Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Review of The Anglo Files: A Field Guide to the British
I requested this book from the library because I heard the author on the radio and she was funny and personable, and I thought the book would be funny too.
I was wrong on that one.
The book details the author's move to Britain to live with her British husband, but more specifically, it talks about the author's impressions of the British people as a whole, and their habits. All the cover blurbs exclaim about how funny and endearing a book it is. I kept waiting for either. I was thinking, "Did her husband read this book? Has any English person read this book?" It was practically scathing, with sections on dental care, the government, England's national alcohol abuse problem, tabloids, etc. It did not endear me to any British habits, or people; nor did it make me wish to visit Britain.
Perhaps the author was being ironic, and I missed it, or perhaps she is not so funny on the written page. She is a good writer, and I didn't hate the book...I guess I just expected something else.
The funny thing was, someone else had corrected some of the author's grammar. While I do this in my own books at home, I always refrain from doing that to library books because, well, they're not mine. So I got to see what someone else might see if they picked up one of my personal books. And...I didn't agree with this person's edits! It took everything I had not to write "stet" (let stand) in the margin. HA! Editor humor.