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Maps of My Life Paperback – 6 Aug 2009
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"Witty and enjoyable....Practically every sentence has its en-suite drollery... This book puts non-misery memoirs where they belong: on the map" (Jonathan Sale Independent)
"A humorist with a gift for absurdity, Browning's account will bring a smile to the face of anyone born in the Sixties" (Emma Hagestadt The Independent)
"This good-humoured memoir charts the author's progress form his birth in Chipping Norton to the Alps, Niagara Falls, the Mediterranean and Central America...full of drollery, his mental maps include his mother's version of the isle of Wight, somewhere between the Indian Ocean and the Tasman Sea, and a hilarious graphic representation of the destruction of his ego during a relationship with a north Oxford girl" (Aimee Shalan The Guardian)
"A hilarious biography-meets-confession-meets-travel memoir" (Arena)
"Touching and very, very funny" (Pyschologies)
Touching and very, very funny. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Humour is a subjective thing but I enjoyed every page of this book. The stories about the authors childhood misadventures, usually caused by his older brother, the Fatted Calf, are excellent reading. Chapters about his brothers make-over of their front garden and the school skiing trip are particularly entertaining.
Those expecting a book about maps, as the title would indicate, will be disappointed as the maps in question are there to illustrate where the events of the following chapter take place. These maps though are also amusing as they are wittily annotated and add to the overall entertainment value of the book.
Opening the book for a quick peek, I laughed aloud at the first page which was a pretty impressive start. Browning, like me, was a second child and says:
"I wasn't the first child. It's difficult to write that and somehow not feel that you've failed in something important." ...... "Second children are like second marriages: you know that in general they're worth having but you've also learned from your first how messy and unpleasant they can be."
The characters in this book are Browning's parents and siblings, and the whole book is a humorous and witty take on his childhood, the places his family lived and the trips and holidays they made. Although a different location (in fact many including the US, Italy, France and Spain as well as the UK) and a different era (Browning was born in the 1960s), his good-natured humour and obvious affection for his family reminds me of the Gerald Durrell's reflections on his early life.
Having said that he can be laugh out loud funny, and this is an antidote to all those books that "celebrate" a miserable childhood, but for me the overall sheen of smugness just takes away a bit, hence the loss of a star.
It's an ingenious format for a book and the chapters are short and to the point. It's very funny, very English and does its bit to champion the joys of cartography. Highly recommended.
I'd definitely recommend getting this if you enjoy reading about other peoples' lives, although I wouldn't agree that the sense of humour is in anyway smug, or annoying (thats just being plain rude!) Anyway, if you enjoy a good, undemanding read, this is the book for you.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not on my wavelength at all.
Pretends humour...not funny.
This is an undiscovered gem - I come across so many books with screaming rave reviews plastered all over them that turn out to be quite ordinary, and even more that are described... Read morePublished on 10 Feb. 2015 by Mrs Rice
I love 'How to hit a Jellyfish with a Spade' by the same author, its a book you can read to your children to explain your childhood experiences should you be near in age to the... Read morePublished on 8 Nov. 2014 by syrupmacramegirl
I love every word this man writes. I read and re-read his work and I hurt with laughter. The ski-ing story is my default go-to story when I need a pick-me-up. Guy.... Read morePublished on 31 Mar. 2013 by Florence Baker
I read Guy Browning's book after purchasing Mike Parker's Map Addict from a small independent bookshop in the Cotswolds. Read morePublished on 25 Sept. 2009 by Mark Hayward
this author tries too hard and yet fails to be funny. i guess humour is subjective and this wasn't for me. but beware of a good title good cover and good reviews.Published on 3 Sept. 2009 by Mrs. S. C. Lamb