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Lights Out for the Territory Paperback – 2 Oct 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (2 Oct. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141014830
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141014838
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 156,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'A book about London; in other words, a book about everything' Peter Ackroyd, The Times

About the Author

Iain Sinclair's books include LONDON ORBITAL, DOWNRIVER (James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Encore Award), and WHITE CHAPPELL, SCARLET TRACINGS. He lives in Hackney, East London.

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By russetleaves on 11 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback
I have only had time to dip in and out of this wonderful book because I am currently reading about life in Hackney also courtesy of Mr Sinclair.Suffice it to say that his prose is fluid,intelligent and a joy to read I especially enjoyed his account of a putative meeting with Lord Archer.Mr Sinclair's feeling and respect for the history,people and atmosphere of places he knows so well is lightly bourne and delivered in an easy,sumptuous style.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Aug. 1999
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent, eccentric and funny book bursting with ideas and descriptions of London, its hidden places and characters.Part history, part sociology, part travel and part weird ramblings, it defies definition and yet it works. The real deight is not knowing where you are going to be taken next. Sinclair's description of Archer and his penthouse is almost worth the cover price alone. Add to that a wonderful bibliography which could keep you busy for a couple of years. Sinclair works hard to entertain the reader on his extraordinary walks with his friend with razor sharp observations which stay in the mind. He sees connections between people and places which seemingly have nothing in common. Wordy and dense yes, but also richly entertaining. If you are interested in the Krays, Derek Raymond, Peter Fuller, Antonioni's "Blow Up", old London churches and cemetaries etc then you will love this heroic book. "Lights Out" will either become a cult book or be remaindered:probably both!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 Feb. 1999
Format: Paperback
You don't have to know the Bakers Arms, Walthamstow Tech, or Chingford Mount Cemetary as well as I do to enjoy this eye-opening journey by Iain Sinclair. The words jump off the walls, and encourages anyone to open their eyes next time they take a walk around their local patch. "Free George Davis," or "Nostalgia/Is/A/Weapon," the opinion of the streets becomes interwoven with documented fact and the myth and folk lore of a community. The only mystery, is how Mr. Sinclair missed Walthamstow Cemetary, Queens Road, and The Light House? Perhaps next time?
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By an italian in london on 15 Sept. 2007
Format: Paperback
the subject is less than serious, and it's a clear reference to the fact that reading this book was really hard, also because I am not a native speaker of english and also because I lack the knowledge of "london" facts.
the subject also refers to the density of information, facts and knowledge on London (and not just london), that this book contains.
it's not been easy to read this book and it's not been easy to appreciate it. often I felt I was about to rule it out as a sort of english Umberto Eco (an intellectual showing off his encyclopedic knowledge of London).
but there is something genuine about Iain Sinclair, and it helped seeing him at a reading at the RFH to have a feeling of someone that is the opposite of a Umberto Eco: a down to earth person.
sometimes you have to let go, let the flow of information get lost in the short term memory; sometimes one has to stop and go back reread, take a note, find a post-it to mark the page, or perhaps even get the shoes, leave the comfort of a sunday read on the couch and venture to a part of London which is not necessarily safe or the best to be (that's in fact another problem: reading this book 12 years down the line doesn't help, because some of the london described by Iain Sinclair no longer exists or it has changed dramatically).
but this is hardly a book calling for a real walk around london: this book is about a long trip deep down in the soul of the city, in an invisible layer where an invisible network connects points , buildings, facts, people who are no longer there, or are not to be seen. THis is a "trip of the mind", into a twilight zone of things that escape the day to day reality.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Jones on 15 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback
Sinclair's erudite and scholarly approach renders visible a London that is neglected, ignored and even widely unknown. It is a unique, dense book, borne of an unrelenting fascination with a city that resides paradoxically in both the past and the present. Drawing together disparate ideas, he examines the fabric of the capital, tracing threads that encompass politics, art, mysticism, conspiracy, literature and religion. Sinclair moves through physical and cultural boundaries, skirting the fringes and engaging with peripheral but perhaps visionary figures as well as identifying forgotten architectural remnants and apparent anomalies in a vast urban sprawl. The London he presents is powerful, provocative and disturbing - through the activities of its inhabitants the city is able to assume such human characteristics. Befitting his background in psychogeography, Sinclair's narrative is shaped through the routes he walks in the city; accompanied by photographer Marc Atkins, he chronicles the dark underbelly of modern urban life.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Darran on 20 July 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a stunning book. It is one of the books that has influenced me most. It is packed with fascinating London lore and I have been led to seek out many of the people, places, books and curiousities he mentions. Partly as a result of reading this I have gone on to read Derek Raymond and Michael Moorcock. I already loved Alan Moore, who I think lead me to Sinclair in the first place. Anyway, I'm rambling. If you have a taste for the quirky, the arcane, the different, the obscure and the occult, then dive straight in to this book. I must confess that after reading it I expected a lot from Sinclair, but found his fiction and poetry comparitively dissapointing. This is him at his his best, and I look forward to reading London Orbital when I can get round to it.
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