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How to Be a Brit A classic of the genre funny and wit with a very clever humour An interesting and entertaining book on cultural diversity and British uniuenessHowever having being published decades ago it's a bit outdated and sometimes as an expat in London it makes me difficult to relate to itHighly recommended to be read along with Angela Kiss's How to be an alien in England which provides an eually interesting and sharply hilarious yet updated look at the English character An Englishman even if he is alone forms an orderly ueue of one This uote says all there is to say about this book I say this book is uite enjoyable This in a omniminibus comprisingHow to be an Alien 1946How to be Inimitable 1960How to be Decadent 1977Gentle humour from a Hungarian immigrant that inspired many others See my detailed review of How to be an Alien HERE 35 I’ve been reading this for weeks off and on and only just realized that the cover deliberately says “Minibus” instead of “Omnibus” Anyway The three volumes vary a bit in uality see my individual reviews – How to Be an Alien 4 stars; How to Be Inimitable 3 stars; How to Be Decadent 35 stars – so overall it’s a 35 I enjoy books like this that give a wry and loving look at one’s adopted country I bought this and various other books with the voucher I got as a leaving present from my first and so far only proper job in the UK I read the book years ago than I like to admit in my undergrad days while living in Perugia and attending the Italian University for Foreign Students It was actually a gift from one of my professors a British don of decidedly 'old school' sensibilities When he handed me Mikes' little book Dr Tompkins Guinn informed me that although I was a frighteningly 'ignorant Yank' he'd decided I wasn't stupid Mikes' guide to the uirks of British culture turned out to be the first step in a sustained campaign by my often tipsy Virgil to open my Midwestern mind to a much wider worldI don't know if Dr Tompkins Guinn ultimately judged his project a success but I'll always remember those months in Perugia My encounter with Mikes years before I actually set foot on British soil was my first direct experience of that wonderful tradition of British humor that's every bit as dry as the gin martinis that I also learned to appreciate under kindly Dr T G's eccentric tutelageI suspect in some ways Mikes hasn't aged well Dr Tompkins Guinn certainly didn't But I'd recommend the book heartily to anyone who harbors an abiding affection for the uirks and s that defined and sustained Britain as she emerged from the devastation of World War 2 and began to find her uncertain way in a new world in which the sun did indeed set on the Empire even if no one wanted to admit it I'm attracted to the Penguin classic design book and when I saw How To Be a Brit at the Last Bookstore in Downtown Los Angeles it brought back memories of me going to used bookstores in London and finding old Penguin paperbacks from the 1940s That it has illustrations going through the entire book is an additional plus I didn't buy it Two weeks later I saw it at a Tokyo bookstore that has an English language section and they had a stack of this title For sure the perfect book for the foreigner visiting another country Still I didn't buy it It wasn't until I got back from Japan that I went back to The Last Bookstore to locate this damn book I did and went to the library to get other titles by George MikesI have a fascination with books by foreigners writing about another culture Mikes originally came from Hungary and lived in London for most of his life In a sense he became British than the British and on top of that he knew there is a cultural difference between the British and everyone else Some of the commentaries are out of fashion but for me that's not a problem Even the subject matter is not that important to me What's important is Mikes' language and his funny observations that border on being stereotyping but that's OK How To be a Brit is actually three short books put together How to be an Alien How to be Inimitable and How to be Decadent which sadly has no Sadian touches but with how the every day British treat themselves Nicolas Bentley's illustrations throughout the book are charming funny and a reminder of Robert Benchley's world In fact there are traces of Benchley in Mikes' work Both are the absurd humorists commenting on the everyday life of well people George Mikes has written many successful books on a variety of interesting subjects but one so successful as those on the subject most central to his own experience his adopted country The first of these came out in 1946 the ever famous How to be an Alien Later he enlarges the picture with How to be inimitable and How to be Decadent All three books were illustrated by the master of the cartoonists’ art the late Nicolas Bentley Here they are all in one volume which will make life much easier for today's would be Brits than it was for those who pervaded them It is said that a few of the latter actually failed to become indistinguishable from the genuine British article because they found it too tiresome to seek out three separate books a misfortune that need never again occur to anyone I got this as a funny gift from my British boyfriend because I think I'm British by default because I'm dating one It was not nearly funny as I hoped it would be I registered a book at BookCrossingcom A combination of three books by the same author an expatriate to the UK One written in the 40s one in the 60s one in the 70s But the humor has aged well Funny for anyone who's an anglophile or anyone who likes to make fun of people who are anglophiles


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About the Author: George Mikes

George Mikes pronounced Mik esh was a Hungarian born British author best known for his humorous commentaries on various countriesMikes graduated in Budapest in 1933 and started work as a journalist on Reggel Morning a Budapest newspaper For a short while he wrote a column called Intim Pista for Színházi Élet Theatre LifeIn 1938 Mikes became the London correspondent for Reggel and 8 Ó