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The Angry Island: Hunting the English [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

A. A. Gill
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Kurzbeschreibung

10. November 2005
The default setting of England is anger. The English are naturally, congenitally, collectively and singularly, livid much of the time. In between the incoherent bellowing of the terraces and the pursed, rigid eye-rolling of the commuter carriage, they reach the end of their tethers and the thin end of their wedges. They're incensed, incandescent, splenetic, prickly, touchy and fractious. They can be mildly annoyed, really annoyed and, most scarily, not remotely annoyed. They sit apart on their half of a damply disappointing little island, nursing and picking at their irritations. Perhaps aware that they're living on top of a keg of fulminating fury, the English have, throughout their history, come up with hundreds of ingenious and bizarre ways to diffuse anger or transform it into something benign. Good manners and queues, roundabouts and garden sheds, and almost every game ever invented from tennis to bridge. They've built things, discovered stuff, made puddings, written hymns and novels, and for people who don't like to talk much, they have come up with the most minutely nuanced and replete language ever spoken - just so there'll be no misunderstandings. The English itch inside their own skins. They feel foreign in their own country and run naked through their own heads. They are often admirable but rarely loveable. An Englishman's greatest achievement is in resisting his national inclinations and not going crazy with an axe in a cul-de-sac. This book hunts down the causes and the results of being the Angry Island.

Produktinformation

  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 288 Seiten
  • Verlag: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; Auflage: First Edition (10. November 2005)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0297843184
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297843184
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 2,6 x 16 x 24,2 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 1.603.178 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

'his prose floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee and, just when you least expect it, lands a deft and lethal blow beneath the belt.' -- Terence Blacker THE SUNDAY TIMES 'the author is on typically quick-witted form.' -- Jim Blackburn WANDERLUST 'one can admire the zest of the writing and applaud its splendid lack of political correctness.' -- Beryl Bainbridge THE MAIL ON SUNDAY 'he writes beautifully. His chapter on war memorials should be a set text, his defence of political correctness is bold and true, and he really nails the philosophy of the queue.' -- Peter Watts TIME OUT

Synopsis

The default setting of England is anger. The English are naturally, congenitally, collectively and singularly, livid much of the time. In between the incoherent bellowing of the terraces and the pursed, rigid eye-rolling of the commuter carriage, they reach the end of their tethers and the thin end of their wedges. They're incensed, incandescent, splenetic, prickly, touchy and fractious. They can be mildly annoyed, really annoyed and, most scarily, not remotely annoyed. They sit apart on their half of a damply disappointing little island, nursing and picking at their irritations. Perhaps aware that they're living on top of a keg of fulminating fury, the English have, throughout their history, come up with hundreds of ingenious and bizarre ways to diffuse anger or transform it into something benign. Good manners and queues, roundabouts and garden sheds, and almost every game ever invented from tennis to bridge. They've built things, discovered stuff, made puddings, written hymns and novels, and for people who don't like to talk much, they have come up with the most minutely nuanced and replete language ever spoken - just so there'll be no misunderstandings.

The English itch inside their own skins. They feel foreign in their own country and run naked through their own heads. They are often admirable but rarely loveable. An Englishman's greatest achievement is in resisting his national inclinations and not going crazy with an axe in a cul-de-sac. This book hunts down the causes and the results of being the Angry Island.


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5.0 von 5 Sternen Fantastic 9. Februar 2007
Von J. Payne
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
The best and funniest book I have ever read about my fellow countrymen. It hits the spot, albeit a little hard sometimes. Anyone who has spent anytime in England will know exactly what this is all about.
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Amazon.com: 3.6 von 5 Sternen  17 Rezensionen
16 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Brilliant..beautiful, funny and heartfelt 12. Juni 2007
Von Anthony M. Bourdain - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
The previous reviewer should have read the book. Mr. Gill's descriptions of British War memorials are almost unfailingly admiring--and constitute some of the best writing in the book. Angry Island is both acerbic, precise and hilariously funny social commentary--and a heartfelt cry for reason. Hyperbolic, cruel--and yet true enough. It's the sympathy and humanism peeking out from inside Gill's silk-lined jacket that makes him such a great essayist, another splendidly failed idealist--like Orwell or Hunter Thompson.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A Little Gem of a Tirade 14. November 2009
Von Giles Gammage - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
Mr Gill's polemical little treatise is simply awful. It is one of the most venomous, hate-filled, bile-soaked bundles of papers created ever since Mr A. Hitler put down the paintbrush and took up the genocide-advocacy business.

It is also one of the most delightful, lyrical books I've ever been fortunate enough to read.

I exaggerate, of course, and this is exactly what Mr Gill does as he sets about deliberately trying to demolish every shibboleth, to pull the tail of every sacred cow, to dispel every assumption there ever was about the English.

