If jolly travel writer Bill Bryson had an evil twin, he would probably be something like Cohn (best known for the article that became Saturday Night Fever): jaded, biting, with an eye for the underbelly. After all, the seamier parts of life are Cohn’s territory, as he more than demonstrates in this tour of English places that don’t make it onto the postcard rack.
From Fraggle Rock to Brighton, Liverpool to South London, Cohn seeks out the abandoned, the destitute, the men and women who haven’t just fallen off the grid, but jumped with eyes and arms wide open. The result is a jazzy, non-judgmental song of a book, full of riffs that catch your ear and mind like a piano rag. A-