Customer Reviews


161 Reviews
5 star:
 (126)
4 star:
 (22)
3 star:
 (8)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to make a grown man cry
First of all I must point out that I don't normally buy books as I use my local library but after watching the BBC4 programme of Mr and Mrs Spall going around via the sea of Great Britain in their Dutch barge The Princess Matilda I had to have my own copy.

Things to remember when reading this book are things you will need,a box of tissue's and a partner who...
Published on 12 Mar. 2012 by Sid Saunders

versus
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Staying afloat
Shane Spall's account of her actor husband, Timothy, and her own ill prepared journey on their barge, the Princess Matilda, after their summer on the Thames, eventually to Wales, will not only amuse her readers but keep their feet on the ground, should there be any such need. After the diagnosis of Tim's leukaemia and its subsequent treatment they decided to live life...
Published on 27 Mar. 2012 by Deep Reader


‹ Previous | 1 2 317 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Journey, 21 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I watched the TV series "Auf Wiedersehn Pet" back in the late 80s and have admired Timothy Spall's acting ever since so I watched the TV coverage of their epic boat trip with great anticipation. The book, however, is so much more with Shane remembering the terrible illness that struck Tim down. Each wonderful chapter of the book is a marvelous travelogue and a moving journal of the struggle when Timothy was so ill.
I would have loved the book for the descriptions of their adventures with the Princess Matilda and all the great places they visited alone but the thoughts about the terrible times of his illness made the book really special.
It is really well written and starts with their picking up the boat, which was built,coincidentally, in my village of Braunston, and includes their steep learning curve regarding navigation before embarking on the trip.
I would highly recommend the book to anyone who loves Britain and anyone who loves a great story. My only disappointment is that it ends in Wales when we know, from the TV series, that they have completed the full circuit but hopefully Shane will be publishing the rest of the fantastic journey and I for one will be first to buy it.
A wonderfull, well written and thoroughly absorbing book. Highly, highly recommended!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible book about an incredible couple and their incredible journey both at sea and in life..., 2 May 2012
By 
John "John75222" (Leeds, Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I watched the BBC film of Tim and Shane's adventures in their restored Dutch barge and whilst waiting for the BBC to realise they could make a bit of cash and release a DVD of the adventure, I found the book of the film so to speak. I still can't believe that it hasn't made an appearance on either BBC2 or even BBC1 as it is a gem, maybe in time?!

This is a very well written, a heart rending and laugh out loud funny (in equal measures) account of their adventures. I'm a big fan of Tim Spall and his work and that now goes for double for his wife as well. The book is allegorical in a way, with the journey they undertook aboard Matilda being a metaphor for the journey through their lives (That's the R4 book programme in me talking). Nothing appears to be left out as witnessed by Shane recounting Tim's harrowing battle with illness and the toll it took on Tim, the family and their relationship.

A wonderfully engaging tale detailing not only their voyage around the island and the places they stayed but Tim's illness as well and their family life together.

Laugh out loud funny and deeply emotional as well. Well written and worth every penny. Another book that if I could have awarded it more than 5 stars I would have.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for all tides and weathers, 15 July 2012
By 
Ms. B. Lasckey (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Just finally finished reading "The voyages of the Princess Matilda" this afternoon sat on the boat in the sunshine. Have loved every minute of reading this book and the only sad part was it coming to an end. Can't wait for Shane's next edition. I've laughed and cried with this book. All family have picked it up and have enjoyed reading it (I've never seen a book with so many book marks in it as we all took turns, a real family affair) I love the way Shane has managed to get across to the reader from print on a page the heartfelt tribulations they've both endured and come through the other side laughing and loving life and making each day count. We see and hear Tim on our screens and radios so often but I don't think we really appreciate how tying a way of life being a actor can be. So for Shane to be able to find the time to put pen to paper or finger to keyboard and be a Wife, Mother, Manager and Shipmate aka Galley Slave, hat's off to the lady. I admire her incredibly after everything she's been through and still comes out smiling which is exactly what she's done with this book, she got those smiles across to us the readers, Thanks Shane, Top marks - Top Banana.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh, so worth a read - The Voyages of the Princess Matilda, 15 July 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My wife will tell you that I have a history of taking a long time to complete my reading of a book (the record is 3 years). So it was with a sense of astonishment that she saw me complete "The Voyages of the Princess Matilda" in 4 days. Once I started reading it I got completely engrossed and couldn't wait to read of each new passage that Matilda 'sailed'.
As someone who has been treated myself for leukaemia I also found the short sections where Shane Spall included her diary extracts from Timothy's time in hospital deeply moving and captured exactly what my wife had gone through.
I cannot recommend this book strongly enough - not just for those who have been ill and wanted a light at the ends of the tunnel (which is what Matilda represented) - but for anyone who simply wants to follow people living out their own adventure and dreams. It is so well written and engrossing - a must read in my opinion.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, thank you Shane !, 4 Jun. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Voyages of the Princess Matilda (Kindle Edition)
I watched both series on TV with Shane and Tim. I really enjoyed watching their adventures so was also keen to read them. I read the Kindle version whilst on a recent holiday travelling the coast of Cornwall. Without realising it, I often found myself reading that The Princess Matilda had been moored in the places I was visiting. I almost expected to bump into Shane and Tim! I loved the book, reading the story of Shane and Tim enjoying their special times aboard their special boat. Shane also shared very personally about her time sitting at Tim's bedside whilst he was so desperately ill. I couldn't put it down until I got to the end and then was able to see some of the photos of the peopel Shane wrote about. A great read. Shane, if you are reading this, thank you for a lovely book, thank you for sharing your story, I am looking forward to the next book of Wales to returning to London. P
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting, 7 May 2012
By 
Amazon Customer "MjD" (Edinburgh, Scotland. { Kobe, Japan. Saipan. Alabama.}) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
"The Voyages of the Princess Matilda" by Shane Spall is a wonderfully enchanting book. Being a big fan of the TV series "All at Sea" which follows the great actor Timothy Spall (Secrets & Lies, Shooting the Past, etc) & his wife Shane as they tramp around the British Isles on their Dutch Barge "Princess Matilda". This book is a companion travelogue & biography to their adventures at sea. The book covers both their travels at sea, with oft hilarious anecdotes of misadventures by these amateur sailors interspersed with biographical flashbacks particularly concerning Tim's struggle to overcome Leukaemia. The book portrays the Spalls as very likeable and surprisingly mundane people, who love a good curry in each port & shop at the Co-op, not very Hollywood yet charming. The book is written with pathos, honesty & humour - I loved it. Hope there will be a 2nd instalment soon.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Read. Novice Determined Boating Spawned from Sad Events, 23 Mar. 2012
By 
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
What a hugely enjoyable, engaging, open and nicely written book this is. This book is written by Shane Spall the wife of the famous actor Timothy Spall and follows their exploits as they start to circumnavigate round the UK in a blue sea barge.

