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Free Country: A Penniless Adventure the Length of Britain

Free Country: A Penniless Adventure the Length of Britain [Kindle Edition]

George Mahood
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"...spent last night laughing so much my coffee came out my eyes..."

"...this book is quite simply the best I've read in years..."

"...a completely bonkers challenge and a brilliantly funny read, I couldn't put it down..."

" reminded me of some of Danny Wallace and Dave Gorman's best bits..."

"...this wonderful story had me crying with laughter more often than not..."

"...inspiring, uplifting, need I say more? Quite brilliant..."

"...funny, totally engrossing and actually quite moving..."

" of the most heart-warming, genuinely funny books I have read in a long time..."

"...not many books keep me up 'till 4am, endangering my marriage in the process... Read it now..."

"...for the price of half a pint of beer you'll fill at least 4 pint glasses with tears of laughter..."

FREE COUNTRY: A Penniless Adventure the Length of Britain

The plan is simple. George and Ben have three weeks to cycle 1000 miles from the bottom of England to the top of Scotland. There is just one small problem… they have no bikes, no clothes, no food and no money. Setting off in just a pair of Union Jack boxer shorts, they attempt to rely on the generosity of the British public for everything from food to accommodation, clothes to shoes, and bikes to beer.

During the most hilarious adventure, George and Ben encounter some of Great Britain's most eccentric and extraordinary characters and find themselves in the most ridiculous situations. Free Country is guaranteed to make you laugh (you may even shed a tear). It will restore your faith in humanity and leave you with a big smile on your face and a warm feeling inside.


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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Klasse 7. Juni 2013
Von Iceman
Format:Kindle Edition|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Ein netter Reisebericht über eine ausgefallende Idee. Ich musste viel lachen. Ich hatte das Buch in Englisch. Es war absolut verständlich geschrieben. Gerade dadurch, dass es in der Originalsprache vorlag, kam die ein oder andere Pointe gut rüber.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen "Penniless Adventure" - Priceless Book 13. Januar 2013
Von willem089
Format:Kindle Edition|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Having just finished "Free Country" the adventures of George & Ben I can only recommend this as a very interesting and inspirational read.

The experiences they made through their adventurous journey starting from Land's End
to St. John O’Groats without spending a single penny by just relying on the generosity of
the people they met on their way by being granted food, clothes and shelter must have been
an experience of a lifetime for them.

Reading this book I felt it was so gripping that it literally got me out of my own comfort zone.

This interesting story is also well-written and so hilarious that I had to laugh out loud to the
surprise of my fellow commuters on my way to work.

I’d like to buy copies of this book as a paperback from amazon to pass this on to my friends.
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50 von 51 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen I'd like to buy these guys a beer 28. November 2012
Von Kent Peterson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
George Mahood is the sort of chap you'd like to have a beer with. Actually, I think he's the kind of fellow you'd find yourself buying a beer for after just the briefest of conversations. I say this having never met the man but I feel like I've just had the adventure of a lifetime with my new pal after having read his very funny and surprisingly inspirational book Free Country.

Free Country tells the true story of two young men, George and his friend Ben, who decide to cycle the length of Britain from Land's End to John O Groats. While this ambitious journey has been undertaken by many others, none have done it in quite the same way as George and Ben. Because, you see, they begin with nothing. Well, not quite nothing, they each have a pair of Union Jack boxer shorts (and George later confesses, a camera, a notebook, a pencil and stack of cards containing the words "I am OFFICIALLY a very nice person.")

Over three weeks in September, with a vow to spend no money they wander their way north like the maddest of monks on the most quixotic of quests. What they find along the way is a country filled with very interesting people, a great number of whom are very nice. Ben and George manage, through charm, wit, fast talking and willingness to do tasks ranging from cleaning, to loading onions to singing for their suppers, to acquire clothes, food, bicycles and someplace to sleep every night. It is a wonderful adventure and very, very funny. George is a great observer of life and a very witty writer and he and Ben bicker throughout the journey in the way that only true friends can. A few quotes will give you the flavor of this delightful book:

`Yeah. There's a place called Neilston in another ten miles.' `Ten miles? Are you kidding me?' asked Ben. `Err, no. It doesn't look like there's anything else before there anyway. We've done really well today. I reckon we'll have done over 90 miles.' `WHAT? My god, you are such a slave driver. If I'd known we had done anything near that much, I would have stopped for the day ages ago.' `I know. That's why I didn't tell you.'


Before eating the sandwiches we tried a rendition of Silent Night in German that I could still remember from primary school. A guy on a bmx, in his mid thirties, approached with a small paper bag from Greggs. `Hi guys. You can have these two donuts if you promise to stop singing.' `You've got yourself a deal. Thanks, mate,' I said.


