Queenan Country by Joe Queenan
A Reluctant Anglophile's Pilgrimage to the Mother Country

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Synopsis

In this hilarious romp through England, one of America's preeminent humorists seeks the answer to an eternal question: What makes the Brits tick?



One semitropical Fourth of July, Joe Queenan's English wife suggested that the family might like a chicken vindaloo in lieu of the customary barbecue. It was this pitiless act of gastronomic cultural oppression, coupled with dread of the fearsome Christmas pudding that awaited him for dessert, that inspired the author to make a solitary pilgrimage to Great Britain. Freed from the obligation to visit an unending procession of Aunty Margarets and Cousin Robins, as he had done for the first twenty-six years of their marriage, Queenan decided that he would not come back from Albion until he had finally penetrated the limey heart of darkness.



His trip was not in vain. Crisscrossing Old Blighty like Cromwell hunting Papists, Queenan finally came to terms with the choochiness, squiffiness, ponciness, and sticky wicketness that lie at the heart of the British character. Here he is trying to find out whose idea it was to impale King Edward II on a red-hot poker-and what this says about English sexual politics. Here he is in an Edinburgh pub foolishly trying to defend Paul McCartney's "Ebony and Ivory." And here he is, trapped in a concert hall with a Coventry-based all-Brit Eagles tribute band named Talon who resent that they are nowhere near as famous as their evil nemeses, the Illegal Eagles. At the end of his epic adventure, the author returns chastened, none the wiser, but encouraged that his wife is actually as sane as she is, in light of her fellow countrymen.



 

About Joe Queenan

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JOE QUEENAN has been a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, GQ, and Spy. He has written for Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Playboy, Golf Digest, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and The New Republic, and contributes to The New York Times, and The Guardian. He has appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, Good Morning America, Today, and The Daily Show. His books include The New York Times bestseller and Notable Book Closing Time: A Memoir.
 
Published April 1, 2007 by Henry Holt and Co.. 268 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Travel, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, History. Non-fiction

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And that raises the serious possibility of there being a President Quayle: ``The next time Dan Quayle loses an election,'' Queenan points out, ``will be the first time he loses an election.'' But, the author believes, even with Quayle at the helm, the ship of state will stay afloat: ``If twenty-f...

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He goes on to discuss stadium etiquette—when mooned by a drunk fat lady “sporting a tattoo and wearing a microscopic thong,” he announces, “This is not what Abner Doubleday had envisioned”—to provide an analysis of sports movies, and to review incompetent team announcers.

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Imposing their values on dead historical figures, Queenan suggests, indulges their tendency to “pick a fight they can’t possibly lose.” In two of the better tongue-in-cheek sections, Queenan acts as historian (identifying the 1971 release of Carole King’s Tapestry as the moment that caused the Bo...

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The right-wing conservative in recovery admits he feels as out of place as Mumia might at a Fraternal Order of Police convention, but recovers in time to expose the economics and egocentrics of Greenpeace, Amnesty International, alternative medicine, Eastern spirituality, animal rightists, and "g...

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The only writers they like are dead or exotic or Paul Auster”), or book critics (“mostly servile muttonheads, lacking the nerve to call out famous authors for their daft plots and slovenly prose), or book clubs (“I would rather have my eyelids gnawed on by famished gerbils than join a book club”).

Aug 09 2012 | Read Full Review of Queenan Country: A Reluctant ...

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In its juicier moments, this apple doesn’t fall far from the twee, though the usually dyspeptic author notes that he’s personally “more sarcastic than arch.” Waxing wroth, Queenan gets our British cousins to show us their knickers.

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The Guardian

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Queenan Country: A Reluctant Anglophile's Pilgrimage to the Mother Country by Joe Queenan Picador £16.99, pp100 'I would like to live in Manchester,' mused Mark Twain.

Feb 27 2005 | Read Full Review of Queenan Country: A Reluctant ...

Publishers Weekly

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Humorist Queenan’s (Closing Time: A Memoir) mordantly funny reflections on his relationships with books will resonate with many avid readers, particularly those burdened by guilt over the number of Great Books they never managed to complete.

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Publishers Weekly

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Humorist Queenan calls this account of his 2002 trip to Great Britain "an affectionate jeremiad," conveying both his emotional ambivalence and displaying his favorite rhetorical device, the oxymoron.

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Continue Amusing bluster about stars and movie themes by wiseacre Queenan (Imperial Caddy, 1992), a regular contributor to Rolling Stone, Movieline ...

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Book Reporter

Joe Queenan, the acerbic satirist on everything from Hollywood films to sports fandom, takes a crack at travel literature with his new book, QUEENAN COUNTRY.

Jan 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Queenan Country: A Reluctant ...

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