Published January 10th 2017 by Sphere (first published September 24th 2015)
Full title: (More) Very British Problems: Life just got awkward(er)
Previously published as: Very British Problems Abroad
Genre: Non-fiction, humour
Star rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
“‘Great, if that’s where you want to go…’ Translation: It won’t be my fault when this holiday turns bad”
DO YOU SUFFER FROM VERY BRITISH PROBLEMS ABROAD?
*Carry emergency teabags in your money belt<br<br
tut at badly formed ‘queues'<br<br
avoid blisters by wearing socks with your sandals
…then you may have a serious problem for which there is no know vaccination. But don’t worry: Rob Temple is here to explain the symptoms/make fun of you. (In the nicest possible way.)
Critics called the first Very British Problems book ‘not bad’ and ‘easy to gift-wrap’, so in an attempt to outdo himself, Rob’s taking us outside of our comfort zone. We’re going to that alarming place where crisps don’t quite taste the same and where ordering chips get you… well, crisps. We’re going abroad.
From the optimum number of times to carry out panicky pre-trip passport checks to the horror of returning home to a milkless house, this is an affectionate into the cultural quirks and strange obsessions that make us all so very British – especially when we leave the country.
If you read my review of the first book in the Very British Problems series, you’ll know that I bought it for my mum as a gift to make her laugh. Well this time is no different. The big difference is is that this book focuses on holidays and going abroad. In our family, we don’t really go abroad very often, but we do go on weekend breaks to London, which is quite British.
So when buying this book I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to relate to as many things (yes, I worry about how ‘Very British’ I am, okay?) but it turns out that there were plenty of gems in this collection that just summed up our weekend trips, especially regarding the hotel and travel arrangements.
The book is split into sections so that you know which chapter may be the best for you to read. For example, I’m less inclined to read ‘Come Fly with Me’ or ‘Holiday Booze Guide’ because I haven’t been on an aeroplane since I was a small child, and I don’t drink alcohol. However, because I’m a book nerd I read this book from front to back like a regular novel, whereas my mum just dips in and out of it when she fancies a laugh.
“Being in a constant state of looking for a good spot to stop and eat your sandwiches”
Alternative to the standard chapters of funny British statements, there are things like: a packing list; hotel guide; TV, Music and film; Survival tales, and a ‘Staycation Test’ which I found very good as it told me to go to London, which is where I would choose anyway.
So, because of the focus on going abroad and holidays, I didn’t find myself laughing or sweating or crying as hard as I did reading the previous book in the series, but I still had a great time reading it. For anyone who has a holiday-going family, you may as well buy them this to pack in their suitcase to read on the flight. I’m sure they’ll thank you.
Link to the book on Goodreads: Very British Problems Abroad
Note: only 1 cup of tea was almost spilled all over the floor while writing this review