The descent from Kirkstone Pass was undoubtedly the fastest I have ever been on a bike. It was possibly the fastest that man has ever travelled, in any form of transport. If The Falcon had had wings, I swear she would have taken off. It was one of the scariest, but most exhilarating things I have ever done. Braking wasn't really an option for me, as The Falcon's brakes only had any slight effect when travelling at a ridiculously slow speed, or uphill. I just gave in and let The Falcon do what she was best at doing - not stopping.


We explained our challenge and asked if there was anything we could do in exchange for some free food. `Oooooh, what do you reckon, Jan? Should we give these two strapping young lads any food?' she said to her colleague. `Yeah, why not. If that one with the skimpy shorts shows us a bit more leg,' she laughed. `That'll be you then, George,' said Ben. This was a new low. I was being made to flaunt my body in exchange for food. I felt used. I felt cheap. I liked it. I lifted up the side of my skimpy blue shorts, and exposed my flabby white thighs. `Phwoooooaarr,' said both ladies...


If a nutritionist had analysed what we ate during the bike ride, I think they probably would have concluded that we should not be alive, let alone fit enough to cycle. I read somewhere that beige food is bad for you. Almost everything we ate was a shade of beige; bread, pasta bakes, chips, pasties and bananas. Anyway, all I'm saying is that peas and carrots taste unbelievable if you only eat beige food for 17 days beforehand. Give it a try.


Free Country is one of the funniest books I've ever read and it is a book that celebrates the tremendous kindness that exists in the world. George and Ben completed their journey thanks to the kindness of strangers, but after reading the tale of their journey, I feel that I owe them much more than the meager cost of this book for the laughter and wisdom I've found in its pages. George and Ben, if you ever make it to Issaquah, look me up. I'll make sure you've got a good meal and a place to stay.
24 von 25 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Pants and Chip Butties 17. Februar 2013
Von Lawrence Kuekes - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Without duplicating the comments of other reviewers, let me just say that the book gives you a feeling for the real Britain and has some laugh-out-loud passages. And the Kindle edition is fairly priced (other publishers, take note). It will help American readers to know a few British terms. Right from the first sentence, you need to know that British pants = American underpants. British trainers = American sneakers. I had to look up "chip butties" (French-fry-and-ketchup sandwiches, which restores my faith in British cuisine). As for Ben's ill-timed remark that he will "roger" Mrs. Rogers, you can look that one up yourself ...
18 von 20 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen a fun adventure 20. März 2013
Von J. Zartman - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
George Mahood writes with an engaging style, the adventure is preposterously wonderful, and the book is a fun read. I knocked off a few stars for the vulgarity, and as the writing gives witness to the author's delightfully wide vocabulary, I saw no need for so much of it. He includes a little too much information about pain in his private parts as well--it was his choice of bicycle seat, after all. I also grew weary of his calling Ben a wuss so frequently when Ben pedaled just as far on a donated bike, put up with all George's rules, and slept and ate under the same conditions. Both of these young men possess a great sense of adventure, as well as a good supply of creativity, charm, humor, and incredible perseverance. My hat is off to both of them, and with the exception of the few details mentioned above, I recommend the book.
9 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Funny and life-affirming 7. Februar 2014
Von Wussyboy - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
Many great travelogues have at their centre a streak of insanity - what made this couple uproot from cosy Surrey and start keeping bees in Roumania? What made this family of seven want to sail the Pacific Ocean in a dinghy? `Free Country' takes this insanity to a whole new level - two barmy Brits decide to bike-ride the full length of the UK, from Land's End to John O'Groats, in just three weeks - with no clothing (except the boxer shorts they stand up in), no food, no money...and no bikes. "Why??" you might ask."What special kind of madness is this??" The simple answer is: `to prove the kindness of strangers.' Britain is not broken, the author (and friend Ben) have us believe. We are not a nation that has lost sight of basic values of humanity and kinship, there lies within everyone the desire to help others. And so the plucky twosome plunge into their 1000 mile journey without money and provisions, relying entirely on the mercy and generosity of strangers to get them through.
Starting out with one trainer and half a pair of socks, graduating to a pair of wellies four sizes too small and six pairs of the biggest socks in existence, the pair acquire a scooter and a mini BX and are on their way! What follows is the road trip to end all road trips - a kind of Around the World in Eighty Days meets Around Ireland with a Fridge - with a bevy of colourful characters (crazy, pizza-tossing Arek, even crazier phone-freak Roobals, Glastonbury-legend Michael Eavis) and, for me at least, a belly-laugh on practically every page. My favourite line? `It is bloody cold and windy on the top of a mountain in a pair of silky shorts and a T-shirt.' Well yeah, it must be!!
I was genuinely sad when the dustbin-diving duo, having slept in a cling-filmed polytunnel, a hitman's sitting room, and a stable with an unexpected "Surprise" in it (and having survived on pic n'mix and `beige' food for 18 days) finally approached the finish line. I was hoping they might microwave another pair of underpants.
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Simply a great book 16. Juli 2012
Von dampants - Veröffentlicht auf
What a great read. Couldn't put the book down. And what am amazing group of people you meet on the way. I now want The Falcon!
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