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Discovering Scarfolk
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Discovering Scarfolk

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  445 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
"Scarfolk is a town in north-west England that did not progress beyond 1979. The entire decade of the 1970s loops ad infinitum. In Scarfolk children must not be seen OR heard, and everyone has to be in bed by 8 p.m. because they are perpetually running a slight fever..."

Part-comedy, part-horror, part-satire, Discovering Scarfolk is the surreal account of a family trapped i
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published October 16th 2014 by Ebury Press (first published October 2nd 2014)
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Nov 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Welcome to Night Vale fans
Recommended to Melki by: boingboing
Welcome to Scarfolk!

...where every day is Friday the 13th.

No. It really is. Just look at the calendar - description

Scarfolk is just your ordinary town in Northwest England.


An ordinary town with electrified water and after-school activities for the kiddies like Thump-Chums. (The first rule of Thump-Chums is you can talk about Thump-Chums to whoever you like as long as you thump them.)

In fact, children are one of Scarfolk's most precious commodities.


They believe in educating them and everything, as shown in
Brendon Schrodinger
Oct 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, horror, humour, retro
So you're like me and grew up watching bad UK sci-fi especially the TV adaptations of "Chocky"and "The Tripods". You are a big fan of John Wyndham. The League of Gentlemen tickled your funny bone.

"Discovering Scarfolk" is for you. Undoubtedly.

A researcher finds the account and collected paraphenalia from a person who was held against his will in a small northern english town in the 1970s. The town no longer exists and it seems to have been covered up.The man tells the account of his twin sons b
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was tricked, or somehow drugged. This is a non-fiction-fiction book. But, is it? I mean the 70's were a freaky time. My father smoked at the dinner table while we were eating. I am really not sure what to say, this being a non-fiction-fiction book. It was as if Monty Python(all of them) and Rod Serling hooked up and wrote...something. My favorite parts were the public service posters and book covers that are throughout the book. Things like "In the playground kids can pick up something more de ...more
For more information, please reread this poster.

Based on a blog, Discovering Scarfolk is a horror-comedy in which the tale of a man's search for his missing children is supplemented with 'found' evidence from the sinister town of Scarfolk, perpetually stuck in a macabre version of the 1970s with an ultra-draconian, and probably evil, town council. The story - ostensibly assembled by an academic with little prior knowledge of the main character's life - is illustrated with public information post
Aug 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious and terrifying in equal measure. Full review here:
Nov 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
A painful paper-cut above the traditional tie-in cash-in, I was perversely pleased to find this genuinely disturbing. There are many cheap and easy comparative options to be had, so here are a few of mine: Reggie Perrin stars in the Wicker Man, Children of the Stones remade by Monty Python, The Prisoner set in the Crossroads Motel. From the time when abandoned fridges, shiny floors and chip pans were as terrifying as terrorism is now. Towards the end it even began to remind me of Danielewski's H ...more
K.A. Laity
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I can’t say when I first stumbled across Littler’s Scarfolk site. Probably one of the usual suspects (Brazill or Billson). I’m pretty sure it was on Twitter, but it doesn’t really matter. What I discovered was that I knew that place very well. A lot of my friends had been scarred by living in 1970s Britain which seemed to be a time and place determined to foist the uncanny onto all its citizens. People would speak in hushed tones with glazed eyes and trembling lips of that Donald Pleasance-voice ...more
Tom Breen
Nov 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fans of weird fiction - or anything weird, really - would do well to pick up this tome, based on the Scarfolk website that posits the existence of a surreal, totalitarian dystopia somewhere in northern England where things have never really moved on from the worst week of 1974. The website is an archive of ingenious mockups of artifacts from the town of Scarfolk - public health posters, old books, cassette tape covers, etc. - and the book includes a great deal of that material, but wraps it arou ...more
Nov 15, 2017 rated it liked it
After P. G. Wodehouse, the most British book I’ve ever read. This is a fun, dystopian art book culled from a fantastic blog. Like most books adapted from online content, it falls short of its intentions because of the media shift. But I still enjoyed this and am going to keep it on my shelf for the wonderfully horrific ‘70s advertisement art.
Dec 08, 2014 rated it liked it
I've always really enjoyed the Scarfolk Council blog ever since I've discovered it from some source or another,
so when it was announced that the supernatural/totalitarian community would be committed to print, I was very anxious to see the result.

Sadly, the book format added some problems to the winning formula.

First of all, the fictional account of the demise of the Bush family in Scarfolk don't contribute at all, I think.
The excessively tongue-in-cheek quality of the narrative cheapens the sa
Murray Ewing
Jun 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humour, horror
Based on the darkly hilarious Scarfolk blog, which presents odd items from the archives of an insular, paranoid, medically unsafe and supernaturally haunted town in the northeast of 1970s England, Discovering Scarfolk attempts to understand what happened to a man who may or may not have been named Daniel Bush, and who may or may not have lost two children who may or not have been his, and may or not have subsequently been held captive in Scarfolk itself. A town which may or may not exist.

The art
Mar 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A travel guide to your waking nightmares, assuming they involve creepy British towns stuck in the 70s.

