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Very British Problems: Making Life Awkward…
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Very British Problems: Making Life Awkward for Ourselves, One Rainy Day at… (edition 2013)

by Rob Temple (Author)

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14914134,817 (3.67)8
There's an epidemic sweeping the nation Symptoms include: *Acute embarrassment at the mere notion of 'making a fuss' *Extreme awkwardness when faced with any social greeting beyond a brisk handshake *An unhealthy preoccupation with meteorology Doctors have also reported several cases of unnecessary apologising, an obsessive interest in correct queuing etiquette and dramatic sighing in the presence of loud teenagers on public transport. If you have experienced any of these symptoms, you may be suffering from VERY BRITISH PROBLEMS. VERY BRITISH PROBLEMS are highly contagious. There is no known cure. Rob Temple's hilarious new book reveals all the ways in which we are a nation of socially awkward but well-meaning oddballs, struggling to make it through every day without apologising to an inanimate object. Take comfort in misfortunes of others. You are not alone.… (more)
Member:imlee
Title:Very British Problems: Making Life Awkward for Ourselves, One Rainy Day at a Time
Authors:Rob Temple (Author)
Info:Sphere (2013), 288 pages
Collections:Your library, Physical
Rating:***
Tags:non-fiction, lee-read, im-unread

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Very British Problems: Making Life Awkward for Ourselves, One Rainy Day at a Time by Rob Temple

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» See also 8 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
I grabbed the kindle edition, so these notes are particular to that release:

* Formatting: bleh. Not a single consistent font though the book. Pages that have two lines of text. At least the formatting made for a quick read (I see goodreads lists the book as having 200 pages? More like 50. I read the bulk of it in an hour.)
* Content: I (mistakenly) expected something with a bit more discussion. This book is to Britain what Foxworthy is to Red Necks - largely a collection of "you know you're British if..." punchlines without any actual framing discussions.

Somewhat disappointing, to be honest. In chapter 3 there's a quiz for how British you are - I came out decidedly British, which was fun/amusing, but that was really about as deep as the book got. ( )
  kodermike | Jul 31, 2020 |
Comedy is truth. Or, as that modern day Socrates puts it:



As a corollary though, humour is only humourous if you can relate to it, if you find it true. “What's up with airline food?” is hilarious if you've often been kept awake at night wondering what is up with airline food. If you're not that kind of person then you'd probably just shrug and point out that given the demands placed on them, most airline's selection of meals is rather tasty. Besides, you're getting a free hot meal six miles in the air. Never mind what's up with the food, what's up with you?

So then, onto Very British Problems. My arch-nemesis saw the book on my desk earlier in the week and accused me of cheating with the Goodreads reading challenge, he said the pages were mostly white space, and that I was reading a glorified Buzzfeed article. That's completely unfair of course. The book is actually a glorified Twitter feed.

It's hard to recommend purchasing a book that you can read a constantly updated version of on Twitter, so I won't. But if you do find yourself in possession of the book, through means fair or foul, then your enjoyment of it will probably be heavily dependent on how much of yourself you recognise in the book (or how much you recognise your British friends). Apparently I'm rather British, so chortled along merrily through a good portion of the book. But I'm well aware that the peoples on this rainy little island are a lot more diverse than that, and so for every person that readily identified with the woes listed in the book there will be plenty of people who wonder who these weird people being described are, and if they really exist.

For the same reason this is a risky choice to leave out on the coffee table. And I'm saying that as someone who happily leaves [b:Sexually, I'm More Of A Switzerland|12395914|Sexually, I'm More Of A Switzerland|David Rose|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1331164013s/12395914.jpg|9693633] on mine. The decision of whether to buy the book, and whether to leave it in the lavatory, on the coffee table, or hidden on some shelf is ultimately up to you; it's just another British problem. ( )
  imlee | Jul 7, 2020 |
Comedy is truth. Or, as that modern day Socrates puts it:



As a corollary though, humour is only humourous if you can relate to it, if you find it true. “What's up with airline food?” is hilarious if you've often been kept awake at night wondering what is up with airline food. If you're not that kind of person then you'd probably just shrug and point out that given the demands placed on them, most airline's selection of meals is rather tasty. Besides, you're getting a free hot meal six miles in the air. Never mind what's up with the food, what's up with you?

So then, onto Very British Problems. My arch-nemesis saw the book on my desk earlier in the week and accused me of cheating with the Goodreads reading challenge, he said the pages were mostly white space, and that I was reading a glorified Buzzfeed article. That's completely unfair of course. The book is actually a glorified Twitter feed.

It's hard to recommend purchasing a book that you can read a constantly updated version of on Twitter, so I won't. But if you do find yourself in possession of the book, through means fair or foul, then your enjoyment of it will probably be heavily dependent on how much of yourself you recognise in the book (or how much you recognise your British friends). Apparently I'm rather British, so chortled along merrily through a good portion of the book. But I'm well aware that the peoples on this rainy little island are a lot more diverse than that, and so for every person that readily identified with the woes listed in the book there will be plenty of people who wonder who these weird people being described are, and if they really exist.

For the same reason this is a risky choice to leave out on the coffee table. And I'm saying that as someone who happily leaves [b:Sexually, I'm More Of A Switzerland|12395914|Sexually, I'm More Of A Switzerland|David Rose|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1331164013s/12395914.jpg|9693633] on mine. The decision of whether to buy the book, and whether to leave it in the lavatory, on the coffee table, or hidden on some shelf is ultimately up to you; it's just another British problem. ( )
  leezeebee | Jul 6, 2020 |
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 | Jun 9, 2020 |
The British are unique, there seems to be no other country whose people would actively seek to form an orderly queue unless it had too, nor do the citizens of many other countries apologise when it is not their fault having bumped into someone. We are obsessed with the weather, even though it rarely has the drama that happens in other countries. Whilst displays of emotion are not forbidden, most struggle to go beyond a swift handshake. Apart from the odd un British like person who suffers from road rage, most are likely to say thank you when hooted at, at the traffic lights and the other thing that will set you apart from others is that you will sigh a lot.

You'll know you're British when you say 'Honestly it's fine' to warn of your imminent breakdown, even though the thought of complaining or making a fuss is abhorrent to you, and this book is packed full of these little gems made me laugh out loud (embarrassing I know) and cringe a lot when you read some and think, do I really do that? There is no cure for this burden of nationhood. But tea and sarcasm help. Really enjoyable light-hearted book. 3.5 stars ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
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For Rhiain, my family and everyone suffering from Very British Problems.
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There's an epidemic sweeping the nation Symptoms include: *Acute embarrassment at the mere notion of 'making a fuss' *Extreme awkwardness when faced with any social greeting beyond a brisk handshake *An unhealthy preoccupation with meteorology Doctors have also reported several cases of unnecessary apologising, an obsessive interest in correct queuing etiquette and dramatic sighing in the presence of loud teenagers on public transport. If you have experienced any of these symptoms, you may be suffering from VERY BRITISH PROBLEMS. VERY BRITISH PROBLEMS are highly contagious. There is no known cure. Rob Temple's hilarious new book reveals all the ways in which we are a nation of socially awkward but well-meaning oddballs, struggling to make it through every day without apologising to an inanimate object. Take comfort in misfortunes of others. You are not alone.

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