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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't be able to put this down
I was initially grabbed by the infinite possibilities that the blurb suggested and Thrift did not disappoint. Its comic element is so effective due to its accuracy. The caricature of a bad attitude teacherand a narcissistic, shallow management team versus a realistically portrayed (oh yes!) gaggle of teenage schoolchildren makes for hilarious and all too possible...
Published on 14 Jun 2012 by Susan Louineau

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Read
Funny take on school teaching teenagers, made me laugh out loud in a couple of places. Stick with it as it's quite good.
Published 7 months ago by DenMorris


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't be able to put this down, 14 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Thrift (The Misadventures of an Inadequate Teacher) (Kindle Edition)
I was initially grabbed by the infinite possibilities that the blurb suggested and Thrift did not disappoint. Its comic element is so effective due to its accuracy. The caricature of a bad attitude teacherand a narcissistic, shallow management team versus a realistically portrayed (oh yes!) gaggle of teenage schoolchildren makes for hilarious and all too possible reading.

The quality of Church's writing is such that its fluidity is seamless and challenges you to even notice the words on the page. I was guided directly into the smells and mayhem of a secondary classroom. I have found myself relating anecdotes from Thrift for a good fortnight. I couldn't recommend this more to while away an enjoyable few hours.

Well done Phil Church
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Many happy laughs, 22 Aug 2012
By 
T. Vicary "Tim Vicary" (York, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Thrift (The Misadventures of an Inadequate Teacher) (Kindle Edition)
This is a very funny book; many times I found myself laughing out loud, a lot. (LOLAL?) An escaped secondary school teacher myself, I found all the characters, staff and pupils, painfully recognisable. Phil Church has a great ear for dialogue - particularly that of the pupils - and the comic talent to let their words stand alone, in all their ludicrous absurdity. Be careful not to drink tea while you're reading. Very enjoyable!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great journey, 13 Aug 2012
By 
J. A. Paffett - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Thrift (The Misadventures of an Inadequate Teacher) (Kindle Edition)
I pray/hope that Phil Church is a better teacher than the amoral hero(?) of Thrift, although I'm sure that he has encountered many of the characters, both teachers and pupils, in his life and has (hopefully) changed the names to protect the innocent.

This was a very enjoyable read and a great debut novel. I look forward to reading his next book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have read for teachers and students (everybody!), 30 May 2012
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This review is from: Thrift (The Misadventures of an Inadequate Teacher) (Kindle Edition)
Will strike a chord with all teachers and pupils (which covers just about everyone as we've all been pupils if we're not teachers!) Had me laughing out loud. Love the narrator's overwhelming resignation in the face of the impossibility of the task he's taken on. A very funny book.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A darkly funny picaresque, 2 Feb 2012
This review is from: Thrift (The Misadventures of an Inadequate Teacher) (Kindle Edition)
'Thrift' is a comedy about the British state education system, in which everybody - staff, management, the inventively irreverent student body - is embroiled in a ballad of mutual incomprehension, and rampant self-delusion. A cross between Kingsley Amis' 'Lucky' Jim Dixon and The Beano's Roger the Dodger, Phil Church's narrator is an English teacher charged with guiding his reluctant pupils in their 'learning journey', while attempting to sidestep what he'd surely shudder to hear called his own personal growth. 'Thrift', though, is not a novel about redemption. Its comic motor is failure: failure to teach, failure to learn, failure to tell the truth, failure to say no to either the anesthetic of pedagogical jargon, or to the comforts of the biscuit tin or a foaming pint of nut brown ale.

Church has written a very enjoyable first novel, funny and highly readable but with a darkness that lingers. I look forward to reading his sophomore effort!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Infuriating anti-hero keeps you reading late at night!, 19 Sep 2012
By 
Lisbeth Davies (Kingsclere, Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Thrift (The Misadventures of an Inadequate Teacher) (Kindle Edition)
I don't think I'm quite the target market for this book (female, middle-aged, no links to education) but I've still rated it 4.5 stars because it's very well written and dammit, sucks you in from page 1 with a laugh out loud moment. Despite wanting to alternatively slap/shake the main character for his lazy ways, he continues to charm/infuriate the reader in equal measure right up to the final page.

