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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not about the Middle Classes at all - chucklesome nonetheless
This part-comic, part social-commentary, part deconstruction of market segments, 'not actual size' book is subtitled 'an illustrated field guide to the behaviour and tastes of Britain's new middle-class tribes'. Herein lies the reality: this book is not about the middle-classes at all, but, rather, about the aspirational group of people who would like to be middle-class,...
Published on 3 Dec. 2010 by Martin Turner

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Class book lacks class.
This book is quite funny, and quite interesting (though not in a Stephen Fry sort of way). You'll probably quite enjoy it. But then again it doesn't quite acheive what it set out to do.
A small 'humour' book, designed to catch the 'Oh my god, what should I buy them for Christmas?', many people will think buying this for a relative a good idea. On balance, it...
Published on 16 Jan. 2011 by Quicksilver


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The People In Between, 25 Nov. 2010
By 
Lulu (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Middle Class Handbook: An illustrated field guide to the behaviour and tastes of Britain's new middle-class tribes (Hardcover)
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SInce the original and best Sloane Ranger Handbook there have been many attempts to categorise relatively small sections of the population; this book takes on the daunting task of classifying the 80 per cent who are neither living in poverty nor the inheritors of fabulous riches. This is an inventive and occasionally very funny collection of sketches spanning a wide range of characteristics and some original takes on modern culture (like the analysis of attitudes towards Cheryl Cole), and many of us will recognise our friends; strangely, very few people I have shown this to have ever recognised themselves.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as funny as it thinks it is, 30 Nov. 2010
By 
Suze "Susie" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Middle Class Handbook: An illustrated field guide to the behaviour and tastes of Britain's new middle-class tribes (Hardcover)
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Typical 'stocking filler' book which makes you groan when you receive it because it really isn't that funny.
And just like all the other books of it's type it will be on the Charity Shop shelves before New Year's Eve.
It splits the Middle classes into 'tribes' or 'types' such as The Hornby Set who "avoid your kind of olive oil,for instance, because while it SAYS Italian, unless you buy single estate, the olives are probably imported from Spain and merely PRESSED in Italy."
Hilarious, eh?

- other Tribes are The Polite Slice, The Damn-Wrights, The Fair to Middlings, The Loft Wingers, etc etc.

Fortunately it is a short book. I think it would have been better to have printed this as a magazine article in something like 'She' or 'GQ.'
It wasn't my cup of tea.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A dry read. Neither fact nor fun., 14 Dec. 2010
By 
K Wren "K Wren" (Wye Valley (England/Wales border)) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Middle Class Handbook: An illustrated field guide to the behaviour and tastes of Britain's new middle-class tribes (Hardcover)
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With a background in sociology, demographics and marketing during the mid-80's with its Yuppies and Dinkies et al, I was expecting the book to be either an analysis of the new middle class groupings as defined by the market research analyst authors, OR light reading with humorous or satirical assessments of class groupings. From its description I wasn't sure which slant it would take and, having slogged through it, for me, it falls into neither category. Instead it is a slightly tongue-in-cheek observation of various groups within the 'middle class' - the Loft Wingers, 'Chaveaux Riche' and the 'Hornby Set' amongst others whose names I've instantly forgotten.

Swayed by its description and the 'Grazia' review quoted on its reverse cover "Hilarious... we laughed our organic brushed cotton socks off", I ordered it for some light humour, expecting it to be a sharp-witted observation of the middle class, ie a novelty book to dip into for a bit of fun. Instead, I've found myself dipping into it looking for the humour but then quickly putting it down again. It is disappointingly dry reading - and I'm not referring to a dry humour. Yes, it contains observations on the new 'sub-classes' as defined by the authors such as which stores they shop at, which recycled store bags they'll be seen with, what they'll think of Cheryl Cole... but it's distinctly lacking in the anticipated humour. It may raise a watery smile but that's about all.

I'm not really sure who the target audience is for this book: Someone looking for a light-hearted read? Not really: there's not much humour and it's too dry. A market research enthusiast or a reader with an interest in demographics or stereographics? Maybe, but there's not much depth to the book in this context. It's neither one nor the other so fails on both counts.

The idea has great potential but, for me, the book failed to reach it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not to be taken too seriously, 22 Nov. 2010
By 
AR (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Middle Class Handbook: An illustrated field guide to the behaviour and tastes of Britain's new middle-class tribes (Hardcover)
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An interesting and clever little book about the different groups that can be found in today's middle-classes, as defined by the authors. Arising from extensive market research, this book explores what it means to be part of each of the categories, for example the Alt. Middles or the Loft Wingers.

The book has lots of little sections within sections aimed at defining people based on their pizza sharing etiquette, or which celebrities they admire. There is also a flowchart style quiz at the back of the book that helps you discover which of the categories you belong to.

I found this interesting and tongue-in-cheek, but not laugh-out-loud hilarious. I consider myself middle-class, but I didn't fit comfortably into any of the categories, and I couldn't think of anyone I know who did. A lot of the references seemed to refer to people who I would consider quite posh, not normal middle-class.

