Two of the book club members really liked this book. Jo Fairweather commented:
“I felt this was a good pick as “the north” is woven into my DNA, I love observational travelogues (viz Bill Bryson, Michael Palin and co) and I can laugh at my own northern-ness!
I thought it was well-observed if a bit political. The historical references were relevant, which was good for me as I’m very interested in social history. The personal family anecdotes were also a nice touch and relatable for anyone of my age group.
There may have been a strong Lancastrian slant, so it couldn’t be considered balanced, but it didn’t spoil the read and the obvious fondness for the subject was very apparent.
Overall, it was a light read. For the most part it met its own brief in that it covered much of the north, warts and all. It would be easy to be a bit critical about some of the subject matter with twelve years of hindsight and I can’t imagine that it would ever be used as a selling tool for northern tourist boards, but it wasn’t too bad”.
By contrast, another reader thought that the writing was dull, and that the book didn’t really didn’t reflect the north other than by using the stereotypes that everyone expects. One reader couldn’t believe that the author omitted the lovely city of York.
The overall book club score was 4/10