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on 8 October 2003
Like a Martin Parr photograph come to life this book takes you through the highs and the very, very lows of the average English summer. From dog shows at fetes to making crop circles and sunbathing on the sands. Great portraiture of characters and cutting humour not seen this side of the Atlantic since PJ O'Rourke last visited to film another BA advert. No other book about us Brits has ever made me laugh quite so much.
6 people found this helpful
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on 11 November 2003
Great book that had me laughing to myself as well as out loud on occassion. Very funny dissection of my fellow Englanders at play and was nice to read about how crop circles are made. Enjoyed the hands-on approach, especially in the chapter on my home town of Blackpool. Made me almost homesick and want to get back. Reminded me of Tony Hawks Round Ireland with a Fridge but all in all a little funnier.
9 people found this helpful
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on 8 September 2003
Sick of reading about Goa and Thailand adventures when all I can afford is Bournemouth, so this was a welcome delight. So very funny and revealing about the English.Boyfriend and I both snorted, giggled and guffawed our way through it.
Best travel book I have read for some time and the funniest too!
11 people found this helpful
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on 19 September 2003
funniest book I have read this year.Incisive,witty and drop dead funny all round. Made me simaltaneously want to holiday in England and run away to Greece.Worth the price if only for the odd pilgrimage with the UFO-worshippers and for finding out about pasty sailing!
4 people found this helpful
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on 20 June 2003
Iain Aitch writes in the same knowing and oh-so-metropolitan style as Time Out journalists. This is fine if sneering at a new bar or slagging of a film, but leaves him foundering when trying to describe the mores of the wider country. He shows little empathy for his subjects, often insults them, but lacks the writing ability or charisma of, say Bill Bryson or Pete McCarthy, on whom he has perhaps based himself. He fails to connect with the people he meets, with the sole exception of the girl who sucked his toe, and gives the impression of someone standing at the sidelines making snide remarks about people going about their business. As a travel book this is a distinct failure: he is good on galling train journeys, although we can all relate a few tales about a bad train journey. However, he is bad on the other aspects of travel writing. He glosses over so much, rehashes pap from tourist brochures, makes no attempt to evoke his surroundings beyong making rather obvious and hackneyed observations about incredibly easy targets such as train spotters and, shame on him: old women. If you have a fundamental dislike of people and a horror of well-constructed narrative, you will enjoy this book. Otherwise stick to Bryson et al. There is not only one kind of humour and Aitches jokes leave a rather bitter aftertaste.
8 people found this helpful
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on 3 October 2003
I think I smiled mildly about twice during this book but had to keep reading in the fervant hope that it might get better. If you like a supercillious (dictionary definition = 'having an air of contemptuous superiority')style of writing then read this book. He doesn't even write very well! He mocks and sneers his way through with never a good thing to say about anybody or anything. I only wish I hadn't wasted my money!
5 people found this helpful
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on 19 August 2003
This is so laugh out LOUD funny. Though there is no toe-sucking, so not sure what one of the below reviewers is on about - maybe she was a victim of his sharp tongue on his travels. Far funnier than the dullness of Bryson and every bit as engaging as someone like Pete McCarthy. Maybe she was someone he slagged off on the way round the country! Lots of acerbic witiness but not at the expense of engaging and informative clever prose. Hands on enough for those who like Hunter S Thompson but giggling on the bus funny like Tony Hawks or Jon Ronson. Best book about the English since H V Morton's 'In Search of England' and seeing as that was about 80 years ago this writer goes some. And he gets east anglia down to a tee!
4 people found this helpful
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