Reviews

  • Delightfully good ... an exuberant and learned celebration of British culture ... full of love for and fascination with everything from the origins of heavy metal in the metal-bashing industries of the West Midlands to the ruthlessness of John Lennon's and Damien Hirst's lust for money.

    Nick Cohen, Observer
  • Not only thoroughly entertaining, but crammed with as many serious insights as a shelf-ful of academic studies.

    Alwyn W Turner, The Telegraph
  • Relentlessly entertaining ... unashamed in its concentration on popular culture ... unearthing all kinds of forgotten cultural heroes.

    Daisy Goodwin, Sunday Times
  • I read it in less than two days, my attention never flagging ... It's dramatic, perceptive and often extremely funny

    John Preston, Spectator
  • I read it in less than two days, my attention never flagging ... Embracing everything from Black Sabbath's guitarist, Tony Iommi, losing his fingers in a sheet metal press to the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, it's dramatic, perceptive and often extremely funny.

    Books of the Year, Spectator
  • It was hard to find a more convincing read ... a highly entertaining look at everything from The Avengers to Harry Potter that proclaims Britain as the champion of culture, spreading words and songs internationally like no other

    Books of the Year, Sunday Times
  • Sandbrook's hugely enjoyable analysis of why we continue to punch above our weight in this area ... covers everything from boarding school tales (Tom Brown to Harry Potter) to country house tales (Brideshead and Downton), the works of Tolkien to the 2012 Olympics.

    Books of the Year, Mail on Sunday
  • Terrific fun ... Sandbrook isn't like other historians ... He heads off down strange, neglected byways, teasing out unexpected connections, with the results often proving far more illuminating - and enjoyable - than conventional narratives ... I defy you not to be swept up in a narrative that's as colourful as it is dramatic.

    John Preston, Mail on Sunday
  • Engrossing ... delightful ... a book that relishes an argument and likes to challenge received opinion ... not only thoroughly entertaining, but crammed with as many serious insights as a shelf-ful of academic studies.

    Alwyn Turner, Daily Telegraph
  • Witty ... enthusiastic ... a passionate and admirable defence of coach-party musical theatre, large-print historical fiction, wedding reception rock, Orc sagas, To the Manor Born, Arnold Bennett, Billy Bunter and Billy Elliot ... The hot core of his story, though, is made of the most thrillingly unlikely material.

    Matthew Sweet, Guardian

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