The Anglo Files

  • by Sarah Lyall
  • Narrated by Cassandra Campbell
  • 9 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Sarah Lyall, a reporter for the New York Times, moved to London in the mid-1990s and soon became known for her amusing and incisive dispatches on her adopted country. As she came to terms with its eccentric inhabitants (the English husband who never turned on the lights, the legislators who behaved like drunken frat boys, the hedgehog lovers, the people who extracted their own teeth), she found that she had a ringside seat at a singular transitional era in British life. The roller-coaster decade of Tony Blair's New Labor government was an increasingly materialistic time when old-world symbols of aristocratic privilege and stiff-upper-lip sensibility collided with modern consumerism, overwrought emotion, and a new (but still unsuccessful) effort to make the trains run on time. Appearing a half-century after Nancy Mitford's classic Noblesse Oblige, Lyall's book is a brilliantly witty account of 21st-century Britain that will be recognized as a contemporary classic.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An American in the U.K.

As a English person living in the U.S. I was intrigued by the experiences of a writer who was doing the reverse. The author made many keen observations that were insightful and witty. It is always a shock to see ourselves as others see us! However, this recording is blighted by the narrator. Her attempts at English accents would make Dick Van Dyke in "Mary Poppins" sound positively Shakespearean. Also the production was littered with egregious mispronunciations which greatly diminished the enjoyment of the book. This is a situation that could so easily have been rectified.
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Dreadful

Narration is not the best -- but I was expecting the kind of 'laughing at ourselves' humor found in "Notes from a Small Island" by Bill Bryson, or "Three Men in a Boat" by Jerome K. Jerome, but Lyall is condescending, sarcastic, and sanctimonious in her comments about English living. According to her, everything is better in American and in every chapter she sneers at the British (politics, sports, etc.) with the implication (if not the outright statement) that the Americans are so much better at everything (particularly newspapers). The book lacks warmth or any love of the British way of life, and (perhaps because she is a NYT reporter) presents what seem to be just the facts, but I found to be nasty jibes at a culture that is different and therefore fair game for snide commentary.
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- Moire "Life long fan of the mystery story. I like books where something actually happens, so history and biography are favorites of mine also. I also think that even good books are improved tremendously when an actor performs the narration."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-25-2008
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio