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You Are Awful (But I Like You): Travels Through Unloved Britain Paperback – 16 Feb 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape (16 Feb. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224090119
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224090117
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 255,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tim Moore's writing has appeared in the Daily Telegraph, the Observer, The Sunday Times and Esquire. He is the author of French Revolutions, Do Not Pass Go, Spanish Steps, Nul Points and I Believe In Yesterday. He lives in London.

Product Description


Hailed as the new Bill Bryson, he in fact a writer of considerably more substance. (Irish Times)

He is a rare comic talent. (The Times)

Moore is a talented and very funny writer. (Daily Telegraph)

Tim Moore's sharp and witty a pilgrimage to the most derelict, unlovable and forlorn parts of Britain. (Jonathan Sale Independent)

A hymn to things lost; a nostalgic appreciation of the days before Tesco Extra and the universal flood of modern bland. At his best, there aren't many travel writers funnier that Tim Moore. (Daniel Hahn Independent on Sunday)

Book Description

A nostalgic and very funny celebration of the slightly slapdash place we call home - Great Britain

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Zipster Zeus on 14 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I first picked this book up with a smug air of satisfaction: I was going to enjoy ripping this one apart. I had had enough of doing nice positive reviews, it was time for some good old fashioned vitriol and this tome- another road trip around the UK by some poncy metrophile southerner- would do the job perfectly.

And the first few pages appeared extremely promising in this regard; the prose came across as aloof and solidly within in the ageing, middle brow `Daily Mail' zone of humour. The sense that a precious, condescending take on the nether-regions of our battered Britain- dragged over the coals as they have been and left out to wither and die by the establishment elite for the last three decades- was in the offer only reinforced my sense of inverted glee. I was going to love tearing this one to pieces.

And then without any warning it all suddenly changed. Tim Moore started describing his purchase of an Austin Maestro and the history of the car with such affectionate pathos, coupled with a relentlessly funny narrative that literally had me in tears with laughter. And from thereonin, the book just got better, and better and better...

Now then, it has to be said that Moore's book unashamedly goes for laughs as its base point; but what's so good about his book, is that it isn't laughs at any cost and the humour isn't used as a shallow gloss to hide the experience he is really having. Nor, importantly, is his humour used to belittle the places and people he meets. It is in fact very cleverly, used to the opposite effect.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Country Publications on 17 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
Setting on impulse out for a day trip "in that faraway time before such whimsy was dashed away by parenthood", Tim Moore ends up by accident in Leysdown-on-Sea, and is amazed at "how a fog-smothered mudbank in the Thames Estuary had ever become a holiday resort in the first place", and, more importantly, how he had being living his life entirely ignorant of its existence. Memories of that visit had "matured over the years into our yardstick for seaside misery, a metaphor for any truly terrible place".

But could it have really been that bad? And what about all those other places which by reputation had become a byword for the truly awful?

So Tim set himself a challenge: the Road Trip From Hell. "If I was to visit the worst British towns, then it seemed only appropriate to stay in the worst hotels. To go to the worst restaurants and eat the worst food. Drink in the worst pubs, see the worst sights, drive the worst car while listening to the worst music."

His vehicle of choice was that design classic the Austin Maestro, a car with wheels that would randomly detach themselves, leaks everywhere (in bad weather some drivers had to resort to wearing a raincoat) and a permanent oil stain in your driveway. His in-car soundtrack was 358 of the very worst of British music, as voted for by us in innumerable polls, "The tuneless, the endless, the cloying, the Wurzels".

He assaults his digestive system with a succession of culinary challenges, including Grabits Original Chicken on a Stick, "75g of impaled poultry, reduced to clear at 90p ...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By sp hedges on 3 Sept. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Very funny, Tim's anarchic descriptive use of the English language, provides a very wry stance on the eccentricities of a bygone age in which I grew up. It left a lasting impression on me, that is missing from the Englishness of today. The, family car only coming out of the garage for strictly essential journeys, in case it would and did,frequently go wrong. The cheap holidays to crummy places,(yes I did spend a rainy week in a caravan at Leysdown-Upon-Sea), that encapsulates the hop picking, charabang post war descendents who, putting on a brave face in the holiday camp caravan, dreading the coming night's entertainment in the camp clubhouse, whilst trying to ignore the bickering, bored, parents. The days when a day trip to Hastings was thought of as a long journey, a journey that many people do as their daily work commute today. In short terms, many of these places and people still exist, in places like Burnham-On-Sea and it takes a writer like Tim Moore to dredge up a past that many still remember and are desparate to forget, whilst others, blissfully unaware of their heritage, continue to enjoy this crap experience, year after year!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Miss L. Andrews on 25 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of Bill Bryson's travel books and have read and re-read them many times.I have been looking for a new travel writer who has similar attributes to the mighty Bryson and have tried several other authors in the travel writing genre without success. Finally I beleive Tim Moore fits the bill (pardon the pun).Like Bryson he has the knack of raising a smile and laugh in his writing style which is very witty and sarcastic at times.
A funny escapade about a man who travels around unloved Britain visiting all the worst rated towns,cities and their ammenities. All visited in an Austin Maestro complete with Ozzie Osbourne as his sat-nav co-driver. In short crap car, crap towns and crap brummie accent to navigate him. He also tortures himself with all the worst rated pop hits of yester-year which he plays between towns via his mp3 player. Such circumstances would drive the average traveller insane but Moore manages to make fun of the people and places he visits. He stays in the worst rated hotels and holiday parks. He describes brilliantly the short-commings of the places and people he meets, but underneath it all his writing comes across with affection and joviality.
He is very similar to Bryson you have to check the cover to make sure he is the author at times and not Bryson. Although not quite up to Bryson's standard, in my opinion, he is very close and as his work is more recent than Bryson's travel writing I shall be reading more Tim Moore in the future.
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