Thanks to those who thoughtfully provided their reviews in advance.
Mike did the leg work clearly and there was general agreement with his assessment.
Adding to Mike’s quite comprehensive and thoughtful treatise:
All attending completed the book and agreed that the quality of prose was quite good, anecdotal, but well told little snippets. The book itself was full of great anecdotes and Jim aptly described it as a Trivial Pursuit sort of novel. Lots of great little nuggets. A parallel was drawn between this work and those we have enjoyed from Bill Bryson.
The difference however seems to lay in the fact that Bryson has a compelling narrative structure that draws together the snippets where unfortunately this book does not. t seems to be well written but entirely lacking the impact that an editor would have had.
Jim suggested that it was as though an academic had collected all the bits and planned a lovely study but after having devoted an extended amount of time to it discovered that such was not possible and decided to publish anyway. As an academic work it is sorely lacking any sort of evidentiary base,
Additionally there was a sense that the first chapter was the one submitted as part of the ploy to the publishers – who carefully engineered the title ‘A Field Guide’ as a means to drive sales.
There was a lively discussion and that marks a great selection for a read. Thanks Brian Maye.
Brian also escaped financial outlay on the drink: