qatsi (qatsi) wrote,

What have the Romans done for us?

Book Review: It's Not Grim Up North, by Judith Holder
I recall seeing listings for this Grumpy Old ... TV programme, but not actually watching it myself, and I thought it would make some amusing light reading. It did, and rather like a horoscope, I suspect many of the points it made were vague enough that overall it can please everyone, regardless of their point of view, though I suspect it isn't really any more than a collation of the more perceptive soundbites from the series.

If there is anything serious to take from the book, it is the question of why the South remains so popular. As a Northerner who has ended up in the South (and therefore, according to the introduction, one of the expected categories of reader), the observations about the unpleasantness of the South do seem accurate (unfriendly, hellish traffic, poor public transport). It's realistic enough to acknowledge that the South does score better on things like culture (primarily because of the concentration of so-called "national" venues in London). Britain has always been somewhat skewed because of the geographical location of London, though throughout the Industrial Revolution, the North was often more prosperous. Many of the differences are exaggerated for dramatic effect in the book, but that is also a psychological truism.
Tags: books
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