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British as a Second Language
by David Bennun | Travel
Registered by wingAnnimanniwing of Espoo, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on 4/27/2008
Average 8 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by Poppy_pastelito): to be read

3 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by wingAnnimanniwing from Espoo, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Sunday, April 27, 2008

This book has not been rated.

From the back:

"David Bennun had lived in Africa his whole life. At the age of eighteen he came to Britain, the mother country; the country he had read about in Punch; the country he had seen in films such as Chariots of Fire. Would it be the noble, educated, admirable United Kingdom he had been led to expect?

He was in for a very big shock indeed.

'I could not have been less prepared had I spent my life up to that moment listening to thirty-year-old broadcasts of the Light Programme.'

In this timely follow-up to the critically acclaimed Tick Bite Fever, David Bennun shows us our own country through the eyes of an alien. Via his 'matchlessly witty' [The Guardian] turn of phrase we follow his progress as a novice Briton, his brushes with Bohemia, his misadventures in search of shelter, his discovery of British food and his horrors at entering the world of work.

In British As A Second Language, David Bennun mercilessly picks Britain apart at the seams and uncovers a contradictory nation as bizarre as any in the known world..." 

Journal Entry 2 by wingAnnimanniwing at Espoo, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Saturday, October 23, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Funny enough but not quite as hilarious as I thought it would be. It sort of felt like Bennun was trying a bit too hard to be humorous. I did identify with some of it though, having lived in the UK for four years as a foreigner myself.

This book will now travel on to bookguide in The Netherlands as she chose it from the Two Worlds VBB. Enjoy! 

Journal Entry 3 by bookguide at Wijchen, Gelderland Netherlands on Wednesday, November 10, 2010

This book has not been rated.

I went to the postbox hoping to find a book from someone else, and was very surprised to find a book from Finland! Thank you Annimanni. I'm looking forward to reading this. 

Journal Entry 4 by bookguide at Wijchen, Gelderland Netherlands on Sunday, November 06, 2011

8 out of 10

Some of this book made me laugh out loud, other parts dragged a little, and much of it was recognisable. I grew up in the UK, and graduated from university the year before Bennun went to Brighton. So his descriptions of university life on a red-brick campus university were spot on (I went to the similar establishment of Loughborough). His style of writing is also very familiar, reminding me as it does of my music magazine of choice, as a teenager, Smash Hits. His description of what he calls the "crusties"made me guffaw: "they'd been breeding in the more affluent parts of the Home Counties, then changing their names to rough-hewn, short-form monikers which evoked smells and slops, like Spog, Spam, Stig and Swampy." Ah, yes!

I did feel that some of his more jaundiced opinions about British food, habits and attitudes to drinking were not based on "typical" situations, however. After all, students and music journalists in the 1980s are not exactly renowned for their cooking skills and sober lifestyles. Bennun has lived in the UK for eighteen years, so at this point you would think that he would be able to talk about more middle-class society, and base his opinions on the way that section of society lives now. Things have moved on a long way from the 1980s and 1990s. I was also disappointed that there were not more anecdotes about his mistakes as an "outlander", or the things which he found peculiar as a foreigner living in England. As a long-term expat, I have to admit that it does become difficult to remember what was odd or difficult when you first move to another country, but given the title of the book, I would have expected more. Nevertheless, an enjoyable read, especially as it was written by a near-contempory. 

Journal Entry 5 by bookguide at Dublin Convention 2012 in Dublin, Co. Dublin Ireland on Thursday, April 12, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Released 6 yrs ago (4/13/2012 UTC) at Dublin Convention 2012 in Dublin, Co. Dublin Ireland


For the book buffet.

This book has been released as part of the following BookCrossing challenges:
- The Ultimate Challenge - read and release books, with extra points for a monthly theme
- Reduce Mount TBR (To Be Read) - read and release books on the TBR list since before the end of 2011. My reading goal is 75 books.
- Pages Read Challenge - read a self-set target number of pages in 201w. My goal is 26,000.

Journal Entry 6 by Poppy_pastelito at Ciudad de Buenos Aires (Capital Federal), Ciudad de Buenos Aires (Capital Federal) Argentina on Sunday, June 03, 2012

This book has not been rated.

I'm so sorry I forgot to make a journal entry!
Caught at the Bookcrossing Convention in Dublin :-) 

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