©2007 Stuart Maconie; (P)2009 Random House Audiobooks
"Maconie's witty, swift-paced search for the North isn't all Bury's oven-bottomed muffins and Crewe's Full Bellies cafe. What he has to say about the response of Boris Johnson to Liverpudlian Ken Bigley's protracted pre-execution ordeal is just one of many sharp cultural insights." (The Observer)
"The best ever"
This is quite simply the best audiobook I have downloaded from Audible to date. It is witty, full of insight, informative and wonderfully read. Stuart Maconie has been a wonderful companion on a number of car journeys recently. It is this sort of book that justifies my subscription to Audible!
"A grand read"
Being a bit of a fan of the author (and I didn't bother reading the synopsis), I did expect this book to a mild rant from Mr Maconie about the virtues of the 'north' over the 'south'. However, although there are aspects of this in the book, it is more of akin to a travel journal in a similar vein to Bill Bryson's books (whom the author refers to often). This though is far from a criticism but is a compliment.
Like Bryson, Mr Maconie manages to both praise and sometime complains about people and places in the north without being overtly nasty but with a sense of honesty. He pokes fun at himself and his race but is prepared to speak his mind bluntly when required. Typical northerner really!
I really, really enjoyed this book and the author's narration really enhances his opinions. Being from the midlands, it left me both envying, admiring and sometimes fearing my northern neighbours. And like all good books it just finishes far too soon.
"Pies and Prejudices"
A marvelous listen, really feel I should ring audible monthly just to hear what they have playing whilst awaiting answer,this is how I found this captivating book. Its funny true and something both Northeners and Southeners would appreciate
"From us to you all"
A fantastic account of the great divide delivered with humour and knowledge inviting one and all to the wonders and gloriousness of living up north
I heard a sample of this book whilst on hold with Audible customer services - and bought it immmediately. Its fantastic - everything Stuart Maconie is - warm, witty,insightful,intelligent,articulate and glorious to listen to. I have laughed out loud to this more times that I can remember. Buy it. Its the single best book I have bought from Audible and I love it.
"The pies have it"
Having called the audible customer service team I heard a clip of this and was hooked. I almost asked them to put me back on hold so I could carry on listening. Maconie is an excellent narrator (not surprising given his DJ credentials) and although it may not be a laugh out loud funny as 'Cider with Roadies' (regrettably not available as an audiobook) I chuckled throughout. Stuart Maconie is Bill Bryson with whippets and this tour round the North is excellent enough for me to forgive him for not reading the unabridged version.
As a fellow northerner who has settled in the south, I related to many of the authors observations. It was a fantastic "listen" despite the fact that the author did not paint a particularly nice picture of my home town of Oldham!
"Audio book perfection"
This is a real gem of a book. Overall it's delightful, by turns charming, witty, laugh out loud funny, educational and thought provoking, but above all, a warm and affectionate look at the English.
The brilliant observations are at least as good as anything that the great Bill Bryson has penned.
It is greatly enhanced by being read by the author which perfectly illustrates the unique experience of audio books.
The only problem is that it doesn't go on for 50 hours.
If you love Bill Bryson, you'll love McConie.
Stuart, if you read this, please please please write another, you have a rare talent that comes along once in a generation.
This is exactly what Audible exists for- a charming, amusing and informative book read by it's author in a charming, amusing and informative voice.
A talented and intelligent broadcaster and journalist, Stuart Maconie infuses his Northern Odyssey with enthusiasm and wit. Would have been good read by anyone, it becomes sublime read by it's author.
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