Ian's first novel 'In Southern Waters' was published by Gollancz in 1999 and his second novel 'The Battle for Dole Acre', by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in 2001.
Ian now concentrates on non-fiction and is a frequent broadcaster on Radio 4.
'Parallel Lines: Journeys on the Railway of Dreams' (Bloomsbury) tells the story of what Ian calls the two railways of Britain - the real railway and the railway of our dreams, the one we hate and the one we love, from the grandeur of the Victorian heyday, through the romance of Brief Encounter to the modern reality of commuter hell and signals passed at danger.
'The Longest Crawl' (Bloomsbury' was Ian’s next project, the non-fiction account of his journey along the longest pub crawl route in Britain - from the Scilly Isles to the Hebrides. Turning his attention from trains to pubs, Ian will anatomise and expose another British obsession, with the fantastic flair, imagination, wit and analytical prowess that are his hallmarks.
Ian's followed this with 'Something of the Night' (Simon & Schuster 2012), an exploration of the British people's relationship with and experience of the nightime, by way of bingo halls, nightclubs, pubs, working men's clubs, police cells, city centres, bedrooms and bars. This is a night owl's guide to Britain, exploring the funny and fascinating truth of what night means in Britain and what we do in the dark. He visits linen weavers and blanket makers; calls a little bingo, and goes to the dogs. He learns a new skill at evening class, goes ghost hunting with a diocesan exorcist and stands vigil with anti-war demonstrators. In the night, anything could happen.
His new book for Jonathan Cape is A Hero for High Times, a supremely witty but profoundly searching exploration of the death of counter-culture after the heady times of the 60s, 70s and 80s.