The number-one nonfiction read that made John Cleese and Danny Wallace laugh and Terry Wogan and Richard Briers cry. If you think writing a guidebook is easy, think again. A family's 8,000 miles round Britain in a Vauxhall Astra...
They were bored, broke, burned out, and turning 40, so when Ben and Dinah saw the advert looking for a husband and wife team with young kids to write a guidebook about family travel around Britain, they jumped at the chance. With naïve visions of staring moodily across Coniston Water and savouring Cornish pasties, they embark on a mad-cap five-month trip with daughter Phoebe, four, and son Charlie, two, embracing the freedom of the open road with a spirit of discovery and an industrial supply of baby wipes.
©2012 Ben Hatch (P)2012 Audible Ltd
Anglophile. Prefer only British fiction and mysteries. Good translations of Italian, too.
I loved best the interaction between the author and his wife and his children. I loved the hilarity of the descriptions of the towns visited.
I loved Dinah, the wife.
In the animal park with the lions. The world's largest pencil. The penthouse scene in Edinburgh.
A family's car journey through Britain with two tots. Don't really know as I am not up on films.
The back story and account of the author's father's declining health and end was poignant, but not overdone. It read REAL. One felt as if present.
The author isn't very likeable, and I found myself getting wound-up listening to the story unfold as I had no sympathy him. I was hoping for some charming anecdotes along the lines of "The Tent The Bucket And Me" but the more I learned about him as the story unfolds the less I like him.
At one point he insists on keeping his car, and driving around CenterParcs, despite being asked not to. If you've stayed at CenterParcs you'll know this is akin to insisting on driving on a cycle lane. He also bothers his poorly father - despite his brother, who is there caring for him, asking him not to phone too often as it upsets his father and makes his condition worse. He apparently always has the last word in any disagreement, but given his lack of self-awareness this comes across as petty and vindictive revisionism.
To make matters worse, his incredibly tolerant and long-suffering wife is given a whining tone in her voice by the narrator, which makes the story appear misogynistic too.
I've listened to hundreds of audio books and this is the first one I've not finished. I got about three quarters of the way through and figured it was just making me cross listening to his selfish remembrances.
"Quite entertaining and moving"
This follows a family's journey around the UK, at the same time as the author's father is seriously ill and subsequently dies. It is movingingly written. It challenges the listener however, in that one cannot quite 'settle' to enjoying the humorous travel sections because of the underlying concern over the author's father's health. In that sense, it is very true to how life really is - I applaud the author for his honesty.
"A Great Listen With your Kids"
I listened to this with my children while driving them to school every morning. It is a great choice for that, the story mixes both humour and some more somber themes to great effect.
It can get a bit repetitive with one sightseeing object after another, but that is the nature of the subject, I suppose.
"Been there, done that! Well, most of it anyway"
This makes a sharp change from my usual taste in fiction. However, I do enjoy humour and having encountered babysitting two under fours, I found myself nodding, smiling and,on occasions, laughing along. The sad demise of Ben's father added an extra depth to the tale, quite moving at times. The only thing I'd criticise this for is there isn't a lot of mention about where they actually go. Some places barely get a passing mention. That's the only thing that holds back a star for me
Entertaining, heartwarming, funny
Oooohhhh. The daughter....Phoebe, such honesty!
Too many to mention, finding the toilet in the water museum and following the life and journey of a poo in the yes of a child...pretty funny....
The cold hard chuckledom of travelling with kids
The narrator needs credit! Absolutely superb!! All his voices I can picture Charlie and phoebe, Mary and Bens dad......very talented and a fantastic choice! Made the book and my ridiculously long 300 miles journey home passable and enjoyable, thank you
"An Intresting Adventure"
The book is about parents Ben & Dinah and 2 under 4's who take on the formidable task of travelling round Britain in a battered Vauxhall Astra to write a family guide book.
Ben's very honest account will have you laughing and crying and is very well written and will certainly keep you entertained right to the very end. It is candid and full of empathy and you feel like you have met new friends along the way.
"Fantastic! Makes me want to do a road trip now"
Brilliant heart warming and great to know not the only one who has a crazy family life. Makes me want to visit the places as great detail of attractions. Lovely to get inside and feel part of a loving family. Experienced laughter and tears. Didnt want adventure to end
"Lovely, funny tale."
Great story, lots of amusing catastrophes plus a few genuinely sad ones. A touch of language will mean its not suitable for young ones to listen to. Read brilliantly by Kris Dyer.
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