Tag: Sense of Humour

Tony Hawks – A Piano in the Pyrenees | Review

Title: A Piano in the Pyrenees

Author: Tony Hawks

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count: 312

Rating: 4/5

This non-fiction book tells the story of what happened when a middle-aged British comedian called Tony Hawks decided to buy a house in France, almost on a whim. He also decided to take his piano over there so that he could finally learn to play the thing.

It was a fun little book, and overall I found it to be a pleasure to work my way through it. My only real complaint would be that the pacing was a little off, in that it felt as though the whole book covered a period of just a couple of months or so.

Other than that though, there were some great little insights into French culture here, as well as a few smatterings of French dialogue that were enjoyable for me as someone who’s slowly but surely trying to learn the language. There were also some great little examples of culture shock or of misunderstandings, particularly when Hawks was trying to navigate the complicated French legal landscape to purchase properties and to build swimming pools, despite being utterly useless at assembling basic flat packs.

I’ve read a couple of Hawks’ other books at this point, and tonality and sense of humour wise, it’s pretty similar to those. That means that if you enjoyed Round Ireland with a Fridge, for example, then you’re probably going to enjoy this one too. Sure, his sense of humour might not be quite right for everyone, but Hawks has always made me laugh and he did so here, too.

There were occasional borderline sexist comments in it here and there, but then I suppose that gave it a certain sense of realness. He was a single bloke surrounded by Frenchwomen, after all. But overall, yeah.

Learn more about A Piano in the Pyrenees.

Terry Deary – Dark Knights and Dingy Castles | Review

Title: Dark Knights and Dingy Castles

Author: Terry Deary

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count: 176

Rating: 4/5

I was a big fan of the Horrible Histories books back when I was a kid, and so when I won a job lot bundle of them on eBay for a bargain price because of a misspelling in the title, I was delighted to find a few books in there that I hadn’t come across.

It’s made even better by the fact that they were all about half again as long as a regular Horrible Histories book, which meant there was more for me to geek out on, and that this one in particular focusses on medieval history, which is probably my favourite period, all things considered.

This one is worth reading whether you’re a kid or an adult, and especially so if you’re into medieval stuff and castles. The sense of humour is occasionally juvenile, but the information itself is solid gold. It’s arguably now one of my favourites of his!

Learn more about Dark Knights and Dingy Castles.