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The Tent, the Bucket and Me Paperback – 29 Apr 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (29 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091926793
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091926793
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (294 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Frighteningly hilarious" (DAWN FRENCH)

"An invigorating, warm-hearted and often hysterial read ... Brilliant" (Time Out)

"I love her writing" (JON RONSON)

"Offers all you could ask for in terms of lovingly remembered period details, comical pratfalls and well-justified swearing" (Daily Mail)

"Jaw achingly funny from cover to cover ... it will strike a chord with seasoned campers everywhere" (Caravan, Motorhome and Camping Mart)

Book Description

Pack your suitcases, we're off! The bestselling and hilarious 1970s childhood memoir of wet, windy and utterly disastrous family camping trips – now in massmarket paperback

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Peter Sharpe on 20 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are two kinds of people who will enjoy this book; those who go camping and those who don't.
In many ways, you might say that Emma Kennedy is an ambassadeur for camping in the same way that Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is for McDonalds, but it isn't as simple as that. The book is written from the perspective of a little girl who had no option but to be taken along on what she calls "her family's disastrous attempts to go camping in the 1970s". So it is about camping then, but it is also an acutely observed social commentary on life during the decade that some people would rather forget. If you think this is rather a precocious set of memoirs from a girl of about eight years old you would be right - partly, because Emma does pay tribute to her parents, who withstood endless hours of interrogation to fill in the missing details and to interpret certain events that must have been bewildering to a youngster of such tender years.
Be warned readers, for this is camping in the raw; be prepared for tales of epic struggles against the elements; for near-death experiences; for close encounters with unfeasibly large quantities of human body waste. Be prepared to laugh out aloud until your stomach ties itself in knots.
Let's be frank - taken at face value, this book might put prospective campers of a nervous disposition off the whole idea for life, but for those who have "been there and done that", this book will make them chuckle knowingly at all the tales of misery and misfortune, yet make them keener to get out there and do the whole thing all over again.
This is a book that you can dip in to, read a chapter and then return to another day, so ideal for holiday reading, or any other time come to that.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By lizzie on 27 July 2009
Format: Paperback
I actually laughed out loud in parts over this book, which I've only ever done once before (Good Omens). That said, you have to get over the fact there is no real storyline, it is just holiday reminiscing from year to year which doesn't detract from it being a good read or good characters - you can so easily see and hear her relatives. It also makes it a good holiday read as you can pick it up and put it back down again. There were a few bits that didn't ring true - falling down a toilet in France when it's just a hole in the floor. In my experence these haven't been big enough to fall down.......but still a good laugh if you want a light-hearted holiday read while relaxing.
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52 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 25 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If I could have given this 10 stars - I would have done. The funniest thing I have read for years and all so familiar! I took it to the hairdressers to read when I was having my hair coloured and then sat and snorted and giggled for an hour. Eventually I had to tell everyone what I was reading and then ended up reading it out to roars of laughter from everyone in there! Sorry if that constitutes a public performance but a truly truly funny read - please go and buy it NOW! you will not be sorry! Poor Emma - all I can say is I hope her holidays have improved massively!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brummiebookworm on 21 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
For anyone that's ever had to under go the dreaded "family holiday" then this book is for you. Emma Kennedy and her parents have suffered quite possibly the worst luck on a family holiday again and again and again. There is a gruesome satisfaction in reading about each year's attempts at a family holiday and waiting for that moment when it goes horribly wrong! From their first holiday in the 1970s (where the tent and the bucket first meet our intrepid author Emma) onwards, Emma and her parents seem dogged by bad weather, near death experiences, car troubles and more excrement than you can shake a bucket at! Not for the faint hearted, this book is for those who have had to huddle in their tent in a thunderstorm, who have had to pee in a bucket and who have ever been camping in France.
I admire Emma for being so brutally honest in her descriptions of her family holidays. Aside from the trauma of recounting her families inability to enjoy a family holiday without some form of disaster, Emma seems to come off worst in the majority of the stories. In particular her first visit to France which leaves a strong smell in the air!
This book holds the distinction of being the funniest book in the world. Or at least the funniest book I've ever read (and I've read a few). I've read books which have made me smile, or laugh inside my head. There's books where I've sniggered outloud, and books where I've laughed outloud, even when on the bus (Thanks Danny Wallace!) but this book had me laughing so hard that I couldn't speak or breathe. I was laughing so hard that the book fell out of my hands, and tears rolled down my face. My mum walked in and thought I was crying.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Graham Reynolds on 23 April 2009
Format: Paperback
This is one of the funniest books I have read in a long time. It takes you right back to the 60,s, 70's and early 80's when money was tight, the overseas allowance was £30 and "Abroad" was a strange land full of foreigners with indescribable habits and very suspect food. Despite this it is perhaps the first holiday in Wales that really sets the tone of the many disasters yet to come and introduces us to "the family"; upwardly mobile, full of the "can-do" attitude of the era and determined to experience the joys of holidays abroad, blue skies, elegant dining and foreign pastimes like driving on motorways and scuba-diving! We also get a personal glimpse of British society, housing and inter-personal relationships of the time. And so far I haven't even mentioned the joys of camping!
Anyone who has ever camped will recognise the wonderful world of ground-sheets and tent poles; the joys of camping in "weather" and visiting the campsite facilities. Ah it all floods back to me! (Never again)
The author says in her book that she has neither invented or added anything to her stories and I for one belief her. It is written in a very personal style with such detail that it has to be true. You can feel the pain.
I personally wish she would refer to her Father as either "Dad" OR "Tony" and not switch between them at random, but that is my only minor criticism.
Read it. Enjoy it. And laugh out loud.
A great read that I have bought for friends and family alike. It is too good not to share.
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