Saturday, 31 March 2018

Free Country by George Mahood

Free Country: A Penniless Adventure The Length of Britain by George Mahood
Self published in December 2014.

One of my 2018 IndieAthon Reads
One of my 2018 Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge reads

How I got this book:
Bought the ebook from Amazon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The plan is simple. George and Ben have three weeks to cycle 1000 miles from the bottom of England to the top of Scotland. There is just one small problem… they have no bikes, no clothes, no food and no money. Setting off in just a pair of Union Jack boxer shorts, they attempt to rely on the generosity of the British public for everything from food to accommodation, clothes to shoes, and bikes to beer. 

During the most hilarious adventure, George and Ben encounter some of Great Britain's most eccentric and extraordinary characters and find themselves in the most ridiculous situations. Free Country is guaranteed to make you laugh (you may even shed a tear). It will restore your faith in humanity and leave you with a big smile on your face and a warm feeling inside.

I haven't giggled at a book so much as this for ages. Free Country is a very funny memoir as well as being a timely read to restore a little of my faith in Britain and British people in these divisive Brexit times. George and his friend Ben set out from Land's End with no preparation, no money, no gear and (almost) no clothes, just a half-baked idea that the kindness and generosity of the Great British Public will see them through 1000 miles to John O'Groats. And (spoiler alert!) most of the time they are proved right.

I sometimes entertain ideas of undertaking a long distance walk or cycle ride myself before thinking better of it and I know a guy who cycled the 1000 mile LEJOG so I have an idea of just how tough it would be. To add in so many deliberate difficulties is, I think, mind-numbingly daft but it does make for a great story and wonderfully entertaining reading. I loved George's sense of humour and laughed ot loud so many times that my partner started making remarks about 'still reading That Book?' He's now reading it himself!

For fans of quirky journey memoirs, eccentric Brit adventures and humorous stories, this is definitely one for the TBR list.

Etsy Find!
by Ficelles et Papier in
Toulouse, France

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Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by George Mahood / Biography and memoir / Books from England


  1. Replies
    1. I'd love to know if you found this memoir as hilarious as I did. It's very British humour :-)

  2. They really did this?! I can definitely how this book would be entertaining lol and how it would restore your faith in people :-)

    1. Complete nutters, the pair of them, but that makes for a good story :-)

  3. This book sounds like so much fun and enjoyment. And what a crazy idea to try and see through to the end! But a brilliant thing to have experienced in life. I love the sound of this read :D