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Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour Paperback – 11 Apr 2005
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She has not only compiled a comprehensive list of English qualities, she has examined them in depth and wondered how we came to acquire them. Her book is a delightful read. (The Sunday Times)
I loved the section on mobile-phone etiquette. Shrewd . . . I liked the chapter on English humour. This is an entertaining, clever book. Do read it and then pass it on. (Daily Telegraph)
Amusing . . . entertaining. (The Times)
Watching the English . . . will make you laugh out loud ("Oh God. I do that!") and cringe simultaneously ("Oh God. I do that as well."). This is a hilarious book which just shows us for what we are . . . beautifully-observed. It is a wonderful read for both the English and those who look at us and wonder why we do what we do. Now they'll know. (Birmingham Post)
Fascinating reading. (Oxford Times)
An absolutely brilliant examination of English culture and how foreigners take as complete mystery the things we take for granted. (Jennifer Saunders, The Times)
If you like this kind of anthropology (and I do) there is a wealth of it to enjoy in this book. Her observations are acute...fortunately she doesn't write like an anthropologist but like an English woman -with amusement, not solemnity, able to laugh at herself as well as us. (Daily Mail)
The hardback bestseller now in paperback: 'An entertaining and clever book. Do read it.' -See all Product description
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If you know the country well but aren't from here you'll find answers to nagging questions and find yourself nodding with 'so that's what's going on' moments. If you're from the UK, you'll find explanations for things that are so part of the wallpaper they didn't appear to even be odd...
Kate maintains her love/hate relationship with her fellow Albions, freely venting her frustrations with our quirks and oddities with lashing of humour and sharp insights.
Recommended for natives and foreigners alike!
The author is just such an anthropologist living among a curious tribe and reporting back to civilisation. Herself English, she explores the rich humour of exposing the bizarre irrationality of the tribe. She holds up a mirror to reflect and expose (among many other things ) queueing, pub banter, self-deprecation, moaning, fair play, work, rites of passage and so on. She also exposes anthropologists and their working methods - the toolkit of participant observation and questionnaires - to be used by both the pop anthropologist and the intrepid mud hut variety.
Curiously the man who started Mass Observation 70 years ago was a mud hut anthropologist who gave it up to study Brits in their natural environment. He had Bolton in mind but his quote is remarkably similar to the one at the top of this review.
Somehow I imagine a bloke in Papua New Guinea googling his village and guffawing with laughter as he finds a learned examination of his everyday life...
Never before have I read such an accessible comprehensive analysis of the English character which not only made complete sense but was written authoritatively and with (English) humour. Thank you! Bought this book as a gift for all friends and family!
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