Top critical review
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An OK read, but there's better!
on 9 January 2008
I couldn't wait to get stuck into this book, as I love reading books about beer and pubs, as its an industry I've grown up in and as such have a real interest in.
Marchants tale is an enjoyable read at first, and the first few pages flew by as I was drawn into his adventure. However, it would seem that Marchant has a deep dislike for the North and the working class, so much so that I felt he became extremely arrogrant and pretentious! Anyone who states that they love pubs as much as Marchant should understand that they are and always have been one the places people from all backgrounds and classes can be together and enjoy a good pint.
Marchant however seems to think that anyone who prefers lager to his headless ale is a 'Chav' and it seems to disgust him that he should drink with such people.
When Marchant writes about the South, he lovingly depicts each town and village he visits, yet as soon as he hits Burton (The Brewing Capital) he just slags it off, suggesting that everyone who lives there is a fat 'Chav'. And as for Leeds, a chapter I was really looking forward to reading about as its my personal stomping ground, he fills the pages with the his friends dialect about philosphy, only pausing to name the pub he's drinking in. It does not make enjoyable reading, very tedious and dull.
Although I agree with him that many city centre pubs are filled with these 'Chavs' (Not lager drinkers, but actual Chavs) I have never seen or experienced the kind of abuse that he seems to have suffered!! He tells a handful of tales where he is called a 'faggot' for no reason by the locals. Not only does this seem unprovoked and unlikely, but who even uses the word faggot?
If you want to read a real book about beer and pubs, look at the two excellent books by Pete Brown (Three sheets to the wind and Man walks into a pub) they are much more informative and you feel the author really does love beer and its history, rather than Marchant who likes what he likes and nothing else. Oh and he can't hold his drink either!!