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on 6 November 2010
Too aften books like this try too hard, and end up being a bit sneery. Lucklily this book has a down to earth charm, whilst systematically breaking down an entire cross section of people you are likely to meet on any given day - and its hilarious. That said, i actually think the reality is that there are little bits of us in all the tribes, and its slightly simplistic to suggest you can only be one of them. But really, that doesnt matter in the end - as the little insights it kept revealing had me chuckling all weekend.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 20 November 2010
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I ordered this because of my ever-deepening sense of confusion as to whom the publishers of the Guardian imagine their readership to be. As far as I can tell, it's somebody who spends their Summer holidays volunteering to refurbish flood-damaged yurts in Outer Mongolia, but takes along an $8000 set of designer luggage on the trip.

This book, written and published by a market research company simultaneously as a Xmas stocking filler and a sort of advert for their services, wittily deconstructs the ever-splintering middle classes in much the same way - actually, in exactly the same way - as Peter York did in his 1980s books about social tribes. But amongst the banter and jokey pie-charts, there's some real insights here - "Jamie Oliver's Army' the sort of moderately ambitious young couple in a starter home in a new-build housing estate who think listening to the Kaiser Chiefs makes 'em a bit Bohemian and buy those fake vintage rock band T-shirts from Next. I know loads of them. So to sum up, it's a toilet book that actually has something interesting to say. Recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 23 December 2010
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Incredibly pithy and amusing book, in an ideal size for the smallest room!
Easy to drop into and out of... so too speak.... its insights are funny and very acute with great humour and sarcastic wit combined with an almost sociapathic disection of the things we... or most of us at least... hold dear and these days seem to aspire too.
Recomended and a great small present for a loved one or indeed for the loo!
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VINE VOICEon 25 November 2010
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
SInce the original and best Sloane Ranger Handbook there have been many attempts to categorise relatively small sections of the population; this book takes on the daunting task of classifying the 80 per cent who are neither living in poverty nor the inheritors of fabulous riches. This is an inventive and occasionally very funny collection of sketches spanning a wide range of characteristics and some original takes on modern culture (like the analysis of attitudes towards Cheryl Cole), and many of us will recognise our friends; strangely, very few people I have shown this to have ever recognised themselves.
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on 2 October 2015
For me being Canadian this is an awkward book to take on board as Canadians are the 2nd most socially mobile group in the world. 2nd only to the Swedes and I would dispute that but there we are eh? So for me this book is humourus, to say the least.
Being married to an Englishwoman is great as she tries to explain things to me as I come from a cultural wasteland. I suppose the great debate is which level of middle class do I / we belong to. Apparently I started as a working class bod due to my parents occupations.
I think I've elevated myself by having a politically correct haircut and wearing a tie with a shirt with a collar and woollen coat and trousers,(no synthetics allowed - Upper Canada College rule book 1955). Leather shoes with clicky heals and definitely cuffs (turn ups) on my trousers.
So you can see how useful this book is to one's moving up the social scale. We shall not enter into my financial viability nor mention my mode of transportation for fear of being seen as a poser. This book covers all the ground and breaks down much of the difficulties you Brits find yourselves in.
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VINE VOICEon 22 November 2010
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
An interesting and clever little book about the different groups that can be found in today's middle-classes, as defined by the authors. Arising from extensive market research, this book explores what it means to be part of each of the categories, for example the Alt. Middles or the Loft Wingers.

The book has lots of little sections within sections aimed at defining people based on their pizza sharing etiquette, or which celebrities they admire. There is also a flowchart style quiz at the back of the book that helps you discover which of the categories you belong to.

I found this interesting and tongue-in-cheek, but not laugh-out-loud hilarious. I consider myself middle-class, but I didn't fit comfortably into any of the categories, and I couldn't think of anyone I know who did. A lot of the references seemed to refer to people who I would consider quite posh, not normal middle-class.

But worth a look for amusement at the little extra sections, just don't take it too seriously!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 9 December 2010
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My husband and I have both enjoyed this novel little book, which I read cover to cover and he dipped into in a more random fashion. It describes the 'tribes' of Middle Class Folk with a stereotypical example of each, and gently pokes fun at, for example, peoples obsessions with designer labels, house prices and 'green' shopping bags.

Very entertaining to recognise people you know in the descriptions, and to argue that you yourself don't fit into any one category, but can find resonance with certain attributes of many of the characters described...

Amusing, irreverent, and squarely aimed at the middle classes, however they perceive themselves to be. Would make a fun tongue-in-cheek gift for the friend who has everything and for whom chocolates or wine is just too boring (and fraught with the possibility of social gaffes!).
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VINE VOICEon 10 December 2010
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I hate giving low review numbers, but, for me, this book was a complete waste of time and energy.

It appears to be some sort of in-joke, that I really didn't get.

It says they are seeking to "consider aspects of modern life in Britain with intelligence and humour"...but the whole book is just one great big put-down to certain 'types' of people:"The Loft Wingers, The Alt.middles, The Jack Pack"..

It obviously was born over too many beers after work in the pub...
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VINE VOICEon 8 December 2010
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Disturbingly accurate is how i would describe this book. It is suprisngly well researched and put together in a sort of 'mockumentary' style, arranged as if it was a highly scientific guide to observing and understanding the middle classes. Divided into sections about various different classes (e.g. the Chaveu riche or Loft livers) it has a very humerous view of each class and their own idiosyncrasies.

It's not very long (the book itself is handsized) but still a lighthearted view into the middle classes, which certainly enlightened me about a few quirks i have (and am trying to stamp out as we speak because of it). Very much a book you'll be passing to friends to have a read when you're done.
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VINE VOICEon 25 November 2010
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'm glad this book as short as I found it very hard going and certainly not as funny as the blurb on the back cover.

When I read that this book had been written by market researchers and is based on fact not observations - I understood why I didn't get the supposted humour.

The book is divided into sections describing the different types of middle classes and they are almost so general people have characteristics from several of the different types.

If you want an intelligent read then this book is for you - but I like my reading about life to be light hearted as there isn't much to be happy about at the moment so I'm looking elsewhere for stocking fillers.
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