Walking on Sunshine

John O’Farrell – An Utterly Exasperated History of Modern Britain – 2010/DNF

The Back of the Book: Following his hugely popular account of the previous 2,000 years (which won Best Comedy History Book at the 1815 Congress of Vienna), John O’Farrell now comes bang up to date with a hilarious modern history asking ‘How the hell did we end up here?’

All the major post-war landmarks are faithfully recorded.  The sombre day in 1967 when Harold Wilson went on the television to announce that Britain was converting to flared trousers.  The tragic split of Seventies rock superstars The Wombles after Great Uncle Bulgaria overdosed on amphetamines and bourbon.  And the mild scandal of the 1981 Royal Wedding when Lady Diana’s marriage vows omitted the word ‘obey’, declaring instead that she would ‘Love, honour and then utterly humiliate the Royal Family with a string of embarrassing revelations after shagging James Hewitt.’

An Utterly Exasperated History of Modern Britain informs elucidates and laughs at all the bizarre events, ridiculous characters and stupid decisions that have shaped Britain’s story since 1945; leaving the twenty-first century reader feeling fantastically smug for having the benefit of hindsight.

NotJustLaura’s Review: I’m disappointed to have abandoned this book before I’d even completed the first chapter.  Mr O’Farrell is an accomplished writer (and I’ve read some of his fiction in the past) but this book, with a very blurred line between fact and fiction, just didn’t work for me.

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