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The How to be British Collection Spiral-bound – 22 Apr 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • The How to be British Collection
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  • The How to be British Collection Two
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  • How to be a Brit: The Classic Bestselling Guide
Total price: £19.82
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Product details

  • Spiral-bound: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Lee Gone Publications (22 April 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0952287013
  • ISBN-13: 978-0952287018
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 1.5 x 12 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Martyn Ford, writer and illustrator, comes from Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands. Peter Legon, writer and publisher, was brought up in Liverpool and Leeds. In the 1990s they were colleagues at the same Brighton language school, where they first got the idea for Lee Gone Publications. The "How To Be British Collection" (2003) and "How To Be British Collection" Two (2005) have together sold over 190,000 copies. In 2009 they published their fourth book, "Mrs Joyce Hoover's How Do You Do".


Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Spiral-bound
This is really about both collections (1 and 2) of How to be British you'll probably find this review duplicated under the other title.
If there's one book I could give to foreigners that portrays Britain it would be these two, and as someone who's interested in, and has struggled with, the problem of "what does it mean to be British?" I think these two books come closest to an answer.
Abroad, there would be no humourous books like these. The space they occupy (more and more each year at Christmas) would be taken up with philosophy but I've begun to think that this is the best way to analyse what the British are about.
I love the pointed observation of Peter Legon's writing and the dry humour and I love the detail in Martyn Ford's illustrations. Just as with the writing I feel a real enthusiasm on his part to get all the detail he's noticed into the pictures.
These books feel British as, to me, the pictures are delightfully cluttered and embody the idea of a garden shed full of all sorts of odds and ends, as well as bringing to mind such words as 'rummaging', 'kerfuffle', 'palaver', 'pottering'.
And I think it's a great achievement to cover all of Britain AND both young and old, and not just a narrow short lived phenomenon (such as Chavs).
I would recommend that you buy both these books and take them abroad with you, along with your phrasebook.
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Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
I bought this for a friend who was moving to Canada, and when I read it before, it's absolutely fabulous! It's entirely true, all of it, and the style it's written in is funny, concise and underlines how good the British are at laughing at themselves.
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Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
This one is just Brilliant! I would love to tear it apart for postcards, but because of the way the text is printed this is not possible. There are some postcards available separately, though.
There is also Part Two, which is not as half as funny as this one.
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Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
I bought this for an Italian friend who loves everything British. The quality and layout is very good. It's a spiral bound set of cards with various aspects of British life explained jocularly on the left and illustrated by a cartoon on the right. I'm sorry to say that I could only raise a smile at three or four of the jokes and pictures. I tried to like it, but most of it is pretty weak humour and it could be so much better. I'm also not sure whether it will come across well to a non-native English speaking 'foreigner' because of the style of humour, understatement etc. Nevertheless I'll send it to him and give it a chance!
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Format: Spiral-bound
We all like this little series of vignettes, they are well obseved and fun. The book also appeals particularly to my nearly adolescent daughters who are only half British and like to notice cultural differences and comment on them. It has given us some laughs and is a fond addition to our bookcase.
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Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
being French, I found it very useful and it did explain quite a lot about the funny way the English behave.
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Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
I can't get enough of it! I always find something that I didn't notice the first time that I read it! I often use it as a reference to my friends if I want to describe the life in England! Brilliant - I also bought the second one
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Format: Spiral-bound
I bought it on Christmas of 2012, after having completed two months in the UK. I found it extremely funny and I could relate to so many things I read! I loved the fact that the authors make fun of themselves, but in the same time make you love the Britons and understand a lot of things about them. And in a way they help you not feeling too bad for not understanding them everytime! :)

I think I need to buy a dozen of these and give them to my friends as gifts! :)
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