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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very funny trip around the British Isles
This is a great book! If you have ever wondered where North Utsire is or what it may be like to have a North Easterly Gale force 8 blowing across Lundy, then this is the book for you. Connelly reveals each of the sea areas of the shipping forecast in turn in a very easy to read format. He is quite ready to share with us his failings but he also tells the reader about...
Published on 9 Sep 2004 by nickallan070780

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Audio Book Review - Great idea but disappointing execution
I must emphasize that this is a review of the audio CD version of this book. It may well be that the abridgment of the full book explains why this review is not as positive as those of the proper book appear to be.

With that caveat in mind... While I am not a Radio 4 buff or a fan of the shipping forecast I did think the idea of traveling around the shipping...
Published on 13 Aug 2009 by Yorkie


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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very funny trip around the British Isles, 9 Sep 2004
This is a great book! If you have ever wondered where North Utsire is or what it may be like to have a North Easterly Gale force 8 blowing across Lundy, then this is the book for you. Connelly reveals each of the sea areas of the shipping forecast in turn in a very easy to read format. He is quite ready to share with us his failings but he also tells the reader about life on the edge of the coast with a gentleness lost in some others writings. If you liked Bryson, Hawks etc then you will like this book, even if you don't know your Bailey from your Viking.
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable journey around our shores, 24 Jun 2004
By 
Ever since I was a lad, I've wanted to read the Shipping Forecast on Radio 4. Which is why I'm now an engineer. But there remains a great charm and poetry to the forecast which, since its first broadcast in 1911, has become a fixture of British radio. For me, there's the comfort of shutting up the shop, drawing in the curtains, as the announcer makes his (or her) way around this island and its territorial waters, starting in the north-east and working clockwise to Iceland. At twelve minutes to one in the morning, it's comforting; a precise definition of all of the land, and sea, that Britain encompasses. As I've grown older, the coastal reports mean more to me, as I recognise places I've been, headlands I've stood upon. As sleep rushes over me, I try to picture the island and tick the places off - Channel Light Vessel Automatic; Aberporth; Sangette Automatic; and so on.
Charlie Connelly's book is like a manifesto for Shipping Forecast Aholics Anonymous. He starts with the same love of the thing and attempts to visit all of the areas, to better make the mental pictures in later life. It's a fantastic piece of scheduling to have this as the Late Book on Radio 4 - how post-modern! A book reading about the very next programme!
Connelly's book has kinsmen in the Tony Hawks triology, Pete McCarthy's books, and others like 'Tilting at Windmills' but, for me, it is so much better than those. He explores the areas wittily, and there's a fair amount of personal experience built into his tales, but there's also a real care and passion in the histories he tells of each area. In short, it's great fun but really interesting too - highly recommended.
Two very minor quibbles. First, why no photographs? In the chapter about the Isle of Man, Connelly talks about having a photographer with him - a few plates would be excellent. Second, twice, when quoting the forecast in reported speech, Connelly writes '...And now the shipping forecast as issued by the Met Office at 0048...'. But, as all afficianados know, 0048 is when the forecast starts; never when it's been prepared - that's usually around midnight. Gr.
But overall, a really good book - it rattles along, it's good fun, and it's about something that matters. What more could you want?
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goes down a storm, 16 April 2006
By 
J. White "b00km0nster" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This was one of my surprisingly good reads of 2006. Having never heard the shipping news (well, consciously at any rate), this would never have been a first choice and I must admit to being a little dubious about receiving it as a gift.

The basic premise seems designed for retired sailors safely tucked under their lap blankets in an out of the way coastal town. The author, oddly intrigued by the shipping forecast since his youth, would spend a year travelling through each of the areas named in the forecast and give us a potted history of each. Not generally my cup of tea, particularly when some of these places have so little to offer your regular tourist that even the locals are surprised to see him.

However, Connelly's writing style clearly carries this concept. He is a brilliant observer of both people and places and kept me giggling away at even the most banal travelling mishaps. The book is packed with cringeworthy character studies, laugh out loud anecdotes and interesting local histories - all of which come together in an exceptionally good read.

