Reviews

 
Some Nice Amazon Reviews
 
5.0 out of 5 stars I can thoroughly recommend this!
By 
Wendywoman (Cardiff)
This review is from: Death Destruction and a Packet of Peanuts: A Rollicking Pub Crawl Through Four Years Of The English Civil War (Hardcover)
My husband bought this book after hearing the author on a radio show, because the English Civil War is a favourite period of his and he was excited to see it being done in such a different, light-hearted way. He loved it, laughing from start to finish and he very much enjoyed the history, pubs, ghost stories and hilarious situations the author and his travelling companion got themselves into.

Based on his recommendation I thought I'd have a look, although it seemed a 'bloke' type of book. I was instantly hooked! I couldn't put the book down. What great humour and what brilliant story-telling. A period of history that previously seemed uninteresting opened up to me, with real characters and gripping battles.

Most of all, it's a good, feel-good book to thoroughly lift the spirits.
 
 
 
5.0 out of 5 stars Original and highly entertaining
By 
E. S. Noli "dzign17"
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Death Destruction and a Packet of Peanuts: A Rollicking Pub Crawl Through Four Years Of The English Civil War (Hardcover)
As someone who doesn't drink and has no interest in history, this book didn't seem particularly promising. A bloke goes on a massive pub crawl, while visiting sites of major battlefields of the English Civil War.
By the end of the second page, I was hooked. The author, Chris Pascoe, is a very funny writer - I defy anyone not to laugh at his story of the shed-eating dog or the American tourist rewriting history. But even more impressively, he brings the Civil War, a subject I've always associated with memorising dates at school, to full technicolour life. Some of the descriptions of battles are breathtaking and the characters mesemerising. Prince Rupert was my favourite, a man who didn't seem to have any concept of personal safety.
And then there was Pete. Pete was the author's traveling companion and a one-man disaster zone. His adventures are enough to make a book on their own, the highlights being an ill-advised toilet seat attack on a skinhead.
Throw in an incoherent Northerner called Dave and a dog of the same name, and you've got a book that I couldn't put down. Highly recommended.
 
 
 5.0 out of 5 starsI love Chris Pascoe's books!
This review is from: Death Destruction and a Packet of Peanuts: A Rollicking Pub Crawl Through Four Years Of The English Civil War (Hardcover)
Whatever he's writing about he picks out the humour! It can be about history, accident prone cats, toddlers or whatever but he will make you laugh your socks off. This one is his best yet. Its so interesting, so full full of fascinating facts and still hilarious! He's now my favourite author and I only hope he writes many more!


5.0 out of 5 stars
Gas Mask and Goggles for the English Civil War,
This review is from: Death Destruction and a Packet of Peanuts: A Rollicking Pub Crawl Through Four Years Of The English Civil War (Hardcover)
At last, a lively account of the four years spanning the Civil War that recreates the events with stunning detail and brings to life their sometimes flamboyant and frequently feckless characters. Pascoe's command of history is excellent, and his retelling of the principal battles imbues them with rough-and-tumble escapades, grandiose personalities and, occasionally, a supernatural atmosphere that has the reader holding his breath. 

Told within the context of retracing the battles in chronological order against a present day ordeal involving a travelling chum or two (bent solely on visiting every pub in the vicinity of each battlefield), Pascoe's long-suffering role as teetotal chauffeur is related with good-natured humour and recurring hilarity. Discover with him the secrets of Chalfont Field, where no birds fly ... Observe how he imaginatively deploys a gas mask to cope with a drunken, snoring, farting passenger while driving up the M1 to Marston Moor. The juxtaposition of gruesome past with modern monkey business creates at times a surreal tableau that heightens both the serious historical accounts and the ridiculous pursuits of beer. At the end of a year's extensive research, the reader benefits from not only facts but also the experiences of eerie apparitions, ghostly sounds, and ... a chilling silence ... There is also a comprehensive catalogue of the best ales in England. 

