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The Search for the Perfect Pub: Looking For the Moon Under Water [Paperback]

Paul Moody , Robin Turner
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
RRP: 10.99
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

4 April 2013

In 1946, George Orwell, a man fond of a pint, wrote about his favourite pub, The Moon Under Water, in his EVENING STANDARD column. But it didn't actually exist. It was Orwell's vision of a perfect pub. Today, Wetherspoons have fourteen Moon Under Waters, and the nation is awash with identikit, high-street lounge bars competing for a dwindling clientele.

Paul Moody and Robin Turner's road trip around Britain, therefore, is not just a search for the perfect pub. It is a deeper investigation into what has happened to British pub culture, once the toast of the world. In fact, it is a search for a kind of life-force kindled by the British public, something the powers-that-be are forever trying to extinguish.

Along the way, such luminaries as Pete Brown ('the King of Beer'), Tim Martin (Wetherspoon's boss), Iain Sinclair, James Dean Bradfield and Paul Kingsnorth are consulted - along with a host of micro-brewers, landlords, politicians, bloggers and barroom philosophers. What emerges is a picture of the country as seen through a pint glass, a vision that goes to the heart of what it means to be British.


Frequently Bought Together

The Search for the Perfect Pub: Looking For the Moon Under Water + Three Sheets To The Wind: One Man's Quest For The Meaning Of Beer + Man Walks Into A Pub: A Sociable History of Beer (Fully Updated Second Edition)
Price For All Three: 20.27

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (4 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140913928X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409139287
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 13 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

It's a fascinating travelogue to which anyone who fancies a pint or three can instantly relate, looking deep into the importance of pubs to society along the way. For anyone who's barmy about their boozers, it's an absolute must-read. (SCOUT LONDON 2013-03-25)

An entertaining celebration of the British pub. (BIG ISSUE IN THE NORTH 2013-04-08)

The authors are sure guides on this epic mission and incorporate humour and genuine warmth into their descriptions of pubs around Britain. A well-crafted and absorbing account. (THE SUNDAY BUSINESS POST 2013-04-29)

Book Description

Inspired by George Orwell, Paul Moody and Robin Turner take a nostalgic road trip around Britain in search of the perfect pub. 'A deeply satisfying travelogue' Stuart Maconie

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An admirable pursuit 21 Dec 2011
Format:Hardcover
I bought this book after reading a piece in the Guardian documenting five celebrities favourite watering holes, not realising that the authors had also penned one of my most thumbed guide books of the last few years - the Rough Pub Guide. Although not without humour, The Search For The Perfect Pub is far less knockabout than it's predecessor. Using George Orwell's 1946 piece the Moon Under Water (published as a preface) as guidance, Moody and Turner set off on an attempt to work out what was previously one of our greatest institutions actually means to the Britain of the 21st century. As a perfect storm (the smoking ban, heavy taxation, recession, insane supermarket prices) whips through pub world, the writers journey from their local to Parliament via island outposts and inner city institutions. Along the way they talk to everyone from Wetherspoon's boss Tim Martin, beer writer supreme Pete Brown, Manic Street Preacher's James Dean Bradfield and London archivist Iain Sinclair. It's a throughly intoxicating trip that eventually leads them to the pubs that Orwell used as liquid inspiration for the original piece. The only criticism is the lack of a printed route map to help start the reader on their own quest to find pub perfection.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Knowing my penchant for the dying breed that is the 'proper' British pub and how much I'd enjoyed the authors previous 'Rough Pub Guide', I received this as a Christmas gift and originally thought it would be a similar 'dip in and out' reference book - but no -this is far more! It's at times hilarious and at times a lament on pub culture and either way, a brilliant read. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED *****
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sigh! Not Entertaining and quite boring 1 Aug 2013
By Bagman
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's not a road trip. It's a long winded student essay on how it was a lot better in the old days, and some googled facts about big brewing companies. I can only imagine how the long winter evenings must fly by......
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, funny - and important 18 Nov 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic book. Taking it's cue from an essay George Orwell wrote about an imaginary perfect pub called The Moon Under Water, the authors go in search of Orwell's vision, encountering endless colourful characters and unexpected facts on the way. Moody and Turner's writing is beautiful; stylish, witty, affectionate and insightful, but also sharp-eyed and probing when the situation demands.

