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London Bridge in America: The Tall Story of a Transatlantic Crossing

London Bridge in America: The Tall Story of a Transatlantic Crossing [Kindle Edition]

Travis Elborough
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Print List Price: 8.99
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Product Description


"As much a social history as the story of the bridge, this entertaining book is packed with facts but its light, sprightly tone makes bricks and mortar a source of human interest" (Sally Morris Daily Mail)

"Elborough's book is a fascinating mix of social and architectural history, travelogue and pop culture, but it is his ability to bring to life the disparate and often eccentric characters involved in the story that stands out." (Ian Critchley Sunday Times)

"An entertaining cultural historian of the Bill Bryson school.very interesting, and crammed with historical trivia." (Helen Brown Daily Telegraph)

"A style perfectly poised between the flourishes of fiction and simple matters of fact. On the evidence of London Bridge in America, it would probably be justifiable now to proclaim Elborough one of Britain's finest pop cultural historians." (Ian Sansom Guardian)

"Travis Elborough tells this glorious story with warmth and humour and a great wide-open spirit. Delightful." (Markus Berkmann Daily Mail)

Book Description

A brilliantly entertaining look at just what happened when London Bridge was sold and shipped to America.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1751 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (7 Feb 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #181,669 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Descending from a line that pioneered pirate-themed eateries and shell-shaded electric lamps, Travis grew up in Worthing on the Sussex coast. It is quite hard to grow up in a place where almost everyone else has gone to die.

He is the author of two acclaimed books, THE BUS WE LOVED and THE LONG-PLAYER GOODBYE. He lives in London.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty, eloquent and informative 13 Feb 2013
Now, a book about London Bridge shouldn't be that interesting; it could easily become bogged down in building techniques, and engineering minutiae.

But Elborough weaves together the whole history of London through the story of the three London Bridges. In doing so, he produces a cultural history that is full of fascinating facts and interesting characters, but also tells a bigger story about the changes to England's capital city, and its relationship with America. The story of the early bridge, a wooden structure lined with buildings, is interesting enough in itself, and the Victorian rebuilding was part of a fascinating period of London's history - but the tales of swinging 60s London and the disregard given to its cultural and architectural history as it reinvented itself is the most revealing. The end of the story is, of course, the bridge's sale and reconstruction in Lake Havasu City, Arizona; and it's interesting to draw comparisons between the long, organic growth of London and the birth, ready made, of a new city in the United States.

Elborough, the hipster Stephen Fry, writes in a style that's easy to read, the story moves nicely and this book - that let's face it, could be quite dry and dull - is a cracking good read for anyone interested in London's history, culture or architecture.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read 13 Feb 2013
I thought this is one of those really rare, great books and I enjoyed it so much I was kind of depressed to finish it. So I started from the beginning again. Travis Elborough has this sharp but thoroughly gentle, easygoing wit and he approaches his subject through the lens of a scholar. Bravo!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Researched and Written 13 Feb 2013
Didn't know what to expect as I was given this book as a gift but after reading it I was truly amazed by the story of the real London Bridge and how it was sent over to America. The book is well written and captured my attention over many tube rides to and from work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The real transatlantic bridge! 13 Feb 2013
By jgbUK
Highly enjoyable telling of a story (and a myth) I'd no idea was so fascinating - the author sets this odd story into a social and historical context that illuminates the post-war 'special relationship' as much as the larger-than-life characters on each side of the pond who dreamt up such an apparently crazy idea! I'm really looking forward to the film-of-the-book, such a good story. How does Travis Elborough get all the coolest writing jobs? (cf. books on the Routemaster and the LP).
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