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Mustn't Grumble: In Search of England and…

Mustn't Grumble: In Search of England and the English

by Joe Bennett

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A travel guide for the un-romantic. Actually a book of essays from various spots all about the country, Bennett goes to the least loved spots of England (which brief forays into Wales and Scotland) as he follows the trail of H.V. Morton, a travel writer from the 1920's whom Bennett greatly admired. After a few months of seeking out cities, villages and monuments that Morton loved but have been neglected for years, or turned into quaint tourist attractions, Bennett has had enough of Morton by the end of the book. What Bennett discovers is that England has changed drastically in the 80 years since Morton traveled it. Rather than recommending places to visit, Bennett gives the reader plenty of reasons not to visit a particular place, or not to visit England at all. In turns funny and depressing, but well written throughout. ( )
  mstrust | Mar 22, 2009 |
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I am English, but I have spent most of my adult life abroad.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 141652603X, Paperback)

Fifteen years ago, Joe Bennett left England for a holiday, but now it's time to come back. But how is the England of his memory different from the England of the motorway? Identikit High Streets, imported cheeriness, and chicken tikka poker machine pubs—things aren't what they used to be. The longer Joe travels, the more he wonders whether things were ever what they used to be in England. Even a century ago, H. V. Morton, the nation's most celebrated eulogiser, was In Search of England. Crisscrossing the country by varying means of transport and with varying degrees of enthusiasm, Joe Bennett delivers a dazzlingly funny and poignant portrait of his homeland—part love letter, part eulogy and part diatribe, it is a wonderful memoir that establishes Bennett as one of the most engaging travel writers.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:54 -0400)

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After fifteen years of being a professional Englishman on the other side of the world, Joe Bennett thought he would return to refresh his memory. Things aren't what they used to be. Crisscrossing the country by varying means of transport and with varying degrees of enthusiasm, the longer Bennett travels, the more he wonders whether things were ever what they used to be in England. Mustn't Grumble is a funny and poignant portrait of Bennett's homeland and establishes him as a thoroughly engaging travel writer.… (more)

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