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Wacky Wales - Colin Palfrey

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Wacky Wales - a guide to Wales
Colin Palfrey
Paperback / softback
Y Lolfa
UK Publication Date

This is a personal, wacky guide to Wales but among the fun and satire there are nuggets of useful information about major events, eating and drinking, entertainment, and of course where to go. This gives you the low-down on Welsh towns and cities - stuff they don't tell you in the official guides - and there's even a section on Welsh magical moments!

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Welsh Towns Damned in New Guide Book

A new Welsh guidebook published this week makes scathing attacks on major Welsh towns and tourist attractions. According to Wacky Wales by Cardiff based author Colin Palfrey, in Swansea, "the night clubs swarm with bimbos wearing war paint and little else" whereas the men are "tattooed Neanderthals looking for a female to drag home to their sparsely-furnished cave."

About Cwmbran, it says: "There's absolutely nothing to keep you there. The wind whistles down the corridors of the shopping areas as if to say - 'You've been here long enough; now go home.'" And it says that the Celtic Manor "closely resembles the MI5 headquarters in London". However Cardiff Bay waterfront is praised for its relaxing sounds: "the cooing of pigeons, the murmuring of the Big Issue sellers, the warbling of street musicians and the bellowing of supporters as Cardiff City actually score a goal."

Y Lolfa publishers General Editor, Lefi Gruffudd, said: "There are nuggets of truth in Colin's comments. It's all very refreshing. Nobody believes what they read in the glossy tourist brochures anyway. Many are bored with the official attractions and are looking for something different."

The author, Colin Palfrey, is a poet and satirist who lives in Cardiff and is a former local councillor and parliamentary candidate. He said: "I had an opportunity to leave Wales years ago. But I am Welsh and this is my home. Because I love it I think it's OK for me to take the mick out of some of Wales' less attractive places, national events and traditions. As a nation, we're confident enough now to be able to laugh at ourselves."
Publisher: Y Lolfa

I cannot remember laughing so much, and that was just reading the introduction to this great little book. Wacky Wales by Colin Palfrey is the alternative guide to Wales, where nothing is sacred, and nothing spared from his wickedly hilarious overview of the principality.

Nothing and no one it seems escapes his brilliant narrative; the observation, wit and humour are served up in equal measure, bringing first a smile and then pure laughter of enjoyment. Under separate headings in the chapter 'Where to Go', the major places to visit are grouped under north, mid, west and south Wales where, for example, such gems of effortless genius can be found as 'Gower's appeal is strengthened by having just passed through Swansea', or, when referring to a small museum in Pontypool, Palfrey recommends that you 'allow about ten minutes for a good look around'.

I have never enjoyed a guide book as much. I revelled in the humour that packs every page; and yet, undeniably, a strong sense of national pride can be detected throughout. A word of caution: resist the temptation to read all ninety-five pages in one sitting. A step too far, unless one is blessed with stamina and an iron rib cage.

The book also contains, amidst the humour, much useful information about Wales, but be assured that nothing escapes the author's wit and enviable sense of humour. This is a 'must-have book' - I have yet to come across a guide to Wales to rival it.
Anthony Roy @

Keyword Index
Wales - Guidebooks - Humor.
Country of Publication
Number of Pages

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