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We're British, Innit: An Irreverent A to Z of All Things British [Hardcover]

Iain Aitch
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Sep 2008

Forget the Government's Citizenship Test – this is the real measure of Britishness.

Written in a snappy A-Z format, Iain Aitch explores all things British in a highly amusing and evocative way. Whether it's our love of fish and chips, our high regard for James Bond, the innate Britishness of red telephone boxes or the mystery surrounding white dog poo, everything you've ever regarded as being uniquely British is contained within these pages and guaranteed to bring a smile of recognition to even the stiffest of upper lips.

Test your knowledge of Britain and what it means to be British by answering the multiple choice questions at the end of the book. What kind of peas are used to make mushy peas? What were the last words of Admiral Lord Nelson? What exactly is Readers’ Wives? Were you paying attention?

With more style than Jarvis Cocker's moves and more pomp than Elgar's masterpiece, Iain Aitch celebrates all that is truly glorious about good old Blighty. A book for the entire British population - Northerner, Southerner, and even tourist and immigrant alike - this is the perfect read for someone seeking a truly British experience.

Aitch gives us the real Britain, not one filtered through the eyes of civil servants or politicians. This is the dictionary of the Britain that you affectionately know and love. From asbos to garden gnomes, Tennent's Super to tube maps, to socks and sandals and spam and Smash potato, this is the most definitive list yet created that encapsulates the sights, sounds and even smells that make Britain what it is today.


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Collins (1 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007271328
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007271320
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 324,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

“This ‘Irreverent A-Z of All Things British’ is a humourously unflinching but affectionate look at the true state of the nation.” Nude Magazine

“Iain Aitch takes stock of the sights and sounds that truly make us who we are.” The Independent

About the Author

Iain Aitch is a London-based writer who has written for The Observer, The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, The Financial Times, The London Evening Standard, Salon, The Idler and Bizarre. He is also London editor of San Francisco’s Dwell magazine. Iain’s articles for The Guardian were chosen as the best of the year in 2005 and 2006 by readers of the newspaper. He writes about a mixture of arts, travel and eccentricity, regularly looking at slices of British life. Always brimming with ideas, he is the inventor of World Phone in Sick Day and also initiated the annual London Santacon: a gathering of Santas intent on festive mayhem. Both of these events have been the subject of documentaries by Channel 4 and BBC Radio 4 respectively.



Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We're British innit 16 July 2009
By Nippo
Format:Hardcover
A witty, well written guide to the social norms of Britain today. Invaluable for any expatriate returning home!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Witty and amusing and very British 25 Jun 2009
By Anthony Lynas VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
We're British, Innit is exactly what it says it is - a mildly irreverent look at our national foibles. In places, it's very funny indeed and there's a healthy dose of irony bubbling underneath many of the entries - with many of the most satirical barbs being held back for the way the British media would like us to think of our nation. Aitch's grounding is probably similar to, say, Caroline Aherne's - because the humour has the same feel to it - both in terms of the strata of society it is conceived from and in terms of its cynicism for all that's "Cool Britannia" - as something like the Royle Family.

Its the sort of book that would make a great present for a "grumpy old man", not that they get off lightly inside it.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cheeky little book on all things British! 14 Sep 2008
By uncle barbar TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Firstly, I must admit - I DO enjoy these types of books. They revel in all things British but do so in a tongue-in-cheek way - it's important not to get too hung up on our national heritage! We're quite an eccentric lot when you look at us - and this book brings this fact out in full.

The book is alphabetical rather than by topic which probably meant sense to the author - although I'd have preferred it by topic myself. For instance the "C" chapter covers Caravanning, Carry-On, Changing the Guard, Chavs, Cheese-rolling, Chips, Church Bells, Churchill etc - all described in an amusing way. Some entries will make you mildly titter and others will make you laugh-out-loud.

