket and Me, I bought this one. I did enjoy this book although at times, I thought they were quite stupid considering they... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Sweet Chestnut
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, but not much about the USA experience
I was expecting more about an adventure across the USA, not the experiences of two students in New York and San Francisco and even then not much about those places. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Edna85
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but...
I can only echo the comments of other readers before e in saying that this is an adequate read, but not the barrel of laughs that Kennedy's first book proved to be. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Blimey O'Reilly
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read
I read this book as my favourite book ever was " the tent the bucket and me" I cried laughing listening to it on CD in my car. Read more
Published 5 months ago by MRS SUSAN READ
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