It fits in well with the BBC 4 TV series Timothy Spall: Back at Sea as it fills the gap in the TV series; their first 'leg' from London to Wales. If you've seen the series the books is in a similar style but you do feel you get a better understanding of them and their trip. The dangers perhaps seem less so, but the fun stuff is more amusing and their value of family and friends comes across even deeper.

Being new to sea 'sailing' and somewhat unprepared initially its great to see their determination to succeed and admittedly amusing to see some of there mishaps, small and the more serious.

Not being a boating person it's quite an eye opener to the dangers and perils that exist at sea. I note how the boats equipment through the book and TV seems to grow from what appears to be just an AA road atlas to some something a navy warship might be proud of.

We also find out a lot more about the situation that inspired them to take to water, first narrow boats, then the wider sea barge. The fun narrative is interspersed with short sharp italic flashbacks sections to when Timothy Spall was seriously (didn't realise quiet how bad) with Leukaemia. These are moving but at first I didn't like the way they were structured but I soon got used to it and found I did like way it was organised.

Having struggled with a few recent book that were more a chore than a joy this was a great tonic and I lapped up this travel log. I hope they have more boating adventures planned we can follow through TV or book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How not to do it - but have fun anyway!, 17 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Well I guess the Spalls would admit themselves that they didn't have a clue how to go about taking a boat round the British Isles - and they had quite a few interesting incidents on the way - but regardless they learnt a lot and they made a lot of friends including amongst professionals - and that says a great deal about what spirit and humility they have. This is a wonderful book that just does not last long enough, we have all read it in our family and now want to read the next instalment! (even though we know what happened!). Shane writes from her heart with an easy style that just makes you want to keep on reading till the end. It is a wonderful mix of the diary of a frightened woman and an adventure story. Looking forward to the next one Shane!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well I wasn't expecting that!, 16 May 2012
By 
Tox "Tox" (Leeds UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I must admit, my initial driver to get this book was a short trailer I saw on BBC and the fact that I liked watching Tim Spall acting whether in Harry Potter or in Auf Wiedersehen Pet (who can forget Barry the Brummie Radish :) ). So I was expecting the comic story of a bloke in a boat. That is not what this book is about.

I started reading a touching, poignant story, soumetimes hilarious and sometimes heart rending of a couple who turned out to be just like everyone else, touched by joy and tragedy and having to re-evaluate life in light of news we would all dread to hear. The book is infected with their love of life and the joy of their decision to live life their own way. I couldn't put it down when I started reading, it is that good.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grab a bottle of Champagne, sit down and read this book!, 1 Mar. 2012
Being a massive fan of Timothy Spall and having followed the first series of the Spalls at Sea, I felt a real connection with the love affair that the Spalls share with each other, their boat and the British Isles and I was really looking forward to reading Shane's book. I downloaded the first sample chapter on my kindle and decided I couldn't wait for the hard copy to arrive, so bought it twice and couldn't put it down!
It's a very cleverly crafted book, which in parts is an extremely harrowing tale as Shane takes you through the very personal excerpts of her diary describing the anguish of Tim's battle with Leukaemia. But it is also a jaunty account of the start of their voyage around the coast of Britain and I loved every moment and didn't want the story to end. It is a lovely tale of two people very much in love, who have decided to follow a dream. Shane paints a vivid picture of the ups and downs of their life aboard the Princess Matilda and the colourful characters they meet along the way. It makes you realise that this life we have been given is for living and loving, and we need to make the most of every moment. I don't think this book is necessarily a travel guide or a boating book, but more a journey of very personal discovery that Shane has very generously decided to share with us all. Grab a bottle of Champagne, sit down and read this book!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 317 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Voyages of the Princess Matilda
£4.35
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews