Mail Obsession: A Journey Round Britain by Postcode

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A book where the author travels around the postcodes of the UK and presents a fact about each of them.

That’s probably simplifying it slightly as it’s crammed with facts in between each. You can tell Mason struggled to keep it to one per postcode and so exposes a bunch like he has fact Tourette’s and couldn’t keep them in.

I think the quote on the back cover from Reader’s Digest sums my reading of this book up really well:

Almost every page contains at least one thing that you’ll be itching to startle your friends with.

It’s a wonderful book about Mason’s travels around the UK, with little observations, snippets of overheard conversations and side notes aplenty. It’s entertaining throughout and you’ll definitely learn something new.

One thing I would criticise is that he doesn’t visit every postcode, which feels a bit of a cop-out and that the author was either in a hurry or lazy (which seems unlikely given the exploits documented).

The other thing I found a bit odd was the chosen fact in a number of instances. You have the whole history of a postcode, each of which the book clearly illustrates are packed with stories, and then you end up with things like:

LU (Luton): Nick Owen was once refused entry to the Nick Owen Lounge at Luton Town FC’s ground.

Comical, yes, but the best fact for the entire of Luton? I’d hope not.

That said, the book does highlight just how much has gone on in any area of the UK you chose to examine closely. Life is literally busting out at the seams.

If you love a fact, the more obscure the better, then this is a great read.

 

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Reviewed: 22nd December 2019