All is related with sincere love of history, pithy philosophical observations on human nature, funny anecdotes in passing and the toe-curling antics of his companions. We have here a delightful combination of near-picaresque chronicling and an excruciating pub crawl - in short, 17th century adventure, 21st century humour! A captivating page-turner that sharpens your thirst for more. 


5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun And Interesting Read
By 
HowlerMonkey (Scotland)
This review is from: Death Destruction and a Packet of Peanuts: A Rollicking Pub Crawl Through Four Years Of The English Civil War (Hardcover)
There are many reasons I enjoyed this book and best of all for me is the way the book flits from absorbing Civil War history to present day fun at just the right moments so that you're never bored and always in the thick of the action, on a battle cliff-hanger, exploring the battle-sites, or having a good laugh. Also I find the two heroes, or perhaps anti-heroes, Chris and Pete very funny. They are mercilessly direct with each other and their jokes and insults rendered me helpless with laughter. Pete quietly convincing a pub landlady that Chris is a vagrant, and Pete getting unwittingly filmed while trying to take a crafty leak into a near-on hurricane are two of the most excruciatingly funny episodes from any book I can remember reading. A great read and whatever Chris and Pete do next will be top of my reading list.
 
 
67 of 68 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Cat Called Birmingham
By 
This review is from: A Cat Called Birmingham
I don't often bother writing reviews for books but this one was funny, very funny, and I reckon it deserves one. I'd heard the author on the radio and he made me laugh, so when I saw the book in a shop the same day I glanced at it out of interest and started laughing straight away. I don't usually go for 'cat books' but this isn't exactly that. It's all about a cat yes, but it's more the series of crazy situations the cat gets himself and everyone else into. He's a near on useless cat, as clumsy and thick as two short planks, he can't even beat a sparrow in a one on one. But as the book progresses you get to really like him, as you do the people in this book. Pascoe is a witty writer. He relates each improbable episode so well that you start laughing well before 'the punchline' and even when you guess what's coming, you still laugh until it hurts. When a lot of the cat's maniac actions directly effect him (as in my favourite chapter when the pair of them wreck a whole room between them) Pascoe's resigned irony is hilarious. Each chapter contains a different story, all connected but running like a series of comedy episodes. I also found particularly amusing the three short fantasy scenario chapters, particularly one entitled crackpot theories which is a cleverly daft look at how a future evolved cat civilisation would work. The cat himself, Birmingham is remarkable. His falls, accidents, battles, fire and water antics and sheer bad luck make him one of the best comedy characters to emerge for quite some time. As mentioned, though, it's not all cat. Pascoe pokes a great deal of fun at his own escapades, and exceptionally funny here amongst others was a drunken brawl with a homicidal cat. My wife insisted on reading it after me just to see what I was making all the guffaws and laughing grunts about and she made exactly the same noises.It's difficult to catagorise this book exactly as it's so unusual. It's both a light hearted cat book and a comedy of errors, the humour is all of slapstick, observational, laugh out loud, embarrassing situations and ironic asides. In short it's hilarious, well written and a lot of fun and I'd recommend it to anyone who likes a laugh.
 
 
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars So funny!
Birmingham made me laugh and laugh. I love cats and he is brilliant. Every chapter had me in stitches. Its so weird how I got this book - I was sitting on the beach in Portugal and a girl kept laughing out so loud. She read lots of funny lines out to her friend and she kept laughing too, and so did I! I ended up going over to ask what book she had and I thought I've got to read this. I bought it the day I got home and I'm so glad I did because it totally cheered me of my post holiday blues. So thanks girl on the beach for a very convincing review, and thanks Birmingham too you little loony!!
 
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
This has to be the funniest book I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I had tears of laughter running down my face from start to finish at the antics of Birmingham, so much so that my husband thought I'd gone mad! I adore cats and Chris Pascoe describes Birmingham's "mishaps" so well. I can't wait for more!
 
