04 November 2011

Book Review: More Postcards From Across The Pond by Michael Harling

Title: More Postcards From Across The Pond
Subtitle: Dispatches from an accidental expatriate
Author: Michael Harling
Publisher: michaelharling.com
ISBN: 13: 978-1461173892
Format: Paperback
194 pages
Genre: Non-fiction
Source: Author

More Postcards From Across The Pond is appropriately titled since it is the follow-up to Michael Harling's first book, Postcards From Across The Pond. In both books, the author writes about his experiences as an American expat who lives in England.

The author shares a different short anecdote in each chapter.These anecdotes are about everyday situations that (I promise you) will make you literally laugh out loud. The rule "If anything can go wrong, it will" (Murphy's Law) seems to sum up much of what happens to Michael Harling. Fortunately, his laid-back attitude means that he accepts everything that happens with admirable good humour and determination to make the best out of a bad situation.

It's truly amazing how the author always seems to be able to see the funny side of circumstances that would make others angry and upset. For example, in the chapter about British trains,"Blame It On The Railroad", Michael Harling states: "When traveling by train, it is best to keep your expectations low; I didn't try hard enough." He then proceeds to relate his unexpected experience with an escalator at Reading station that is impossible not to laugh at because he describes the whole incident in excrutiating detail and with his characteristic self-deprecating wit.

More Postcards From Across The Pond is not just about England.The author shares stories about other parts of the UK too as well as trips to Europe and to the US. And it's worth noting that even though the book is mostly very funny, the author also includes some details about more serious experiences too (such as a trip to Krakow).

Michael Harling's writing style is very down-to-earth and he shares his stories in a way that makes you feel like you are there with him. He has a wonderful way with words and a self-deprecating sense of humour that made me cry with laughter. I am very grateful to Michael Harling for sending me a copy of his book to review.

I think More Postcards From Across The Pond is a brilliant book and I highly recommend it to everyone, whether you are a resident of the UK or wished you were. I'm also an American expat living in England so I can attest to the author's observations which are spot-on. The glimpses of everyday life in England are delightful to read and entertaining as well as informative. There is also a handy glossary of British words at the end of the book.

Are you an Anglophile? Do you dream about moving to England? If so, and you want to know the unvarnished truth about life in England, then you must read More Postcards From Across The Pond. Michael Harling provides his honest (often hilarious!) views about the real England.