All in all an excellent little book - almost 250 pages of "irreverent" humour. I'm guessing it will be a popular book for "male significant others" at xmas!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really British 5 Mar 2013
By Tiago
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Awesome! Really British! A must for anyone who wants to remember all things British or whoever has to prepare for Britain.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Margate born but not necessarily bred 22 July 2010
Format:Paperback
As a fellow Margatetista, I really had no option but to buy the hilarious "We're British Innit" by Iain Aitch. Although Iain went to the only half-decent school for miles around he clearly didn't lose his sense of base Margate humour where life only really exists between May & September. This, his first book, really encapsulates the failure of education in modern day Britain - but highlights our brilliant humour and ability to self-mock and abuse others. The book is a veritable compendium of modern day life and explains the real meaning of chavs, Enid Blyton, gossip and bunting. A superb resource for any aspiring student or Member of Parliament.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never a truer word spoken in jest. 13 Feb 2009
By Mr. P. Tanner VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Very lighthearted. Very observant. Politically incorrect and absolutely spot on. If you want to get a snap shot of what britain and its people are really like tehn give this book a go. It celebrates and sends up every stereotype ans "mis"conception there is about these sceptered isles. Seriously - a must read for all those wanting to live here and the rest of us too.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Childish humour but harmless fun. 10 Sep 2008
By sam155 TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is an A-Z format book which makes it ideal to have by the bed and dip in or out of. It gave me a few smiles but no belly laughs and doesn't take itself too seriously. In fact, if you feel the author has missed anything out, you can email him and he will include the best five in the paperback edition, which made me pay even more attention to the book.

Its certainly contemporary, containing amusing class conscious descriptions of how the posh love Harrods, the middle class love Habitat and for the rest, there is Argos! Its interesting to read about how a simple fried breakfast varies around the country from the basic bacon and eggs to the black pudding, square sausage slice and soda farls you have in Northern Ireland and Scotland. Although being Welsh, I can't say I have ever had laver bread with my bacon! I also found it a bit too flippant in places but I realise that's the general tone of the book, after all- its not a volume of history, although there is some history in it.

Overall, its a very affectionate book and it doesn't do any harm to count your blessings and think what a lovely, odd, unique sort of country we live in. A great gift book for ex pats or overseas relatives or anyone who loves Britain.
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2.0 out of 5 stars We're British, Innit. 6 Sep 2008
By Damaskcat HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book attempts to list all things typically British and provides a quiz at the end for the reader to assess whether they fall into that category. I can see it as an ideal Christmas present for someone you haven't a clue what to buy for and it is probably best dipped into rather than read from cover to cover. I found it mildly amusing as it pokes gentle - and sometimes not so gentle - fun at the follies and foibles of the British. From Bulldogs to Stretched Limos and their occupants it covers everything you could possibly think of as peculiarly British. Best read aloud after Christmas dinner to a slightly merry audience.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars we're british
Just the right things for my Americanised daughter to show her American buddies, and to keep her feet firmly (theoretically) on this side of the atlantic!
Published on 27 July 2010 by Margaret June Hall
3.0 out of 5 stars Good as a stocking filler
It's a dip in and out of coffee table type book, good as a stocking filler. Some bits in it are funny. If you see it reduced anywhere it's worth picking up.
Published on 16 July 2009 by Tarkytarks
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit dull
Although this little book can be funny in places, I found it mostly dull. The book goes through A-Z in British culture: starting from Alcopops to Zoophilia. Read more
Published on 4 May 2009 by Jurgen Van Gael
2.0 out of 5 stars Could be better
I see a lot of positive reviews for this book and wonder if there is something I'm missing.

The shame is this book could have been brilliant, the idea of making humour... Read more
Published on 20 Mar 2009 by SC Dog
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun - if you like that sort of thing
There are plenty of this sort of book out there - especially around xmas time! Well, men are so difficult to buy for, aren't they?! Read more
Published on 19 Mar 2009 by Mrs. D. J. Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars Factual but Funny
After reading "is it just me or is everything s**t" I knew what to expect from this book. It is the same sort of contex - basically making fun out the British with stereotypical... Read more
Published on 2 Jan 2009 by Jalelo Gram
2.0 out of 5 stars Take it or leave it
It's not as funnily written as Bollocks to Alton Towers, which I think is in the same category as this book. Read more
Published on 21 Nov 2008 by C. Clark
3.0 out of 5 stars Raised a titter if not a guffaw
Other reviewers have recommended this book as a "bathroom book" - not necessarily for its toilet humour, but more because it's better to dip in and out of rather than read in one... Read more
Published on 23 Oct 2008 by littlepig littlepig
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