The Full English: A Journey in Search of a Country and its People (Hardback)Stuart Maconie (author)
The popular broadcaster and author of Cider with Roadies and Pies and Prejudice delivers a thoughtful and characteristically entertaining travelogue on the state of modern England, as he journeys in the footsteps of J.B. Priestley.
Three years before George Orwell made his expedition to the far and frozen North JB Priestley - who had grown up there after all - cast his net wider, writing a book subtitled "a Rambling but Truthful Account of What One Man Saw and Heard and Felt and Thought During a Journey Through England During the Autumn of the Year 1933." It was a huge and immediate success. A timeless classic, it is scathing about vested interests, intensely patriotic and politically progressive.
English Journey is warm, funny, tender. But tough. There is steel here too. J B Priestley's elegant and readable prose, written for a mass audience, is just as forensic a reading of a changing England and just as passionate a call to arms as anything in Orwell's bleak masterpiece. Moreover, it both captured and catalysed the public mood. But it's more than this. It's a love letter, albeit an exasperated one, to a country that he loves and yet finds unfathomable.
Stuart Maconie has often expressed the same passions and puzzlement. Now, ninety years on, he intends to take an English Journey of his own, with Priestley's thirties itinerary as guide. How does the country look now, as it reopens and re-emerges from this ice age of doubt and insecurity. Re-energised? Hungry for change? Or moribund, dazed and desperate for old certainties.
Revisiting English Journey, interrogating its insights and perspectives, walking in Priestley's footsteps and riding the roads and rails he did, Maconie's latest is popular, timely and entertaining, taking the form of a 'sustained lovers quarrel with England', as did the original.
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 560 g
Dimensions: 240 x 159 x 34 mm
‘Maconie is a funny, astute writer, alert to the absurd.’ Sunday Times Book of the Week ‘Observant and witty.’ The Times ‘The deceptive lightness and accessibility of Maconie’s writing lead us gently though what is actually a deep dive into this most mysterious of peoples.’ Jonathan Coe, The Guardian 'Chatty and cheerful.' Graham Robb Spectator Books of the Year ‘Thoughtful and characteristically entertaining.’ Waterstones Books of the Year ‘Maconie catches the exhausted national mood beautifully.’ New Statesman ‘Takes the temperature of the English at this point in time.’ Hugo Rifkind ‘This might be Maconie’s best book yet. … What a treat to read such a clear-eyed but warm-hearted evocation of the country.’ Daily Express Praise for Stuart Maconie… ‘As funny as Bryson and as wise as Orwell.’ The Observer ‘The best thing to come out of Wigan since the A58 to Bolton.’ Peter Kay ‘A fine writer: sharp, funny, tender and thoughtful.’ The Spectator ‘A funny, lyrical writer who prefers to persuade rather than browbeat.’ Mail on Sunday ‘Maconie's engaging, conversational prose is full of telling detail, jokes and deft quotation.’ The Telegraph
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“Not quite a full plate.”
I came to this book having not read any of Maconie's previous works or indeed Priestley's 'English Journey' but was drawn in by the premise of comparing the same route almost 100 years apart.... More
“The Full English.”
I've not read anything by Stuart Maconie before but being a big fan of his radio shows on 6Music, RadMac and The Freak Zone, when a proof came my way I thought I'd give it a go. It was certainly the right... More
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