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82 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Camping - the filthy truth exposed
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...
Published on 20 Mar. 2009 by Peter Sharpe

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Enjoyable Read
As someone who's family holidays also consisted of camping in the 70s I found the book brought back lots of memories. It is all very believable.

The book does have a few problems. I found the beginning very good but I thought towards the end things sort of petered out. The anecdotes started to feel rushed, there wasn't the colour of the descriptions like the...
Published 15 months ago by Christopher


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4.0 out of 5 stars I'd rather stay at home... for the rest of my life!, 19 Jan. 2014
This review is from: The Tent, the Bucket and Me (Paperback)
As someone who has only ever been camping twice - both of which were fairly unpleasant experiences and not something I'd be quick to repeat - I have a modicum of sympathy for Kennedy's family and their camping holiday experiences, including all the unfortunate situations they found themselves in.

Kennedy's book takes us through the whole of the 1970s, a decade where camping was the in thing for middleclass families (preferably in France or Spain), along with the prerequisite '70s orange canvas tent, bucket and clapped out old car packed to the hilt with everything they would need for their two week break. Unfortunately for Kennedy and her parents, disaster was never too far away. Whether it was being caught in gale force winds on a Welsh cliff top, falling down a squat toilet having only just stepped foot on French soil, or being subjected to the 'delights' of raw mussels for lunch (and the resulting gastrointestinal horror), the Kennedy's family holidays were never a dull affair.

This literally had me roaring with laughter! The kind where if you're in a public place, people get up and move away from you whilst sneaking suspicious glances from the corners of their eyes. Luckily I made the (wise) decision to read this at home, so the only person I had to explain my constant hysterical outbursts to was my husband.

It would be impossible to detail here all the things that happen to the Kennedys in their 10 years of camping, but needless to say if even half of those things had happened to me I would happily go without another holiday for the rest of time. But this family's determination to never give up was admirable, even in the face of wholly unpleasant events which would have lesser people throwing in the towel and vowing never to leave the confines of their house again.

The only reason for my giving this 4/5 is because of the amount of French in the last few chapters of the book. As someone who can't read or speak French, I had to look up the translation for these parts to make sure I wasn't missing anything of great importance in the proceedings, which slowed things down for me. However, based on this book I'll definitely be purchasing Kennedy's 'I Left My Tent in San Francisco', which promises to be just as funny and engaging.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Remember Sarlat!, 3 May 2011
By 
R. Hughes "Grumpy Old Git" (Deepest Wiltshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Tent, the Bucket and Me (Paperback)
As child in the late 60's and early 70's I remember the camping holidays with my parents with affection, even though the actual events I recall seemed to involve toilets, poo and spurting at both ends. We camped and caravanned in England and France and many of the sites mentioned in the book are familiar. For English people on their first tentative trips abroad, France was exotic. We also took two weeks of tinned food with us as foreign food would probably kill us and we were convinced that the French eat frog's legs, snails and horse meat on a daily basis. We regularly got sun burned, were sick from eating too much fruit and I had a horrendous experience at Mont Saint Michel, spurting at both ends for a couple of days after eating mussels.

Looking for clean, acceptable toilets while out for the day was always a challenge. My most embarrassing experience as an impressionable teenager was at Sarlat, where the public conveniences, which had saloon style doors and squat toilets, stained with decades of misuse and lack of cleaning, opened directly onto the streets. I was desperate and just had to go so ended up crouched over a hell hole, while I lost what seemed to be half my body weight. In my distress and misery I made a fatal mistake and pulled the flush before pulling up my underpants and shorts. Half a second later I had leapt through the door into the high street, screaming, on full show to my family and the general population, as the contents of the flushing toilet tried to chase me down the street. How my family laughed!

I also recall torrential rain, tents collapsing; people in the next field getting killed by lightening; my father breaking a tooth eating French bread; ordering meals at cafes while using a dictionary and ending up with food that was inedible to our untrained British palates. Through all this, like the girl in the book, I survived. Unlike her, this did not put me off and I have continued to camp and campervan my way round the UK and France but now with my own family.

The book is a good, easy read. Anyone who has ever been under damp canvas or camped abroad will be able the empathise with the situations it is possible get into.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and what a journey, 24 Dec. 2011
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This review is from: The Tent, the Bucket and Me (Paperback)
The Tent, The Bucket and Me is a wonderful story of innocent times past that brought me into Emma's world growing up.