But worth a look for amusement at the little extra sections, just don't take it too seriously!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Raises a smile but not a laugh, 14 Dec. 2010
By 
Miss "crazyminx" (Coventry) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Middle Class Handbook: An illustrated field guide to the behaviour and tastes of Britain's new middle-class tribes (Hardcover)
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After a bland, rambling foreword and a smug, self-satisfied introduction, this book picks up a little as it heads into numerous chapters on the different middle class 'tribes'. Each tribe is described by looking at the life of one fictional, representative couple. For example, we look at what Matt and Steph do for a living, their favourite phrases, and their ambitions.

I found this book raised a few smiles of amusement and recognition as I noticed things that my friends do and that I do. However it was never as funny as it thought it was and didn't make me laugh at all. Some of the graphs and cartoons were in fact so unfunny that it would have been cringeworthy if the authors had shown them to you personally!

The book is ok if you read a chapter or so at a time, but it's nothing to get excited about and it only just scrapes 3 stars for me. It would be a good present for people who are constantly mocking or criticising small things about their friends or co-workers!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fun stocking-filler., 9 Dec. 2010
By 
Beansmummy (Oxfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Middle Class Handbook: An illustrated field guide to the behaviour and tastes of Britain's new middle-class tribes (Hardcover)
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My husband and I have both enjoyed this novel little book, which I read cover to cover and he dipped into in a more random fashion. It describes the 'tribes' of Middle Class Folk with a stereotypical example of each, and gently pokes fun at, for example, peoples obsessions with designer labels, house prices and 'green' shopping bags.

Very entertaining to recognise people you know in the descriptions, and to argue that you yourself don't fit into any one category, but can find resonance with certain attributes of many of the characters described...

Amusing, irreverent, and squarely aimed at the middle classes, however they perceive themselves to be. Would make a fun tongue-in-cheek gift for the friend who has everything and for whom chocolates or wine is just too boring (and fraught with the possibility of social gaffes!).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Class, 8 Dec. 2010
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Funk (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Middle Class Handbook: An illustrated field guide to the behaviour and tastes of Britain's new middle-class tribes (Hardcover)
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Disturbingly accurate is how i would describe this book. It is suprisngly well researched and put together in a sort of 'mockumentary' style, arranged as if it was a highly scientific guide to observing and understanding the middle classes. Divided into sections about various different classes (e.g. the Chaveu riche or Loft livers) it has a very humerous view of each class and their own idiosyncrasies.

It's not very long (the book itself is handsized) but still a lighthearted view into the middle classes, which certainly enlightened me about a few quirks i have (and am trying to stamp out as we speak because of it). Very much a book you'll be passing to friends to have a read when you're done.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A small book with big ambitions., 25 Nov. 2010
By 
Mrs. F. Huxley (Rugby, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Middle Class Handbook: An illustrated field guide to the behaviour and tastes of Britain's new middle-class tribes (Hardcover)
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I'm glad this book as short as I found it very hard going and certainly not as funny as the blurb on the back cover.

When I read that this book had been written by market researchers and is based on fact not observations - I understood why I didn't get the supposted humour.

The book is divided into sections describing the different types of middle classes and they are almost so general people have characteristics from several of the different types.

If you want an intelligent read then this book is for you - but I like my reading about life to be light hearted as there isn't much to be happy about at the moment so I'm looking elsewhere for stocking fillers.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A one joke book, 22 Sept. 2011
By 
F. Martin (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Middle Class Handbook: An illustrated field guide to the behaviour and tastes of Britain's new middle-class tribes (Hardcover)
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A lot of time and effort has gone into creating this book but I'm still not entirely sure what the purpose of it is. Judging from the description it is intended to be funny. Usually I'm easily amused but this didn't really do more than make me smile. It's not satirical, or particularly witty. What it does is read like a field guide to the middle class, just like the title says. But I'm not about to go out and get a notebook and a pair of binoculars and set up a hide in M&S. So after a while it starts to get tedious. Short of that I'm not sure what else the book is good for, other than trying to figure out which tribe you belong to.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rather sad, 17 Dec. 2010
By 
Crazy Seahorse "Crazy Seahorse" (Cambridge) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Middle Class Handbook: An illustrated field guide to the behaviour and tastes of Britain's new middle-class tribes (Hardcover)
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I thought this book might be insightful, funny and allow me to question some of my behaviours and prejudices. Instead I didn't really recognise any of the tribes listed here, either in myself or others that I know, probably because I am not in my mid twenties to mid thirties nor have I reached retirement. Without the benefit of recognition, the jokes, which I assume are aimed at ourselves, didn't resonate and didn't work. There was no point where I felt inspired to shove the book under my wife's nose, because it described people we know or actually exposed our own failings, or made me laugh and I am someone who laughs out loud when they read funny things.

One tribe, was described was an aged tribe who had progressed into a sort of resigned cynicism with life, reminiscent of the grumpy old men. The sad thing for me was the prediction that all the tribes eventually become them. Another thing I felt sad was the suggestion that so few of the tribes had any generosity of spirit to their fellow men, being present it appeared only in the chaveau riches group - working class people who have found themselves rich.

So if you are looking for insight and humour I would give it a mix. It seems to be more style over substance, which as it emanated from a marketing agency should I guess be no surprise.
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