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Very British Problems: Making Life Awkward for Ourselves, One Rainy Day at a Time

(Very British Problems #1)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  2,331 ratings  ·  246 reviews
There's an epidemic sweeping the nation. Symptoms include:
*Acute embarrassment at the mere notion of making a fuss;
*Extreme awkwardness when faced with any social greeting beyond a brisk handshake;
*An unhealthy preoccupation with meteorology.

Doctors have also reported several cases of unnecessary apologising, an obsessive interest in correct queuing e
Hardcover, 270 pages
Published October 10th 2013 by Sphere
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Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,331 ratings  ·  246 reviews

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Amalia Gavea
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolutely hilarious little book! I devoured it in two days, as I needed some light distraction after a much-stressed weekend. Each country in the world has its own sterotypes (although I prefer to call them mannerisms, but anyway.) and Rob Temple has managed to write about British habits in a funny, highly entertaining way without becoming offensive or resorting to silly jokes.

I cannot say whether all these ''problems'' do actually take place as described, but I am guilty of some- okay, ma
A mildly amusing novelty book based on Temple’s @soverybritish Twitter account. I have long since been disabused of my initial notion that the British are actually polite robots that run on tea (though after eight years in the UK I am now as fond of a lovely cup of tea as any Brit), but his generalizations still prompted an occasional chuckle.

It may be that I expected too much from a book that is, essentially, a Christmas stocking stuffer. Whatever you do, do not (as I did) read it a
Feb 17, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2017
The British are unique, there seems to be no other country whose people would actively seek to form an orderly queue unless it had too, nor do the citizens of many other countries apologise when it is not their fault having bumped into someone. We are obsessed with the weather, even though it rarely has the drama that happens in other countries. Whilst displays of emotion are not forbidden, most struggle to go beyond a swift handshake. Apart from the odd un British like person who suffers from r ...more
Sep 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anglophiles
Blimey, what a fun little book! If you're looking for an entertaining quick read, don't dilly-dally, go get this book! I'm sure the author will be quite chuffed if you do. Also, check out the tweets on Twitter for more British problems.
Beth Kennedy
Jan 07, 2015 rated it liked it
This book is so British, it apologises for being a book.
Sep 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is just the perfect book if you're a Brit, it sums us up PERFECTLY. I was pretty much laughing the entire time because it's so true. I always get angry when I'm in a queue and someone queue jumps, and I store my anger inside, because that's just what we do - we do not call a person out on their rudeness, we just seethe. And we're so awkward... It just - I could imagine myself in every situation, acting the same way.

You just have to read it and laugh, because it's amazing, and it will absol
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
Hilarious. One of those books where you either look like a loon, chuckling to yourself and shaking your head, or spend half your time reading bits out loud so everyone else can join you.
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very British, very funny. It's all about keeping up appearances:
Unbelievable, the things you can be embarrassed about.
Being a bit of a people-pleaser myself, I was pleasantly surprised how many of these situations do not make me feel awkward. At all. Not one bit.
And Brexit won't help with those, tee-hee.
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Just like other people, I have been laughing about tweets that float around from the Very British Problems account. Little is good, more must be better, right? Unfortunately no.

As it turns out, I had already seen the funniest jokes in there because so many people could relate to them (including me) - believe or not that's the reason they are retweeting them.

Jokes I hadn't seen before were the biggest part of the book - the bits I (and probably all those people who didn't retweet) co
Hayley 🐝
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Too funny. Rob Temple is brilliant. He captures the awkward, queue loving British public perfectly. I highlighted so many passages in this book, I definitely suffer from VBP; such a fun read on my lunch hour
Sammi Jayne Brooks
This "book" is quite embarrassing, to be honest.

There are about 10 spelling/grammar errors on EVERY page and the formatting is terrible. I actually got a refund after I finished reading because I'm not supporting an "author" who has just dumped the contents of their website/twitter account into a book and not at least use a basic SPELL CHECKER to fix up errors. On top of all that, there are repeats (worded differently) throughout as well, adding to the bore of reading it.

I had a few
Jan 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a "occasionally pick up and flick through" type book that's incredibly amusing and frighteningly accurate. It's a really brilliant addition to the British persons life. I tabbed the ones that I found relatable (there are quite a few!)

I like this! It's really charming!
I'd recommend it (even to those non British folk!)
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I fell in love with the @SoVeryBritish Twitter account when I discovered it last year. A lot of what is posted on there seems to apply to me, typically the scenarios involving awkward social situations, which I often find myself in. So when my brother mentioned that there is also a series of books containing some of these problems, I just could not resist it.

Much like the Twitter account, Very British Problems lists the various awkward and uncomfortable situations that British people
Faith Spinks
Sep 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are a couple of things which the British are really quite good at. Under-exaggeration is one, and not quite managing to say exactly what they really mean is another. But one talent which is really very British is the ability to mock and laugh at ourselves. And this book is really quite a good example of this.

Reading it I really laughed quite a lot, it was really not too bad at all. In fact it was pretty good considering that it was about the British after all.