His central theme is that far from being restrained, witty, animal-loving gentlemen, the single defining characteristic of the English is their anger. He does so in 16 vitriolic chapters smashing preconceptions on everything from humor and drinking, to gardening and sports. It's perhaps with deliberate irony that a book that takes the English to task for their madness should do so in such froth-flecked terms.

Indeed, it would be easy to be distracted by the book's many annoyances. Take, for example, Mr Gill's pedantic insistence on identifying himself as a Scot, despite having lived his life since age 1 in England. Not only does this strike me as ungrateful, but the whole "Scotland is a country" riff comes off as childish, like two siblings drawing an invisible dividing line down a shared bedroom.

Yet getting angry with Mr Gill would not only prove him so smugly right, but it would also deprive you of the joy of his prose. Whatever I think of the man or his views, he knows how to write, how to make words sing. In Mr Gill's prose, stairs are "clumsy" with flowers, class snobbery is as "smart as a wet patch" on the front of your pants, airports are "the maternity units of queues".

However over-the-top his views, there is much here that is intelligently observed. Take, for example, the English war against the Zulus, in which England doled out an unprecedented number of Victoria Crosses. The really brave ones, notes Mr Gill, were the Zulus, who took on the British armed with no more than a knife on a stick and a leather coffee table. His enumeration of all the ways "sorry" can mean something else, if not its complete opposite, is spot-on.

Finally, the book is undoubtedly funny. As he admits in the chapter on Humor, English jokes are often at their funniest when aimed, not shared, and his own book is Exhibit A. This attack on the English class system is as hilarious as it is unprintable. His description of the English delight in their own misfortune--a kind of self-reflexive schadenfreude--will tickle anyone who has spent time among the English.

Disjointed, bombastic, frequently wide of the mark, Yes. But also witty, intelligent and poetic. Ah, the man may talk like the devil, but he writes like an angel.
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The Brits from within 28. Juli 2007
Von Jon Hunt - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Make no bones about it....A.A. Gill does not consider himself to be British even though he has lived amongst them all of his life. He's a Scot and from the beginning this difference as well as other nations' comparisons are wryly and often harshly drawn out. This is a wonder of a book and probably the first book I've read that isn't propelled by nouns and verbs. "The Angry Island" is all about adjectives, spiced up with a lot of invective. From page one, I couldn't put it down for a minute.

The author covers a wide range of topics about which to consider the Brits...their history, humour, class, voice, sport, drink and so on. At almost every turn, Gill pummels away. There is a rogues gallery of portraits of English kings and queens, described by Gill in various ways of contempt. The narrative gets really juicy as he relates the British "soul" (or lack, thereof) and his ability to write memorable phrases is outstanding. When, for instance, he speaks of the quintessential British fondness for gardening, he asks why we don't ever see people in those gardens. (Gardens do, apparently, make great final resting places for the dead) A typical Gill comment is this one, regarding why Brits are always queueing up. He says, "the English queue because they have to. If they didn't, they'd kill each other". And in a terrific chapter about nostalgia, Gill reminds us that the word itself, didn't exist before 1900. It didn't have to. But then again, the Empire was about to fall apart, hence the current nostalgia. Everything was better in your parent's generation, of course, than it is today.

"The Angry Island" is not just one tirade after another. Gill compliments the British on their memorials, especially those commemorating the "Great War." And in a personal chapter, while reporting that the English love their drink to the point of besottedness, he reveals his own alcoholism. It's a poignant moment in an otherwise stormy book.

The author does have a knack for the use of adjectives and they abound in "The Angry Island", making the read all the more enjoyable. But it's his ability to peel back the layers of this overly-composed nation to get at what is really either wrong or funny (or both!) about the seemingly most uptight people in the world. To this end, I highly recommend "The Angry Island". It may not make one understand the British any better, but then again, it just may.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen The English In The Crosshairs 5. August 2007
Von wroxton - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
The English have always been the targets of humorous criticism and Mr. Gill's book rightly rakes them over the coals. His extremely witty take makes for enjoyable reading even for Anglofiles. That being said,Gill doesn't know when to stop. The first half is funny , and I assume, true, but he keeps on going telling the same joke over and over again. Enough already!
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen 5 pounds of funny stuffed into a 10 pound sack 11. Juli 2010
Von hubble15 - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
This book disappoints. As other reviewers have noted, perhaps the author's gifts are best expressed in other formats. The various conceits upon which he constructs his tirades are not strong enough to support their size. Or, as a Brit might say, he does go on a bit. Save your $$--get it from a library and dip in to some funny moments in the 1st half of the book. It's not one you'll want to own.
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