And the situation does demand their probing, because as much as this is a celebration of perhaps Britain's best-loved institution (the French president, asked what single aspect of Anglo life he would import to France, replied 'the British pub'), it has a serious purpose, too, because it turn out that the pub is under threat from a combination of the Treasury and big business, with an average of 25 going bust each week. So 'The Search for the Perfect Pub' is joyful travelogue, social history - what better way to tell the story of the Britons - and political detective story combined, in the company two highly convivial hosts. I couldn't put it down: my partner felt that she'd read it too by the time I finished, as I spent to much time reading passages out to her, or delighting in surprising facts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still searching for the Moon under Water. 31 May 2012
Format:Hardcover
I thought that was a pretty well-written, even-handed, wide-ranging and informative consideration of the issues affecting (and afflicting) the great British pub today. It didn't seem to be much of a search as such, more a series of more or less related discussions about the isssues with some impressive interviews and some thoughtful writing.
The only thing I didn't quite enjoy was that, as is often the case, the authors are journalists (in this case music journalists as far as I can see) who can't resist filling space with their own anecdotes and music stories which are of very little interest or relevance.
And they never really seem to come to any conclusion as to what the perfect pub is although maybe that is because there can be no such thing. Anyway, if there was, you wouldn't tell everyone would you?
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2.0 out of 5 stars Still searching 15 May 2014
By zigzag
Format:Paperback
Not really a search for the perfect pub as the author doesnt really stray outside of a few big cities, and stays mainly in London. Whilst I cant comment on London there are many great pubs outside of the M25 as those of us who live there will testify.
This book should have been about the great pubs that are to be found in this country, be that historical interest, location, atmosphere, whatever, instead its just a long winded way of criticsing the smoking ban, pubcos, the govenernment, and having a go at anyone who doesnt like real ale (or craft beer brewed by artisans as we are now increasingly obliged to call it in order to move it away from its beardy socks and sandal image). The author doesnt seem to recognise that a mass produced beer drinker, or heaven forbid a lager drinker, can appreciate what makes a pub great.

This could and should have been a great book but what is written is very limited.
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5.0 out of 5 stars essential reading for pubologists 10 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Cracking read, anyone who loves proper beer , and decent but not essentially stereo typed pubs. Well worth adding to your bookshelf
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3.0 out of 5 stars "The Search for the Perfect Pub"; Kindle Book 10 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Being a traditional pub man and one time barman, I really enjoy this book.. It casts a light on why pubs are fast disappearing due to the activities of greedy property companies who are only interested in getting hold of the sites for development.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
An enjoyable read if not a little depressing in places. Easy reading and one you can dip in and out off with ease. Read more
Published 8 months ago by andrew john robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars The search for the perfect pub
As a beer drinker this book gives you the high's and the low's of the industry.I like reading about the Weatherspoons boss and of course the old lady who knew George Orwell. Read more
Published 12 months ago by George Clandon
5.0 out of 5 stars great research
read by son-in-law; he thoroughly enjoyed the research and details given.
Interesting read. Gives details of brewery ownership and best beers.
Published 18 months ago by Christine O'Neill
2.0 out of 5 stars if you like the Daily Mail, you'll like this book
The idea for the book is reasonable (a road trip round Britain searching for a perfect pub), but it never delivers. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Jack Savage
3.0 out of 5 stars The Search for the Perfect Pub: Looking For the Moon Under Water
Fairly entertaining look at the current state of pubs in England. On a wider level, it looks at England in general and how times are changing - the break-down of community, the... Read more
Published on 28 Jun 2012 by Dave Gilmour's cat
5.0 out of 5 stars The search for the perfect pub.looking for the moon under water
I read this book in a couple of days,meaning that I thoroughly enjoyed it.It was written by two people who really care about the institution which is the British pub. Read more
Published on 24 Feb 2012 by Roger William Greaves
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but also a little dissapointing.
Firstly, I must say that this is a very well written book and there are some interesting interviews/chats with some of the leading lights of the pub world (Pete Brown, Tim Martin... Read more
Published on 24 Feb 2012 by Simon Wallis
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