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Summary

"One of the funniest books of the year..." (Paul Ross, talkRADIO)

WARNING: CONTAINS AN UNLIKELY IMMIGRANT, AN UNSUNG COUNTRY, A BUMPY ROMANCE, SEVERAL SHATTERED PRECONCEPTIONS, TRACES OF INSIGHT, A DOZEN NUNS AND A REFERENDUM.

Not many Brits move to Poland to work in a fish and chip shop.

Fewer still come back wanting to be a Member of the European Parliament. 

In 2016, Ben Aitken moved to Poland while he still could. It wasn’t love that took him but curiosity: he wanted to know what the Poles in the UK had left behind. He flew to a place he’d never heard of and then accepted a job in a chip shop on the minimum wage.

When he wasn’t peeling potatoes he was on the road scratching the country’s surface: He milked cows with a Eurosceptic farmer; missed the bus to Auschwitz; spent Christmas with complete strangers and went to Gdańsk to learn how communism got the chop. By the year’s end he had a better sense of what the Poles had turned their backs on - southern mountains, northern beaches, dumplings! - and an uncanny ability to bone cod.

This is a candid, funny and offbeat tale of a year as an unlikely immigrant.

©2019 Ben Aitken (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about A Chip Shop in Poznań

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I love Poland

Audio book listening, I'm no intellect, failure at reading so enjoy this lazy method, only returned from a mini break in Poznan so was intrigued when saw this, so much easier when you can relate to somewhere, me & Ben probably have different political views, which come across, but that's fine, I'm sure we could have a polite debate on this, many great parts, but the Xmas tradition of turning up unexpectedly, wow Mr Benjamin got bigger balls than me, I cringed with embarrassment, but was so impressed, great book, love this type of reading, thank you.

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nor home most of the time

describes Poland and its people and culture well. I went in 2001 to Poznan, enjoyed the novelty of Poland pre EU , the people were then quite introverted to foreigners but as they grew with EU MEMBERSHIP and the younger generations shook off their last 50 years , they expanded to a very different nation

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Unnecessary and upsetting chapter 18

Chapter 18 ia upsetting, disturbing and unnecessary with its horrific graphic descriptions. It ruined the whole book that I was enjoying up to then. Thank goodness I can get a refund as I won't be going further or listening again.

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It just didn’t grab me

I really wanted to like this book, I almost gave up several times but preserved. There’s some excellent parts on what nationality really means and for me showed how far this country has sunk. But it just didn’t do it for me as something I’d want to recommend or talk about with friends.

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Yikes

Whiny, un-original, navelgazing, ill-
informed waste of the listener’s time. So sorry to have spent 3 hours before giving up.

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This is a book as much about life as it is...

... about Poland. And works all the better for that. Aitken is a warm, intelligent and interesting story teller. It's not a Bill Bryson travel book (as I first thought), although there are echoes of that. Instead, Aitken has his own, less forced, more rhythmic style of writing. The narration is great too. Overall... one not to miss.

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Entertaining listen

Really engaging listen, funny, warm and above all interesting. Really well narrated by the author too.

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  • Robert
  • 07-10-21

Strong pluses and minuses

This book has strong pluses and strong minuses which is why I gave it 3 stars. Pluses: some very interesting anecdotes and some great incites into Polish life. Minuses: the author's left-wing biases come into play too much and take away from the story. Also, in so many of the recounted stories the author is either drunk or hungover; the title of the book could have been The Drunk Escapades of a Brit in Poland. A good book if you can tolerate the bias.

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  • Steve Adams
  • 23-02-21

Immigration in reverse.

A lot of Americans may not be aware of the number of Polish immigrants in Great Britain. The author makes an interesting adventure out of finding out why so many people are leaving Poland, and what it would be like for an Anglephone to get by on minimum wage in Poland. The book is thought provoking, funny, and at times poignant. Very interesting book that was narrated in a very professional manner by Wil Watt.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-11-19

top travel memoir

about Poland, life, adventure. some of the humour/irony lost on me but he's British. one for all ages i'd say, and not just those invested in Poland