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on 18 August 2015
The book was extremely repetetive, with details of countless garage trips for repairs to the motor home. As the book went on I have to say that I started to dislike the author, he appeared to come across as not a very nice character - especially when he "joked" about wanting to beat his wife Marie "very very very badly". Very poor taste and in the context it was written it just didn't come across as humorous. I did feel sorry for Marie by the end as he was extremely sarcastic about her and made constant digs about her breaking things in the van and other things. He does say at a couple of points how they became closer during their visit, but it is not balanced out by the constant criticism. As a sarcastic person myself I found his to be beyond the pale. I am glad that other reviewers pointed out his bad attitude towards some other people too. He definitely seemed to have an issue with anyone overweight, referring to British tourists in Spain (I think) as "wobbling" along the road, then talking about two "obese" octogenarian street sweepers in Czech Republic. We are not treated to any kind of physical description of any of his "good friends" that he makes along the way (the female half of "Team NZ" if there is a female half, remained a total mystery), so it seemed to stand out. There was also a clear dislike of children that I actually found quite shocking as it went along and he made worse and worse comments about them - none of which children appear to have actually done anything wrong. The last quarter of the book in particular there must be mention of drinking beer on just about every page, it's like he turns into some kind of functioning alcoholic, it's mentioned so much, along with the inevitable hangovers. (Not saying that he did!) Also, he mentions more than once, drinking cans (plural) of beer when in the shower, which I did find very odd. I know some real ale fans and beer lovers but this was... a lot. The spelling isn't bad but the sentence structure/punctuation is so bad that it interrupts your flow of reading at least every fifteen minutes. A sentence will make no sense and you have to read it once or twice more for it to actually make sense. In the spots where he has tried to correct this, he just puts semi colons in the middle of the sentence. Lastly, I wish he would have just worn boxers to bed as I was sick to death of reading (probably ten times at least) of his bare backside being stuck to the van window when he woke up in the mornings.

There is some nice stuff in the book and it was interesting for example to read how Latvians and Estonians were nice but Lithuanians weren't. All the castles, churches and pretty town squares started to blend into one though as there just wasn't enough enough detail.
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on 28 December 2012
This would have received a very well deserved 5* rating but for the dreadful punctuation, spelling and grammar. If you can ignore that, and I recommend you do, you will find a hilarious, interesting tale (NB author - not TAIL) about a couple in an unreliable camper van travelling Europe. I hope they go further afield and write more but please please get a good friend to read the draft first - or send it to me and I will edit it for you :)
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on 4 January 2013
Badly written, badly spelt, laboured humour, waste of 99p. The title was the best part, gives self-publishing a bad name.
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on 7 January 2013
I have just written a review of this book, stupidly deleted it by mistake, then thought to myself 'I wonder what other readers said'. Am I glad I did, my review would almost have mirrored that of Avidreader. My favourite misuse or, should I say, non use of punctuation, was 'a large dog rushed by with a woman on a lead'. However, don't think I didn't' enjoy the adventure. I can't wait for the next instalment!
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on 10 January 2013
I was really looking forward to this. Have only ever managed a week in France in a campervan and wanted to enjoy vicarious adventures wider afield. I was able to finish reading it but it was a struggle. The humour seemed to come from the "You have don't have to be crazy to work here ..." school and was not for me. Almost every sentence seemed to be trying to be humourous. Not that I don't mind a bit of humour but it can be overdone.

And the writing was terrible. An editor would have helped, even getting someone totally unqualified in this area like me proofreading the book would have made a huge difference.

Marie Potter and the Campervan of Doom read like a blog or a collection of emails sent home, copied to make a book without enough thought or editing. Something almost any adult could have written, not something written by a skilled author.

