How do you define the experience of a city as great and sprawling as London? The answer is one person at a time. In the tradition of Studs Terkel, journalist Craig Taylor spent five years interviewing over 200 Londoners from every borough of the city and all walks of life to fill the pages of this highly readable book. The result is a collection of 83 oral histories by Londoners that fascinate, educate, entertain, and inspire. A driving instructor waxes poetic about roundabouts; a voice-over artist talks about her gig as the voice of the London Underground (her favorite station to pronounce was Theydon Bois); a yeoman warder talks about the difficulty of getting a pizza delivered when you live in the Tower of London; and a Wiccan priestess talks about researching spells in the British Library. Fantastic!
I loved this book to pieces. It gave a great insight to the lives of both the underprivileged and the privileged "londoners." I recommend it to everyone.
Had to plow & slog through this one. A real disappointment to me.
This Canadian writer is a self-styled Studs Terkel after a few short years in London, but totally lacking Studs' insights.
Having lived in London for a number of years some of the stories resonated with me. However I don't think the work was representative of the city and the author may have shown some bias in deciding which stories to include/exclude. I'd recommend it for someone who wants to get a general idea of what it's like to live in London.
I am really enjoying this book and have recommended it to a lot of my friends. In fact, it made me want to reread "Akenfield",the iconic 1969 study of an English village, and also to try to get a copy of "Return to Akenfield", this author's earlier book, (which SPL doesn't have.)
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