The Anglo Files: A Field Guide to the British and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $24.95
  • Save: $5.99 (24%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 6 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Very Good
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Anglo Files: A Field Guide to the British Hardcover – Deckle Edge, August 17, 2008


See all 10 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover, Deckle Edge
"Please retry"
$18.96
$1.62 $0.01

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on the current pick, "The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee" by Marja Mills.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1ST edition (August 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393058468
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393058468
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #908,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the early 1990s, New York Times publishing reporter Lyall transferred to London for love. Now she produces the latest in a seemingly inexhaustible genre that dissects British quirks and remarks how peculiar are the inhabitants of that moist little isle. With George Orwell's essay England Your England and Bill Bryson's Notes from a Small Island the best-known examples, Lyall's is an appropriately humorous tale of the struggle to accommodate to her new British way of life and to make sense of the profound culture shock she experienced. But Lyall's observations are neither overly perceptive nor interesting and much of her material is creakingly familiar: aristocrats, for example, pronounce some words differently than their working-class compatriots, Britons love animals (a special memorial honors animals who aided British troops in wartime) and the game of cricket is boring. This is a light, fluffy read that will be enjoyed by first-time visitors to Britain and even a few nostalgic British expatriates. But while Lyall's writing is, as always, witty and tart, it will disappoint those seeking serious analysis or original insights. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“A witty, incisive collection of essays . . . on everything English.” (Elle)

“A razor-sharp . . . wickedly insightful, decidedly biased account of everything British.” (Graydon Carter)

“Lyall is at her tart, observant best.” (Matt Weiland - New York Times Book Review)

“Fresh, funny and occasionally wicked.” (Kirkus Reviews) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

The main problem with this book is it's not very entertaining from a not very good writer.
Gift Card Recipient
According to Ms Lyall, it's too cold and damp, the food is bad, all men are closet homosexuals, everyone has bad teeth and is too thrifty.
V. Weller
The book would have been better if it was more affectionate or gave a balanced view of what the country and its people are really like.
David Lindsay

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Awbery on June 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Sarah Lyall's book acts as a counterpart to the many eulogies of 'British culture' which stereotype its eccentricity as positive. Unfortunately, rather than a non-stereotyped insight into the differentness of the British, it reads more like a continual complaint. Lyall complains terminally about the British press and gossip, while sounding exactly like a gossip columnist herself. She complains about snobbery and name dropping, yet most chapters include a mention of a distinguished friend or connection.

What prompted me to write this review is that I found the book quite upsetting. I would have welcomed a book that realistically, and humorously portrayed British culture, warts and all, in comparison with American, or other cultures. But Lyall, with an anthropological background, is doing exactly what a serious anthropologist would never do: she sets up a subjective, implicit standard (her point of view is that of a consumer who expects priority of attention, takes luxury and choice for granted and sees access to private dental care, for example, as normal), then relentlessly derides Britain for not meeting that standard. The British are constantly other, alien, unfathomable and to be ridiculed. This is a shame: there are negative accounts in the book that might have appeared interesting in a more balanced, comparative context, but because anything and everything is mocked indiscriminately, (courtesy, appreciation, tradition, for example) they lose any impact they may have had.

This is a book for an American audience. As a British reader, I found the revelatory tone jarred somewhat with the lack of actual revelation. There are certainly some humorous moments, for example the long-suffering cohabitant of a hedgehog rescuer who 'prefers animals in the abstract.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Tony Britt on August 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
A whiny, moralistic and condescending view of the British. No humor, or if it is there, is very well disguised. Save your time and money.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
58 of 69 people found the following review helpful By JPG on December 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Having lived in England for a number of years, I was very much looking forward to reading this book and revisiting a country that I love via armchair. The description on the dust jacket made the book sound much like Bill Bryson's writings on England, humorous and clever. The actual book is comprised of 250+ pages of complaining of things about which anyone who has spent time in England already knows. It rains incessantly...yes, we know. The British are very reserved people who prefer to communicate by letter, and if forced to interact verbally, would prefer to limit their conversational subjects to the weather...yes, we know. The House of Lords was peopled with hereditary peers who had no true qualifications for serving in office and were often eccentric to say the least...yes, we KNOW. But where, in other writers' hands, those facts have been discussed in a way that still views England with affection, in this book, those same facts are used to make England seem like a place one would never want to visit. Reading this book made me sad and annoyed. I didn't have a problem with the writing itself nor with the facts themselves, but if the dust jacket had provided a realistic idea of what the book was actually like, I would never have bought it. It's not funny in any respect. I think the publishers owe me a refund for false advertising.
5 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By gadget lover on May 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Granted, I haven't lived in England for long, but even after one year of living there (and having family who have lived there for a while), it is very easy to see that this book is full of narrow-minded, hateful stereotypes about the English, and that Lyall seems to have very little understanding of what English culture and society is all about.
Really, I find it very sad if after 20 years of living in England and being married to an Englishman, this is what she thinks about the country.

To make matters worse, Lyall also seems to have a very poor ability to understand American society (which she uses as a constant comparison).

For example, at one point in the book she complains that the English are fully capable of saying to someone "I'm pleased to meet you!" when they are entirely not. She finds this very disturbing. But if you ask any foreigner who has ever lived in the US what they find most typical of American society, it is PRECISELY this: that Americans will consistenly use hyperbole, avoid confrontation, and say "good things" to avoid causing offence, while actually meaning something completely different. One of the first things we needed to learn upon coming to live in the US was that when the boss tells you that you did a "good job" on something, it could mean anything from it actually being a good job, to it being a very poor job.
Similarly, Lyall rants about the limitations of English Sexual Education - which is quite strange considering the sheer number of states in the US in which the only allowed sex education is "abstinence only".
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Daisy on December 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I kept waiting for her to lighten up and tell us something interesting but funny or at least humorous but she just went for the easy topics with the most unpleasant side of the people. Very depressing.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?