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The Anglo Files: A Field Guide to the…
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The Anglo Files: A Field Guide to the British (original: 2008; edição: 2009)

de Sarah Lyall

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5082936,385 (3.36)44
Dispatches from the new Britain: a slyly funny and compulsively readable portrait of a nation finally refurbished for the twenty-first century.
Membro:pilarflores
Título:The Anglo Files: A Field Guide to the British
Autores:Sarah Lyall
Informação:W. W. Norton & Company (2009), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 304 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:***
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

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The Anglo Files: A Field Guide to the British de Sarah Lyall (2008)

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Mostrando 1-5 de 29 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
I didn’t write anything down, nor do I have a copy of the text with me. I do know that it started with ample discussion on blurry lines among their alcoholism and their oh-so-noble politics and their oh-so-professional press (which, of course, means a little bit more now as I write this than it did when I read it). She describes the weirdly acceptable sexual relations of the Brit’s single-sex boarding schools for the last several decades and how it has come to shape their current leaders. She discusses their ridiculous House of Lords and the ambivalence with which the public reacts to their clocked-in drunken antics. (I think there’s something about the press in there, but that didn’t mean as much when I read this book in June as it does now.) There’s a bit about the innate humility and self-deprecation of the Queen’s people. I’m sure there was something in there about the royals and Princess Di. England’s love of hedgehogs, which I’d certainly never heard of before reading this book, makes an appearance before her long discussion of bad healthcare infrastructure in the realm of dentistry. She finishes with a chapter about the Brit’s tendencies for self-deprecation and excessive humility.

This is the third full-length, nonfiction book I’ve read recently written by journalists, and I’ve firmly established that this genre is not for me. I may be alone in this, but like Foer’s Moonwalking with Einstein, it comes off as ten or twelve separate magazine articles united under one book heading. They’re wildly well-researched articles; she litters each chapter with numerous quotations from interviews and from newspapers domestic and international. Nevertheless, the chapters are strung together loosely, related only under the original proposal – what’s it like for an American to live long-term in London? One day I hope to be able to put my finger on it exactly; for now, I just know that I FEEL like other non-fiction books link their chapters, their sub-topics more cleanly, less choppily than these journalists’ books. She uses humor liberally and to good effect; she certainly made me laugh out loud more than once. Also, having lived with Brits for the five weeks leading up to reading this book, Lyall did describe a few situations that struck home for me, though the most memorable for me now is only the bit about how they hold their knives and their forks in the hands opposite of Americans. I’m very grateful I have met only one Brit who lived up to her descriptions of semi-alcoholism, and ultimately the situations she describes, including the Brits who take over pubs in Prague for stag nights and such, seem like the extreme end of things. But again, I’ve just lived with proud Brits whom I enjoyed very much. England’s love of hedgehogs, which I’d certainly never heard of before reading this book, makes an appearance before her long discussion of bad healthcare infrastructure in the realm of dentistry.

It’s a quick read, a fun read, but not set to win any major writing awards anytime soon, I imagine. ( )
  revatait | Feb 21, 2021 |
Hahhaha English people. hahahaha! Basically this book is going: "English people do this (insert cliche) American people do this (insert cliche)" but actually very funny and informative though I think I've forgotten everything I have been informed about. I think there may have been a chapter on teeth and how they are actually as bad as we think. But I'm from southern california so maybe our perfect teeth are uncanny and freaky. I'm going to give this to Camille; it sounds like the stuff she (understandly!) moans about England. ( )
  Joanna.Oyzon | Apr 17, 2018 |
I was ready to like this book more than I did. Each chapter took a look at an oddity of British society from the point of view of a New York transplant writer. So far so good. I was interested in chapters that had more social commentary than personal anecdotes. Parliamentary behavior? Fascinating! Transit and shopping behavior changing for the nation as a whole? Also good. Personal accounts of dinners and stilted conversation with reticent colleagues? Eh.
I wanted more anthropology than solo bemusement. And I found her witticisms uneven. Laughed at some, felt like she was trying too hard to be Bill Bryson, mostly. ( )
  ewillse | Jan 18, 2016 |
American married to a Brit. works as a journalist in London. funny interesting well told. I think I liked Watching the English better, but it has been awhile since I read this one. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
After listening to the first chapter of this book, I thought the author was a total moron and that I would listen to the whole thing and have fun writing a scathing, wicked review. But in the end, the whole thing just sort of fell flat and I don't even feel like zinging this one. (And no, I don't exactly think the author is a moron. She's just someone I'm glad I don't know.)

Lyall is a journalist for the New York Times who transfered from NYC to London in the 1990s, married an Englishman, and had two children. I'm not sure exactly what she's trying to do with this book. First, the title is completely misleading, as it's seeming play on Anglophile--one who loves all things English--doesn't fit her litany of complaints about her adopted home, as she shows no affection for the country or the people. (Also, it's not about the British, it's about some English people.) The whole thing is overwhelmingly negative, but in a rather pointless way. She opens the book with a riduculous chapter on repressed English sexuality and how most of the men are closeted homosexuals because they like to dress in women's clothes. Yes, you read that right. She goes on to complain about Parliament, the House of Lords, excessive alchohol consumption, cricket, and bad dentistry (so the dental treatment provided by the National Health Service sucks? How does it compare to the dental services paid for by the US gov't? Oh, right--they don't provide any.) She also complains about bad service--except she acknowledges it has vastly improved, and she complains about the food--except she acknowledges that it has vastly improved. And finally, she complains about the weather, which I find rich considering she comes from a place with insufferably humid summers and inhospitable winters. Other than the chapter about hedgehog aficionados, I didn't learn anything.

With this sort of book, one expects some astute observations and some witty remarks, but there is none of that here. It's also clear that she doesn't understand British humour--to such a degree that she finds it offensive. On the other hand, if you're not going to make a book like this clever, then at least write a meaningful critique. Instead she decided to pick out most of the obvious English stereotypes and say a bunch of negative things about them, which in turn makes her the stereotypical ugly American. I feel sorry for her family--it actually seems that she would like her children better if they weren't English.

Recommended for: not recommended for anyone. Or, maybe recommended for New Yorkers who want to hate-on the English. ( )
11 vote Nickelini | Dec 5, 2013 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 29 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
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. . .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. . . . it will disappoint those seeking serious analysis or original insights.
adicionado por Nickelini | editarPublisher's Weekly (Jun 23, 2008)
 
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Dispatches from the new Britain: a slyly funny and compulsively readable portrait of a nation finally refurbished for the twenty-first century.

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W.W. Norton

2 edições deste livro foram publicadas por W.W. Norton.

Edições: 0393058468, 0393334767

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