Synopses & Reviews
"Daeschner, an American journalist living in England, loves strange rituals. It's better if they're centuries old and designed to promote fertility (the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance) or ward off evil (Burry Man's Day), but newly invented ones (bog snorkeling in Llanwrtyd Wells) designed for tourists are okay, too. Readers spend the first hundred pages wading through some less exciting oddities: a day of drunken skirmishes over a wad of leather (the Haxey Hood), villagers hurtling themselves off cliffs after a wheel of cheese (the Cooper's Hill Cheese Roll) and shin-kicking wrestling contests (the Cotswold Olimpicks). Perhaps these events are thrilling in person; on the page, they boil down to getting drunk, getting battered, cleaning up and getting drunk again. Fortunately, Daeschner moves onto more quirky, intriguing rituals, like Burry Man's Day, when a primordial Green Man parades the streets of South Queensferry, drinking, of course, but also carrying away the sins of grateful townspeople. Alas, Daeschner closes with two 'traditions' Bonfire Night in Lewes and Darkie Day in Padstow that he can't quite characterize. Perhaps he's simply visited with too many eccentrics and can no longer draw a meaningful line between hate-mongers burning effigies of their enemies and good old English fun. It's an unfortunate ending to what's otherwise a light-headed romp. Photos. Agent, Lizzy Kremer at Ed Victor. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Best described as Bill Bryson meets Tony Hawks" ("The Observer") "True Brits" is the hilarious account of the antics and utterly strange traditions of 21st-century Britain.