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In Search of the English Eccentric
 
 

In Search of the English Eccentric [Kindle Edition]

Henry Hemming
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Product Description

Review

'A lovely, heartfelt paean to English eccentrics, by a member of the tribe. A funny, timely and moving encounter with a dying breed.' (Jon Ronson)

The new Michael Palin (Tatler)

'Hemming keeps up a stream of comic patter' (Guardian)

'Hilarious' (Daily Mail)

'Hemming makes some good points' (Sunday Telegraph/ Seven)

'Hemming is a kindly collector and a champion of people who live as they see fit' (Metro)

'Highly entertaining' (Traveller)

'Intelligent and encouraging' (TLS)

Hemming makes a convincing case for the ways in which eccentrics benefit any society or era (Financial Times)

'If nothing else this book confirms the old adage "there's nothing so strange as folk" (Folkestone Herald & Dover Express)

'Entertaining and thought-provoking ... Hemming unearths a surprisingly large array of delightfully odd characters' (Cambridge Evening News)

Book Description

A witty anthropological journey in search of the quintessential English eccentric.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 423 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray (2 April 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002VCR0GM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #406,993 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Henry Hemming is the author of 'Misadventure in the Middle East', 'In Search of the English Eccentric', 'Together' and most recently 'Churchill's Iceman: The True Story of Geoffrey Pyke: Genius, Fugitive, Spy'. For more, see henryhemming.com

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sorry not good 22 Oct 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I foumd this book heavy going because its focus is on the author and his 'journey' rather than the elusive, attention-shunning eccentric. Better to read Edith Sitwell (or indeed any of the Sitwells' books) if you are interested in eccentricity.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend it 8 Mar 2009
Format:Hardcover
I found In Search of the English Eccentric in the travel section of my local bookstore, but it is far more than a travel book. In the context of travel writing, the author exoticises his native Britain led by a quest for eccentrics. The travel is also across time, reviving dandies dustied with age, in an effort to update the concept of the eccentric from its Victorian roots.

Unlike a travel book, however, this is not a list of people or places to see. The book is carefully structured around themes and introduces us to characters who fail to meet the definition of eccentric as well as to those who come out triumphant. Questioning the concept of eccentric leads Hemming into provocative terrain regarding the relationship between eccentricity, madness, perversion and creativity.

Creativity is clearly a theme close to the heart of the author, who is an artist of his own right. Each chapter is illustrated with etchings made by Hemming in the manner of a 19th century botanist. And the narrative is peppered with metaphor, creating unexpected images at every page turn. The book also reads like theatre in parts, full of carefully recorded dialogue between Hemming and his subjects.

In short, this is a playful book with an entertaining approach to serious and well researched questions about the relationship of individuals to society. I highly recommend it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brainfood 14 July 2008
By Olivia
Format:Hardcover
Wow - this was such a fascinating book! It shook up my ideas about difference and marginality. It portrays how the eccentrics' lives develop a contemporary notion of eccentricity without loosing the dimensions of the people. From the weightlessness of remembering what it is like to be childlike to issues of a national identity, it charts a journey of theoretical development with a sense of adventure and fun. Almost above all, the writing opens out moments in vibrant and vivid ways and manages to be both wide-ranging in its historical reach and yet also specific and intimate.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough and very enjoyable read 2 Oct 2013
By TS
Format:Paperback
I can't say how much I enjoyed this book.

I felt that it was not only very thorough, covering an expanse of interesting characters, but it was both witty and engaging.

Frankly, I was a bit sad when I finished!

I have just ordered another book by Hemming and I look forward to starting it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read! 14 Aug 2012
By Zazou
Format:Paperback
I took 'In search of the English Eccentric' on holiday as light reading matter.Ha! I could not put it down. I found it absorbing and annoying at the same time, though not a light read as I expected. It was absorbing because Hemmings reveals in his writing,a weird and whacky world to which us 'usual' guys never seem to see, let alone, touch. I wanted to know more. it held me in that urge. It was annoying because from the outset, Hemmings shows a profound depth of understanding of this eccentric world [and the alternative of this world which inevitably must be mine],way beyond his years.When I discovered that Hemmings was a mere twenty seven when he penned 'In Search of' I was totally in awe. I both laughed and cried at this book. I learned a lot about another way of living, of the need for tolerant in those differences, as well as something about myself. It is a long time since a book has had such an effect on me. Excellent! Can't wait to read his other works - though now he is a little older, I might not be as impressed!
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