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Attention All Shipping: A Journey Round the Shipping Forecast

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  935 ratings  ·  96 reviews
This solemn, rhythmic intonation of the shipping forecast on BBC radio is as familiar as the sound of Big Ben chiming the hour. Since its first broadcast in the 1920s it has inspired poems, songs and novels in addition to its intended objective of warning generations of seafarers of impending storms and gales. 

Sitting at home listening to the shipping forecast can be a cos
Paperback, 384 pages
Published May 5th 2005 by Abacus (first published 2004)
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3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  935 ratings  ·  96 reviews

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Anthony Buckley
May 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
The Shipping Forecast is a curious feature of British life. It belongs with “Britannia Rules the Waves”, “Kiss me Hardy”, “For those in Peril on the Sea”, “Tom Bowling” and “Hearts of Oak”. It taps into the complicated mythology of Britain as an island nation of seafarers. Not that the myth is entirely mythological. My own uncle trained in a three-masted sailing ship to become a merchant seaman, and he was torpedoed a couple of times in the Battle of the Atlantic. There was nothing mythological ...more
Sep 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A magnificent read. Who would have thought that a book subtitled 'A Journey Round the Shipping Forecast' would provide such splendid reading. As a boy I always listened to the shipping forecast on the wireless (radio to the modern day person!) without ever knowing what Rockall, Finisterre, Dogger, forties and the like ever meant. And when the forecast itself was given, what the heck did all that mean, 'south westerly six to gale eight, increasing eight to storm ten, perhaps violent storm eleven ...more
Aug 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Ted by: review by Anthony D Buckley
Updated 2/12/13. Using my new non-fiction rating guidelines, I need to up this from a three to a four. And below should probably read "really 4 1/4" at least.

Really 3 1/2. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, but the topic itself is not "weighty" enough to push it up to a four. After all, it's just a light travelogue.

But I did learn a lot reading the book, even if much of it was not earth-shakingly important. First of all, being American, I had never heard of the Shipping Forecast before, and I found
Dec 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: BBC Shipping Forecast tragics
I just love this book. I should add that I have a strange love of the shipping forecast too...

"Attention All Shipping" is a great idea (one that causes me to kick myself that I didnt get there first); Charlie Connelly travels to every shipping area in the forecast, along the way giving a bit of the history of the shipping areas, meteorology, lighthouses, the RNLI and the lives of the coastal and island communities around Britain and its nearest neighbours. Connelly has an enjoyable style, his se
Sarah Sammis
Sep 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The year Attention All Shipping by Charlie Connelly came out, I got a job working as a web producer for a client based in Texas, while I was in California. The office I worked in was very small and very quiet. To bridge the gap between my scheduled assignments, I started listening to the internet stream of Radio Four.

With my location in California and the hours I worked, meant that my day began and ended with a broadcast of the Shipping Forecast. I think it was also on Radio Four that I heard a
Ade Bailey
Sep 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: travel
I loved this very funny, often informative, quirky account of travelling around the areas of the shipping forecast (apart from Bailey which is all sea but he flew over it). Some fascinating bits of British history are discovered, and some very interesting characters. Look out for a Norwegian island populated by Everton fans. Great fun.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 21, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I couldn’t help but think that many journalists must have looked at what Bryson achieved, and the millions he has made, and thought, “For fuck’s sake, anyone could write that People’s Friend wank”, left the bar, lit a fag up over the word processor and completely failed to replicate that man’s populist style and gentle humour. Here’s another of them. I liked the idea because I agree that The Shipping Forecast is part of the patchwork of British life. What is it about though? I’ve wondered myself ...more
May 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this book will please any one who grew up in England and remembers listening to the shipping forecast each day. As the writer says, the report was always poetic and the names of the shipping areas around UK seemed romantic. I'm enjoying this unusual travel book around the UK seas.

June took me a long time to read this as it was my "book Bag" ie it travels with me to medical appointments, on ferries, etc so I always have something to read while waiting. I did enjoy the book very
Jan 17, 2012 rated it did not like it
This should have been a great book, the idea is to travel to all the places on the shipping forecast. I gave up after 30 pages, beaten back by the endless, tedious and unfunny quips that Connelly insists on making every second line.

Fortunately, Connelly mentions two other books previously written on the same subject which is handy for me as I'm sure they are both better than this waste of space.

The only redeeming factor in this whole unhappy episode is that I purchased the book from a charity s
Jan 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: travel
Don't be put off by the title this is a thoroughly enjoyable read. It is an account of visiting all the areas of the shipping forecast. It gives some insights to places I never knew existed. If you like your travel books this is a must.
Keziah Horne
Nov 24, 2010 rated it it was ok
I love the shipping forecast. To an unhealthy extent, some might say. I also hate travel books. This one succeeded in sucking the romance right out of that little denizen of British peculiarity. Visibility is good, occasionally poor in Fisher as I speak.
May 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
I thought it was too long, nearly funny, and then I thought perhaps I am just being grumpy.
Feb 23, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a book along the lines of Bill Bryson's travels around various countries. For me not as funny but I did laugh out loud at the description of the crossing to Lundy. The history of the shipping forecast and the various places and characters he met were interesting and made me realise how much I did not know about things we hear every day.

Alex Rooke
Aug 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books with such a simple & ingenious premise, that you wonder why it hadn't been done before. I'm a big fan of Charlie Connelly anyway, but for me, this is his best book to date with plenty of laugh out loud moments & his trademark self-deprecating humour coupled with a healthy dose of interesting anecdotes & history.

