A Fête Worse Than Death by Iain Aitch

My debut non-fiction book was based around a journey through a very English summer, from the disappointment of watching England’s football team crash out of another World Cup to meeting communities, enthusiasts and eccentrics, this was a re-discovery of my home nation. I took part in strange contests, made a crop circle in the dead of night and explored the class divide in staycation holiday camps. The book begins in Margate and ends in the skies above Cornwall.

“It is one thing to expect a little weirdness when you’re up a mountain with a flying saucer-worshipping religion but quite another to enter a perfectly normal Derbyshire pub and find a toe-wrestling competition where one of the contenders is dressed only in beer towels.

Yet when Iain Aitch decides to spend the summer travelling round England in search of the English at leisure, he finds himself encountering the living embodiments of the phrase ‘summer madness’ at every turn. Planespotters, trainspotters, shin-kickers, crop-circle makers and the very British weekend Luftwaffe – Iain Aitch takes it all in his stride whether he’s undertaking a Norfolk village fête crawl or receiving a marriage proposal at Stonehenge from a complete stranger.

From the Cornish villagers who float a giant pasty across a river each year to the predatory hen parties who stalk Blackpool dressed to kill,this is a hilarious insight into what it is to be English in the 21st century.”

Paperback, 304 pages
Published by Headline Review
7 June 2004
ISBN: 0755311914

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published by Headline Review
2 June 2003
ISBN: 0755311906