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A Fete Worse than Death Paperback – 7 Jun 2004
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Iain Aitch never set out to be propositioned by a dog-bitten Pagan at Stonehenge on Midsummer's night, but these things happen when you travel round England looking for those people for whom the phrase 'summer madness' seems to have been invented. From historical re-enactors to giant vegetable shows at village fetes, Wiltshire crop circle fanatics to Cotswolds shin-kickers, Blackpool stag parties to Cornish pasty sailings - Iain Aitch takes all these in his stride as he goes in search of the English at play in the sunshine (well, occasionally). This is a truly unique and hilarious journey to uncover the bizarre array of hobbies, pastimes, fetes, festivals and fights that occupy the English in their time off.
About the Author
Iain Aitch is a young journalist who writes for the Guardian and the Independent. He contributes a regular column about pranks and hoaxes for Bizarre magazine, and he has been nominated for European Internet Journalist of the Year 2002 for his work on the cutting edge Ammo City website.
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If you like travel writing you should love this. Found him more personable than Tony Hawks style and yet more cuttintg than Bryson without the sneery outsider style he sometimes adopts. The author gets stuck right in to his subjects and had me laughing out loud on several occasions, notably in his time spent with Luftwaffe re-enactors and when watching Cornish types sailing a pasty. I had to go out and buy a pasty after as it made me so hungry. Brilliant!
This autobiographical holiday diary documents people watching, geek spotting and anal-retentive armoured car logging, as well as including much mischievous musings regarding the riot re-enactments of Mods and Rockers, Punch and Judy massacres, and a personal obsession with box junction etiquette.
One wonders what the English get up to during the rest of the year?!? Perhaps, Iain Aitch is the man up to the job of finding out!
Buy this book and then re-enact it!!!
Funny contests and odd holiday ideas abound, but what makes this is in the interaction and observation of the author. Feels like you are there with him looking over his shoulder (covering your eyes when needs be). My favourite book of this year so far.