This is a fantastic book. Taking it's cue from an essay George Orwell wrote about an imaginary perfect pub called The Moon Under Water, the authors go in search of Orwell's vision, encountering endless colourful characters and unexpected facts on the way. Moody and Turner's writing is beautiful; stylish, witty, affectionate and insightful, but also sharp-eyed and probing when the situation demands.
And the situation does demand their probing, because as much as this is a celebration of perhaps Britain's best-loved institution (the French president, asked what single aspect of Anglo life he would import to France, replied 'the British pub'), it has a serious purpose, too, because it turn out that the pub is under threat from a combination of the Treasury and big business, with an average of 25 going bust each week. So 'The Search for the Perfect Pub' is joyful travelogue, social history - what better way to tell the story of the Britons - and political detective story combined, in the company two highly convivial hosts. I couldn't put it down: my partner felt that she'd read it too by the time I finished, as I spent to much time reading passages out to her, or delighting in surprising facts.