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Hops and Glory Paperback – Unabridged, 4 Jun 2010
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`From Burton to Bombay, Pete Brown tells us a history of the most glorious and cruel period of Britain's history... all through beer! This book is delightfully tongue in cheek but deeply informative. It doesn't matter if you're a fan of beer, travel or history, you'll end up feeling all the more informed of and entertained by all three subjects. Engaging, side-splittingly funny at times - and all the more rewarding for it.'
'This informative romp refreshes a part of the Raj other travel books can't reach.' --Metro
'An engaging, genial and often touching tale.' --Lonely Planet.com
'Like an evening in some louche boozer packed with crackpot regulars...Brown keeps his zest and colour to the end.' --The Independent
'A lot of fun, Brown's engaging style carrying the narrative along on a wave of beery bonhomie. It's informative, too, with discursions on Britain's imperial history and the art of brewing adding some ballast.' --The Independent on Sunday
'Packed with humour and anecdote and, yes, the odd jar of golden nectar.' --Choice
'Covers everything from the definitive history of Indian Pale Ale to the chaotic recreation of its 30,000 mile sea journey.' --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
Pete Brown manages to make the history of IPA interesting, brings to life a number of historical characters, and animates his travels wonderfully. Full of humour, pathos, and life, this is a cracking read.
Now he truly exposes himself. Inept in terms of planning, logistics or professionalism. A freeloader extraordinaire. Totally undaunted by his own mediocrity and repeated gaffs. Physically past it and alcohol dependant. Painstakingly precious about his whimsical world view.
If it makes it to the screen I suggest that Pete is portrayed by a Terry Scott - Rowan Atkinson cross.
An under achiever, obsessed with beer, so similar one imagines to his readership. Sadly for me it was like picking up a mirror.
A great travel book which makes you want to visit to places you never considered before. Like Santos, or Burton...
A well researched entertaining history of that most famous of beers, India Pale Ale.
A mind numbing description of the atrocities and excesses of the "Honorable" East India Company whose antics should make any British person deeply ashamed.
A very very laugh-out-loud funny book.
A great read, buy it.
The book alternates travel chapters with chapters on the history of IPA & the East India Company but I felt the history passages were overlong and interrupted the narrative flow of the travelogue - this could have been simply resolved by making them significantly shorter, 80-100 of the 450 pages could have been edited out without much loss (the history of IPA is interesting in itself but not worth 200 pages or so).
Getting to page 400 with all the historic diversions was not too onerous in the end but I found my interest waning so it was doubly disappointing that nothing really happened at the end with the India part of the trip confined to just a few dull pages. This is a real shame as India is such a fascinating country that stories just create themselves, especially if you're travelling with a 40 pint keg. Dear Reader, I don't think it's a plot spoiler to say he drinks the beer; unfortunately there's little more that happens.
So, mostly a downbeat review due to the abrupt ending and overlong history chapters. However, good in patches especially the first half.
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