Book Review: Lessons from the Land of Pork Scratchings

I just finished a new book by Greg Gutfeld called Lessons from the Land of Pork Scratchings: How a Miserable Yank Discovers the Secret of Happiness in Britain. You may recognize Greg Gutfeld from Fox News’ “Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld” but prior to landing a spot on television he worked as a magazine editor in the UK.

lessons from the land of pork scratchings

In his new book,  Gutfeld describes feeling a bit of trepidation about moving to a new country, but in the end found Britain so endearing that when the time came he was reluctant to leave it behind.

The book is divided into 95 two or three page chapters dedicated to different aspects of British culture. The author relates his personal experiences with good humour and when he pokes fun at Britain, it’s usually matched with a criticism of America. Personally, I appreciated his effort to remain objective and not write a book that was a comparison of Britain to America. I think Gutfeld approached his life in Britain with an open mind and genuinely enjoyed his time there.

There were many laugh out loud moments in this book but one of my favourite passages was Gutfeld’s description of Britain’s love for tea:

No matter what happens in British life, you can count on one thing: someone offering you a cup of tea. Tea is the beginning and ending for everything. You sit down with someone, you have tea. You kick them out of your flat, you have tea. You get ready for work, you make tea. You come home and have tea. When you are not making tea, you are probably thinking about making tea. The world is a teapot, frankly, and we’re living in it.

In fact, when God made the earth, you just know he couldn’t have done it without Earl Grey. Tea is life’s punctuation. It may be background noise to a Brit, but it means a lot to me, because it undermines any effort to rush out and do anything. You can’t simultaneously make tea and do anything productive. That’s impossible. Having tea means stopping, slowing down, and looking out a rain spattered window. It’s the pause button that simply doesn’t exist in America.

Truer words were never written.

Lessons from the Land of Pork Scratchings is available from Amazon.

Melissa is the Britophile-in-Chief of Smitten by Britain, the world’s first blog for Britophiles. When she’s not blogging here you will most likely find her on Facebook or Twitter whilst enjoying a cup of tea.