Most other people seem to have given it a much higher rating, even if some also pointed out the huge number of mistakes so maybe I'm annoyed more by mistakes than most. Ending on a positive note, the underlying story was interesting and I would have to say the telling was lively.
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on 15 January 2017
This book should come with a health warning, or perhaps, better still, be sold as an alternative to gym membership for those blokes that want the all elusive six-pack. I've now got stomach muscles like stair rods through laughing so much. The other side-product of this is that, when one is reading in Costa (and laughing aloud) a large space magically appears around the table as parents scoop up small children and adults move chairs around to avoid being anywhere near the giggling idiot in the corner with tears streaming down his face . . . .

Its a thoroughly enjoyable read, as well as being informative. In a previous life, we've done the 'small tent, large tent, caravan' route and our next step is a 'MoHo', as a consequence we are both reading as much as we can, with a choice of material ranging from websites through to magazines and books. All have helped, but very few have caught the imagination in the way that 'Marry' Potter and the Campervan of Doom has. It's one of those books that you don't actually want to end because you are totally immersed in the author's experiences. More of the same please Brian, as and when!
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on 10 December 2012
I enjoyed this book immensely ....probably because we did the same thing, by buying an old motorhome and setting off full of excitement. There are so many pifalls, and we fell in to them as well.
It's a great way to travel though'
I liked the style of writing and laughed out loud at some descriptive phrases used.

If there is any constructive feedback required, it would be that proof reading prior to printing would have helped me to make sense of some of the passages. Easy reading was halted several times before sense could be made of the script.
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on 21 December 2012
Just don't let my husband read this, or we'll never get to France, - or probably anywhere else for that matter!! Got told off for laughing out loud several times, and interrupting HIS Kindle reading; I just couldn't help it, parts of it were so funny. We have a motorhome, and can really relate to what is written. Ours hasn't quite reached the heights of the Campervan of Doom, although at times you wonder if it should be called an AutoTRIAL, rather than an AutoTRAIl!

It's difficult to write an account of travelling without it being a boring catalogue of been here, done that, but Brian Burke has totally succeeded, and created a riveting account of their travels, as well as giving lots of really useful information - I had no idea of the hazards of the drop down bed as regards one's rear portion!!

I was heartbroken when the end came, as I was hoping for much, much more, and I hope one day they might do it again??? In the meantime, make sure you recommend this to all your motorhoming and travelling friends, so they can enjoy it too!!

Please write MORE, Brian!!
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on 14 January 2013
Briefly; I grew to love this book and my admiration for the two intrepid explorers increased along with my incredulity at the audacity of their undertaking.
Without meaning to spoil the plot I can say that, as the book progressed, I was further and further surprised at just how far and wide their travels took them, this was a first forray into european touring.
Brian and Marie manage to give the reader a feeling of the places they visit and the drink drunk instead of the mere list of locations which other campervan books seem to degenerate into.
To all the timid, twitching CC members out there fretting about continental travel; driving on the wrong side of the road, not staying on a proper campsite, being gassed and robbed in their sleep... Just go and do it!
At the time of reading this also acted as a kind of self-help book since we were involved in a particularly expensive repair to our campervan. The philosophcal approach taken by the Burkes towards the various mechanical misshaps they suffered really put into perspective the feeling of utter doom which overwhelms me at the slightest sign of vehicle failure.
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on 1 May 2015
An interesting Yorkshire / Irish perspective of traveling Europe in an elderly Hymer. A tale of Do's and Dont's for perspective automotive wanderers who need this country by country guide. If you have read the glossy and the great views of European motorhome touring, then this seat of the pants guide will round out your perspective and understanding of what's ahead of you.
Enjoyable and gripping, the literary style and personal detailed thread holds you tight as you follow these full-on characters in their ramblings around this place called Europe.
Final impressions are that 'Yes' this is something that should be under taken by those who have a driving passion to see what's around the next bend and over the next hill. A friend once said that 'it's the bends in the road that make it interesting'. This book confirms his thoughts.
Lasting impressions are Px7. PPPPPPP.
Now where did I put that map...
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