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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy and sad in equal portions
OK which one of my friends made me download this little gem to my Kindle/iPad? Because you have just ruined my chances of getting anything done. Just sat down to read a few pages and already I am hooked. A heart-warming and funny account of a great family adventure. Sadness and humour in equal measure this just delivers -can understand the good reviews-now buzz off I...
Published on 2 May 2012 by Book Mum

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Feelings
A couple of friends recommended this to me and overall it was fun. At times it veered between the sad and funny, the fun and the poignant. I never lost interest but some of the stories and incidents fell rather short of what I had expected. Anybody with young children will relate to this book, however.
Published 2 months ago by Mr. Peter Steward


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy and sad in equal portions, 2 May 2012
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OK which one of my friends made me download this little gem to my Kindle/iPad? Because you have just ruined my chances of getting anything done. Just sat down to read a few pages and already I am hooked. A heart-warming and funny account of a great family adventure. Sadness and humour in equal measure this just delivers -can understand the good reviews-now buzz off I want to read to the very end tonight.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The UK's Bill Bryson, 2 May 2012
I normally read quite heavy books, but when I heard about this book via Twitter - where I have found other hidden gems, incidentally - I bought it. I was far from disappointed.

From the start, I literally laughed out loud, and continued to do so all the way through (and getting very strange looks from people in my vicinity if I was reading it in public). The concept of spending five months travelling around Britain in a Vauxhall Astra with two small children sounds quite mad - but lends itself perfectly to a series of hilarious events, the children providing a great deal of these of course. Whether you have children or not, you will in turn sympathise with, and laugh at, Ben and Dinah's efforts to keep the peace (and what is left of their sanity) during their travels.

However, there is a background story in the book involving Ben's father, and Ben somehow manages to retain his customary humour whilst dealing with such a dreadful time in his life.

I also enjoyed the interaction between the family members, and felt like I sort of knew them by the end of the book - and really want to know what happened afterwards!

It is a very human book in every way, there are ups and downs all the way through, but all in all I believe anyone with a sense of humour, and who can laugh at life will absolutely love this book. I highly recommend it, cannot wait to read more from Ben Hatch (a sequel, perhaps...?). And he made John Cleese laugh you know. Want a better recommendation?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB!!!, 7 May 2012
This review is from: Are We Nearly There Yet?: A Family's 8000 Mile Car Journey Around Britain (Paperback)
Anyone who had travelled in a small car with young children will sympathize with this adventure. Even the arguments between Ben & Dinah are funny (we've all been there).This book is funny, informative and, in parts, sometimes sad. Read it. You wont be dissapointed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh I've been there, 9 Nov 2011
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The joy of this book!
Places I've been to (or indeed lived in) and therefore so familiar.
A really funny travel guide that has parents everywhere nodding in agreement or cringing with familiarity!
But this is made more real by the tale of grief bought about by the sad death of the author's father and is passionate writing about the love he has within his family.
A real 5 star for me and I rarely read non-fiction.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful, honest, emotional and very funny, 22 April 2013
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Forget climbing Mount Everest, swimming the Atlantic or walking the Amazon - travelling 8000 miles in a car with two children is endurance and bravery in an altogether different league. Ben and his wife should go down in history for completing (and surviving) such an incredible journey. It's an achievement only bettered by one other, and that is Ben's wonderfully written, insightful, honest, emotional and very, very funny account of their trip. I cannot recommend this book enough.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laughed until the tears were tripping me!, 14 Aug 2012
By 
M. Bell (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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Excellent book from Ben Hatch. I loved it and was in hysterics while reading it. Really funny descriptions and I identified with loads of both Ben and his wife's foibles and phobias. Loved it, loved it, loved it!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book!!, 13 April 2012
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This review is from: Are We Nearly There Yet?: A Family's 8000 Mile Car Journey Around Britain (Paperback)
Having loved the old classic 'Notes from a small Island' by Bill Bryson, this book appealed to me because of the similarity of travelling around the UK albeit this time in a car with 2 kids and the wife in tow, and not alone on public transport.
I was pleasantly surprised; Ben Hatch has a very easy way of writing and this made me warm to him and his family in a way that in other books I have trouble doing (I find it hard to enjoy a book if I don't identify with the main character).
This is not only a story about the trials and tribulations of UK travel with small children (hotels, traffic jams, bad customer service, hospitals etc) as Hatch is very open in his descriptions of his inner feelings about the journey, his childhood, his relationship and most importantly the ill health of his beloved Father (I do admit to shedding a few tears). On the flip side some of the descriptions of Hatch's ill fated trip to hospital also had me in stitches!!
This is definitely worth a read, male/female, traveller or not and I guarantee you will enjoy it - I just hope the Hatch family feel they can cope with another long journey so I can read about it!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and moving, 25 Oct 2011
By 
VPeanuts (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Are We Nearly There Yet?: A Family's 8000 Mile Car Journey Around Britain (Paperback)
Ever fancied upping sticks and travelling around the UK with your family while researching attractions for a travel book? I bet many of you have but one man who really did is Ben Hatch.

