If you love wandering around old cemeteries, reading the inscriptions and thinking about the people from the past, then this book is for you. If you love reading quirky travel adventures and learning about eccentric bits of history, this book is also for you. I really enjoyed it and already know it’s one of my top reads this year.
For almost a month and covering nearly 2000 miles, Jack Cooke drives around Britain in an old hearse, which he sometimes sleeps in. He visits a variety of tombs, memorials, burial sites and less conventional places of rest. He meets some unusual people – some living, some not. I admired his inquisitive spirit and slightly macabre sense of humour. The writing style is brilliant and exactly the kind of prose I like to read. A mixture of travel writing, nature writing, memoir and history, there is never a dull moment. I think that if a younger, more upbeat Bill Bryson was happy to travel Britain while using a hearse as a mobile home, this is the kind of book we’d get. There are a few black and white photographs, but I wouldn’t mind if there were no pictures at all, because the descriptions are enough.
Thank you to HarperCollins for the advance copy via NetGalley. The End of the Road will be published on February 18th.
Note: the author kindly answered my question about when he took the trip – it was 2018, well before the pandemic!