I found myself remembering my own family holidays in the 1970's and early 1980's, abeit with a caravan and not a tent !!

This is one of those rare books that i could not put down, and i have since recommended it to friends who have read it and completely found themselves being described in the book as if they were Emma!!

If you need to read one book then read this one... You will laugh and cringe at every turn of a page.. A Masterpiece!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the tent,the bucket and me, 18 April 2009
By 
G. Elliott (essex) - See all my reviews
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I really enjoyed reading this book. It was great to read about the 70's, i was a child then as well. I still cant believe how much poo the author ended up in, her and her family had holidays from hell! Great laugh!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A heart-warming, sometimes strange recounting of camping life., 9 April 2009
By 
Mr. C. J. Cunningham "CJC" (Salford, UK) - See all my reviews
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What immediately hooked me about Emma Kennedy's "The Tent, the Bucket and Me" was the writing style-it's just like a conversation with a pal.

Through Emma's recollections of 1970's camping holidays, both domestic and foreign, the reader is taken on an hilarious journey (sometimes curtailed through strings of minor disasters/or illnesses and injuries).
The first holiday in Wales starts to reveal the bizarre family superstitions which other friends or families would find odd, yet any person from any background can identify with.

The peculiar dynamic of holidaying with the very people a child would spend most of their time with anyway-and the resulting arguments (parental and spousal), should find instant recognition from anyone who's been on any type of holiday in the past 100 years or so!

Further on, as the aspirational reach of Emma's parents takes the family over to France, a tantalising world of rural France in the 1970's is conjured up, yet also the reader is treated to the strange comedy of errors resulting from the language barrier/ local customs.

This book warms the heart.

Also, if you take it on holiday, and your time there turns into a nightmare, you can always read a few chapters again and count your blessings for not having as trying a time as Emma with 'the bucket'!
Or the tent.

Buy this book and read it, then thank yourself!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars really entertaining, 29 Oct. 2011
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This review is from: The Tent, the Bucket and Me (Paperback)
I loved this book.. it was proper laugh out loud funny and anyone who has been camping at any time will recognise some of the situations - although you dont have to have been a camper to enjoy it! It got a tad repetitive - but I really felt for the author in on a few occasions (eg the final holiday in France as a teenager and having her temperature taking by the Dutch nurse in front of everyone being one of those occasions).

An excellent book guaranteed to make you laugh. Would definitely recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful, charming read, 30 July 2012
This review is from: The Tent, the Bucket and Me (Paperback)
We've all been on those awful family holidays, where everything went wrong, the weather was biblical and the only source of entertainment was watching granny sleep. But spare a thought for poor Emma Kennedy, for her family camping holidays made Deliverance look tempting.

I read this book in one sitting. I just needed to know how much worse can her trips get?

I strongly recommend this wonderful book, but I very much doubt you'll ever want to go camping again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Tent, the Bucket and Me, 26 Sept. 2011
This review is from: The Tent, the Bucket and Me (Paperback)
I'm not usually into reviewing but this book is hilarious and deserves to sell zillions of copies. I bought it as a present and sneakily started to read it before giving it and had to stop reading some pages because I was crying with laughter and couldn't see the words. Not many things make me laugh this much. The recipient was equally impressed by it. A shame I've heard her other books aren't so good - but I may try them as this was SO funny.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Weeping bucketful of laughter!, 12 Jan. 2012
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Brought this book after seeing excellent reviews. Well worth the buy.

This book had me weeping with laughter as it was so funny, and gasping in horror at the cringing vomit inducing bits like the french loo incident. Was quoting bits from the book to family and friends for days afterwards.

Have now brought book for several people as gifts, and urging others to read.

Can honestly say you're in for a real treat if you read this book.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emma Kennedy talks about her new book The Tent, The Bucket and Me, 24 Mar. 2009
By 
Km Sadler - See all my reviews
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Length:: 2:58 Mins

Emma Kennedy talks about her new book The Tent, The Bucket and Me
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The Tent, the Bucket and Me
The Tent, the Bucket and Me by Emma Kennedy (Paperback - 29 April 2010)
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