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I Left My Tent in San Francisco Paperback – 5 May 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 106 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (5 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091935954
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091935955
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 431,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"I love her writing" (Jon Ronson)

"You really ought to take Emma Kennedy on holiday with you. In book-form only. Never, ever, in person" (Dave Gorman)

"Supremely good fun and oozing with warmth and enthusiasm" (Heat)

Book Description

More hilarious tales of holiday disaster from the bestselling author of The Tent, The Bucket and Me

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Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like one other reviewer, I absolutely adored the author's first recollection "The Tent, the Bucket, and Me". It was the kind of book that you couldn't read in public or on the train because you would fall into hysterical, dog-barking-like laughter. When I learnt that the author had another book coming out, I pre-ordered it immediately. When it arrived I delightedly tore into it and found that it was...ok. Just ok. Charming in some parts. A few laughs here and there, but nothing like her first book. Perhaps the first book set an expectation of hilarity that was unmet in the second, and perhaps that was my downfall. It's a nice read and an interesting view of the US in the 1980's. She's a thoroughly likeable character who is the walking definition of "Sod's Law". Additionally, she's one of the few authors who can write about Americans and not come across as unkind, no matter how backwards some of the people she came across were. But the book, once finished, has not left much of an impression on me. I'm hoping her next book does the trick, for I will continue to buy her books in hopes of recreating The Great Laugh of her "Bucket" book.
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Format: Paperback
I am appalled that people are leaving one star reviews without having read the book. You don't give a book one star just because Kindle, who set the price NOT the author, have overpriced the product.

I have read the book and it's brilliant. Warm, filled with hilarious anecdotes, thrills and spills - a perfect follow up to The Tent the Bucket and Me. But most impressively, the book is a wonderful exploration of a great friendship. It made me laugh (it even made me well up in places). An essential read for anyone who understands what it's like to not know what you're going to do with your life and who has ever loved a friend. So that's everyone.
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The time is 1989. Very few people have mobile phones, the internet is in its infancy and British graduates flock to America for working holidays. I think Camp America and BUNAC's Work America style programs have gone a bit out of fashion now but I do remember them being very popular. Emma and her best friend Dee go for the Work America option, convinced they will make a fortune.

Of course, they struggle to find jobs and when they do they're not well paid. Having a contact in San Francisco, they'd decided to base themselves there however their return flight leaves from New York. Emma and Dee must somehow get across the country on a barely there budget. Not only that, but Emma seems to have inherited the holiday bad luck gene from her parents.

Not as funny as The Tent, the Bucket and Me but then I don't have any experience of back-packing to compare this to. Maybe you'll read it and identify with lots of their struggles. One thing that does ring true, the more you try and do things on the cheap, the more likely things are to go wrong... When they do go wrong, they appear ten times worse because you have no money to get yourself out of it!

Emma's books document a slice in time that we won't see again. Just like her family's camping experiences, working and travelling abroad has changed so much. I don't think anyone would be naive enough to set out without back-up funds and there is the constant communication we have in the internet to help us out.
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Format: Paperback
I spent two summers trecking around American in the late 80s and thought this book would have some resonance with me and touch a few heartstrings in relation to the amazing, life-changing experience that it was.

Instead I read a catalogue of stupid, inane and pointless anecdotes which seemed to revolve around the supposed incompetence and stupidity of an 18 year old girl who is intelligent enough to get in to Oxford University, but not to know which bus to get on, or how to look after her money.

The truth is that if "Emma" and "Dee" had tried to travel around America like this in the 80s, they would have been eaten alive, literally and metaphorically. A certain amount of care and a lot of sense was required to even make it possible in the first place. It certainly wasn't a safe place to be this stupid.

And people like "Dee", who is portrayed as an hilarious, sensible, beautiful, wise-cracking social genius do not and did not have friends like "Emma". It just doesn't ring true in any way. Dee would have just left Emma at the first busstop. In fact, Dee would never have been friends with Emma at all. If this was a friendship in reality, I can only think that the author Emma must have had some serious self-hating psychological issues which led her (and obviously still lead her) to write about a friendship as if it was some sort of public school girl-crush on the pretty one who everyone likes.

The attempt to mix fact and fiction at the odd moment is cringeworthy. "Oh there's a tampon hanging from my crotch, but 20 years later lots of people died here. Isn't that meaningful." Absolutely dreadful. The writer didn't seem to know what she we writing: someone else has said that if this had been clearly fiction, it might have worked.
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Very funny, entertaining book. Once I started this I couldn't put it down, I laughed from beginning to end. Emma Kennedy is an excellent writer who brings every word to life. How she is still sane when all this happened to her, I can't imagine.
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