No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…Find out more
Brian Viner is a senior features writer and columnist for the INDEPENDENT newspaper. He lives with his family in Herefordshire.
Photograph Â© Mike James
The British on holiday: how can four simple words evoke so many vivid images, images of raw sunburn and relentless rain, of John Bull's Pub (in Lanzarote) and Antonio's Tapas Bar (in Torquay), of endless queues to get through security at Manchester Airport, or Gatwick, or Glasgow, or Luton, and endless tailbacks on the M5, or M6, or M25, but also images of carefree sploshing in Portuguese swimming-pools and lazy lunches in the Provencal sun? In this funny, acutely observed and engaging social history, Brian Viner celebrates the holidaying British, with their quirks and their quinine tablets, and their blithe assumption that the elderly man selling oranges at the roadside in Corfu, so photogenic with his walnut face and three teeth, must surely understand just a few, uncomplicated English sentences. He examines the fortnight-long cruise at one end of the holiday spectrum, and a day's rambling in the Lake District at the other. He looks at how the holidaying British evolved into the big-spending, many-headed beast we know today, by recalling not only the holidays that we took as children, but the holidays our grandparents, and their grandparents, took. It is a story that connects Blackpool with Barcelona, Mauritius with Margate. It is a story, indeed, that connects us all.
This is a brilliantly funny and heart-warming tale of a middle class London family who up sticks to the country. Through the ups and downs of their first year, the books reveals that life in the country isnâ€™t always what itâ€™s cracked up to be. Vinerâ€™s humorous prose will have you in stitches much of the time and whether you enjoyed Peter Mayleâ€™s A Year in Provence this one is well worth a punt as itâ€™s ten times better.