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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 11 October 2001
I didn't quite know what to expect with this book, having been recommended it, but found myself being pulled willingly into the author's journey and experiences to a point where I simply had to finish the book. The style is refreshing and jolly, and at times really very funny. What's more, you don't need to know anything about boats to enjoy it - in fact that's probably an advantage. I am going to stock up on copies for presents.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 20 March 2001
The book is well researched and well observed. Nick's account of England and its waterways today is basically sympathetic, avoiding the cynicism, dyspepsia and exaggeration for effect that travel writers sometimes indulge in. It is humorous without being silly, and many will be able to relate to Nick's journey and his musings on the past, present and future. I enjoyed his portraits of his fellow crew members and their foibles. This book certainly stands comparison with Nicholas Crane and John Hillaby, to name two other wanderers about the UK. It is also entirely accessible to landlubbers like myself; don't pass it over because you don't like boats!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2001
Excellent writing - there are at least three threads interwoven in this book - detail account of narrowboat maintenance and navigation, historical review of parts of England that have seen better days and some very personal reflections. Not without some truly comic moments but biting at times - this is a good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 February 2014
I downloaded this onto my Kindle and found it an easy and fun read, evocative of canal holidays when I was a child - both the ups and the downs! I thought the author really allowed us to see what he was thinking as he tried to master his new boat and enjoyed learning with him. There's a good sense here of what it takes to operate a canal boat - it's not all about drifting along without a care in the world - but also the joy when it does go right. I felt I shared the journey with him.

The book also provides an insight into the country we live in - okay, it as his insight, but he is the author after all! Must say I don't quite understand the negative reviews here, which sound like the crusty moans of self-appointed experts who live to pick holes in other people's opinions, just because they don't happen to share them. By his own admission, the author doesn't set himself up to be an expert.

Ah well! My advice is buy, read, relax, enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 April 2014
A good read.well written. Interesting, informative and humorous . A must read for all canal lovers or anyone who wants a different view of the country
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on 18 January 2015
A good read, following the adventures of buying a boat and the writer's experience, with the help of friends and family, travelling aboard nearer to home. Good descriptions of a snapshot of England's canals and canalside communities, particularly if you live mid-route as I do and having travelled some of the route described. Some attempt to comment on social, economic and canal communities as seen by the author, though not with very surprising outcomes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 March 2014
Enjoyed this book very much ,knew his subject well.You could shut your eyes and picture his adventures in your mind.
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on 9 February 2015
A tale of one man and his young family finding their 'sea legs' on Britain's canal network. Along the way they overcome various challenges to become a part of the waterborne fraternity and look to a long and interesting relationship with Britain's historic waterways. A great read, I'm sure a sequel would be most welcome!
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on 18 February 2015
As I have a copy of Nicolson's guide to the north west canals, I was able to track Mr Corbles' journey as far as the Coventry Canal, which made this book interesting for me. However, I found some of the book hard going, due to, in my opinion, the author's belief in not using one word where twenty will do!!!
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on 18 May 2014
This book is quite informative but tends to become a little bereft of the entertainment factor once you have read a few chapters
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