I have read Gervase Phinn's previous books and have to agree that the vast majority of this book has been in previous ones. I would not recommend buying it as it gives the impression that he is scraping the bottom of the barrel for tales to tell. What a disappointment.
If you want witty observation that looks back from the everyman's point of view, then you really have to read Gervase Phinn's books. Told from an Ex-Teacher, School Inspector and public speakers memories, the general observations really do hit the mark with you so much so that you'll find yourself chuckling along on his journey.
It's definitely something unique and whilst we're not talking comedian humour here we are talking about a title that will make you laugh. There is definitely something for everyone within this title with excerpts that everyone of a certain age will identify as well as appreciate. All in a fun novel and one that the odd wedding speech may borrow from with ease.
Finally, if you get the chance to meet Gervase at a signing or a talk, take the opportunity, it's a wonderful night out, you'll laugh and a great night out will have been had. If you're worried, take a friend, they'll find it as funny as you and soon be a fan of the author. A man who can truly talk the birds from the trees.
Saw Gervase Phinn on stage in Scotland this year (2011). Superb raconteur and marvellous writer who makes his characters, particularly children, come alive on the page. Just about the only writer I know who makes me laugh out loud and inwardly weep for the occasional child who has a rough time in childhood. As a Yorkshire Lass myself I can even understand, and speak, the Yorkshire dialect he intermittently writes in. You can always tell "outsiders" because they have no concept of the glottal "t"! He uses it to great effect for those of us in the know...
His use of words generally is phenomenal and I envy his skill in the "mot just" for all occasions.
If I had a criticism it would be that many of his encounters are repeated almost verbatim in his other books but as his writings are books to be read and read again, this is just a small matter.