Shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Books 2017
No other subject has spilt so much ink as Britain today.
But whilst assuming a monopoly on national identity, a London-based elite has proven a poor forecaster of the political weather around the island. Sceptical and inquisitive, Taylor instead cycled all round Britain, interviewing and staying with strangers from all walks of life. Without a map and travelling with the most basic of kit, the journey revels in serendipity and schadenfreude. Island Story weaves histories, experiences and ideas to tell another kind of story: one of rebellion and retail parks, migration and inertia, pessimism and disappearing ways of life, and a fiery, unrealised desire for collective belonging and power. Think you know the island? Island Story will have you think again.
"In the spirit of Cobbett this is a beautifully written account of a journey around contemporary Britain which is both political and poetic - a rare combination."
"If you want to know what Starkey, Fox, Bryson and Paxman miss, because they travel different roads, this book is for you."