A Fête Worse Than Death – Iain Aitch

a fete worse than death

Born in Margate, Iain Aitch spent his formative years holidaying in near-identical seaside resorts around the English coast. Emerging relatively unscathed he has gone on to write for the Guardian, London Evening Standard, Independent on Sunday and Bizarre magazine. Somewhere between the seaside and the Sunday papers he also found time to invent World Phone in Sick Day and waste several years perfecting his card-playing skills while working in a dole office. He lives in London.

The book in one sentence: As its subtitle: A Journey Through an English Summer.

Who would you recommend it to: Pure Anglophiles. Note the exclusion of adjectives like ‘mild’, or ‘occasional.’

OK bits: Chapters 1 [Bruised shins, webbed hands and tangled toes], 2 [Stones, cold, sober], 5 [A fête worse than death]

Boring bits: Chapters 3 [Trains, planes and the special bus], 4 [Slurping with the enemy], 6 [Where th’offence is, let the great axe fall], 7 [Flying men and flying bricks]

The only review quote:

”[A] hilarious Bill-Bryson-meets- Hunter-S-Thompson travelogue” – Guardian

Verdict: The book is so true to the English spirit, dry humour and wit oozing off every other sentence. Unfortunately I just couldn’t like it – I think it’s too witty for me, believe it or not. I did learnt how kooky the English can be; knowledge, no matter how general, can be nothing but good, innit? Sadly, the effort to finish this was too monumental, I gave up after trying to read it for almost a month.


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