Martin Harbottle's Appreciation of Time

Martin Harbottle's Appreciation of Time

3.46 (210 ratings by Goodreads)
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Dan's got a new job. But he's moved out of town in order to start a family and has been commuting into London every day. After fourteen months of the trains either making him late for work or late getting home, he's had enough and decides it's high time that Martin Harbottle, the Managing Director of Premier Westward trains, heard about it.

As it turns out, Dan has plenty of time to fill and a lot to say: his work for the troubled paper recently caught up in allegations of 'unethical practices', his rocky marriage and the struggle to adjust to new parenthood. Before long, his forthright opinions on just about everything find their way into his emails. But when Martin begins to respond, a hilarious - and extraordinary - correspondence begins.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 25mm | 294.84g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1780743726
  • 9781780743721
  • 1,159,097

Review quote

'The world's commuters have finally got their own latter-day Updike' * Irish Independent * 'The compellingly hilarious, heartfelt tale of a man trying to stay on the right tracks. Every carriage should have a copy' 5/5 stars * The Daily Express * 'Fun, whimsical and yet also cutting and sharp' * New Books * 'Unexpected and amusing... very entertaining' * The Lady *
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About Dominic Utton

Dominic Utton is a journalist who has written for the Guardian, Sunday Times, News of the World, Sun, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Maxim and Zoo. His blog of letters to the Managing Director of First Great Western received more than 113,000 hits. He lives in Oxford with his family and commutes to London five days a week.
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Rating details

210 ratings
3.46 out of 5 stars
5 16% (34)
4 33% (70)
3 34% (72)
2 12% (26)
1 4% (8)

Our customer reviews

Funny But Oh So True Dominic Utton has hit on a winning novel with Martin Harbottleâ??s Appreciation of Time, this novel is based up on the email of Daniel who has to commute in from Oxford to London on a â??premier-westwardâ?? service and decides to email the Chief Executive every time his service is late. This is the novel that all commuters want to write about their terrible, and unfortunately it is often commute in to work on our great train network. How often have we spoken to customer services and just wanted to cry in despair at their lack of service or care. This is a novel for those who have often heard the train announcer come out with the â??Such and Such rail would like to apologise for the .... (late/cancelation) of the service to/from ... I have heard that announcement that often that I now have loyalty cards for a large number of coffee shops to pass the time as I wait â?? in hope â?? for the next service. Dan our protagonist emails Martin Harbottle with a well written email equating to the length of time that the delay or cancelation has taken out of his day. Those minutes that we will never get back, he makes sure his email is the length of the delay. These musings are often funny incisive and speaking for all of us. At the same time Dan who works as a tabloid journalist on a Sunday red top that is in trouble with the courts and the police for some of their underhand methods. He and his wife a nurse who has just given birth are living in the commuter belt so that they can make their way on to the housing chain. The only ***** in his armour is the commute the train is either late or cancelled and never is a customer told the reason. Using his journalist tactics he finds the MDâ??s email and hence begins a long email correspondence bring all manor of subjects for discussion. This is a funny book if read on your daily commute will mean there will be quite a few train company CEOs awaiting your email for your late arrival in our capital and elsewhere. Oh train company bosses you should read this it might even make you smile instead of just taking our cash and giving us poor service. Great book, great read for the commuter!show more
by Paul D
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