The Promised Land: Travels in Search of the Perfect E

Decca Aitkenhead

Classic travel quest – the pursuit of happiness – explored by a brilliant writer seeking to rediscover the idyllic moment of her student years, its carefree rhapsodies and perfect pleasures.

In the spirit of Alex Garland’s ‘The Beach’, Decca Aitkenhead travels round the world in search of the perfect E and the perfect clubbing experience, ten years after her first clubbing days in Manchester. That quest for a clubland myth: the pill to top them all.

Her journey links downtown Detroit with the townships of Cape Town, beatnik San Francisco with Thailand’s beach parties. While searching for the perfect pill, unintended encounters with dubious characters sometimes reveal she has travelled far from transcendence.

While in Cape Town she meets the most notorious South African gangster and finds herself staring down the barrel of a gun in the hands of a dealer who is neither sober nor sane.

Tinged with nostalgia, this is the perfect book for anyone who loves or has loved the clubbing experience. All the way round the world, Decca carried a record bag so that when she found the perfect pill she could play the perfect tune.

Reviews of The Promised Land: Travels in Search of the Perfect E

    • ‘In her hands, the differences in clubbing culture between Detroit, Ko Samui and Cape Town turn out to be a surprisingly serious subject. Her observations are spiky with attitude…the writing is passionate…an intelligent and absorbing book.’ Observer
    • ‘Fantastically good…if you’ve ever been clubbing this book will induce massive rushes of nostalgia.’ Sunday Telegraph
    • ‘Original, well written, effortlessly readable…“The Promised Land”, like its subject-matter, is very easy to like, with occasional shivers of delight and a distant forboding of melancholy.’ Financial Times
    • ‘Her prose is spiky and intelligent from start to finish. Her writing is as humorous as it is acute.’ Jockey Slut