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The Knickerbocker Glory Years: The Great British Book of How Not to Eat Paperback – 20 Oct 2008

3.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (20 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747592969
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747592969
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,629,078 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'A full-on saveloy-in-cheek homage to the worst and most embarrassing tropes of British food' The Times 'Lampen taps into a rich vein of culinary catastrophe from stir-in sauces to Coronation Chicken' Daily Mail

About the Author

Martin Lampen was born in Plymouth, Devon in 1973. Now living in London, he works as a freelance design consultant on high-profile media projects. Martin is also the creator of the incredibly successful website www.bubblegum-machine.com, which eulogises catchy-yet-long-forgotten pop music, meaning he receives thousands of e-mails per year from Belgians enquiring about Mungo Jerry B-sides.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
How many books are described as 'laugh-out-loud funny'? And how many actually are? The last book that made me laugh out loud in public was 'The Dice Man', in 1987 - and then it was only once. But then I got hold of this little gem, and I was sniggering to and from work for days. There is a passage of comic genius on almost every page. I would include some examples here, but you really have to be late 30-something/early 40-something, and have spent most of your life in the U.K., to identify with the cringe-tastic foodstuffs of the author's childhood and his hilariously cynical brand of nostalgia. If you fit the demographics, give this book a try - you won't be disappointed!
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Format: Paperback
A repackaged version of 'Sausage in A Basket', Martin Lampen presents many of the idiosyncrasies of eating in the UK. He isn't a food writer or a top chef, but that hasn't stopped him giving us his views on almost anything you can think of that is food related and consumed in the UK in the present or recent past.

There's quite a lot that Martin doesn't like - this is no celebration of British cuisine. Sometimes he makes a very valid point, as with the term 'pan-fried'. As he says, as opposed to fried using what receptacle?

There are things that he likes here too, particularly Knickerbocker Glories for boys aged 11-14, hence the title, but these are one man's very personal opinions and the nostalgia path has become a well-trodden one. Martin doesn't pull any punches though and his redeeming feature is that he can tell a story against himself very nicely. You might be a bit wary of befriending him though as many friends and acquaintances have made it in to the book as well and some of the stories about them have the air of pure unvarnished truth.

I liked the portrayal of his parents. I felt I got to know Martin's Irish dinner-lady mum and his ex-forces Dad. The story of his Dad stripping labels from almost countless tins for competitions yet never winning because he always used the same tired old chestnut of a slogan was an amusing one.

Not a classic like Toast but a bit of a curate's egg. Good in parts, making it a safe bet to dip in and out of without feeling that you must read on. On the whole, it's enjoyable.
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By Nick Brett TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
This book was first published as "Sausage in a Basket: The Great British Book of How Not to Eat" and attracted a lot of reviews. Many wanted to compare this to Nigel Slater's "Toast", but I think they have mis-understood what this book is. For the record, I loved Toast - it was a warm and affectionate tale of growing up with greed, but this is a wry, funny and sarcastic look at British food and associated activities. This is not supposed to be deep, it's supposed to be funny. And funny it often is. But it is a hard book to read straight through, but ideal for picking up and reading in chunks.

Previous reviews have been critical of the style, but the best way I would describe this is to imagine it being read by Jack Dee. A grumpy miserable look at our eating habits. For example if you find the following description of broccoli and stilton soup funny, then I suspect you will like the book. If you don't them avoid it!

"Eating broccoli and stilton soup is like licking curdled milk from a charity shop carpet"

But I enjoyed it (which probably says much about my sense of humour) and while it can be hit and miss, the hits were worth waiting for.
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