Ben and his wife Dinah were approaching forty with little work and money drying up and so decided, after a deal with an American publishing house, to pack their two kids into their Vauxhall Astra to travel the country hunting out child-friendly attractions as well as fun for the adults. Perhaps this was a naive idea considering they were taking two year-old Charlie and three year-old Phoebe.

As a twenty-something non-parent, I wondered how I would react to 'Are We Nearly There Yet?'. Would it make me never want to procreate? I haven't had a UK holiday since I was seven and I wondered what this book would have to offer me. After reading this book, there are plenty of places I'd like to visit and it definitely reinforced to me the joys (and tribulations) of parenting.

It is important to note that 'Are We Nearly There Yet?' is not their guidebook. That said, it does mention plenty of UK attractions. That's more to give you an idea of the setting for the dramas that occur.

'Are We Nearly There Yet' catalogues a five-month trip that is heart-warming and funny. There's drama as well as comedy and I frequently found myself laughing aloud at Hatch's anecdotes. The book also chronicles Hatch's father's final few months of life - and Hatch's feelings about this. There were plenty of tears as well as laughs. This book is a lovely tribute to his father, Sir David Hatch.

Whilst reading this book, I felt inspired to do something similar which is something I would never usually consider.

Even though Hatch doesn't sugar-coat the realities of travelling with two small children, he does paint the picture of a happy family who, most of the time, adore each other. The kids are full of character and Ben and Dinah's relationship is a wonderful inspiration. She's scared of turtles, he's a hypochondriac - what could go wrong? This book is a no-holds-barred account of parenthood, marriage and travelling.

It is one of the best books I have read in ages.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Made me laugh and cry (in a good way), 4 Oct 2011
By 
J. Rees "Jo Rees" (Brighton) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Are We Nearly There Yet?: A Family's 8000 Mile Car Journey Around Britain (Paperback)
When Ben and Dinah Hatch get the gig to write a guide book about child-friendly attractions in the UK, they pack up their house, load up their Vauxhall Astra and set off on an 80,000 mile, five month journey around Britain. With their blue file bible preciously guarded with their plan, they stay at a different hotel every night and have a mind-boggling agenda of multiple tourist attractions to visit each day with their two small kids in tow. One museum a year is the norm for me, so how they survive intact is a miracle in my book.

It's a great premise for a travelogue, but in an attempt to capture this experience for the reader, this delightful book constantly surprises. Rather than being bludgeoned with information about the places Ben and his family see, the narrative is observational, witty and often laugh-out-loud funny. I hate it when people describe books as `hilarious', but there are passages in here that made me cry laughing, like the scene where Ben has to capture a bat which has flown into their cabin, or when Dinah gets freaked out when staying in a haunted castle.

Ben Hatch also manages to describe the quirky-ness of Britain perfectly. From the snooty people in the lake district, to the warmth of the Liverpudlians, the prose is faultlessly honest and manages to invoke a wonderful nostalgia for lost family holidays.

It also nails the mind-set of forty-something parenting - describing brilliantly the mundanity and hilarity of traveling with small children - as well as giving a very honest insight into Ben's own relationship with his wife and his father. The scenes he writes about his family are heart-breakingly poignant and touching.

The urge to go off and have an adventure is very common when you have small kids. I can remember sitting amongst toddler debris studying the atlas and imagining an adventure in Peru or Borneo. Are We Nearly There Yet made me want to jump in our rubbish Passat and take the kids off on a road trip much closer to home.

If you've got any mates with kids, I think this would make the perfect Christmas present.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read...., 5 Sep 2011
This review is from: Are We Nearly There Yet?: A Family's 8000 Mile Car Journey Around Britain (Paperback)
I stumbled across this book, having just read a really good book I always struggle to start another one and get into it. However "Are we nearly there yet" was brilliant from page one. I couldn't put it down, it was funny, heart warming, sad and sometimes like looking into a little bit of my own family life too. If you love travel, have small children, like laughing a lot then this is the book for you! Highly, highly recommended!
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