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on 18 November 2012
This is a fantastic book. Taking it's cue from an essay George Orwell wrote about an imaginary perfect pub called The Moon Under Water, the authors go in search of Orwell's vision, encountering endless colourful characters and unexpected facts on the way. Moody and Turner's writing is beautiful; stylish, witty, affectionate and insightful, but also sharp-eyed and probing when the situation demands.

And the situation does demand their probing, because as much as this is a celebration of perhaps Britain's best-loved institution (the French president, asked what single aspect of Anglo life he would import to France, replied 'the British pub'), it has a serious purpose, too, because it turn out that the pub is under threat from a combination of the Treasury and big business, with an average of 25 going bust each week. So 'The Search for the Perfect Pub' is joyful travelogue, social history - what better way to tell the story of the Britons - and political detective story combined, in the company two highly convivial hosts. I couldn't put it down: my partner felt that she'd read it too by the time I finished, as I spent to much time reading passages out to her, or delighting in surprising facts.
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on 29 July 2013
As a beer drinker this book gives you the high's and the low's of the industry.I like reading about the Weatherspoons boss and of course the old lady who knew George Orwell.
Governments are evil when comes to the pub trade as are Punch Taverns and the other two pub chains mentioned.
The book was very informative as well as being amusing long live are good pubs.
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on 10 April 2014
Cracking read, anyone who loves proper beer , and decent but not essentially stereo typed pubs. Well worth adding to your bookshelf
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on 1 August 2013
It's not a road trip. It's a long winded student essay on how it was a lot better in the old days, and some googled facts about big brewing companies. I can only imagine how the long winter evenings must fly by......
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on 10 January 2014
Being a traditional pub man and one time barman, I really enjoy this book.. It casts a light on why pubs are fast disappearing due to the activities of greedy property companies who are only interested in getting hold of the sites for development.
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on 5 November 2013
An enjoyable read if not a little depressing in places. Easy reading and one you can dip in and out off with ease. Took a while to read as I was always in the pub trying to support my local!!
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on 14 January 2013
read by son-in-law; he thoroughly enjoyed the research and details given.
Interesting read. Gives details of brewery ownership and best beers.
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on 15 May 2014
Not really a search for the perfect pub as the author doesnt really stray outside of a few big cities, and stays mainly in London. Whilst I cant comment on London there are many great pubs outside of the M25 as those of us who live there will testify.
This book should have been about the great pubs that are to be found in this country, be that historical interest, location, atmosphere, whatever, instead its just a long winded way of criticsing the smoking ban, pubcos, the govenernment, and having a go at anyone who doesnt like real ale (or craft beer brewed by artisans as we are now increasingly obliged to call it in order to move it away from its beardy socks and sandal image). The author doesnt seem to recognise that a mass produced beer drinker, or heaven forbid a lager drinker, can appreciate what makes a pub great.

This could and should have been a great book but what is written is very limited.
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on 31 May 2012
I thought that was a pretty well-written, even-handed, wide-ranging and informative consideration of the issues affecting (and afflicting) the great British pub today. It didn't seem to be much of a search as such, more a series of more or less related discussions about the isssues with some impressive interviews and some thoughtful writing.
The only thing I didn't quite enjoy was that, as is often the case, the authors are journalists (in this case music journalists as far as I can see) who can't resist filling space with their own anecdotes and music stories which are of very little interest or relevance.
And they never really seem to come to any conclusion as to what the perfect pub is although maybe that is because there can be no such thing. Anyway, if there was, you wouldn't tell everyone would you?
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on 21 December 2011
I bought this book after reading a piece in the Guardian documenting five celebrities favourite watering holes, not realising that the authors had also penned one of my most thumbed guide books of the last few years - the Rough Pub Guide. Although not without humour, The Search For The Perfect Pub is far less knockabout than it's predecessor. Using George Orwell's 1946 piece the Moon Under Water (published as a preface) as guidance, Moody and Turner set off on an attempt to work out what was previously one of our greatest institutions actually means to the Britain of the 21st century. As a perfect storm (the smoking ban, heavy taxation, recession, insane supermarket prices) whips through pub world, the writers journey from their local to Parliament via island outposts and inner city institutions. Along the way they talk to everyone from Wetherspoon's boss Tim Martin, beer writer supreme Pete Brown, Manic Street Preacher's James Dean Bradfield and London archivist Iain Sinclair. It's a throughly intoxicating trip that eventually leads them to the pubs that Orwell used as liquid inspiration for the original piece. The only criticism is the lack of a printed route map to help start the reader on their own quest to find pub perfection.
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