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Dor Does Books

Oh, hai! I read books, then I write down what I think of them. 



Insufficiently Engaging - Insufficiently Welsh by Griff Rhys Jones

Insufficiently Welsh - Griff Rhys Jones

I picked this one up off the back of having watched the ITV series it accompanies. If I tell you the show was broadcast in the half hour slot between Coronation Streets during which most people are watching Eastenders, you may appreciate what you are going to get here.


The "challenge" of the TV series was for Griff Rhys Jones to rediscover his Welshness. Despite being born in the greatest nation on earth, he grew up in Essex. It wasn't his fault. Each episode, and each chapter, covers him attempting a Welsh themed challenge, from singing the national anthem, to walking a corgi, to finding the holy grail. 


Yes. Yes, I know. Everybody was watching Eastenders, remember?


The book is not so much a written version of the TV show as an account of filming it. While some parts may well have been used wholesale for the voiceover, there are also more general asides regarding the bits between the camera and this book fills in the personal experience angle the show could only represent with its presenter's gurning visage. 


Griff Rhys Jones is a decent writer who occasionally gets all the way up to engaging when the topic serves. The best bits happen when he's away from the narrative created by the editing suite, such as his account of trying to get around a treetop assault course yoke, and he does a straight job on what is not trying to be more than a phoned-in product. That doesn't actually sound like praise but it is.


Honestly, there's not a lot here to recommend it. If you are really interested in Wales and you see it cheap/at the library, give it a whirl because it's fun enough in its own way and there are plenty of interesting facts you can share with any friends you haven't managed to alienate yet. I'm giving it 3 stars because I liked the series and I'm Welsh, but I'm also in an inexplicably good mood. Everybody else can give it 2.5. 


A further note: although this is a TV tie-in book, the Kindle version I read had no images or photographs. This baby is all text. *rubs thighs appreciatively*