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Have You Eaten Grandma?

Narrated by: Gyles Brandreth
Length: 7 hrs and 15 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Have You Eaten Grandma? written and read by Gyles Brandreth. 

It can be much harder than it seems; commas, colons, semicolons and even apostrophes can drive us all mad at times, but it riles no one more than the longest-serving resident of Countdown's Dictionary Corner, grammar guru Gyles Brandreth.

In this brilliantly funny tirade and guide, Gyles anatomises the linguistic horrors of our times, tells us where we've been going wrong (and why) and shows us how, in future, we can get it right every time. Is 'alright' all right? You'll find out right here. From dangling clauses to gerunds, you'll also discover why Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.

In Have You Eaten Grandma? he waxes lyrical about the importance of language as, after all, it is what we use to define ourselves and, ultimately, is what makes us human.

©2018 Gyles Brandreth (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

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Profile Image for K. J. Noyes
  • K. J. Noyes
  • 12-09-18

Very funny but hard to follow in this format

I'm a pedant at times when it comes to grammar. Though I admit, I'm not perfect: I make mistakes, and judging by this book, more than I realised. But I do take great delight in these books, those that lay out the rules of grammar and bring the fun of the subject out (yes, the fun of apostrophes, it DOES exist).

Brandreth narrates this himself, adding his own distinctive voice to the already rather literary topic. He covers various areas of the English language, and adds little stories, tips, jokes and a lot of humour to what could be quite a dry tome.

I laughed aloud listening to this in Asda, well, snorted actually, but let's not dwell on that one. A line about diarrhea if I remember rightly. For 90% of the running length, this was a pleasure to listen to.

Lots of the time I was nodding along, smiling at the asides and jokey material. But as an audiobook, sometimes the format did let the book down - long, long (40 minute long chapters!) lists going through the alphabet, a list of words in Cockney Rhyming Slang for example. If reading the paper version (or Kindle), you might scan through, but this was not as easy to do with the Audible.

I also found, because of the nature of the book, when Brandreth discusses the rules of punctuation and grammar, I found it very hard to concentrate and take it all in, with descriptions and examples, it moved too quickly and didn't give me time to digest and internalise what was being said before it moved on. On paper, I could re-read and slow it all down (not the same as slowing an audiobook's speed).

So, while I loved the book, and found it both entertaining and informative, the format may not be for everyone. With hindsight, I would have got a little more from this if reading on a screen or on paper, though I liked the narrator immensely, he's witty and reassuringly sensible about his grammar, if incredibly picky (my own standards I now look at as much less lofty than I thought just a few days ago!).

For anyone interested in improving their knowledge of the rules of grammar while also having to hide a few chortles.

With thanks to Nudge Books for providing a sample Audible copy.

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Profile Image for Stuart Atkin
  • Stuart Atkin
  • 10-26-18

A very good book

A very fought provoking work that has me giggling like a little girl scary to think of me that was and so the only one Queens English was going the way of the dogs

0 of 6 people found this review helpful