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Notes From An Even Smaller Island
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Notes From An Even Smaller Island

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  168 ratings  ·  21 reviews
The author explores all aspects of Singaporean life, taking in the sights, dissecting the culture and illuminating each place and person with his perceptive and witty observations. From 'hard' determined aunties to the materialistic younger generation, from Singlish to kiasuism and from Singaporeans at home to Singaporean abroad, Neil Humphreys takes an in-depth, candid ...more
Published (first published November 1st 2001)
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Average rating 3.70  · 
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Jul 22, 2010 rated it liked it
Humphreys does a great job of comparing and contrasting between his country of birth, England, and his adopted country, Singapore. He has a great sense of humor, which is always a plus for me. He also balances between the good characteristics of Singaporeans and their way of life with some of the not quite as flattering qualities nicely.

There were a couple of minor misunderstandings in his writing that had me chuckling to myself when it came to the chapter on his group tour of the western part
Aug 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
A must read for anyone living in Singapore. Kiasu explains so much!
Eustacia Tan
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nlb-ereads
Decided to take a trip down memory lane and reread this! I remember it being side-splittingly funny and luckily my memory isn't as bad as I feared. If you haven't heard of the book before, Notes from an Even Smaller Island is basically a collection of essays by Neil Humphrey, an ang moh who moved to Singapore from Britain.

I remember the book being funny the first time round, but I didn't remember it making such good points. The book actually tackles issues like depending on filial piety to
Paige Kilian
Nov 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Witty. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Sep 05, 2018 rated it liked it
I am just curious to find out Mr. Humphreys' thoughts on India xD
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Still humorous and relevant after all these years. The incisive commentary into Singaporeans' cultural quirks was especially enjoyable!
Aug 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: singapore, asia, released
I bought this from a chock full secondhand bookshop in Singapore, hoping for some insights. I started reading on the plane on the way home and whizzed through the first half. It was amusing, self-deprecating and genuinely interesting. But about halfway through, I started to become irritated at the author’s “I’m just a common Dagenham boy” act and some of his studentlike antics, plus he started repeating himself and trying to get all political.

“Take a walk down Orchard Road on any given day and
Sep 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I can remember exactly where and when I read this book. I was sitting in a lovely mediterranean-style tiled pool in 2001 in a deserted resort in North East Bali, post-bombing, having just came back from a wreck dive of a WW2 warship. I was in absolutely no danger of losing my life in the rusty barnacled wreck down in the watery depths but this book made me laugh so hard I almost drowned in waist-high water. But it would have been a pretty good way to go. I believe the best way to find out more ...more
Crystal Riley Koenig
Like Humphreys, I'm an expat living in an HDB flat in the heartlands of Singapore, so it's true that I might be a little biased in my positive rating of the book. But there's no denying that he's hilarious, and his observations on life in Singapore are often spot-on. He manages to criticize some aspects of Singapore without getting too condescending, although he is sometimes guilty of making sweeping generalizations. A must-read if you're a Westerner living in Singapore, and a funny account of ...more
Jun 09, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: singapore-books
Neil Humphreys' book is a humourous take on life as in Singapore as seen from the eyes of a Brit living in HDB flats and encountering Singaporeans everyday teaching and living with them. Though written almost a decade ago, it's still applicable to today and definitely gets points for looking at both the good and bad of Singaporean society. He had me laughing out loud at points and nodding in agreement. Probably should be a must-read for anyone getting their feet wet in Singaporean life.

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David Jacobson
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
I think this book is meant to offer a Bill Bryson-esque take on the nation of Singapore, commenting on it through humorous stories and anecdotes. The problem is that most of the book is just not very funny; the stories are often juvenile, overly simplistic and drawn out. The best parts are when the author drops the comedy act and writes honestly about the good and bad, as he sees it, of Singaporean culture.
Jan 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-english
Maybe I've been in Singapore too long to really enjoy this book. Yes, there are some funny passages, but overall it's just not my kind of humour. I can certainly relate to some of the situations. I don't feel an urge to read the sequels.
Kristine Ray
Dec 12, 2010 rated it it was ok
The book was relatively funny and interesting. However, I found it annoying that the author thrashed other expats in Singapore for not living in HDB's, spending time with other expats, and for not chosing to eat at hawker centers all the time. Sounds like jealousy to me....
Shu Yi Lee
Every individual is entitled to his or her own opinions but not to the exclusion of everybody else's.

Funny, light reading. The parts about kiasu-ism, dogma, loosening up, and the meaning of life were things that struck me particularly.
May 24, 2011 rated it liked it
Nov 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i love this book!
Yoni Garbourg
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
Funny, but cheesy.
Insightful, but not really.
Looking for a better read on my newly adopted home....
Nov 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious essential guide to Singapore culture
Reading this made me realize how much Singapore has changed in just 16 years.Also, props to Neil for pointing out the horrible driving of bus drivers over here. Some things never change...
Kathy Chung
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book certainly have more charms than the final notes which I read earlier.

Yes his description of what he encounter in Singapore and his homeland was rather funny.
Let friends, with this KMI pengalamn divide us, that we learn from each other for good.
Susan Singh
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Jan 03, 2018
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Mar 16, 2016
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Nov 14, 2007
Aditya Krishnan
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Jun 27, 2013
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May 24, 2012
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Jan 16, 2017
Arran Yates
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Aug 08, 2014
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Oct 04, 2012
Mark Philp
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Jun 26, 2010
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Neil Humphreys is a British humour columnist and author of three best-selling books about Singapore - Notes From an Even Smaller Island (2001), Scribbles from the Same Island (2003) and Final Notes from a Great Island (2006). The last of these was on Singapore's bestsellers list for several consecutive weeks, proving the popularity of his writings among Singaporeans. His latest book in this series ...more