on 18 February 2010
I have owned the regular Brewers Book of Phrase and Fable for almost a decade now and I didn't even realise that they published a London-specific book. I was looking for another book when I came across this one. It's a brilliant, well-researched guide to every aspect of the Big Smoke you'd want in a single volume. Just like the London Encyclopaedia, it's a volume you'll go to to look one thing up and find yourself sidetracked by another entry. Simply and clearly designed and edited, it's a must for people's bookshelves. Worth every penny...
on 16 October 2009
If you are looking for a present for those difficult to please men in your life look no further than Brewer's London. Witty, informative, easy to dip into and addictive, uncles, brothers, sons, dads and grandads will love this for Christmas. I am just about to order my fourth copy and everyone I know who has seen it, knows someone who'd love it. Ps Girls love it too.
on 2 October 2009
Would you know a Fulham virgin if you met her? You might know Cockney Rhyming Slang, but would you understand Palare if you heard it? Would you take offence being referred to as being as common as Ratcliff Highway? Read this excellent book and you'll learn that and much more in a volume that uncovers details of London's rich heritage found nowhere else. This wonderfully written, eclectic and quirky book is compulsive reading, as difficult to put down as a box of chocolates and totally non-fattening. Unless, of course, you're the Fat Boy of Peckham.
on 7 January 2010
This is the book for Londoners near and far who delight in things Brewer's and are never tired of London's quirks and idiosyncrasies, its deep sense of "being there" and constancy amidst the change. Sometimes nostalgic, sometimes with its feet firmly planted in the new century, the new decade, the book fits well alongside, but does not supplant, Willey's "Gazetteer" and, with its far and deep reaching research and plain style, will delight a wide range of readers.
on 28 April 2010
Looked up the nose on Admiralty Arch and there it was. Wanted background on Seven Dials and there it was. This is the type of book that lures you in for a particular piece of information then fascinates you with any number of items of which you were totally unaware. There's good layout, clear print and an entertaining, not completely clear of bias style of writing. Very useful.
I bought this as a gift for one of my friends who loves London and they were delighted with it. Although billed as a dictionary, many of the entries would do justice in terms of their depth to an encyclopaedia. Whilst devoid of illustrations (save the covers) this book succeeds in painting a vivid picture of many of London's areas, landmarks, institutions, societies and history. It covers subjects as diverse as Abbey Road, the Wombles, Oyster cards and the Profumo Affair. The reference in the title of this book to being a "Dictionary of London's "Phrase and Fable", should, in my opinion, be interpreted liberally - it is much more than that!
Whilst not a book the majority of people would read sequentially from cover to cover, it is the sort of book that anyone with an interest in London would love to dip in and out of. I'm sure each time they do so they would add to their knowledge of the great city. It is obvious that this book is the product of painstaking research and it is a credit to the author Russ Willey and his team.
In my opinion, this makes a really great gift for anyone with an interest in London to dip into. Recommended.
on 15 January 2010
My brother already had a copy of Brewers Phrase and Fable and I thought he might enjoy this book too. I had looked at it in bookshops and found it so informative, It's the sort of book you can just "dip into". If anyone has lived or worked in London it will open your eyes to things you probably missed.... and make you want to go back and look again. If you've never been to London, it will make you want to visit. You'll hear something on the radio or watch on TV and you'll want to go and look it up in this book. Super!
on 5 September 2012
A collection of facts about London over the years up to modern times. About places we pass by without a thought of the history, The London nose (Taxi drivers will know), Bedlam Hospital and a host of other locations. And the characters that make London such an interesting city teeming with tales from times gone by.
London fascinates me - so much history in what is, after all, a (relatively) small space. I love delving into books that reveal it's quirkier side and this book delivers all that you could wish for and more. Backed by the Brewers "brand" you know roughly the sort of thing that you're getting and, as I said, it does not disappoint.
If you have any interest in London I think you need to own this five star book.
on 28 March 2013
Brewer's dictionaries have always been a favourite of mine,books whci you can pick up,open at any page,and be sure to find something really interesting.