 
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!!
By 
K. Clark "kerryann xx" (wales, uk)
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Cat Called Birmingham (Paperback)
this is one of the best books i think i have ever read. i was slightly optomistic at first being a book about the life of a 'cat', but i can honestly say i read this and did not stop laughing. i have passed it on to a friend who has since passed it onto a friend of a friend etc...
i would reccommend this to EVERYONE
 
 
5.0 out of 5 stars
By 

H. MCADAM "Hilary Mc" (Pendle, Lancashire)(REAL NAME)   

This review is from: A Cat Called Birmingham (Paperback)
Daughter bought me this for Christmas - on the strength of Amazon reviews - as my Christmas 'cat book'. I spent hours crying with laughter! We thought she had a disaster-ridden cat but Brum beats all! Superbly written by someone with a naturally very funny turn of phrase - & a hysterical cat & offspring! Needless to say, we've just ordered the follow-up book. Whatever will we read when Brum goes to the Great-Cattery-in-the Sky? Can't recommend too highly. One of the best reads in years.


5.0 out of 5 stars I think I've broken some ribs...
By 
N. Sykes "psychonoodle" (Birmingham, UK)
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Cat Called Birmingham (Paperback)
I hardly ever write reviews, but this is most definitely worth it. I have NEVER read such a funny book! Even funny books rarely make me laugh out loud, but this one has had me in hysterics from beginning to end! Most definitely a gem that should not be missed and I will be recommending this to everyone I know that has ever known or even just observed a cat!! Simply brilliant!
 

5.0 out of 5 stars
Pascoe's Pop-art Psychotic
This review is from: A Cat Called Birmingham (Paperback)
Every now and then someone writes a good book about cats that is not a soppy tribute nor a conceited account in feline voice but is, instead, a firework explosive of hilarity and insanity. Look no further -- this is it, as told by the hapless human near the epicentre. Birmingham is the Basil Fawlty of Buckinghamshire: one powerhouse of pointless energy at breakneck speed or one inervated wimp of semi-consciousness that a bird can intimidate. His antics are insane most of the time or, when he is sleeping, verging on the suicidal -- and he doesn't seem to know the difference. READ with disbelief as he sails through the air, rides shotgun on speeding cars and plummets twenty feet while sleeping ... and then goes back to square one and does it all again. SEE him disappear like Macavity after getting his owner into worse dilemmas than a cannibal's dinner in the stewpot. CRY with splitting sides and aching ribs as he walks through a tidy room and exits, having transformed it into a Beirut bombsite without breaking stride. The chaos and mishaps are endless. 

Not to be missed by anyone with a sense of humour regardless of his opinion of cats -- it is funny because Pascoe lived through it all and survived ... and took notes. ALSO ---> coming soon to a bookstore near you : You Can Take the Cat Out of Slough - the sequel to prove this pudding. 



27 of 27 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Even Funnier than the first!
By 
I've been waiting for this book. A Cat Called Birmingham was hilarious, and this is even better. This is great fun, and will get old and young, cat lovers, non-cat lovers and all who know toddlers laughing out loud

Really glad to see Brum back as crazed and disasterous as ever and also delighted to see that Pascoe shows us more of himself here - and he's as funny as his cat. Can't recommend this author highly enough. He is the one writer who gets me bellowing with laughter from start to finish of every book. Excellent read.

 

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars You Can Take The Cat Out of Slough...
By 
V. Powell (Cheshire)
Suddenly and unexpectedly,I stumbled on a comic genius. I met the author at one of his Waterstones book-signings, and was so taken with his easy humour that I thought I'd buy a copy.

I'm no big fan of cats, but you don't have to be to enjoy this book. I have NEVER laughed so much in my life. The turn of phrase, the comic asides, the ridiculously funny events throughout.

It all revolves around the author, his toddler and his cat, and a summer at home. Red Kite Hawks, one bitter milkman, a beleagured neighbour, an undercover job as a spy for a call-centre and a couple of doomed tradesmen all conspire to make this the funniest book I've read in many a year.

 
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars A funny cat and a funnier cat-owner
By 
steph (Kent)
This is pure comedy. It is laughter guaranteed. I loved it.