While I have no inclination to visit many of the places on Connelly's travels, I am at least now better informed as to why that might be and definitely have admiration for an author who can find so much of interest in even the most banal of places. Definitely worth a read.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Notes From Many Small Islands, 20 July 2004
The idea behind "Attention All Shipping: A Journey Around the Shipping Forecast" is so ingenious you wonder why nobody has ever done it before. Whereas many globe-hopping travel writers struggle desperately to come up with increasingly outlandish odysseys, Charlie Connelly has accomplished a much more impressive feat: revealing the extraordinary diversity that exists right here in the British Isles and their near neighbours. In a book brimming with characters and anecdotes, my favourites are the Crown Prince of Sealand (a rusty World War Two military platform in the North Sea) and the Pythonesque women who cheerfully bully their customers into buying Belgian waffles in the Choxaway Café at Land's End Aerodrome.
Whether you view the shipping forecast as a dry, nautical roll call or get all misty at the mere mention of Dogger, Fisher and German Bight, you will find plenty to enjoy in "Attention All Shipping". From beginning to end, Connelly proves a funny and self-deprecating guide, the kind of guy you'd be happy to be stuck on a remote island with-provided he had recovered from his latest bout of seasickness. Five stars.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've never heard the shipping forecast...., 8 Oct 2005
....I've heard of it but never actually listened to it. Luckily that didn't stop me picking up this book, it's been an absolute joy to be guided round the shipping areas and some of the quirkier places related to it. Charlie entertains and educates and I certainly feel wiser for reading this. I'll definitely be reading it again but this time it will be with a decent map beside me (only grumble was the maps illustrations are very basic) and the shipping forecast playing in the background....
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Force 12, clear, excellent., 29 Jun 2004
Like many people I love the notion of the shipping forecast but have no idea what any of it means or even the areas it covers. (It stretches from Iceland to Spanish waters)
This book gives a fantastic lesson in all of this without lists of facts and boring essay type instruction.
The author gives a bit of background and history to the areas, a description of the actual forecast and how it's produced and a few personal seafaring stories then sets out to visit as many areas as physically possible.
Each area is written about in the style of modern travel writers such as Pete McCarthy, Bill Bryson, Tony Hawkwes etc and with the same type of humour. The author describes the people he meets and experiences he has rather than focusing on shipping stories.
The scene in Tingwall Airport had me in hysterics with everyone aghast that the author had turned up for 'check in'. The book is also very informative, (did you know there is no road tax on Fair Isle?) and so illuminating in its descriptions that I have booked a trip to Shetland next month to see it for myself.
After reading this I put on my deck shoes and nautical blazer and listened to the shipping forecast and guess what? I understood every word. Brilliant.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and Funny, 30 Nov 2008
I enjoyed reading this.Partly because I was sailing round britain at the time - so it was a great introduction to each sea area we entered. But in parts it made me laugh out aloud. It is a great idea and given that we are an Island nation it documents an interesting part of our maritime history.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Attention all Shipping by Charlie Connelly, 20 Dec 2009
By 
With a title like this I would never have bought this book but as I always listen, without always understanding, to the shipping forecast a friend bought me "Attention All Shipping."
It is a delightful book, full of humour and well written. The author is not afraid to put himself down and/or laugh at his mistakes. I have learnt a lot about the areas and I think the description of his seasickness was the best and funniest I had ever read, His visit to the Isle Man will not be forgotten for quite a while nor his writing about S.Utsire and N.Utsire.
I recommend it to any one over 15years of age as a funny, lively, informative book that Granny and Grandpa will enjoy as well. I am 75 years of age and not easily impressed but this year I have bought it as a present for my 40 and 49 year old nephews and for a young, intelligent man of 20. I am glad I was given this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read, 12 July 2010
By 
King Eric (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
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I am big fan of Charlie's books and he has not disappointed with this really interesting and funny trip around the shipping forecast. In the book he basically visits each area of the shipping forecast and provides us with funny stories with regards his trip and a bit of local history. I really enjoyed this and he has given me a few ideas for a few trips to take around the UK. We don't realise how many places of interest there are in the British isles but this book is a great reminder of our truly unique coast.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia is Alive and Well!!!, 24 Feb 2010
By 
Patmel (Hampshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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Everyone over a certain age will remember those immortal words "Attention all Shipping". I can still recall listening to the Shipping Forecast when I was a child and my mother and I wondering where these cold, wet and windy places were. Now I know. I pictured the fishermen in their yellow oilskins, steaming cups of tea in their hands, waiting for news of the weather in 'their' areas.

This book is a joy and an excellent read for the armchair traveller. I read it in a couple of sittings and will read it again. I liked Charlie's writing style and found it warm and humourous. He wrote as though he was really enjoying the journey - even the couple of times when he experienced chronic seasickness! He met some fascinating people and, although he doesn't pretend he did all the research himself, he came up with lots of interesting facts, stories and anecdotes. I was sorry when his journey came to an end.

My only criticism? I want to know even more about North and South Utsire, Fitzroy, Lundy and all the other areas.

As long as the BBC continues broadcasting the Shipping Forecast, we can be fairly certain that all is well with the world!
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