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on 12 December 2004
Many people write lousy letters. The premiss of this book is that they should stop trying, and join the lazy lot who cannot be bothered to write anything more on their Xmas cards than 'Love and best wishes, Maureen'.
Personally, I think everyone needs the encouragement to write better letters. I get fed up with receiving the 'Love and best wishes' variant of cards from people I haven't seen for years. All they seem to be implying is that someone in their family is still sufficiently alive to send the card, and yes, they would appreciate a card in return because they like to show them off. I'd rather hear news written badly, boastfully and photocopied than hear no news at all.
Hoggart has done a useful service in highlighting many of the more unintentionally amusing round-robin letters. But the message has to be that writers should raise their game -- not drop out completely.
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on 19 January 2013
As always from this guy, a good read well written and one easy to pick up and hard to put down.
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on 31 December 2014
I'll never write another Christmas letter again!
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on 24 July 2014
not quite what I expected
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on 27 December 2016
very good read
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on 1 September 2014
Fine
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on 11 October 2005
I'm just about to read this book but it gets 5 stars from me already because round-robin Christmas letters are to me and many others, irritating beyond belief. I have been receiving two Christmas round-robins for many years. One is always just pure showing off - we are given the exact footage of the new wall in the very large garden that has been built along with the precise details of the expensive and tasteful floor tiles and new boiler in the also very large farmhouse kitchen. The other letter demonstrates to us a) how wonderful her children are b) how wonderful the entire family is and c) how wonderful the writer is. I can't agree that any form of writing, even boastful, is better than none - most of us are proud of our families and their achievements - and realising that, we don't bore the pants off our friends in this way. The writers obviously get much pleasure composing their round-robins. It's a pity they don't appreciate how they might be received. A few well chosen lines with your Christmas greeting will convey all you need - if anyone wants to know more they can write back and ask.
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on 9 February 2011
Very happy to be able to buy a second copy of this book as it was a gift for a friend - cannot comment on content as I know it already but am certain the stories Simon Hoggart relates about Round Robin letters have to amuse all ( except those who insist on sending them !)
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