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140 Reviews
5 star:
 (56)
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An honest , amusing & entertaining insight into remote Yorkshire Dales life - highly recommended
The cover quote from Gervase Phinn describes The Inn at the Top as "massively readable" and he's right. The book's an engaging mixture - warm and funny, and full of quirky characters - but with lyrical descriptions of the landscape too, and the author's love of the Dales and its people really shines through.
Published 20 months ago by S Millward

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Should be titled: the curious case of a nameless pub in an unknown place
I like Swaledale and have some small knowledge of the area where the book is set. I have also visited the Tan Hill Inn on a couple of occasions whilst staying in the locality at youth hostels and campsites. So this book was of great interest to me. I confess i did enjoy reading this book overall. I like real ale, "traditional" pubs, the countryside and have a...
Published 10 months ago by Nick G


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An honest , amusing & entertaining insight into remote Yorkshire Dales life - highly recommended, 18 Sept. 2013
This review is from: The Inn at the Top: Tales of Life at the Highest Pub in Britain (Paperback)
The cover quote from Gervase Phinn describes The Inn at the Top as "massively readable" and he's right. The book's an engaging mixture - warm and funny, and full of quirky characters - but with lyrical descriptions of the landscape too, and the author's love of the Dales and its people really shines through.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Should be titled: the curious case of a nameless pub in an unknown place, 8 July 2014
This review is from: The Inn at the Top: Tales of Life at the Highest Pub in Britain (Paperback)
I like Swaledale and have some small knowledge of the area where the book is set. I have also visited the Tan Hill Inn on a couple of occasions whilst staying in the locality at youth hostels and campsites. So this book was of great interest to me. I confess i did enjoy reading this book overall. I like real ale, "traditional" pubs, the countryside and have a keen interest in geography, so it appealed to me in a number of ways. In parts it is very funny, with entertaining anecdotes about the locals and visitors the landlord encounters during his year of tenancy. However I did not like a particular aspect of the author's style. I can well understand the need to anonymise the characters described, as some are inevitably painted in a less than complementary light. However, why on earth would anyone want to anonymise all the names of the places he describes? When a book refers in detail to a particular area, as this one does with Upper Swaledale, it is enjoyable for the reader to relate events and descriptions to the map. In the early stages of the book, when I first encountered this tendency, I enjoyed the challenge of trying to work out where the author was referring to. It seemed like he was playing some kind of guessing game with the reader. However, after the umpteenth description of "the hamlet at the bottom of the hill", "the village 12 miles away", "the market town 20 miles away" etc etc etc this practice of the author simply grates and detracted substantially from my enjoyment of what would otherwise have been a top class read.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Hanson success!, 26 Sept. 2013
This review is from: The Inn at the Top: Tales of Life at the Highest Pub in Britain (Paperback)
The Inn at the Top is brilliant read! From the look on the sheep's face on the cover I was hooked. I've laughed out loud and choked back some tears, always the sign of a good book for me. The tale of a couple, with no experience of the pub trade taking over the highest pub in England - that would be bad enough but it happens to be 'up dale'! Neil's evocative descriptions of the scenery blend wonderfully with his tales of individual characters who enjoy their hospitality. Detail of the Dales way of life is intriguing, you can't help but want to visit, be there, read more. They had some miserable days, weeks, months that make you admire their tenacity (or insanity?), All the time I was reading I couldn't help but picture some fabulous scenes, surely this has got to made into a series? One of those Sunday night treats that you can't miss.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars delightful read, 30 Dec. 2013
This review is from: The Inn at the Top: Tales of Life at the Highest Pub in Britain (Paperback)
I read this in one sitting having had it for Christmas- a delightful, charming read, well-written, and I would strongly recommend it especially, if, like us, you know the area. I agree with another reviewer that not naming the place is odd as it is so clearly identifiable as the Tan Hill inn in Arkengarthdale- I can only assume this must be for legal reasons and to allow scope for artistic licence. Well worth a read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars been there !!, 29 Oct. 2013
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Mrs. B. J. White (east sussex england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Inn at the Top: Tales of Life at the Highest Pub in Britain (Paperback)
having been to this pub in the past found the book very interesting ,would recomend as a good read .
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Had me in stitches of laughter, 10 Feb. 2014
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This book was serialised in the Dalesman - but there is much more than the excepts printed there which had whetted my appetite. I made the mistake of reading this in bed on my Kindle. My frequent laughter annoyed my husband who had to wait until I had finished reading it before he too could read it! Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Read, 19 May 2014
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A truly great read. I the description was so good I felt I was there. I really enjoyed this book, give it a try you will find it worthwhile.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 7 Feb. 2014
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Really enjoyed reading this as I know the area where the Inn is well,. a very fascinating story of resilience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing insight into life on the moors, 1 Feb. 2014
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This is a light-hearted look at the experiences of the author and his wife as managers of one of the most remote pubs in Britain. The writing really brings the area and associated characters to life and I found myself alternating between really wishing I was there or being really thankful that I wasn't! Recommended
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 28 Jan. 2014
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Enjoyed this book, it was a real eye opener as to how bad winters can be in remote places, it was funny in parts too. Very good read.
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The Inn at the Top: Tales of Life at the Highest Pub in Britain
The Inn at the Top: Tales of Life at the Highest Pub in Britain by Neil Hanson (Paperback - 26 Sept. 2013)
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