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The Full English: Pedalling Through England, Mid-life Crisis and Truly Rampant Man-flu [Paperback]

Mike Carden
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Price: 8.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

15 Sep 2007
Pedalling from one end of England to the other, the author struggles heroically with Mid-Life Crisis, Man-Flu and with Scott, a bike with a serious attitude problem. From the Dorset coast to Northumbria, he indulges a passion for the history of England through its castles, abbeys and ancient towns, while encountering England's people - the friendly, the funny and the deliciously eccentric.

Frequently Bought Together

The Full English: Pedalling Through England, Mid-life Crisis and Truly Rampant Man-flu + A Lake District Grand Tour - Pedalling Through Lakeland: The Challenge, The History, The Wildlife, The Scones + A Bit Scott-ish: Pedalling Through Scotland in Search of Adventure, Nature and Lemon Drizzle Cake
Price For All Three: 23.01

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Bike Ride Books (15 Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955660203
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955660207
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 238,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mike Carden is the author of three books relating the story of bike rides.

Told with humour, with stories of the peoples and places he visits, and with an eye to history and heritage, they strike a chord with cyclists and non-cyclists alike. The latest book is 'A Lake District Grand Tour. Pedalling through Lakeland: The Challenge, The History, The Wildlife, The Scones.'

Reviews have been enthusiastic:

- Cumbria Life Magazine: 'Relaxed and chatty with a ready wit. His humorous observations are reminiscent of Stuart Maconie's travelogues but with added panting and pedalling.'

- Cycletourer website: 'If this book doesn't get you itching to get your bike over to the Lake District and explore it, I don't know what will!'

Previous books:

The Full English: Pedalling through England, Mid-Life Crisis and Truly Rampant Man-Flu has been described as 'warm, well observed, unpretentious and very funny'(Adventure Travel magazine).

A Bit Scott-ish: Pedalling through Scotland in search of Adventure, Nature and Lemon Drizzle Cake followed and is told with 'almost unquenchable good humour' (Velo Vision cycling magazine).

Product Description

Review

... a joyful read that will sweep away the dark nights of winter and conjure up memories of summer days in the countryside. -- The History Magazine

...engaging, informative, entertaining and very, very witty. This bloke makes good writing look as easy as riding a bike. I wish it was...
-- George East, best-selling author of The Mill of the Flea series

Thoroughly enjoyable. England's answer to Round Ireland with a Fridge, by Tony Hawks - but without the fridge.
-- Ludlow Advertiser

Warm, well-observed, unpretentious, very funny... the kind of cycle tour we can all imagine ourselves taking, hopefully without the man-flu. -- Adventure Travel

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SEE ENGLAND AS IT IS 15 Mar 2008
Format:Paperback
A book full of gentle humour with a very English feel to it. The author bikes from Dorset to Berwick upon Tweed and his struggles with daily mileage, the English weather along the way but best of all are his descriptions of encounters with people, towns and signposts along the way. The history is written with a nostalgic tinge. If you enjoy Bill Bryson type observations you'll probably like this book.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A National Treasure 1 Nov 2007
Format:Paperback
In the 'The Full English', Carden (and his bike Scott) take the reader on a funny and fascinating journey from one end of England to the other. Never too weighty, but always interesting, Carden's historical knowledge blends perfectly with his warmth and humour to provide a wonderfully human and informative read, which always hits the right note. I'm very much looking forward to his next adventure.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me 9 Jan 2010
By kcphoto
Format:Paperback
I have read quite a few cycling travel books but this was, for me, the least interesting one. There was very little by way of adventure or insight, very few interesting or humorous observations and it had nothing very original to offer.
I liked the effort to combine the history of England and the towns with the trip which may have worked well if the writing was more entertaining.I was totally put off by the annoying trick of giving his bike a name and having two-way (yes, two-way) conversations with it en-route.In my opinion, there are better cycling/travel books out there.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Trying desperately hard to be funny 20 Nov 2009
By JI
Format:Paperback
A touch of wit helps in a travel book, I think, as it relaxes the reader into the journey and I've enjoyed several Bill Bryson books for this reason. So, loving cycling, and having read good reviews of this book, I was looking forward to it, but was pretty disappointed.

The humour was forced and the "dialogue" between author and bike contrived and pointless. As another reviewer pointed out, the book contains a lot of detail that could be quite easily obtained from local guidebooks or websites and I certainly didn't get the feeling of being on the journey that you get with good travel writers. In fact, my trip finished halfway.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Order the Full English 22 Feb 2008
By M. Wray
Format:Paperback
Fancy cycling 650 miles from the South Coast to the Scottish border? No need - just sit back with a brew and the Full English, and read Mike Carden's witty account of his perils with his trusty bike "Scott" doing just that. Mike successfully describes the places visited in their historical context, and always finds humour in the most dire circumstances.
So dont be so daft as to attempt anything similar - read "The Full English" and avoid all those lung-busting hills, dodgy hostels, wet weather, man-flu, and above all don't end up having conversations with your bike!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two wheels good... 26 Nov 2007
Format:Paperback
From the first confrontation between cyclist and cycle on Portland Bill, I was hooked. Join Mike Carden on his epic ride to Berwick upon Tweed and you'll be exhausted by the punishing mileage, delighted by glimpses of a fast-disappearing English countryside, intrigued by historical digressions and, above all, amused. There were passages that made me laugh out loud. Just wait till you read about the kestrel in Birmingham...
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 2 May 2009
Format:Paperback
I found this to be very disappointing - not particularly interesting or funny. For a cycling book, far too much space was taken up by pages of local history on the towns cycled through. I can see that this could appeal to some readers, but if I wanted to read about English history, I would buy a history book. The constant conversations between the author and his bike "Scott" sum up the whole book for me - I just found it to be very light weight. I ended up scanning rather than reading, until I found something interesting.
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