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on 25 March 2013
I am a big fan of Bill Bryson's travel books and have read and re-read them many times.I have been looking for a new travel writer who has similar attributes to the mighty Bryson and have tried several other authors in the travel writing genre without success. Finally I beleive Tim Moore fits the bill (pardon the pun).Like Bryson he has the knack of raising a smile and laugh in his writing style which is very witty and sarcastic at times.
A funny escapade about a man who travels around unloved Britain visiting all the worst rated towns,cities and their ammenities. All visited in an Austin Maestro complete with Ozzie Osbourne as his sat-nav co-driver. In short crap car, crap towns and crap brummie accent to navigate him. He also tortures himself with all the worst rated pop hits of yester-year which he plays between towns via his mp3 player. Such circumstances would drive the average traveller insane but Moore manages to make fun of the people and places he visits. He stays in the worst rated hotels and holiday parks. He describes brilliantly the short-commings of the places and people he meets, but underneath it all his writing comes across with affection and joviality.
He is very similar to Bryson you have to check the cover to make sure he is the author at times and not Bryson. Although not quite up to Bryson's standard, in my opinion, he is very close and as his work is more recent than Bryson's travel writing I shall be reading more Tim Moore in the future.
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on 19 October 2016
Quite possibly the funniest book I have ever read. I was surprised to find no snapped ribs by the time that I reached the end of the second chapter. This guy has got a brilliant turn of phrase. I have read a couple of his books already, and although I enjoyed one, I thought that he came over as a pretentious tosser in the other, but he has redeemed himself with this book. So buy it, but get A&E on standby for the potential cracked ribs.
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on 6 October 2017
This book made me laugh quite a bit and I'd be tempted to visit some of the places Tim visits to see if they really are that bad. It's a shame there has been redevelopment in some of these towns! I certainly wouldn't be tempted to try any of his accommodation though. I did actually visit Merthyr Tydfil a few years ago and my sister and I stayed for 15 minutes while drank a cup of coffee. I must say I'm also tempted to buy Ozzy's sat nav rendition, it should amuse me for a week or so.
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on 14 February 2015
There are few writers who can actually cause me to snort hot beverages through my nose while reading. Tim Moore is one such writer, and with a premise this good - buy a crappy car, load it up with crappy music, and drive to all the crappiest places, staying in the crappiest hotels and eating the crappiest food - he could hardly fail. In the hands of a lesser writer, this book could easily have turned into a Guardianista sneerathon, but Moore's affection for the clunkier, wonkier bits of modern Britain comes through too strongly for that, and what we end up with instead is a warm, funny and rueful look at this silly little island of ours.
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on 27 January 2017
A book that leaves you feeling a bit grubby under the nails and needing a good wash...Tim Moore travels the length and breadth of the UK, our sceptered isle to discover the worst we have to offer. Our sceptic isle..towns and cities in rapid decay and decline. Filled with great insights into how a once great industrial nation suffered terminal decline and how the consequences are being felt today.
Austin Maestros and Keith Harris and Orville the duck. Washed down with half a mild and a bag of soggy chips.
Very funny with a wistful nostalgic feeling to times when optimism was often well intentioned yet doomed to failure.
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on 25 May 2014
We've all seem them and have been there but Tim Moore delightfully and very amusingly put the worst places in Great Britain into a great read. Tim must be a masochist.The worst towns,hotels,soundtrack,food and car make for an enjoyable book.
What is it about the British that we are experts at turning our seaside towns into toilets. It's possible to understand how the large industry towns and cities go down the pan once the industry disappears but the tackiness of our seaside resorts is beyond me.
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on 8 September 2014
This book was more serious than you would expect from the title. In some ways it was rather sad. A few of the places that Tim Moore visited were ruined by the dreaded local planners but the majority had the heart taken out of them by the closure of the pit, the fishing industry or the largest employer. The people who live in these places have no work and no hope. Read this book and it will open your eyes.
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on 12 February 2013
This book reminds me of Bill Bryson: humorous travelogue, with some history and social observations woven in. At times it's very funny, at times a poignant elegy for a great British past (and a pretty grim picture of the present). It's not laugh-a-minute stuff, and I found the chapters a shade overlong, but it is well written. It's a personal journey, so, as previous reviewers have indicated, there are gags that won't be to everyone's taste. But I found it enjoyable and grim and then enjoyable again.
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on 26 March 2013
Tim follows a route that takes in all that is bad in the UK - and he does this in the worst car (a Maestro) listening to the worst music. He stays in the worst hotels and eats in the worst eating establishments. At once funny and, at the same time, a sad reflection on the death of communities whose life-blood industries have disappeared; and all this not helped by some of the most misguided and indescribably terrible planning disasters the country has ever known. Don't show this to visitors to our fair land - this is an account of the other side
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on 1 May 2013
There's something very British (or perhaps English?) in this idea. I especially liked the idea of having naff music to accompany his drive (in a naff car) around the country visiting places which he had been told were naff and staying/eating in naff establishments. There is some very funny writing, and in many cases there is a kind of affection rather than the tone being mocking.

(I was prompted by this to read his book based on the Monopoly board - also an interesting idea but with fewer laughs, I thought.)
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