Braver than Britain, occasionally. A book review, of sorts.

I’m only really scared of two things in life.

One, small spaces. Who the fuck invented them?

And two, failure. But that one’s a bit deep, so let’s pretend I said pigeons instead. They can be a bit creepy too.

Anyway, as it happens there are lots of other things people are scared of. Some people genuinely are scared of pigeons (and other birds), and that’s called ornithophobia. While some people get proper freaked out by chopsticks, which is apparently a real fear called Consecotaleophobia. It sounds like bollocks to me, but who am I to argue with Google search results? 

There are so many fears in the world that you can rank them, which is what some people with far too much time on their hands have done. They’ve compiled a top 10 list of Britain’s biggest fears, and to qualify calling this post a book review, we’re now going to review a book written about that very thing.

Braver Than Britain, occasionally, by Spadge Whittaker.

Specifically, this book has been written about overcoming those top ten fears and proving that even the smallest of female humans (as pictured below) can be badass when it comes to doing scary shit. So then, are you ready? Let’s get balls deep into this book review before I get too immersed in this very amusing list of weird phobias. 

Author. Book. Chair.

Author. Book. Chair.

First thing’s first…

What is this book about?

As I mentioned earlier (do pay attention) Braver than Britain, occasionally, is all about taking on fear. The top 10 fears in Britain include spiders, clowns and flying, yet surprisingly don’t include flying clowns with spider legs. Odd.

In the book our heroine Spadge takes on these fears one at a time, talking us through her journey from being able to feel fear to being a super tough, scared of nothing warrior of life. Either that or she dies trying, I wouldn’t want to spoil the ending for you. She talks us through each fear, explains why it shits some people up and then, with bigger balls than all of those people, goes ahead and does it/ fails tragically. Again, spoilers are going to be so hard to avoid.

Who the hell would want to read it?

People who enjoy other people’s suffering, that’s who. We all do that, don’t we? Like earlier on I was on a form of public transport and a very old lady tried to stand up but instead fell over, and while later on my brain told me I should have felt sympathy, at the time my heart told me it was funny, so I laughed. I wonder if they ever got her breathing again?

Anyway, moving on, this book is genuinely quite funny for reasons that don’t involve other people getting hurt. Fear is something everyone will have to overcome at some point in their lives, but for one small person to overcome ALL OF THE FEAR in the space of 140 pages, well that’s quite impressive. Rather her than me, the sucker.

Is it any better than Harry Potter?

Harry Potter is a modern day tale of youthful ignorance stopping people from being scared of almost certain death. I mean for fuck’s sake, he even had a scar on his head warning him that bad things were coming, and he still got out of his cupboard and took them on anyway. He was so naive that he challenged the most evil wizard of all time to several fights and, despite many of his friends, family members and teachers dying, he didn’t seem to give a shit and just carried on flicking his wand about.

So, in that respect, yes. Braver than Britain, occasionally, is a shit load better than Harry Potter. Unlike Potter, the author isn’t blessed with the ignorance of childhood and doesn’t have a handy little scar warning her when shit’s about to go down. She knew full well what she was getting herself into and, without risking anyone else’s life (unlike that specky dickhead Harry) she just did them. Pow – fear conquered. Blam – there goes another one. Boom – oh look, more done. She then had the bloody nerve to write about them as she was taking each challenge on, proving that not only is she braver than the most famous wizard of our generation, she’s also much more thoughtful. Expecto patro-no-you-didn’t.

Do you feel braver having read it?

No. Failure still haunts my dreams. I wonder if it’s something to do with my early development? FOCUS, OR YOU’LL FAIL AT THIS TOO.

Ok, so it didn’t make me feel any braver, but it did make me more open to giving things a go. There’s one fear in the book that Spadge finds especially difficult – flying. While some of the other fears seem a little trivial to her, flying is something she was genuinely scared of. Did she back out? Hell no!* She got on that plane, defied gravity and proved all her doubters wrong. I don’t know if she had any doubters, but if she did, suck on that, you.

*She might not have got on the plane. No spoilers shall be found here.

Would you recommend it to a friend?

Yes. It’s funny and good and there’s a picture of boobs in it.

Where can I buy it?

Braver than Britain, occasionally, is available right here.

All of the money it raises goes to a very good cause, supporting the charity Sarcoma, who help people with bone and soft tissue cancer.

So she’s brave, she’s funny and she’s generous?

My fear of failure has just gone up a notch.

Follow Spadge on Twitter.

Follow me on Twitter, because I’m a narcissist.

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