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Customer Review

373 of 384 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Patronising and disappointing, 24 Nov. 2008
This review is from: The Thrift Book: Live Well and Spend Less (Hardcover)
As a big fan of India Knight and someone who is actively trying to cut back I was delighted when I saw she had written this book. Having read it though I have to say I am quite disappointed. It's written in her usual entertaining style but the content consists mainly of patronising rubbish backed up by endless lists of websites which anyone good at Googling could have put together. It's also clearly aimed at townies/Londoners which is highly annoying for the rest of us. The suggestions for saving money seem to be split into three categories - a) things lots of people already do because they don't have much choice like taking a packed lunch to work or holidaying in the UK, b) 'trendy' ideas that people have actually been doing for years like making jam or handing down clothes and c) 'investment buying' such as the suggestion that you buy one Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress instead of 10 Primark tops which is all very well is you have £200 up front but that's not the case for most of us. She claims to advocate thrifty living but every chapter is packed with references to 'good' food (why do writers/chefs insist on referring to everything in this annoying way? - 'some good olive oil', 'some good bread' etc) and how you should buy organic/natural whether it's food or beauty products. She also contradicts herself, in one chapter suggesting we shop at Lidl because it's cheap then in the next advocating M&S (definitely not cheap) because of their environmentally friendly fishing policies. Most of the tips are common sense such as planning your shopping list and the stuff about joining the WI and knitting scarves for friends are just bandwagon jumping. This could have been a really good and useful book if she'd looked more at why we like spending money so much (10 Primark tops = 10 shopping 'hits') instead of churning out patronising junk and other people's ideas in the hope of cashing in on the current economic climate.
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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 19 Dec 2008 08:57:20 GMT
Emma Smith says:
Thank you so much for a very thorough and helpful review. It's so easy to buy just another book and be fooled into thinking that it will actually provide value for money and time!!

Posted on 21 Jan 2009 11:26:05 GMT
Having been given this book by a friend for Christmas, I totally agree with your review. Thank you for posting it....

Posted on 30 Mar 2009 13:42:33 BDT
Charlotte says:
I was superbly thrifty and read through this book for about ten minutes in the bookshop before deciding not to buy it-all of my impressions coincided with what you wrote-an excellent review, thank you. Yes the designer clothes bit was irritating to me too.What a shame the title sounded SO promising -there is room for a really good book on this topic, but I suspect its not this one.

Posted on 19 Jul 2009 21:01:22 BDT
Petra Fied says:
Ha ha. Thanks for your review. Brilliant. I did wonder what pearls of wisdom the aristocratic sounding "India Knight" might have to offer - what thrifty tales she could impart. I have decided not to buy it as I suspect it's filled with advice about not eating quails eggs so often and booking 5* hotels through friends that own them.

Posted on 14 Sep 2009 23:37:51 BDT
Charlotte says:
Having checked in a famous London store DVF dresses are all about £400, not £200 anyway.And pretty flimsy they looked too!

Posted on 29 Sep 2009 00:18:34 BDT
blimyslimy says:
good common sense reviewer!

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Nov 2009 16:53:06 GMT
Last edited by the author on 18 Nov 2009 16:54:09 GMT
Cate says:
Thank you, this is a very informative review and just confirms my suspicion that this book is not worth buying, unless you are a braying Sloane Ranger with a gas-guzzling 4x4 parked by your pied-a-terre in Chelsea!

Posted on 6 Feb 2010 15:26:55 GMT
vivsy says:
I couldn't agree more-very well put. My own personal favourite is urging you to go to Paris as often as possible!! It's only about £50 -yes, if you go by yourself and you live in London and then don't spend anything while you're there!

Posted on 23 Feb 2010 13:52:03 GMT
Pawan says:
i thought this book looked interesting from the title, so thank you for your helpful and honest review. which means i now won't even bother borrowing it from the library, let alone buy it. It is so good to have real reviews from real people which tell you what the book is *actually* about, rather than the publishers blurb.

Posted on 22 Jul 2011 18:00:44 BDT
Last edited by the author on 22 Jul 2011 18:05:28 BDT
Thank you for such a sensible and clear review. Unfortunately, being an India Knight fan, I did buy the book before reading your review and then regretted it as I got irritated at the suggestions. But I am sure you will deter prospective buyers, and a good thing too.
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