It’s a funny old world we live in – as we’ve banged on about at various points – full of challenges, which have made us all question everything, pretty much, about ourselves and our planet. Coincidentally, or not, we seem to have been reading a lot of books that focus on journeys, spiritual and/or physical. Jack Barrow’s In SatNav We Trust, published by Cosmic Jellyfish, is one such book. A literal, as well as philosophical journey, it tracks the author’s travels across England, one historic county a day, in The Truck, a fifteen-year-old 4×4, accompanied by Kathy, the satnav, and a Khyam Igloo.

Full of anecdotes, chance meetings, eccentric characters, whimsical musings and philosophical ideas, along with the occasional rant, the book is very detailed, following Barrow as he speeds across the country – as one day per county is no time at all, especially when you have all manner of encounters. His route is somewhat haphazard as it’s not planned and he largely relies on Kathy to guide him on his way. Their love–hate relationship – if one can have a relationship with a satnav – adds to the entertainment value.

In SatNav We Trust is especially appealing if you know England at all, as there will be places that Barrow visits and comments on that you will most probably know and love – for us his musing on Dungeness, a place that’s dear to us, were great. But, it’s mostly the locations that Barrow talks about that were new to us that were the most interesting, such as the Tees Trainsporter Bridge.

Essentially this book is a somewhat eccentric travelogue, done in the way that only the English – or perhaps Bill Bryson, who kind of is English in all the ways that matter – do well. And it is done well. Recommended.


Jack Barrow | In SatNav We Trust | Cosmic Jellyfish | August 2020 | pb | £8.49

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Acknowledgements: This review is published as part of the publisher book tour. Many thanks to lovely Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for arranging it and to the author for sending us a review copy and the tote bag, celebrating Hastings, which features in the above photo and on other social media. Please check out the other reviews. Although the photo appeared on social media, we have posted this review a little later than planned due to illness. All opinions are our own. All rights reserved.

Also of interest:  ‘By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept’; ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’;‘We should all be feminists‘; The not-so-invisible woman: 150 greats in their own words’; ‘How Penguin learned to fly – Allen Lane and the Original “Penguin Ten”‘; Dorothy L. Sayer’s Busman’s Holiday – Romek Marber for Penguin Crime (book covers we love).

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