Following his book about football in the north-east, The Far Corner, Harry Pearson vowed that his next project would not involve hanging around outdoors on days so cold that itinerant dogs had to be detached from lamp-posts by firemen. It would be about the summer: specifically, about a summer of shows and fairs in the north of England. Encompassing such diverse talents as fell-running, tupperware-boxing and rabbit fancying (literally), and containing many more jokes about goats than is legal in the Isle of Man, Racing Pigs and Giant Marrows must be the only book in existence to explain the design faults of earwigs and expose English farmers’ fondness for transvestism. It is also Harry’s search for the English summer country fairs he remembers from his youth.  Also included: the tale of the supernaturally dense Archway baby and the staying power of cinder-toffee.