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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 April 2010
Great - A hilarious review of British History with a mixture of facts, irreverent comment and laugh-out-loud humour. Superb. The humour makes the factual backdrop MORE accurate rather than less. A critique of who we are, where we came from, and what a daft lot we are to continue to let the "Upper Class Idiots" get away with it!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I bought this as a last-minute read before going off for an extended holiday in France. So glad I did - the rest of the holiday was either boring or terrifying (rather like war is supposed to be). It was read at least three times with certain parts even more. As a flash guide to British history it is very useful; it is up-to-date; conveyance of the facts is highly amusing - the only book since 'Puckoon' and 'Adolf Hitler - My Part In His Downfall' that has had me laughing out loud; it has that appealing irreverence for the 'great' and the 'good' (ie well-spun) that places them well and truly as fallible and egotistical human beings - like the rest of us; it has a necessary dark humour where the chuckles are more reflective regarding the excesses and tragedies that fallibility and ego engender; relatively cheap. Nice one, John.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 10 November 2007
This book is a great read for all those who found history deadly boring at school and resolved never to have anything to do wth it ever again. Whilst historical accuracy may not be John`s strongest suit, he uses a broad brush technique to splatter his canvas with old and new gags which raise more than the odd titter and keep us turning the pages of history for a most enjoyable romp through the British isles.
Mick Drake author of the comic novel All`s Well at Wellwithoute.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 6 January 2008
When I started reading this book my initial reaction wasn't good. I am very interested in history, I read a lot of history books. And Mr. O'Farrells writing at first struck me as "Laddish" and sort of "Blokey" humour. He introduces a lot of banal comments into the proceedings which at first, I found extremely irritating.
But as I kept reading, a strange thing happened. I stared to enjoy his style of writing immensely, and let's face it, history is mainly just a load of rubbish anyway. I'd say this book is a jolly good read, and you do actually learn quite a lot about British history as you go through it.

I look forward to Mr O'Farrell's "History of Islam", which is surely the logical successor to this book.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 4 September 2008
I thoroughly enjoyed this hysterical "romp" through two thousand years of British History; its well over 25 years since I was at school and was taught at lot of this in History lessons, but its amazing how much you forget or just didn't take in first time around.

John O'Farrell has taken his time and done his research and writes with such interest and humour that its probably the first time i've giggled out aloud whilst reading a history book! I absolutely recommend this book to anyone, its an easy read, not stuffy or pretentious and really brings alive the wonderful, rich history of our small but definitely not insignificant British Isles.....
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 21 August 2008
You can't help learning something with this book. it's well written, intelligent, funny, utterly impartial of course, and full of all the stuff you slept thru at school made interesting. just back from 2-weeks in northern France i was a fount of knowledge about William the Conqueror, Richard the Lion Heart, Normans, and English and French royalty.

And the most important thing i feel is that i have left this book with an interest awakened in the world around me rather than viewing the history of our country and it's neighbours as a subject i didn't take beyond GCSE.

Just what i was waiting for without realising it :)
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 February 2013
I love history, so to get a history book which covers everything in a funny and witty way is just excellent. Would definitely recommend this book as it really does have some great laugh out loud moments while telling you everything you need to know! Go buy it!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 May 2010
Loved this from start to finish. Had a very sketchy knowledge of British history and this was exactly what I wanted, facts delivered in an interesting and fun way. Am off now to order the follow-up descriving the last 60 years of British history and politics.
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12 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 7 November 2007
This comical history will not appeal to fans of comedy or people interested in history. If, however, you want a political commentary on English history replete with inaccuracies and aren't able to go to your local sixth form common room, buy this book.

Don't buy this book, it's dismal.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 August 2013
Very funny and very informative. A great 'loo' book that you can dip into anytime. That's the book not the loo unless you drop the book in the loo in which case it's worth saving......unless you have poo in the loo in which case buy another copy!
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