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- Pies and Prejudice: In Search of the North - AbeBooks - Stuart Maconie:
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Pies and Prejudice: In Search of the North
Simon Armitage. Michael Marks. Tom Spencer. Alan Bennett. Margaret Thatcher. Michael Heseltine. Tony Livesey. Yvette Livesey. Walter Greenwood. George Formby. Gracie Fields. Alan Bates. Albert Finney. Rita Tushingham. Tom Courtenay. Shirley Anne Field. Laurence Harvey. John Wayne. Rhys Hughes. Alan Garner. John Morrison. Bernard Ingham. Charlie Cairoli. Romany Pearl. Henry Banks. Joe Longthorne. Noel Edmonds. The bestselling Pies and Prejudice is a hugely enjoyable journey around the north of England.
Stuart Maconie is a writer, broadcaster and journalist familiar to millions from his work in print, on radio and on TV. Based in the cities of Birmingham and Manchester, he can also often be spotted on top of a mountain in the Lake District with a Thermos flask and individual pork pie. For the latest books, recommendations, offers and more. By signing up, I confirm that I'm over View all newsletter. Paperback Audio Download Books Categories.
Children's Children's 0 - 18 months 18 months - 3 years 3 - 5 years 5 - 7 years 7 - 9 years 9 - 12 years View all children's. Puffin Ladybird. Authors A-Z. Featured Authors. So this is Maconie telling us about the places that he grew up hailing from Wigan to the west , knows well, and some he explored for the making of this book. I actually came to this book myself because of Wigan. And also to meet up with my friend who lives there at the moment. I told one of my work mates about this trip, and he started telling me about this great book, which he then lent me.
So there you go; you never know where these small adventures will lead you. There are chapters about the biggies in the north - Manchester and Liverpool - as well as a chapter on Maconie's home tract, then about the coast, and ending things off with Newcastle. There's a bit of history, a bit of randomness, a bit of biography, a bit of travel I'm going to quote a bit from the end which I really liked: " I'm not sure that northernness is geographical. It's philosophical. I've met people from Devon who had the right stuff and people from Preston who made my heart sink.
Just like Doctor Who said, lots of planets have a north. By which I like to think he meant that northernness is a cast of mind, not a set of co-ordinates. It's about appreciating that an afternoon's snow is an excuse for sledging, not a state of emergency. It's about realising that the best place to drive a Range Rover is Cumbria, not Islington.
It's about embracing that life is short and work is hard and that London is not the answer to everything First off, this, as many books, suffers from a lack of maps. I love a good map. Put maps in your books.
My other issue is that in his search for the north, Maconie sticks to what he knows. This is an incredibly north-west orientated book. On the chapter about the coast, it's all about Blackpool and Barrow in Furness and the Lakes ie. Given that Yorkshire is the biggest county in England, it only gets a chapter.
Manchester and Liverpool get a chapter each. Plus the whole Yorkshire thing sees him clinging to the west side of things, always ready to flee back over the border. North and East Yorkshire may well not exist, for all that gets a mention is a bit of the Pennines, Leeds, Bradford and Sheffield. Is this why there were no maps? This isn't just me being niffed that my home county of N Yorks, and my current abode of York have been missed out Ye olde capital of the north? Regards to the north and east of Yorkshire, I first thought, oh well, these are very rural areas and he seems to be a townie, so perhaps he just doesn't do the countryside.
But there's a big section raving about the Lake District, so I can't explain it away that way either. It's just a gaping omission. And for that, whilst I can say this was a grand old read and would recommend it to anyone interested in England beyond the bubble of London, I would also have to add that this isn't the complete guide to the north you might be looking for. View 2 comments.
Mar 15, Nicola rated it liked it Recommends it for: any pie-loving northener. Enjoyable but not consistently entertaining. Maconie is from Wigan and the north west gets a pretty thorough treatment, whereas Yorkshire and the north east are very rushed. As someone brought up in Yorkshire who is now living in Newcastle I was a bit disappointed, but after all, what can you expect from someone from the wrong side of the Pennines ;- Despite this complaint though it was a good read and at times had me laughing out loud which is always a good sign. Oh and it also made me really h Enjoyable but not consistently entertaining.
Oh and it also made me really hungry for meat pie Nov 11, Sarah rated it it was amazing. A beautifully written, warm and funny love letter to the North although Yorkshire is a tad short changed. Aug 17, Rachel rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction. Stuart Maconie is from Wigan. This may not mean anything to someone not from Britain, unless you've read George Orwell, but it's a post-industrial Lancashire town. In a word, northern. After living down south ie London and the midlands for several years, he realises he's forgotten his inner northern-ness and sets off to rediscover what makes Northern England different and shapes its identity.
It's a funny and touching look at cities and countryside from Staffordshire to Hadrian's Wall. He tries Stuart Maconie is from Wigan. He tries to avoid sentimentality, but occasionally his jabs at the snobby south and art critics like Brian Sewell, who says all the good art should be brought to London, because northerners can't appreciate it illustrate that the North-South divide is alive and well. A fun and informative read, especially for one who's landed 'oop north' and wants to understand a bit more about life and people in this rather misunderstood part of Blighty.
