Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Book Review: More Postcards From Across the Pond

Looking for a light summer read? Feel like laughing yourself silly over someone else’s awkward problems? Enjoy reading about what public transportation in modern Britain is really like? Here are 60 adventures from the life of Michael Harling—the accidental expat—that will give you something to smile about.

More Postcards from Across the Pond: Dispatches From an Accidental Expatriate is the sequel to the similarly titled Postcards from Across the Pond. I haven’t read the first book, but after finishing this one I think I’ll have to! More Postcards is written by an American man living in England and is chock full of his hilarious personal experiences (including a frightening trip to Nottingham) and humorous musings on British (and American) eccentricities. Every chapter thrilled me with the nitty-gritty peculiarities of British life (for instance, the strange idea of taking off half your clothing when near a body of water, and of course the lovable NHS).

One test of a good book is the “read-aloud”—while riding in the car I’ll read portions of a book to my family to get their reactions. More Postcards kept even my non-Britophile friends in stitches (for a while my Mom thought I was reading Bill Bryson)! I admire Michael Harling’s wit, humor, and depth of insight. He dwells on the sweet oddities of British life, as well as the stark reality of its slow but sure “American-ization”.

Even an enthusiastic Britophile can learn a thing or two about British culture from Michael Harling. (I learned that not only is a parka-type coat with a hood called an anorak, but that’s also slang for avid trainspotters or nerds in general.) This all comes from the guy who delights in the experience of watching a game of football while eating a pork pie in the cold drizzle, and will spend years searching for the quintessential English scone.

It’s $8.99 for 193 pages of what might be the funniest stuff you’ve read in years (and that includes the glossary). To sum it all up, this book almost makes me want to pick up and move to Horsham, where the Krispy Kremes are invading, we see The Flat Where Nobody Lives, and Mike has missed the train again. 

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like a interesting book! I'll try to check it out when I have time.


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