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Road to Rouen Paperback – 23 May 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Headline (23 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755364546
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755364541
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (401 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,886 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ben Hatch's latest novel is called THE P45 DIARIES: How To Get Sacked From Every Job in Britain. Currently being developed as a BBC sitcom, and a former BBC Radio 4 Book of The Year, it was previously titled The Lawnmower Celebrity and is based loosely on Ben's woeful experiences of his teens and 20s when his dad thought he was an oaf.
Ben was born in London and grew up there, in Manchester and also in Buckinghamshire, where he lived in a windmill that meant he was called Windy Miller at school for years, though he's not been scarred by this experience at all. He now lives in Brighton with his tiny wife Dinah, and two children, in a normal house. He likes cheese and is balding although he disguises this fact by spiking his hair to a great height to distract people he wishes to impress.
Ben (who is actually writing this and pretending to be someone else)has written for The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail and The Daily Express among other newspapers. Previously he wrote ROAD TO ROUEN: A 10,000 Mile Journey In A Cheese-filled Passat that was a Number One bestseller and ARE WE NEARLY THERE YET? 8,000 Miles Round Britain In A Vauxhall Astra, a BBC Radio 2 Book of the Year, and also a Number One bestseller. It is also under development as a film by Island Pictures.
Ben is the tallest Hatch who ever lived (5ft 9in) and is the son of Sir David Hatch, the radio performer and producer whose shadow Ben doesn't at all feel under. He also maintains that he knows the cure for the common cold (tweet him at @BenHatch to find this out) and that one of his relatives was John Couch-Adams who discovered the planet Neptune. Apparently, his aunty told him.

Many years ago his novel the International Gooseberry was published by Orion. It was about a hapless backpacker with a huge ungovernable toenail. It was described as "hysterical and surprisingly sad" by the Daily Express. Ben Hatch was on the long-list of Granta's 2003 list of the most promising 20 young authors in the UK, but missed out on final inclusion possibly because of the toenail stuff. In association with his wife Dinah, he has also written three guidebooks for Frommer's.

You can visit Ben Hatch at https://www.facebook.com/BenHatchAuthor although his page is a bit rubbish.

Product Description

Review

Ben Hatch makes me laugh more and more (John Cleese)

Magnifique! Honest, warm and written with feeling and flair (Terry Wogan)

A French odyssey to rival the greatest adventures in history - if you like jokes, and a car full of cheese.

As funny and touching as an overfriendly clown.

(Danny Wallace)

I am going to shout this very loudly. YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK. The funniest travel memoir you will read this year. Ben Hatch is a genius. The funny bits were so funny. The sad bits were so sad. (Lisa Jewell)

Fantastically funny and touching. I laughed and winced and will never look at baguettes in the same way again (Sophie Kinsella)

Highly recommended to anyone holidaying in France this year. Or to anyone holidaying anywhere. Or to anyone holidaying with kids. Or to anyone with kids but no holiday plans. Basically to anyone with a sense of humour. (Charlotte Heathcote Daily Express)

Ben Hatch is a very funny writer. His work is fresh and heartfelt (David Jason)

I loved Ben Hatch's funny, honest, touching memoir (Jenny Colgan)

Goes from one hilarious situation to another. Very entertaining. The author is naturally funny (The Sun)

Haven't laughed as much in ages (Mike Gayle)

An Epic French odyssey (Daily Express)

Parents will either roar with laughter or roll their eyes with recognition at this family road-trip memoir. (Metro)

Book Description

From the bestselling author of ARE WE NEARLY THERE YET? (Radio 2 Book of the Year & voted Amazon Customers' Fave Kindle Read 2011) comes a new hilarious and touching story of travel chaos.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Janet Emson on 10 April 2014
Format: Paperback
I was provided with a free copy of this book as part of a Twitter travel book club.

Ben Hatch has the task of writing a guide book about France. Packing his family into the family car and letting out the house, the Hatch family set off on what they think will be a dignified and pleasant family trip around the French countryside. The scrapes, adventures and misadventures that Ben, his wife Dinah and children get up to on the Road to Rouen are perhaps not all that they envisaged...

I enjoy a good travelogue. I find it a brilliant way of finding out about other countries and about the people taking those trips. Sometimes it's about living vicariously through others. We may have all dreamed of giving it all up for a small house in a sunny climate or taking a few months off work to travel but how many of us would actually do it? The Road to Rouen introduces you to places that you would probably never knew existed in France. Some you may want to visit, others, the vegetable theme park for example, you may want to skip. I found this a great introduction to the little known areas of France.

However it was also more than just a story about a road trip. In fact is was more about the Hatch family, how Ben and Dinah's relationship fared under the stresses and strains of a long road trip in the confined space of a smelly Passat. It was also interesting to see how the trip brought the family together, how major decisions were made and how the journey allowed the children to flourish.

What I can't fail to mention is how funny this book is. I could often be heard laughing out loud to some passage or other, in fact more often than not.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mrs Christine D Pleasants on 1 Aug. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was a little tedious at the begining but then I gradually warmed to the family and sympthised with the wife.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RachKnightrider on 28 Jan. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ben Hatch has a fantastic knack of capturing everyday family events with witty observation that strikes a chord with the reader.

I am happily recommending this book to everyone I know who has ever been on a family holiday!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Miss J. Desler on 28 Jan. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you have read his earlier book about his trip around the UK I recommend this one. It may put you off taking a similar trip, or may decide you to copy it, but you are there with the Hatch family all the way. A few times I went past my station on the Underground because I was too engrossed which is the mark of a good read in my books (no pun intended).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Katherine Schumacher on 27 Jan. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I don't normally read travel guides however after being followed by Ben hatch on twitter I thought I better read his book. A very funny book about his own French holiday with a family. It did remind me of childhood holidays in France so I could relate to this book. The funniest bit was the last few chapters about euro Disney just as i imagined it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Murphy on 22 Jan. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Laugh out loud funny! Lots of situations to relate to - Smuggling food into Disney had whole family in stitches! Great read, thoroughly recommend!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By benny lej on 20 Jan. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Great easy reading, anybody who has been through the journey to France with a young family on a self drive holiday can relate, although I follow Ben hatch on twitter it's the first book of his I've read and was not disappointed and will not be the last of his I read either
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Polly on 20 Jan. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this book: it made me laugh out loud. As others have said, it's the story of a family trip to France to research a travel guide, but it goes much further than the initial premise. I laughed so much my husband asked me not to take my kindle with us when we went out in case I embarrassed him with my guffawing.
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