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Attention All Shipping: A Journey Round the…
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Attention All Shipping: A Journey Round the Shipping Forecast (Radio 4… (original 2004; edition 2005)

by Charlie Connelly

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3751528,807 (3.57)24
Member:MissMac
Title:Attention All Shipping: A Journey Round the Shipping Forecast (Radio 4 Book of the Week)
Authors:Charlie Connelly
Info:Abacus (2005), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:Fact, travel, stories

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Attention All Shipping: A Journey Round the Shipping Forecast by Charlie Connelly (2004)

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It couldn't fail to be interesting but I found most of the jokes pretty excruciating. ( )
  LuxVestra | Mar 18, 2016 |
As I had borrowed this book from my good friend Mark Stockdale, i really wanted to be able to say that it was my second favourite book about the Shipping Zones (as part of a long-running private joke). Sadly I can't say that with any honesty as the only other book I have read about the shipping zones was Peter Jefferson's woeful 'And Now The Shipping Forecast' which snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by contriving to render a potentially fascinating subject simply facile.

Connelly also treats the subject with a certain degree of humour but brings far greater knowledge to his account and readily captures the reader's empathy. Having been fascinated by the mantra-like recitation of the Shipping News he found himself being persuaded to sail around all the different zones. The idea sounds absurdly simple, though his journey was to prove anything but easy, but the adversities that he encountered, and overcame, lend a gritty core to this entertaining tale.

He is not a great literary stylist but he does convey his story with lucidity and coherence, and it captured my attention right from the start. ( )
1 vote Eyejaybee | Jan 5, 2015 |
The year Attention All Shipping by Charlie Connelly came out, I got a job working as a web producer for a client based in Texas, while I was in California. The office I worked in was very small and very quiet. To bridge the gap between my scheduled assignments, I started listening to the internet stream of Radio Four.

With my location in California and the hours I worked, meant that my day began and ended with a broadcast of the Shipping Forecast. I think it was also on Radio Four that I heard a very positive book review of Connelly's memoir of a his journey around the shipping forecast map.

Connelly gave himself a year to visit one spot in every piece of the shipping forecast map that has an actual town. His book chronicles the ups and downs of that journey. Some places are tiny and remote. He struggled with bad weather, boredom and transportation issues.

It includes some points of history of the shipping forecast and how it has changed over the years. For me it was the perfect combination of history, travelogue, and social commentary. ( )
1 vote pussreboots | Jul 30, 2013 |
I read it a while ago, and while I don't recall all of the details, I do remember liking it quite a bit. ( )
  Seajack | Jul 8, 2013 |
Like Simon Winchester’s travels in Outposts this is a particularly British journey. Unless you are a “native' or spent time listening to the BBC news broadcasts the iconic subject of both the title and the purpose of the author’s trip might confuse. However, if you grew up listening to the beautifully modulated tones of the BBC news-reader intoning “Cromarty, Rockall and Viking” – as iconic to many as “Liverpool 1, Everton 2”- this book describes a trip of full of nostalgia; that most unreliable source of history.

Perhaps a quick look at the actual service would be helpful as a starter for non-Brits (http://news.bbc.co.uk/weather/coast_and_sea/shipping_forecast/) and would explain the intent and purpose of the forecast, if not the alluring mystique. The author recollects his own, near Pavlovin reaction, to hearing the signature tune as a boy, because it signified his tea-time. He later decides to visit each region named in the forecast that shared at least on boundary line with an accessible point – and he took his celebrated humour with him.

A delightful book is the result of his journey, and brings gems to our reading from the sea-regions including the actual history of the invention of shipping news to save lives by Robert Fitzroy, the ex-Captain of the Darwin voyage in HMS (Her Majesty’s Ship) the Beagle. During one of the periodic adjustments of the sea-regions,150 years later, Fitzroy was honored by naming the southernmost region as Fitzroy – it was formally Biscay – after his contribution.

Connelly’s trip is full of Irish wit and fully explains the allure and mystery of why this broadcast is of heavy significance to those who depended on it for livelihood and to those who just listened to the sonorous announcements whilst shivering under the bedclothes at home, in gratitude for not having to weather it.
2 vote John_Vaughan | Sep 16, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0349116032, Paperback)

Since its first broadcast in the 1920s, the shipping forecast on BBC radio has inspired poems, songs, and novels in addition to its intended objective of warning generations of seafarers of impending storms and gales. In Attention All Shipping, Charlie Connelly wittily explores the places behind the voice, those mysterious regions whose names seem often to bear no relation to conventional geography.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:02 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Familiar though the sea areas are by name, few people give much thought to where they are or what they contain. Charlie Connelly wittily explores the places behind the voice on the radio, those mysterious regions whose names seem often to bear no relation to conventional geography.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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