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  • 52 Times Britain Was a Bellend

  • The History You Didn’t Get Taught at School
  • By: James Felton
  • Narrated by: Mathew Baynton
  • Length: 2 hrs and 59 mins
  • Categories: History, Europe
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (377 ratings)

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Summary

Twitter hero James Felton brings you the painfully funny history of Britain you were never taught at school, chronicling 52 of the most ludicrous, weird and downright 'baddie' things we British* have done to the world since time immemorial - and then conveniently forgot all about, of course, including: 

  • Starting wars with China when they didn't buy enough of our heroin 
  • Inventing a law so we didn't have to return objects we'd blatantly stolen from other countries  
  • Casually creating muzzles for women 
  • And we haven't even mentioned Brexit yet   

52 Times Britain Was a Bellend will complete your knowledge of this sceptred isle in ways you never expected. So if you've ever wondered how we put the 'Great' in 'Great Britain', wonder no more.... 

*And when we say British, for the most part we unfortunately just mean the English.

©2019 James Felton (P)2019 Hachette Audio UK

What listeners say about 52 Times Britain Was a Bellend

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Fun title. Poor execution.

A collection of slightly random stories of horrible histories, light on depth and detail and unashamedly skirting over each subject, using too much profanity to remain amusing. The voice of the reader is also extremely irritating.

10 people found this helpful

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The Subject Should have bee good

A good subject ruined by a wet pompose little bellend. Who comes across as lecturing you and unfairly criticising people. People who achieved great things good and bad. If people followed this terds example we would still live in cave out of fear a house would offend. Typically a Guardian muppet who sees history and people one dimensional

8 people found this helpful

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Smarmy

Several interesting anecdotes, although each is treated only very superficially. This is not a history book, and I worry the research may not have extended much beyond Wikipedia. The narrator is a serious let down, though. More so than the material, he comes across as patronising and annoying. The message of this book is severely marred by its tone. It's more a grab bag of things to trot out to sound superior whilst engaging in pointless internet argument than a cogent warning of the evils of empire.

8 people found this helpful

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Depressing listening.

Lots of interesting and no doubt accurate gobbets of history. But it's a depressing, wearing listen and don't buy it expecting comedy. Also very sweary for no obvious reason. Otherwise could be given to kids graduating from horrible histories.

5 people found this helpful

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Spoilt by immature swearing throughout

Really interesting stories but spoilt by the inapproriate bad language throughout. I cringed whilst listening.

2 people found this helpful

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Unrelenting and flippant

I gave up half way through, as I found the unrelenting sarcasm, cynicism and self-righteousness too much. The three minutes or so dedicated to each historical incident is fine for some cases - but I don't think you can have a three minute "wry sideways glance" at concentration camps. There are some unknown historical incidents in here that merit a much longer take, it could have benefitted from half as many chapters that are twice as long. There are also some surprisingly bad edits in the narration - the chapter on Richard the Lionheart is particulary messy.

10 people found this helpful

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Atrocious, full of foul language

Waste of time. I only lasted a few tales. Each “tale” lasts about two minutes, littered with unnecessary foul language. Disgusting considering the title would appeal to older kids. Sending mine back for a refund.

1 person found this helpful

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Britain was more of a bellend than I expected

Every time I was like 'Surely it couldn't be more horrible and awful than this?' the next story was here to tell me that there's no padding in this book. Just 52 stories of hilarious, awful, dark dispair. Completely worth it.

1 person found this helpful

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Bite size history!

Sorry real historians but I now think all history should be taught to us by comedians. I found this so funny, interesting and shocking (animal bits) and quite frankly I want more.

1 person found this helpful

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Entertaining and well read. only scratched surface

The examples and unique way of describing them are humourous and the narrator has good comedic timing. I think this is likely best read than listened to, it takes sime getting used to and there doesn't seem sufficient pauses or signals (i.e. numbers or breaks) between chapters. It's very easy to get lost. Narrator was good.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Dave
  • 23-10-19

School Textbook

A book with a purpose, a book with a context. Twenty years ago I'd give a 3-star review for being cute. In today's Brexit era, this is neccessary information. Too many voters learn history through tabloid headlines and cut-n-paste documentaries. See ya on Twitter James!

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  • JOSEPH
  • 22-10-19

Great book well done 👍🏽

I love this book. It’s a hilariously funny look into British history. Probably the best audiobook I’ve listened to this year. A MUST LISTEN