If you are Britis
Jan 06, 2015 rated it liked it
I suspect the funniest situations have been shared on the Twitter feed, but if you want them all in one place, this is a sharply accurate insight into the British psyche. At least, I identified with it, so I'm relieved this book suggests I'm not alone in getting off a bus too early (having rung the bell in error) or apologising to someone who's bashed my ankle with their supermarket trolley.
On a minor note, I was disappointed that a mainstream publisher would allow a book to be distributed
Alannah Clarke
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
A great wee book, perfect to dip in and out of but it's very easy to binge read in one sitting like I just did.
This was just what I needed to put a smile on my face. Very funny and oh so true!
Pamela Shropshire
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hilarious! I’m not British, but I’m an introvert, so I relate to much of the book.
Mar 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: loo-reading, humour
If you're looking for a book to buy in hard-copy and leave in the downstairs loo, this is a perfect choice. As something for family and friends to browse whilst dealing with more important 'business', it's a pretty good source of a giggle or two for a few minutes. Trouble is that it's not something you can really sit down and read from cover to cover - which is what I tried to do.

I bought this for my Kindle and found it to be a case of a small joke stretched too far and I also found
Dec 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have been a follower of Very British Problems on Twitter for quite a while now. When I read Rob Temple put together a book of the amusing British observations I knew I had to acquire a copy.

Sadly my local library didn't have a copy but I was in luck with Thrift Books! If you've never been to that site let me tell you, it's a gem when you are looking for a hard to find book and the prices are phenomenal. They even have a wish list and will alert you when you book is in.
This book pa
May 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2014
As I read for myself I'd rate it 2 stars, but I'd rate it as 4 stars to give as a gift, so I settled on 3.

I bought this book after seeing a list of quotes from it that had me doubled over with laughter going 'That's me! That's SO me!' Unfortunately that list turned out to be all the best quotes from the book, so I gained little more from actually reading the whole thing. Another disappointment was that within the book itself there are many lines or ideas that are repeated multiple ti
Michael Cummings
I grabbed the kindle edition, so these notes are particular to that release:

* Formatting: bleh. Not a single consistent font though the book. Pages that have two lines of text. At least the formatting made for a quick read (I see goodreads lists the book as having 200+ pages? More like 50. I read the bulk of it in an hour.)
* Content: I (mistakenly) expected something with a bit more discussion. This book is to Britain what Foxworthy is to Red Necks - largely a collection of "yo
Sabrina Grafenberger
Feb 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
"Revealing you don't like tea and being stared at as if you've just pissed on the table."

"Being prepared to argue to the death, at any given moment, over the correct method of making tea."

"Discovering a wet spoon has recently entered the sugar, and vowing not to have guests round again for a while."

These are just three Very British Problems but believe me, the other one's are just as funny. This book is hilarious.
David Baird
It seems the best Very British Problems have been saved for the twitter account and the merchandise they've created.

My major problem with the book is sometimes things are repeated or very similar to what you've already read.

Not the funny read i was expecting if i'm honest

Would i read it again? No.

Would i give this as a gift to someone? No
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a christmas present from a friend and boy do they know me well!

A thoroughly enjoyable read. I've read a vast majority on twitter so I was a little dissapointed to see so many repeats but still great. highly recommend!!
Dec 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, hachette
So, so funny. And accurate. No really. Describes every British friend I've ever had...and me sometimes, after living here a while.
Mar 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
So funny, I laughed out loud in places. These are so true and look so ridiculous when written down but they happen to us all!
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: satire, humour
There have been times when I almost fell off my seat with laughter. This really is hilarious, especially when you reognise yourself.

Unsure how it will translare for non-Brits though the popularity of the Twitter account that inspured this book suggests it does.

My edition contained a number of line illustrations.
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quite a few of these are laugh out loud hilarious! For instance - "Calculating the correct amount of time to stand up so as not to appear callous when someone brings a baby into the office."

"1992 - The first ever text message is sent, meaning from this year forth Brits are able to express something nearing emotion without the horror of having to look anyone in the face."

"1814 - The London Beer Flood sees 1.46 million litres of beer burst from vats and flood central London
Nice book, but I think it worked better as tweets.

Now there were quite a few hahaha's, but also some OK, this is it?'s and even some Ugh, lame.'s. Some I didn't even think as being British, but just something that everyone has a problem with, or can happen to anyone.

The book is separated in several chapters of various subjects. From office, to bars, to weather. We have chapters with an endless barrage of matching tweets, and chapters with some normal silly stuff.

My favourite parts
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Rob Temple is a journalist and founder of the @SoVeryBritish Twitter account, which now has more than one million followers, and a consultant on the official Channel 4 Very British Problems series.

Originally from Peterborough, he recently moved from South London to the countryside to provide more storage space for his rapidly expanding collection of inedible hot sauces and to be alone

Other books in the series

Very British Problems (2 books)
  • Very British Problems Abroad
“Switching from 'kind regards' to 'regards' as a warning that you're dangerously close to losing your temper.” 2 likes
“Failing to understand someone, begging their pardon three times and then just nodding and smiling.” 2 likes
More quotes…