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How to Get Things Really Flat: The Man's Guide to Ironing, Dusting and Other Household Chores by Andrew Martin

How to Get Things Really Flat: The Man's Guide to Ironing, Dusting and Other Household Chores

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Good Housekeeping's view...

December 2009 Good Housekeeping selection.

As a child Andrew Martin learnt the joy of Harpic-clean toilets and hanging the dishcloth over the taps from the family’s aptly-named home-help Mrs Buffard (Andrew’s mother had died when he was little). Now he is gamely proselytizing other men into the white art of looking after the house and ironing (as a bartering tool and guilt-reliever). Run through with expert guidance (from a woman who has washed 120,000 socks and counting) to hygiene specialists and laundry mistresses, the book has a genuine thread of useful and useable tips for the man who about the house. Wit and cleaning don’t often go hand in Marigold hand but here they do.

If you like Andrew Martin you might also like to read books by Edward Marston, Stephen Done and James Runcie.

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How to Get Things Really Flat: The Man's Guide to Ironing, Dusting and Other Household Chores by Andrew Martin

Martin is surprisingly well qualified to write a guide to housework for men. Not only is he a man himself, but he does a lot about the house. On purely humanitarian grounds he recently took over some of the ironing from his wife; he then branched out into bath-cleaning, dusting, washing up after dinner (when he wasn’t going out), vacuuming (when the hoover was working), and loading the washing machine completely unaided.

For the purposes of this book, Martin has interviewed many experts. The fruits of his research include the answers to such burning questions as: ‘Do I Need to Bother about the Controls on the Iron?’ ‘Is Dust Dangerous?’ and ‘What is All That Stuff at the Bottom of the Laundry Basket?’

How to Get Things Really Flat will amuse and instruct any man, forced at gunpoint by his significant other to read it.


– Do I need to read the labels on clothes?
– Do I have to iron the backs of things?
– What is dust?
– Stain removal for beginners
– The principles of vacuuming
– Cleaning the toilet: an introduction
– ‘Doing’ Christmas

About the Author

Andrew Martin

Andrew Martin is a journalist and novelist. His critically praised 'Jim Stringer' series began with The Necropolis Railway in 2002. The following titles in the series, Murder at Deviation Junction and Death on a Branch Line, were shortlisted for the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Crime Award and, in 2008, Andrew Martin was shortlisted for the CWA Dagger in the Library Award. The Somme Stations won the 2011 CWA Ellis Peters Historical Crime Award.

Click here to read a Q&A with this author.

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd October 2008


Andrew Martin

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Author's Website


Short Books, London an imprint of Short Books Ltd


240 pages


The Real World

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