The story of a man totally out of his depth, trying to cope with a mad, dopey cat and a toddler harboring a deathwish-grudge against the cat. The rebound-humour off the three is cleverly done and makes a splendid book.

Theres plenty of everything. Absolutely gut-busting mishap sit-comedy, lots of gentle fun, an observation of life that makes you see life as a lot funnier than you'd realised, and throwaway one-liners that make you laugh hours later.  Ten out of five for me.
 
 
 
4.0 out of 5 stars Stylish & witty
By 
Anita (Burnham)
Excellently presented, with beautiful illustrations and witty quotations.
The story is of a man and a cat, and the comically dangerous love-hate relationship between them.
Thrown together through a hot summer, they accidentally combine to drive a local man mad, seriously injure a milkman, narrowly escape electrocution and drowning, and generally cause wonderful mayhem.
This is a good book for cat people - it is not only gorgeous on the eye, it makes those eyes stream.
 

5.0 out of 5 stars This even tops the first!
By 
Pinter (Portsmouth)
Ive just reviewed A Cat Called Birmingham by Chris Pascoe. I said 'I didn't think I could laugh that much. No other author has done that to me. The stories are very funny, and I think its the way he tells those stories that does it. The humour stays with you too. You find yourself suddenly bursting out laughing a week later at work!'

All I can say that this second book tops that! Where has this guy been hiding? We need books like this, they make life a laugh.
 

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
By 
Ella "Ella" (London)
This is a perfect 'sit by the fire and chuckle all through the Christmas break' book. I'd even go as far to say that it kept me in a happy frame of mind right through to today (new years eve), and that's almost unique for me!

I couldn't wait to settle down with a glass of sherry and laugh away at Brum all evening. A very humorous book.

PS. Does anybody know if a book by Chris Pascoe written in French is available in English? It is called Monsieur Chatastrophe and features a falling cat on the front cover.

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Laugh
By 
Mel H (Great Yarmouth)
A lovely book. Funny, feelgood and heartwarming. It makes you see everyday things as funny, and my own cat makes me giggle just looking at her now. Best of the year for me, and I've read some great books this year : )


5.0 out of 5 starsMore Havoc Mayhem and Madness
One might think after having read A Cat Called Birmingham that it would be impossible to recount more crazy cat catastrophes without resorting to implausible invention. Wrong. This one you need to read in the bath because you will be laughing so hard. 

Brum will regale you with his swimming techniques (in a todler's paddling pool), his idea of a gracious host (towards a complete stranger with ailurophobic tendencies) and give new meaning to the phrase "the eagle has landed" . . . The todler in his life seems to be a clone of her dad and so the poor Brum has double jeopardy foisted on him in this new panoply of bizarre misadventures. The falls, the fires and the fights with Sammy are still with him but he also has something else to contend with in this one - a new cat flap. Watch him run through a closed door. 

Reader, beware - the list of riotous calamities befalling the befuddled Brum will leave you once again doubled over with aching ribs and tears streaming down your cheeks (all four of them), but rest assured this is the much needed palliative to cure any and all ails -- you'll be laughing long after you've finished reading this second book. Bring on the third... 


5.0 out of 5 stars A find!
This review is from: You Can Take the Cat Out of Slough ... (Paperback)
Isn't it great when you find a new author that can make you laugh? There are so few around that can do that in a way that makes your eyes water. From the kung-fu fighting midwife to accidental knife fights with his own cat, the author tells it so well. I have found a new favourite.


5.0 out of 5 stars You Can Take The Cat Out Of Slough
By 
Izzy (York)
This review is from: You Can Take the Cat Out of Slough ... (Paperback)
...is the funniest book I have read. There are lots of good reports and they are very true. Read it if you love laughing until you can not take it any more. It really is that funny. Not just for cat people as it is funny in all ways. I love it!! : )
 

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book
By 
This review is from: You Can Take the Cat Out of Slough ... (Paperback)
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. It had a bit of everything humour-wise, and ghost stories, a great storyline and a lot of fascinating bits of trivia. Made me laugh alot, and I don't usually laugh when I'm reading.

 
 
 


 


 
 
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