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Thrift by [Church, Phil]
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Thrift Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Length: 174 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product Details

  • File Size: 526 KB
  • Print Length: 174 pages
  • Publisher: Phil Church (September 3, 2011)
  • Publication Date: September 3, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005L9VJYQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,407,978 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What happens when a preposterously lazy English teacher gets picked to direct the school play? Absolutely nothing. Thrift by Phil Church chronicles the semi-comical encounters of one teacher's attempt to squeak by on minimal effort and false pretense in a school system where apathy is the norm from students, teachers, and administrators alike.

The amazing thing about this book is how much effort the narrator puts into being lazy. While the characterization may be excellent on that point, it also serves as the book's downfall. The protagonist spends a lot of time drinking coffee and munching biscuits (cookies to those of us in the United States). He also makes a habit of avoiding conflict with his students to the detriment of classroom discipline. Some motivation is provided for his actions upon learning his father and brother are much more successful than him, and his fun-loving mother has made herself emotionally unavailable. It's natural for readers to want to see an emotional progression from the main character, but the lackadaisical teacher at the heart of this book makes no such journey.

Certain aspects of the plot ring true. Phil Church does an outstanding job capturing the inanity of classroom discussions that often go awry. But just when the reader thinks the man doesn't have a clue, hints are given that he has developed the awareness to read students' body language and he comes up with an interactive pre-reading assignment for Lord of the Flies. As a fellow educator, I could definitely relate to the notion that some of the most ineffective teachers are often the ones picked for promotion due factors that have little to do with being committed to education.
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It took me a while to get into the very dry humor, but once I did, I was all laughs and smiles!

This tells the story of a teacher who is trying to teach literature to some less-than-literate teenagers, resulting in some hilarious consequences. The teacher is really more interested in his regular visit to the pub after work and really wants to do as little as possible to make the day end quickly, with as little effort and annoying confrontations as possible! This, of course, proves all but impossible with a room full of teenagers.

In an odd way, I ended up feeling very sympathetic to this hopelessly inept teacher and found myself even liking him as the story moved on. Despite its slow ramp-up and occasional errors (which may have been purposeful or just an oversight), I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a good laugh along with some well described and unusual characters.
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Subtitled The Misadvententures of an Indadequate Teacher says enough. Thrift by Phil Church is a kind of story I kept wondering about. What's the reason for writing this? Why telling this? Nothing really happens, no developments. A teacher can't control his class, is accused of being homosexual, but doesn't really care, is asked to direct a Hamlet play, without really being engaged. The book's stuffed with quotes from books and songwriters, art forms I care about much. But this book wasn't my cup of tea.
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Thrift is a funny, yet realistic examination of the battle between the modern teacher and the average 'like' British 'like' teenager. However, if you thought teenagers were bad, wait until you meet the teachers who are so self absorbed that they genuinely believe they are the reason students make it through their learning journey 'toot toot'. And of course it also couldn't be a good British book without a few pub scenes as well. A thoroughly enjoyable read that often had me in stitches.
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The only thing I don't like about this book is the cover design, but as my copy is on kindle, that doesn't matter a bit. This teacher is all too believable (assuming we are talking about fiction here, and not pretending it is a documentary!) There are many people in the wrong jobs, who take the line of least resistance. Here we have a school full of them, teachers and kids alike. I never laughed aloud reading this, but I smiled all the way through. I liked the way the author used the ungrammatical 'we were sat drinking tea' as it shows that we are, I think, in the north of England where that is common usage, and also that the narrator of the book appears to have gone through teacher training without ever learning more standard grammar!
I felt Angela could have appeared more often, to be more scary. I was not as relieved at her exit from the book as the hero was.
I also would have liked a better reason for our hero to opt out of attending the rehearsals entirely, and one to explain why the Head could think that getting a class of nincompoops to do Shakespeare under the direction of a poor teacher was going to be impressive!
But in the genre of "In one bound our hero was free" literature, I really enjoyed this story, and will buy its sequel. I want to know what happens next.
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A wonderful read, initially engendering some irritation at the sheer indolent, ambition-free, apathetic approach to life of the book's characters, then the realization that this WAS the book's very brilliance - Mr. Church's wonderful portrayal of his characters, adults and teens, teachers, students and other individuals alike, to the extent that you can see them, hear them, see how they dress, react, eat lollies and biscuits, throw litter , knock back energy drinks and alcohol (lots of both) - you can also "see" the parents' tattoos and grasp the social backgrounds! Humour is prevalent throughout, alternately subtle, wry and chuckle-producing, and this is skillfully entwined within the portrayals of the various characters - amusing and realistic simultaneously. Whatever his faults, the lethargic protagonist teacher could, when necessary, get through sufficiently to his pupils to gain a desired outcome (followed sometimes by a less desirable one). There were some grammatical errors and word misuse; however, this did not spoil the overall enjoyment. Thank you to Phil Church for a not only entertaining but also thought-provoking work. Looking forward to a possible sequel.
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