From Working Class Hero to Absolute Disgrace

by Stephen Foster

  • Published: 05 Feb 2009
  • Price: £10.99
  • Format: Paperback
  • Extent: 224p
  • ISBN: 9781906021214
  • Buy it now from
  • Buy it now from Waterstones

When Stephen Foster departed for London from his hometown of Stoke, he was wearing an army surplus jacket accessorised with a CND badge, and he took with him a distinct set of attitude problems. It was the late Seventies; the south-east was on the brink of a social and economic boom – think Thatcher, Yuppies, Wham! and Essex Man.

These were awful times for working-class heroes like Stephen, those who believed in Arthur Scargill, who listened to Dylan and Joy Division, and who reviled the Porsche 911. The south was a travesty. He would never fit in – he couldn’t.

Three decades later he had turned into the kind of poseur who had a recipe book with instructions for making Eton mess and smoked aubergine purée lying on his ornamental butcher’s block next to his six-burner range in his nice middle-class kitchen. How had this disastrous state of affairs come about?

From Working Class Hero to Absolute Disgrace is a riveting cultural memoir, funny and touching in equal measure. It will transport you back to one of the great con eras – when we were encouraged to put gel in our hair, wear blazers with rolled-up sleeves and turn our back on our roots…

“I wept with laughter… This book is pure pleasure.” – Rowan Pelling, The Telegraph

“A rollicking story.” – Iain Finlayson, The Times

“This book has soul and poignancy on top of its sharp humour” – New Statesman

“A hillarious and searingly honest look at class in the Eighties” – Tim Dowling

About Stephen Foster

Stephen Foster was the author of six books including the bestselling Walking Ollie (Short 2007) which has sold more than 100,000 copies.