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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tell it as it is, Simon!,
This review is from: The Cat That Could Open the Fridge: A Curmudgeon's Guide to Christmas Round Robin Letters (Hardcover)Simon Hoggart hits the nail squarely on its head in this very funny assault on 'round robiners', as he calls those peculiar people who feel the need to bore the world with even the dullest news of themselves and their offspring.
Especially funny are some quite surreal extracts from the many round robins he has collected over the last few years: those where, for example, news of a close relative's death occupy less space than news of a holiday or recently acquired appliance.
I'd like to think that this book will shame all round robiners into desisting from their Pooteresque annual habit....but I doubt it.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh-Out-Loud Hilarious,
This review is from: The Cat That Could Open the Fridge: A Curmudgeon's Guide to Christmas Round Robin Letters (Hardcover)I made a complete fool of myself in a London bookshop by reading this book: I laughed so hard I almost fell over. If, like me, you're infuriated every year by the fact that people really seem to think that the results of the dog's hernia surgery and Chloe's Grade 8 contrabassoon will interest their friends, you may fall over too. If you are a round-robiner, on the other hand, this might shame you into giving up or at least being less economical with the truth. Either way, it's a very good buy.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Hate Round-Robins, Too!,
This review is from: The Cat That Could Open the Fridge: A Curmudgeon's Guide to Christmas Round Robin Letters (Hardcover)Recently, I heard a tale of someone sending one from her and her husband. He'd died since she wrote the newsletter, but she sent it anyway, mentioning his demise in a scribbled note at the bottom. These things are beyond parody, and well-done Simon Hoggart for showing them up for what they are. But having said they are beyond parody, "Noel & Ellen's Weird and Wonderful History of the Dreaded Christmas Newsletter" does a pretty good job, and is another barbed present to give to those who are not yet shamed enough!
4.0 out of 5 stars Light reading but hysterically funny,
Simon Hoggart's commentary is mildly amusing (though it has to be said, not up to his usual Parliamentary-sketch-standard) but what makes this book so wonderful are the copious extracts from real people's absurd Xmas round robins.
5.0 out of 5 stars At his best,
5.0 out of 5 stars Email has ruined the Christmas round robin,
5.0 out of 5 stars Cunning Cat,
21 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lot of fun, but based on a false premiss,
Personally, I think everyone needs the encouragement to write better letters. I get fed up with receiving the 'Love and best wishes' variant of cards from people I haven't seen for years. All they seem to be implying is that someone in their family is still sufficiently alive to send the card, and yes, they would appreciate a card in return because they like to show them off. I'd rather hear news written badly, boastfully and photocopied than hear no news at all.
Hoggart has done a useful service in highlighting many of the more unintentionally amusing round-robin letters. But the message has to be that writers should raise their game -- not drop out completely.
8 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why I give this book 5 stars when I haven't read it yet.,
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The Cat That Could Open the Fridge: A Curmudgeon's Guide to Christmas Round Robin Letters by Simon Hoggart (Hardcover - 26 Oct 2004)
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