If you like your humor weird, surreal, and dry as a bone, this is the book for you. Ostensibly a travel book for the British town of Scarfolk, forever trapped in a nightmare version of the 1970s, this collection of the Scarfolk blog is a must read for anyone who loves good thing. This is a collection of and expansion on the Scarfolk Council blog, so give that a Google for a taste of what you'll
Mar 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The funniest book since sliced bread. (And I'm not just saying that because they're watching) - It's been ages since I've read a book that had me laugh so loud my family became worried about me. Maybe they're on the council too. I have to be careful. We all have to be careful. If you are fond of sarcasm, surrealism, Orwellian oppressiveness, tacky 1970's stylishness, general creepiness and gut busting hysteria, this is a MUST read! I love to highlight or put markers on pages of books that impact ...more
Thomas Hale
Jan 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
A surprisingly dense book based on the excellent Scarfolk Council blog, a collection of artefacts from a mysterious British 70s dystopia. The book collects a large number of the material from the site (really spot-on 70s-style paraphernalia that at first glance could be authentic) and uses it as supplemental illustration for a weird, funny and creepy story about a man who lost his children, and his mind, in Scarfolk. It's a book best read in small doses, as the style can start to get a little ol ...more
Michael Burnam-Fink
Dec 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016, fiction, horror
I was introduced to Scarfolk through the blog, particularly the fantastic Don't Campaign "Whatever you do, don't" and Brutalist Pornography.

The book has a lot more of the absurdist graphic design of Scarfolk, an alternative vision of 1970s England caught between Thatcher, Orwell, and dark satanic rites, but it wraps it all up in a profoundly bad story about a newcomer to Scarfolk searching for his lost sons. Absent of all restraint, the setting wears out its weirdness very quickly. The blog, wit
Douglas Smith
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Definitely different. Fans of Cthulhu myths or Welcome to Night Vale or Children of the Stones will probably enjoy this. A horror story told by a narrator deciphering a folder of "found clippings" that supposedly tell the story of a father whose children are abducted in the town of Scarfolk, England while on holiday. The level of parody is Monty Python-esque, and the level of detail in the book jackets and posters is quite amazing. Once you finish, go checkout the Scarfolk Council blogspot for m ...more
Oct 30, 2015 rated it liked it
I LOVED the posters, but the story was only so-so.

Buyer beware: If you buy it from a seller on, you may end up getting the original version, which had a major printing error (all the images are low-resolution). But if you contact the publisher, they will send you a replacement.
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was surprised by how good this book was, it blends together horror and comedy effectively reminding me of the league of gentlemen with a stronger influence of weird fiction.
A really fun story with some wonderfully designed posters and illustrations.
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Seemed like a dystopian view of Britain when I read it - now I wonder if it's being used as a manual for government...
It's brilliant, it's funny and it's now terrifying.
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor, mystery
This book is a collection of fake (though persuasive) propaganda material, but there is an overarching plot. The story is about a man whose wife has died, so he is taking his two sons north to make a fresh start. Along the way they stop for gas at a town called Scarfolk. While the man is filling up his tank, his boys go into the gas station to use the restroom. They never come out.

Eventually the man goes into the gas station to find his kids, but the station attendant says there is no bathroom a
Oct 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
I've never read the website but heard about Scarfolk through Boing Boing and it is a handsome little book. There's a lot to like though I found more joy from the posters, books and ephemera rather than the conspiracy theory mystery tying it all together. The humour ranges from dry wit and biting satire to the crude and profane. It's an odd but entertaining mix and I found myself smiling on many an occasion.

A brief and light diversion filled with darkness and depravity!
Caolan McMahon
Jun 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Unfortunately, I don't think this translated to book form very well. The narrative added nothing and, although at times I had tears in my eyes from laughing, it was always because of some poster or other snippet that I expect has already been on the blog.
Devin Lowell
Jun 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Loved the graphic design elements and the humor, but really thought the world-building fell a little flat.
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An accomplished work of creative satire
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Clever and funny

If you need more information please reread this review
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: worldbuilding
This is the funniest, darkest book combining 1970s nostalgia and graphic design that I've ever read.
B.P. Gregory
Can't decide between reading something eerie, clever, or hilariously absurd? Here - have them all!
Feb 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Scarfolk. That name! One to be uttered alongside Derry, Maine. Or R'lyeh. A place where that creepy clown from the television test pattern lives. A place where brutalist architecture never died, where clothing is all artificial material, everything has a fried egg in it, and the world is viewed through builders' tea, smeared glasses and an obsidian doorway into another world.

It's a pretty appealing place, and one that's been charted over here since 2013. It's the sort of place Morrissey would s
David Balfour
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely brilliant. Like Thomas Ligotti writing comedy, or House of Leaves if it were made by Monty Python. It's clear than an enormous amount of work was put into this, and it's paid off. This book is beautifully presented, endlessly imaginative and completely unique. Unsettling and hilarious in equal parts, like a good Tim and Eric sketch.
Jon Harman
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious compilation of work and additional material from the Scarfolk blog, an excellent parody for anyone who grew up in the 70's.
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