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The Angry Island


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With the appeal of Jeremy Paxman's The English but written with AA Gill's trademark irony and humour 'It annoys, arouses feelings and forces one to confront received opinions. Whether one sides with it or not, one can admire the zest of the writing and applaud its splendid lack of political correctness' Beryl Bainbridge, Mail on Sunday 'Gill is a delightful, funny polemicist. 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, Sunday Times

About the Author

AA Gill was born in Edinburgh. He is the author of two novels, Sap Rising (1997) and Starcrossed (1999), books on two of London's most famous restaurants, The Ivy and Le Caprice, and a travel book, AA Gill is Away. He is the TV and restaurant critic for the Sunday Times and is a contributing editor to GQ magazine. He lives in London and spends much of his year travelling.


He writes for the London Sunday Times and lives in Britain, but rapier-wit social critic Gill wants readers of this provocatively perceptive dissection of English cultural mores to know he was born a Scotsman, thank you very much, and is most definitely not an "enigmatically indecipherable" Englishman. In 16 defiantly abrasive essays, Gill bristles with outrageous originality about cliched topics like England's class system ("unfair, cruel, and above all smug"); gardening ("the great English cultural expression"); British accents ("a never-ending source of subtle snobbery"); and kindness to animals ("gives them an excuse to patronize, bully, and be psychologically spiteful to other people"). Elsewhere, he balances droll bombast with surprising outbursts of admiration for the British way. He's a fan of the nation's war memorials, praising them, without a hint of sarcasm, as sublime expressions of the "exhausted relief" that shrouded England after the First World War. And he admires the country's propensity for queues, concluding that the Second World War was won-or not lost-through the orderly evacuation by both navy destroyers and rowboats after the disastrous battle of Dunkirk. Gill's caustic ruminations often veer into over-the-top hyperbole, but these essays, brimming with incendiary certitude, also offer nuggets of truth. (June) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

'In a series of fascinating essays, Gill reveals there is a swell of suppressed anger in the English... Much of it is extremely funny, the reader is left with the queasy question: what if he is right?' SUNDAY TIMES (30/7/06) 'An entertaining polemic... a thought-provoking, some would say overdue, book that challenges the English self-image of genteel reserve.' CHOICE

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