How Katie Pulled Boris - book review

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by TJ-RV, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. TJ-RV

    TJ-RV Deleted User

    This is a copy of a message I posted on a US-based forum. Since it's focused on Europe, I thought it might be of interest to folks here. Some of the words and spelling are necessarily Amlish (American English).

    I received a copy of the book How Katie Pulled Boris, courtesy of the author, Keith Mashiter, with a request to read and critique it. I agreed on condition there were no strings attached and no commitment on my part. Keith asked that I be brutally honest, and was especially concerned about whether the humor would translate across the Atlantic.

    Written in a lighthearted style, the story follows the adventures of Keith and his wife Gail as they purchase a class A motorhome and head off to France and Spain for six months of travel and the RV lifestyle. Katie is their affectionate nickname for the class A, and Boris is the nickname for their Mercedes toad, which explains the title of the book.

    Their adventure begins with a trip to Florida, visiting RV dealers, before returning to the UK and buying a coach there. After purchasing the coach and prepping the toad, their journey eventually begins when they cross the English channel from Dover to Calais. Their route takes them down the eastern side of France to Monaco, following the Mediterranean Sea through eastern Spain from Barcelona south to Sevilla. The return trip takes them through Madrid, Bordeaux, and Paris, before crossing from Calais back to Dover. [I referred to the names on major, well-known cities for the benefit of the Americans who haven't travelled outside the U.S.)

    Parts of the book read like the script for a European version of the Robin Williams movie, RV, eliciting more than a few smiles. Other parts read like a tour guide book, with lots of place names and road numbers that would have been more meaningful if I was preparing to make the same trip.

    Reading the first two thirds of the book went a lot easier than the last one third, partly because it was beginning to feel like more of the same. I suspect the story would be more readable as a blog, i.e. in smaller/daily bites.

    Overall, the book is a worthwhile read and an eye opener on the RV lifestyle in Europe. It gave me more than a passing desire to take an RV trip there. If we do, I'll be taking Keith's book along.

    Keith has a web site dedicated to his book. The book is also available at Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more. [Jim also has a link in the right hand column of this forum.]

    Many of the colloquialisms, a few of which can't be repeated here, require translation to Amlish and some of the humor might be lost on non-Brits. Hopefully, the following "translations" of some of the terms will help if you decide to purchase and read the book, although some of them you might have been able to guess.

    Some Brit terms found in the book:

    American RV = class A motorhome
    Articulated lorry = tractor/trailer rig
    Bog = toilet
    Bonnet = hood (of the car)
    Boot = trunk (of the car)
    Bum = butt
    Campsite = campground
    Chippings = gravel
    Car park = parking lot
    Crouchers = Oriental style toilets
    Dual carriageway = divided road
    Earthed = grounded (in the electrical sense)
    JCB = back hoe
    Mains electricity = AC power
    Motorway = freeway
    Pitch = campsite
    Site = campground
    Sun cream = sun screen/sun block
    Torch/torchlight = flashlight
    Trouser = pant(s)
    Washing liquid = laundry detergent

    Interestingly, the term crouchers led to a discussion with a life of its own at the other place.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2008
  2. theboadacea

    theboadacea Read Only Funster

    Oct 1, 2007
    Likes Received:
    I've read the book too and I think the comments are fair.

    I love travel literature and I must admit I was attacted to the book as I have motorhomed in Europe. To me the book was not written by a writer but by an enthusiast .. not to say it is any less valuable - just in a different style than I was expecting. I did snort with laughter at times and nod my head as situations came up that I have been in, I think it is great that a fellow traveller has actually put pen to paper and recorded their journey for all to read.

    TJ-RV - oddly enough, I never knew JCB = Back Hoe despite all the american literature I have read over the years! I have learnt something new today. :Rofl1:

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