Book Review: Birmingham: It’s Not Shit: 50 Things That Delight About Brum


“You know that Birmingham isn’t shit. Sometimes, though, you can’t articulate exactly why…

In this funny, revelatory and occasionally even nostalgic collection, the team behind Paradise Circus explore the places, people and Brummie ephemera that delight us about the second city. It lays out the ineffable reasons why we say ‘Birmingham: it’s not shit’, and then effs them.
Meet at the ramp and Jon Bounds, Jon Hickman and Danny Smith will dally down Dale End and take you up The Ackers. Discover Aston Villa’s sarcastic advertising hoarding, learn why Snobs could literally be magical, and dig up what might or might not be buried under Spaghetti Junction.”

I was kindly ‘given’ this book for my recent birthday (actually, I bought it for myself the week before – but gave it to my husband so he could give it back to me to celebrate me turning 48 a few days later #jointbankaccount)

I loved it – and did that massively annoying thing of reading it in bed, laughing, and then dictating chunks to my husband who was just trying to watch the news in peace.

Admittedly I think it’s pretty niche. This is not a book to give to non Brummies in an attempt to win them over. This is firmly for people who’ve grown up within the 11 route. If you don’t know what that is (and have never even considered doing the Walkathon in the 80s / 90s) this is not the book for you.

But if you are an aficionado of Snobs and Mr Egg, you support Villa or Blues and have ever been taken up The Ackers – then you will enjoy it!

And whilst being a Brummie is a pre requisite to reading this – I reckon at 48 (just!), I’m pretty target age range too. I’ll get my Mum to read it and see if it still works at 72 (I’m not sure she’s ever been to Snobs or Mr Egg – but would still enjoy some of it I’m sure!) I’m not going to bother getting the teenagers to read it, they call Worcester ‘town’ for goodness sake #heathens #livinginB48

Right – I’m off to Venice in the summer with a trundle wheel to measure just how long those canals are (definitely less than Birmingham!) and if you like the sound of the book – you can buy it from Amazon – and also read why it’s had to be sold by the ‘untaxed behoth of capitalism’ here.

5* would highly recommend – the book and my home city!

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