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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 30 January 2008
For those of us who used to eagerly await the arrival of the Sunday papers to read his column, this collection of articles by the great Welsh storyteller is a long-awaited treat. Myth and history are given that contemporary insight that makes you feel that you can reach out and touch what is described and the contemporary is given a mythic quality that only a writer who has kept his sense of wonder can evoke. If you don't believe me read the story of the title.

Outsiders may make the best observers because they can judge critically, but insiders tell the best stories because they love their subject.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 3 December 2003
Great Book which proves that fact is stranger than fiction.

Wonderfully written, a great balance of humour and stories of
every day folk in Wales.

With the series of chapters I thought I would dip in and out of this book but I sat down and could not stop. I had to twice so cannot claim to have read it in one go but I would if I could have.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Sub-titled Travels to the Weirder Reaches of Wales, this is a gentle, somewhat other-worldly book, not short of nostalgic charm, but nonetheless a book that engages by the sheer oddity of some of its subjects. Byron Rogers writes for the Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and Saga among others and has a refreshingly quiet sense of humour ("...though a hand has written `Free Wales' on a wall, it has done so in discreet small letters in case someone might."). He is equally at home recounting shaggy-dog pub conversations as in renewing the story of the victory of Mons as told by eccentric author Arthur Machin who tells of a point in the battle when the British line is breaking and the German hordes (sic) are about to overrun, when there is a cry of `Harry and St George' "...and out of the sky great arrows come. The ghosts of the archers at Agincourt have returned... Men at the front claimed to have seen German corpses with arrows in them... hooded, cloaked figures of silent gazing men, rank beyond rank..."

Of Anglesey he has much to say about the island's rich folklore, but also adds: "...earlier this year the fish and chip shop closed, which, in Wales, means the end of the world cannot be far off."

This book of short, journalistic pieces has some rousing things to say about history, not least the more recent sort, when the `satanic paedophile' contagion hit in what is generally acknowledged to be one of the most bizarre miscarriages of justice, caught like a virus from Cleveland and Rochdale then moving to the Orkneys before alighting in Pembroke.

Thoroughly entertaining,informative, genuine and amusing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is a wonderful book to dip in and out of, I'd read about half of it doing just that. The latter half I read in a day or two at the poolside on holiday: very far from Wales and but it took me home. There's lots of things here near to home and further away, in a geographical sense, of which I knew little or nothing. For example, I knew about the German Prisoners of war escaping from the camp in Bridgend but I didn't know how comical and 'Dad's Army' it was. I discovered the story of Ira Jones an almost psychopathic First World War hero who took great pleasure in seeing burning Huns. This has started an interest to find out more. I'm going to visit his memorial plaque in St Clears and I've ordered one of his books from an Amazon seller: Tiger Squadron. Lots of great stories. If you live in Wales or like Wales read it and you will have a much better sense of place and in my case a a renewed interest and love for the place I call home. Next on the list is biography of R. S. Thomas.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 17 December 2007
Just lovely as a book to read slowly. Excellent for anyone who has a gentle sense of humour or a passion for small things.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 October 2008
Holidaying in Pembrokeshire, I wanted a book to help me understand the region and the Welsh culture better. This book is really witty, but also thought-provoking and I would thoroughly recommend it.
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on 21 January 2014
A delightful series of often howlingly funny tales of the author's home country of Wales. Historically fascinating; biographically a snapshot of a childhood that was once familiar and no longer exists; all beautifully expressed in the sort of poetic English prose that one almost never finds written in these text raddled days.
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on 22 October 2010
Very interesting book, excellent light read of the pick up and go style, just dip into it for a bit of relaxation and absorbing tales.
Ideal gift for almost anyone.
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Excellent book, well written. More enjoyable because I knew some of the characters.
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