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Feb 24, Jessica rated it did not like it Shelves: book-club , gave-up-on , I was the only person in book club who didn't like this, having given up just over pages in. I felt that for a book classified as 'travel' it had lost its way: it neither made me want to visit the places described and let's face it, who could make 10 pages about Crewe do that? Much of the content I found irrelevant, such as long histories of bands or football clubs, and the odd nuggets of interesting fact or description were overwhelmed.
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Perhaps to truly appre I was the only person in book club who didn't like this, having given up just over pages in. Perhaps to truly appreciate this book you need to be a similar age to Maconie, to have a sense of 'yes, I remember that' as he describes things. Perhaps you also need to be a northerner- all other members of the book club are, and said they felt comforted by the content and felt a desire to go 'home'. Personally I think I'll stick to the south, my coffee machine, and sun-dried tomatoes Another good book from Maconie.
Interesting trawl around the north. Aug 06, Rob Kitchin rated it it was ok. The basic premise is that Macione heads north from his new southern life of sun-dried tomatoes and his cappuccino machine to discover what makes the north what it is, why it differs from the south of Britain, and to rediscover his inner northerner.
It then moves onto Crewe, a kind of frontier town, not quite the midlands, not quite the north, before finally arriving at the north proper. One can get a sense of a place through its geography and history, but what is crucially missing from the narrative are people. There are a couple of thin anecdotes, but one never meets the people of the north. Surely one of the key things that makes the north, the north, is its people? It leads to a strangely anaemic read. Travel writing is about people and place. View 1 comment.
Pies and Prejudice: In Search of the North - AbeBooks - Stuart Maconie:
Maconie admits at the end of the book that he fell in love with the North while writing it. He claims that he started with a strong intention of not just writing some piece of Northern bombast or Tourist information fluff. Both of those statements are believable. He clearly likes the North, both the landscape and the people.
He does go for objectivity, but says something nice about just about everybody most importantly, he says lots of good things about Geordies, which may colour this review. H Maconie admits at the end of the book that he fell in love with the North while writing it. He writes well, he's funny, I liked picking up on the stories about the bands which I've missed from being away and I liked his politics.
I did jump forward in the book at one point as I was getting tired of reading about Yorkshire and Lancashire, even if it was funny. I suspect that people reading his book and they would probably be Northerners too would do the same. For me it was the section titled, The Great North, you can take your own pick. I would say that I liked the fact that he could tell me details about the history of my own region that I didn't know.
Apparently, the Makems joined with the Scots to fight against the Geordies in the Civil War, and won. Difficult thing to decide what to think about that.
The Geordies were on the side of the King boo, hiss while the Scots and Makems were on the side of Parliament though I suspect the Makems were just on the other side to the Geordies. I couldn't cheer for Charles and I am partly Scottish, but celebrate a win by Sunderland over Newcastle? Hard to do. Still, a good read, even if you might want to miss some of the chapters You want to read about Manchester!
As a non-English person myself, I don't have a particular stake other than cheering for the underdog; as someone who has a fascination for micro-cultures, I loved Maconie's exploration of the great cities of Northern England through pop music and football, even though those are both subjects which I am vaguely aware of rather than passionately interested in. It is one of the few books where I actively wished I could hear the author reading it. Words on a page are all very well, but I imagine that Maconie had retained his Wigan accent, which would surely add colour to his delivery of lines like the way the Liver Birds are unlikely to fly away from Liverpool, because they are made of metal and nailed to the Liver Building, or the awful effects of his family's cooking tradition on his childhood morale.
When his Golbourne Colliery relatives were sent tins of spaghetti in solidarity by Heinz workers during the miners' strike, these unfamiliar culinary objects "were regarded with suspicion. Rumour had it they'd become contaminated with flavour and tastiness and contained no pastry whatsoever.
I found this an interesting read.. I'm from the Midlands myself but there's much in this book I can identify with particulary the 'Working class' aspects and the cultural inheritance I share sue to this. The north of Maconie's visitation is a hotbed of pop culture and politics generally left leading.. Marx and Engels get a mention as does the Sufragette movements etc as such it gained more interesting with me as both I find riveting subjects.
It's been a while since I visited many of the Northern I found this an interesting read.. It's been a while since I visited many of the Northern books in the town.. All in all an enjoyable book and one wherby Maconie revisits his past from the point of living in a self imposed exile from the north I love the north of England and enjoyed viewing it through Stuart Maconie's eyes.
From his clearly tongue-in-cheek comments it would be easy to believe that he really doesn't think much of Southerners well Londoners, as he clearly classes anyone from south of Watford Gap as being. I imagine some people who were - purely by accident of birth, - born in the south would have given up on this because of the way he often refers to us, and that would be a shame as it's a great book.