'We-have-a-house-in-the-country?'. Lena nodded solemnly. 'Where?'. I almost shouted, briefly rattling the table. 'No, wait, don't tell me - it's Todi in Umbria, right? The old manor house, the one with the lemon groves'! 'Alt-Globnitz'. 'Alt-Globnitz?'. Suddenly I felt cold. 'Alt-Globnitz. It's a really nice place. You will love it'.
In a desperate attempt to save his relationship with girlfriend, Lena, and take a break from the world of journalism, Germany correspondent Roger Boyes agrees to make a great escape from the easy urban lifestyle of Berlin and decamp to the countryside. Roger has hopes for southern Italy, but Lena has inherited a run-down old schloss in deepest, darkest Brandenburg. Needing a form of income, they decide to set up a B & B with a British theme. Enter unhelpful Harry and his Trinidadian chef cousin, a mad Scot to advise them on re-branding Brandenburg, some suicidal frogs, and a posse of mad tourists.
It all culminates, naturally, in a cricket match between the Brits and the Germans on an old Russian minefield. Farce meets romance in this follow-up to the successful A Year in the Scheisse.
©2011 Roger Boyes (P)2011 Audible Ltd
I was very disappointed with this book. Narration apart, it was short on plot, characterization and entirely predictable.
I was sold by the description on the cover which was better than the book in parts.
Towards the end you get the sneaking suspicion that this was written with the idea that it would make a 6 part TV series. It's all there. First part, the career change and finding they have a schloss. Second part they discover how bad it is and meet the local caretaker, and so on to the inevitable happy ending with the way left open for a second series.
I couldn't recommend it, it may be better on the page rather than in the ear, but I doubt it.
This is a terrible book devoid of humour and replete with inaccuracies and to top it off the recording contains unedited mistakes by the narrator who hasn't bothered to learn how to pronounce the German names within.
I speak from a position of experience of the subjects within the book and it was simply irritating to have the characters reduced to unpleasant national stereotypes. Worse than that, it's simply unfunny and hugely contrived.
I'm not normally hyper critical, but the paucity of this book actually drove me to leave this review.
I'd recommend you avoid this rubbish.
"Average story, narration worse"
Happy to let a writer get away with an average story. But I cannot let the narrator get away with zero research on the pronunciation of place names in a foreign language, resulting in irritating errors, which could have been easily avoided. I also cannot excuse Audible's sloppy editing, particularly in the second half. Waste of listening time.
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