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The Idler Book of Crap Towns II: The Nation Decides: The New Top 50 Worst Places to Live in the UK Hardcover – March, 2006

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"'Our national genius is knocking things down.' Jim White, Daily Telegraph"

About the Author

Sam Jordison has written for the Guardian, the Independent, Heat magazine, FilmFour.com and the Idler. He studied Classics at Cambridge University, grew up near Morecambe and lives in Hackney. Dan Kieran is Managing Editor of the Idler. He also started the magazine's webste in 1999 which he has lovingly nurtured ever since.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 146 pages
  • Publisher: Boxtree, Limited (March 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752225456
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752225456
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 6.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,010,270 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Winthrop Harrison on March 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Anyone who has had the good fortune to travel to the UK will hit many of the great sights and cities - London, Edinburgh, York, Durham, Bath and more. But in your quick travels you may have wondered what the British locals feel about those unassuming or even visually disagreeable towns you zip past by train or drive through to get to Stonehenge, the Lake District, Glencoe, Glasgow, searching for Robert the Bruce.

At the beginnings of Rick Steves European Guidebooks, there are large maps of the country in question. All of the larger cities are marked in colours of black or grey. Black locations are "places of touristic interest". But the grey locations are "places of little or no touristic interest." What are these "grey places"?

There is now a remedy - The books "Crap Towns" and "Crap Towns II: The Nation Decides" are mostly areas of grey, with despair, boredom, and poor council planning leading the way.

Readers of the UK "Idler" magazine submitted letters filled with memories, testimonial, fear, dismay, sadness, bemusement, hope for the distant future. All so that a book could be compiled of the 50 worst cities and towns the UK has to offer.

I will only list a few of the 50 - the fun is in being surprised. Hackney (for the second time in a row), Milton Keynes, Gravesend, Cleator Moor, Bristol, Sunderland, Kew, and (yes) Manchester & London.

The book is thoughtful, blunt, bitter and humanist. The letters written to the Idler and put into the book are witty and thoughtful. The black and white photographs are perfectly chosen and will leave you invigorated in your bleak mood.

Because this is a British book with British readers in mind, it helps to have a good feel for British slang, culture and perhaps history. But no matter. I cannot recommend "Crap Towns 1 & 2" more highly.
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