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on 16 July 2009
I don't know if Maconie aimed to write a Brysonesque book or a celebration of Northern-ness. The title suggests he sought to correct southern prejudices. He failed in all of these aims. His vision seems skewed by his idolatry of pop music exhalting the Beatles to world-changing demi-gods. As mentioned in other reviews he ignores large areas of the North. The current social dysfunction is either glossed over or treated superficially. He does not offer a convincing arguement for the causes of social decline and simply excuses it by reference to unemployment and "poverty". This no doubt reflects his earlier career as a sociology lecturer. He seems not to see the fall in social capital and loss of self-improvement impulse which differentiates the present towns from their past.
He seems to be the "professional northerner" wrapping it as a cloak around him to validate his ageing political analysis. The humour wears very thin and stereotypical.

There is a lot to celebrate about the North both present and past but he fails to present it.
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on 9 January 2010
Purchased this for my husband for Christmasd and he couldn't put it down. Great book!!
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on 15 December 2011
The reason I bought this book was because I'd read some decent reviews on it and the author had been likened in style to Bill Bryson (I'm a big fan of Bill). I was so disappointed with this book. It read like more of an autobiography of Maconie's life where he constantly blew his own trumpet about all the famous bands/people he met during the 80's. There was little time and detail went into describing the places he visited in the North and as a Northerner myself I just didn't find this book very funny at all and in no way can it be described as a book for the 'Travelling' section. To be honest I won't be buying another of Maconie's books, that's not to say someone else wouldn't enjoy them. He's just not my cup of tea.
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on 31 December 2014
I usually give all the books I read to my local charity shop. However, this is one of the few I just threw straight in the waste bin as I wouldn't want someone else to buy it and then feel as disappointed as me.

In my opinion Stuart Maconie is most definitely NOT "The new Bill Bryson" as claimed on the cover! Bill Bryson's books are entertaining, impartial and a pleasure to read but this book is nothing of the kind. Stuart Maconie quite obviously has unpleasantly biased social and political views which he keeps pushing throughout the book. His views and repeated social slants become tedious and irritating and I just kept feeling annoyed each time I read them. I ground to a halt on Page 195 of 354 when Mr. Maconie's narrative turned to Sheffield. I just couldn't continue any further with this long-winded drivel.

This book isn't funny and I don't think it's an accurate reflection of Northerners anyway. The book is loaded with Mr. Maconie's own social and political prejudices and I think the waste bin is the best place for it.
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on 1 March 2015
Great slice of life!
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on 7 August 2014
Excellently written
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on 11 December 2016
very good condition
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VINE VOICEon 28 August 2008
This is a superb book; although it has the appearance of belonging to the recently emerged sub genre of humorous and slightly outrageous travel writing, it quickly become apparent that there's far more to it than that. Maconie takes us on a selective tour of the North of England, visiting both his old haunts and other key areas, such as Liverpool, Harrogate and other parts of Yorkshire. Along the way, there are recollections of various amusing personal incidents and a stock of good one-liners, but alongside these, there's a depth of historical, cultural, political and social information and analysis, which is both well researched and convincingly argued. Well worth reading.
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on 24 August 2015
I loved this book.
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on 11 June 2012
As a 'southron' who loves both the Dales and Lancashire coast, I looked forward to reading this book when I bought it two years ago. Unfortunately I had to have three attempts to read it and only finished it last week as I wanted to give it to the charity shop. Boring and annoying in its content and not even vaguely funny in places to compensate for the the rest. I discovered the prejudice straight away and found it disappointing that he stereotypes the natives as 'chavs' and 'shallow skinned hoodies'. Not an author I will read ever again.
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