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Very British Problems: Making Life Awkward…

Very British Problems: Making Life Awkward for Ourselves, One Rainy Day at…

by Rob Temple

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1036117,210 (3.82)8



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Another social media account that works best that way. I'm a big fan of the @soverybritish Twitter feed. I can't identify with everything but the sparse observations of everything from observations about the weather to observing social customs to surviving day to day life are often tweets that I will share and retweet. I was excited to hear that the person behind it (Rob Temple) would be coming out with a book (and now there's a TV show plus a store with gear).
Since I enjoy it so much I thought I'd buy the book to show support. It's not a bad book: if you're familiar with the tweets, you're familiar with the sentiments expressed in the book. I'm not sure if they're exactly the same (copied from Twitter) but it wouldn't surprise me if they were. Divided into chapters on various topics (weather, walking down the street, dealing with waiters, having guests over and the like) there are observations interspersed with drawings of various scenarios.
There's not much more to say to it. I loved the idea but I wasn't surprised to find that the book isn't all that more interesting. I wouldn't be surprised if people were angry to find there's not much more to the (cut and pasted?) tweets aside from the illustrations. Personally I wasn't upset since it about met my expectations but while I previously considered buying the other books currently out by the same author along the same theme I don't think I will, unless I can get them for cheap. The book is not readily available in the US (at least, I'm not sure if it has actually been published here) and I don't want to spend extra money paying for the international charges/currency exchange, etc.
I'm not sure if it's a good gift since it's really just a collection of tweets/tweet-like posts. Maybe if someone was *really* a fan. If you're really interested, I'd recommend sticking with the Twitter feed or seeing if you can get a used copy/bargain buy.  ( )
  acciolibros | Feb 11, 2018 |
Raised more than a smile or two, if I'm honest. Rob Temple seems to know me rather better than seems quite decent. Good to know one isn't the only one. Will continue at safe distance provided by Twitter. ( )
  jtck121166 | May 1, 2016 |
I always feel slightly guilty counting a book that originated as a blog, or a series of articles, or (as in this case) a Twitter feed. A little voice in the back of my mind argues that these are not "real" books, which is silly. I mean, even before the Internet there were books of essays, or short pithy sayings, or little feel-good stories . . . and yeah, I guess I felt rather dismissive about some of those, too! This one is quick and fun, if rather slight. Having read it, I think I may actually be British -- or maybe Very British Problems and Very Introvert Problems overlap quite a bit. ( )
  foggidawn | Mar 4, 2016 |
This amusing little book is a collection of tweets and other anecdotes compiled through the author's Twitter account, @soverybritish. I was relieved to discover that I do not have as many Very British Problems as I might have suspected, horrified to learn that I am not very well versed in the subtleties of some phrases that sound like praise but actually aren't, and amused to find that I am not alone in some of my weirdnesses. For example, "stoically accepting your role as doorman to an unexpectedly long queue of people" or "finding someone examining the goods you need in the supermarket, so pretending to inspect another item until they leave". So many neuroses, so much unnecessary guilt! And yet I do these things anyway. I laughed out loud, for example, at "being allowed to expense things at work, but not doing it because you don't want to be a bother." Yes! SO TRUE!

Taking short breaks between chapters is recommended -- my breaks took the form of writing the more relatable anecdotes in my commonplace book. Who else would understand, for example, "the challenge of attempting to deal with a sneeze while holding a scalding cup of tea in a surface-free area"? (We're assuming that "the floor" doesn't count as a surface, I guess.) This makes a pleasant diversion and would be an easy stocking-stuffer for the Anglophile in your life. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Nov 16, 2015 |
This is basically the book version of the hilarious Twitter account of the same name. I've been following it for a while, spent one glorious afternoon this autumn crying with laughter reading great chunks of the feed, and then sent it to my mum who did the same. So when I saw the book, I couldn't not buy it! I'd say it's for anyone who has a sneaking suspicion that they're probably one of those British people - like a spiritual cross between Hugh Grant, Bridget Jones and a bowler-hat-wearing character in a Wodehouse novel. I've got to be honest, I was quite tempted to start ticking off all the things that made me smile with recognition. It was scary.

I think my favourite section was the chapter entitled 'Very British Weather: The 10 Types of Highly Problematic Meteorological Phenomena Every Brit Must Suffer', which was very funny, and SO TRUE. Admittedly, there were one or two little snippets later on in the book that were definitely just variations on something from earlier; there were also a few silly typos, which in a book largely made up of funny one-shots of 140 characters or less seemed a bit lazy. My advice? Go check out the Twitter feed! If you like it, you'll like this book. 4 stars from this (apparently) all-British girl. ( )
1 vote elliepotten | Jan 15, 2014 |
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For Rhiain, my family and everyone suffering from Very British Problems.
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A hilarious compendium of mishaps and misunderstands that could only happen to a Brit.Humour.

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