Whether he's eating & drinking his own body weight in shrimps & white wine on Utsire, enduring a weekend in the most boring town in the worl
Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A funny and charming travelogue of the shipping-forecast areas. Charlie Connelly visits those places (on land) that he feels best reflect their adjacent forecast areas. Starting of on the Norwegian island of Utsira, he travels clockwise around the UK (via Basque country) to Iceland, reporting on the local people, their history and customs, as he goes.

Occasionally Connelly's sometimes laddish humour wears a bit thin, especially, on one occasion, when he ruined a poignant observation with a cheap
Sep 27, 2008 rated it liked it
This book is very British, the author looks at the history of the shipping forcast and then visits all of the strange places that get mentioned on the forecast. It's probably read very well in quick succession to Bill Bryson's Notes on a small island.

We learn an aweful lot about some of the history of Britain, but much more about the strange characters that make up our world (including the author), and some fascinating background into the shipping news. Not quite as funny as someone like Danny W
Jun 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely brilliant read and I chanced upon it for free as a second-hand copy in October last year on holiday in Mexico. Thought it would be my cup of tea and it was - one of those books where the author gets some mad idea into his head - "I know, let's go and visit all the locations mentioned on the Shipping Forecast" - and actually goes and does it with some very amusing results! Both funny and fascinating in turn as Charlie ends up in all sorts of mad places, and the bit about the puffins is ...more
Oct 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Not very many books can make me laugh out loud (especially in the bath when you can hear your elderly neighbour shuffling about next door) but this one did. Am definitely a Charlie Connelly convert, and will be looking out for his other books! It also reinforced the Shipping Forecast as something that we should preserve!
Lisa Kelsey
Jan 10, 2013 rated it really liked it

In spite of the handicap of not having grown up in England hearing the shipping forecast, this travelogue delighted the heck out of me. What could be better than a tour of remote ocean-battered islands and coastal towns? Lots of intriguing little stories and tidbits, and very entertainingly written. Thank you Mr. Connelly for the fun ride!
Aug 19, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: travel
I had heard of the Shipping Forecast from the TV series "As Time Goes By", so thought this might give some background. A fun book, covering differing territory - Connelly is an interesting writer, so I'm considering picking up another of his books.
Dave Mills
May 27, 2016 rated it liked it
England's answer to Bill Bryson. Oops. Bryson now holds dual citizenship, so this is Connelly's answer to Bill Bryson. Or Connelly's answer to England. Or Connelly's answer to Charlie Connelly. Or Connelly's tribute to his great-grandfather. Or something like that.
Aug 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
As a teenager, I spent many looong weekends with my parents on their boat and listening to the shipping forecast was a ritual. I loved this book which I read about 3 years ago. It's a tale of British eccentricity as much as anything else but educates and makes you laugh at the same time.
Jun 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
~A charity shop purchase. I see from the cover it was a Radio 4 Book of the Week. Quite.
~Well written in the standard ex-journo sarcastic-speak. I'm going to look for more of his though, because I do like his style.
Jul 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Liked this a lot. Very funny and informative
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
When this book was chosen as the next read by our local book club, my heart sank, surely a book about the shopping forecast will be dull, boring and a book I would never complete, how wrong can you be? The book begins in Greenwich where I live so provided some local interest plus whilst I don't recall if I've ever heard the shipping forecast, everyone is aware of it, it's just always been there and there's a certain romance to that
Reading this book meant I learned about places within my own coun
Jo Hurst
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness this book was fantastic! It was not a quick read as it’s full of interesting facts and in fact it soon became clear that it was a book that needed to be savoured and not binge read. I knew I would love this as Charlie Connolly starts off by going round the pubs of my university days and before he had even left for his first destination I was away on a tide of pub related nostalgia. The tales of his great grandfather were brilliant and inspiring ( I am adding Constance street to my ...more
David Pearce
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those Dave Gorman style ideas that could have been a disaster, but instead produces a book that is well worth reading. As something of a land lubber Charlie Connelly feels like a bit of a disappointment to his seagoing forebears. However, his remedy is unusual to say the least. He starts off on a year long journey to visit every sea area covered by the shipping forecast. His adventures and misadventures are frequently amusing, sometimes hair raising but always interesting in his B ...more
Chris Jones
Feb 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
This is a book vaguely based on the shipping forecast by someone who knows nothing about the shipping forecast. If you're interested in learning about Charlie Connelly and how he spent his year, with the a structure of shipping forecast areas forming a vague theme, this is the book for you. He writes well enough.

If on the other hand you have no particular interest in the author but do have an interest in the Shipping Forecast, you should buy a book by someone who either knows something about met
Elizabeth Ducie
Feb 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Charlie Connelly sets out to visit, in a year, all the regions mentioned in the Shipping Forecast. There are some fascinating pieces: I was particularly taken with the story of lifeboat man, Henry Blogg; the history of Rockall; and the battles over Sealand. I sometimes felt the book should be sub-titled: What I Did On My Pub Crawl; but I guess there's not a lot else to do but drink in some of the places he visited. The whole venture seemed very British, which I suppose isn't necessarily a critic ...more
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Charlie Connelly (born 22 August 1970, London, England) is an author of popular non-fiction books. In addition to being a writer, Connelly also appears as a presenter on radio and television shows.

Charlie Connelly is a bestselling author and award-winning broadcaster. His many books include Attention All Shipping: A Journey Round The Shipping Forecast, In Search of Elvis: A Journey To Find The Man