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The Angry Island

ebook / ISBN-13: 9780297864684

Price: £9.99

ON SALE: 7th October 2010

Genre: Lifestyle, Sport & Leisure / Travel & Holiday / Travel Writing

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Paperback

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Foreigner Adrian Gill (a Scot) goes in search of the essence of England and the English

The English are naturally, congenitally, collectively and singularly, livid much of the time. In between the incoherent bellowing of the terraces and the pursed, rigid eye-rolling of the commuter carriage, they reach the end of their tethers and the thin end of their wedges. They’re incensed, incandescent, splenetic, prickly, touchy and fractious. They sit apart on their half of a damply disappointing little island, nursing and picking at their irritations.

Perhaps aware that they’re living on top of a keg of fulminating fury, the English have, throughout their history, come up with hundreds of ingenious and bizarre ways to diffuse anger or transform it into something benign. Good manners and queues, roundabouts and garden sheds, and almost every game ever invented from tennis to bridge. They’ve built things, discovered stuff, made puddings, written hymns and novels, and for people who don’t like to talk much, they have come up with the most minutely nuanced and replete language ever spoken – just so there’ll be no misunderstandings. In this hugely witty, personal and readable book, A.A. Gill looks anger and the English straight in the eye.

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Reviews

'He's as much sentimentalist as satirist - listen to him, some time, eulogising stalking in Scotland - and, as everyone knows, he's very, very funny'
GQ
'The book not only evolves into a surprisingly evocative meditation on England and the English, but it also showcases Mr. Gill's gifts as a writer of rude invective, hyperbolic description and splenetic asides - a writer who seems to have inhaled the prose styles of Auberon Waugh, Clive James and Alexander Theroux and come up with an idiosyncratic voice all his own'
Michiko Kakutani, NEW YORK TIMES