‘A valuable book and a necessary one. One of the funniest and cleverest voyages on record.’ Christopher Hitchens, New Statesman
‘The finest writer afloat since Conrad.’ Geoffrey Moorhouse, The Guardian
‘Unfailingly witty and entertaining.’ Salman Rushdie
Coasting round Britain single-handed in an antique two-masted sailing boat, Jonathan Raban conducts a masterly exploration of England and the English at the time of Margaret Thatcher and the Falklands War. He moves seamlessly between awkward memories of childhood as the son of a vicar, a vivid chronicle of the shape-shifting sea and incisive descriptions of the people and communities he encounters. As he faces his terror of racing water, eddies, offshore sandbars and ferries on a collision course, so he navigates the complex and turbulent waters of his own middle age. Coasting is a fearless attempt to discover the meaning of belonging and of his English homeland.