Will definitely be on the lookout for more books by Phil Church!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever and genuinely funny, 16 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Thrift (The Misadventures of an Inadequate Teacher) (Kindle Edition)
I'm so glad I bought this book as its entertainment value is way above its modest price. I've worked supporting special needs students in three inner city schools and, though the book is written from a humorous perspective, there is absolutely nothing in here that I would consider to be exaggerated. I love Phil Church's droll presentation, that ranges from very laid back ironic to full on hilarious. Couple that with excellent observations of the main characters, the failed teacher who seems to fall on his feet and his sidekick, the hapless Malcolm, and you have the ingredients of an engagingly funny novel that is impossible to put aside till the last page. I was especially impressed with the exploration, through the narrator's character, of how someone who has been belittled and put upon from birth, but upon whom impossibly high standards are placed, can simply stop trying, yet through doing so can gain the freedom to please themselves.

Altogether a pleasing, witty, genuinely funny book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five star author!, 16 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Thrift (The Misadventures of an Inadequate Teacher) (Kindle Edition)
Thrift is a witty, lighthearted and fun tale about a lazy, uncaring, inept highschool teacher who is all about drifting with minimal effort expended. Despite having more than his fair share of flaws, our character is still very likeable, and I think it's his realness and believability that makes him impossible to hate. When we begin the story, we find that our man, the worst english teacher ever to walk the earth, has all but given up on his unruly, disrespectful and mostly pretty stupid students ever being able to learn anything. Despite this man's failings, and the lazy, self serving attitude that we see on the surface, Phil Church manages to subtly hint at another man, a man who has real potential. His exterior hide a jaded but ultimately nice guy, who has a difficult relationship with his family, few real friends, and who somehow got lost along his life path. We follow him through a string of various disasters, including his reluctant dates with Angela, his very short stint as a detective, a journalist, and a best man, a school play that might just be the worst in history, and a very close shave with Ofsted! I loved the story from start to finish, it was not only subtle and funny, but very well written, something that is rare from self published first timers. Phil Church's offering needs no editing whatsoever - he's good to go. I would really love for him to bring out a sequel, as when I reached the end, I found that I really wanted more, and I feel that this character has a lot more life to draw from. I recommend everyone to go read this right now, available from Amazon for a low price, and I will definitely be buying his next book as soon as it comes out! Phil Church is a five star author for sure.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All is fuelled by a subplot of biscuits..., 9 Aug 2012
By 
Ms J. Worstall (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Thrift (The Misadventures of an Inadequate Teacher) (Kindle Edition)
Thrift

Thrift is a wonderfully laconic account of a failing comprehensive school teacher.

The long suffering hero is patronised by his family (apart from his beloved mother), manipulated by his pupils and manipulated again by the school management team (the odious Mr Stevens is brilliantly sent up). Our hero has one true friend (the hapless Malcolm), a bizarre collection of drinking companions at the local pub and a frighteningly persistent would-be girlfriend called Angela.

Phil Church delights us with his self-deprecating style of writing and his dry sense of humour. He portrays the hero's disastrous foray into the world of the private investigator, his useless direction of the school play, Hamlet, and gives an absolutely hilarious account of his brother's stag weekend.

All is fuelled by a subplot of biscuits and alcohol, and as we rattle towards the cliff hanger ending, surely the reader's main thought must be - sequel please!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An A+ for knowing who that geezer Shakespeare was., 30 May 2012
By 
HarleyGirl (West of England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Thrift (The Misadventures of an Inadequate Teacher) (Kindle Edition)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. As a school child, I would have been delighted to have a teacher like this. As the parent of a school child, I would have been appalled to have my child taught by a teacher like this! He spends most of his day doing as little work as humanly possible, taking the path of least resistance with his students, and thinking about what he would like to eat next and how soon can he go home in order to fit in a nap before going to the pub.

This is an intelligently written book, and Mr Church's ear for dialogue is impeccable. I had no difficulties in believing in his characters. His humour ranges from so subtle that you could miss it to the snort your tea all over your Kindle variety.

Loved it. I hope there are many more books to come from this guy.
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