Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
$6.97
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Signs of wear around edges, but no wrinkles, tears or marks. Pages have no folds or marks. Binding is good.
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 Angry Island: Hunting the English Hardcover – June 12, 2007

3.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$4.15 $0.01
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Julian Fellowes's Belgravia by Julian Fellowes
"Julian Fellowes's Belgravia" by Julian Fellowes
From the creator and writer of Downton Abbey comes a grand historical novel, with hugely exciting twists and dramatic chapter endings. Learn more | See author page
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

He writes for the London Sunday Times and lives in Britain, but rapier-wit social critic Gill wants readers of this provocatively perceptive dissection of English cultural mores to know he was born a Scotsman, thank you very much, and is most definitely not an "enigmatically indecipherable" Englishman. In 16 defiantly abrasive essays, Gill bristles with outrageous originality about cliched topics like England's class system ("unfair, cruel, and above all smug"); gardening ("the great English cultural expression"); British accents ("a never-ending source of subtle snobbery"); and kindness to animals ("gives them an excuse to patronize, bully, and be psychologically spiteful to other people"). Elsewhere, he balances droll bombast with surprising outbursts of admiration for the British way. He's a fan of the nation's war memorials, praising them, without a hint of sarcasm, as sublime expressions of the "exhausted relief" that shrouded England after the First World War. And he admires the country's propensity for queues, concluding that the Second World War was won—or not lost—through the orderly evacuation by both navy destroyers and rowboats after the disastrous battle of Dunkirk. Gill's caustic ruminations often veer into over-the-top hyperbole, but these essays, brimming with incendiary certitude, also offer nuggets of truth. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

In a series of fascinating essays, Gill reveals there is a swell of suppressed anger in the English... Much of it is extremely funny, the reader is left with the queasy question: what if he is right? SUNDAY TIMES (30/7/06) An entertaining polemic... a thought-provoking, some would say overdue, book that challenges the English self-image of genteel reserve. CHOICE --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (June 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416531734
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416531739
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,647,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The previous reviewer should have read the book. Mr. Gill's descriptions of British War memorials are almost unfailingly admiring--and constitute some of the best writing in the book. Angry Island is both acerbic, precise and hilariously funny social commentary--and a heartfelt cry for reason. Hyperbolic, cruel--and yet true enough. It's the sympathy and humanism peeking out from inside Gill's silk-lined jacket that makes him such a great essayist, another splendidly failed idealist--like Orwell or Hunter Thompson.
Comment 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Mr Gill's polemical little treatise is simply awful. It is one of the most venomous, hate-filled, bile-soaked bundles of papers created ever since Mr A. Hitler put down the paintbrush and took up the genocide-advocacy business.

It is also one of the most delightful, lyrical books I've ever been fortunate enough to read.

I exaggerate, of course, and this is exactly what Mr Gill does as he sets about deliberately trying to demolish every shibboleth, to pull the tail of every sacred cow, to dispel every assumption there ever was about the English.

His central theme is that far from being restrained, witty, animal-loving gentlemen, the single defining characteristic of the English is their anger. He does so in 16 vitriolic chapters smashing preconceptions on everything from humor and drinking, to gardening and sports. It's perhaps with deliberate irony that a book that takes the English to task for their madness should do so in such froth-flecked terms.

Indeed, it would be easy to be distracted by the book's many annoyances. Take, for example, Mr Gill's pedantic insistence on identifying himself as a Scot, despite having lived his life since age 1 in England. Not only does this strike me as ungrateful, but the whole "Scotland is a country" riff comes off as childish, like two siblings drawing an invisible dividing line down a shared bedroom.

Yet getting angry with Mr Gill would not only prove him so smugly right, but it would also deprive you of the joy of his prose. Whatever I think of the man or his views, he knows how to write, how to make words sing. In Mr Gill's prose, stairs are "clumsy" with flowers, class snobbery is as "smart as a wet patch" on the front of your pants, airports are "the maternity units of queues".
Read more ›
1 Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Make no bones about it....A.A. Gill does not consider himself to be British even though he has lived amongst them all of his life. He's a Scot and from the beginning this difference as well as other nations' comparisons are wryly and often harshly drawn out. This is a wonder of a book and probably the first book I've read that isn't propelled by nouns and verbs. "The Angry Island" is all about adjectives, spiced up with a lot of invective. From page one, I couldn't put it down for a minute.

The author covers a wide range of topics about which to consider the Brits...their history, humour, class, voice, sport, drink and so on. At almost every turn, Gill pummels away. There is a rogues gallery of portraits of English kings and queens, described by Gill in various ways of contempt. The narrative gets really juicy as he relates the British "soul" (or lack, thereof) and his ability to write memorable phrases is outstanding. When, for instance, he speaks of the quintessential British fondness for gardening, he asks why we don't ever see people in those gardens. (Gardens do, apparently, make great final resting places for the dead) A typical Gill comment is this one, regarding why Brits are always queueing up. He says, "the English queue because they have to. If they didn't, they'd kill each other". And in a terrific chapter about nostalgia, Gill reminds us that the word itself, didn't exist before 1900. It didn't have to. But then again, the Empire was about to fall apart, hence the current nostalgia. Everything was better in your parent's generation, of course, than it is today.

"The Angry Island" is not just one tirade after another. Gill compliments the British on their memorials, especially those commemorating the "Great War.
Read more ›
1 Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Said to be Britain's greatest living essayist he comes across to me as ponderous and precious while trying to find his funny voice. He is cutting and cruel and though he claims "apartness" by virtue of his Scottish ancestry the author sounds to me like the worst of the English caricatures he sneers at so effectively in this dreary tome.
I am struggling to finish it because I am as obstinate as he is.
If you dislike the English you will love this book. If you find stereotyping a cheap shot, stay away.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A great premise for a 3000 word article, but not really enough of a good idea for a full book. Personally I love the thesis, that the key to understanding the English character is suppressed and subordinated violence. I just felt that there was a bit of padding and a good editor might have helped. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the theory, and Mr Gill is a good writer, just it felt a bit stretched.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The English have always been the targets of humorous criticism and Mr. Gill's book rightly rakes them over the coals. His extremely witty take makes for enjoyable reading even for Anglofiles. That being said,Gill doesn't know when to stop. The first half is funny , and I assume, true, but he keeps on going telling the same joke over and over again. Enough already!
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews