£9.99
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10.
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Trade in your item
Get a £0.81
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Soft City Paperback – 1 Aug 2008


See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£9.87
Paperback
"Please retry"
£9.99
£2.67 £1.52

Frequently Bought Together

Soft City + Bad Land + Driving Home: An American Scrapbook: An Emigrants Reflections Pb
Price For All Three: £25.08

Buy the selected items together


Trade In this Item for up to £0.81
Trade in Soft City for an Amazon Gift Card of up to £0.81, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (1 Aug 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330456490
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330456494
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 339,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

'A brilliant book about how we all construct our own different versions of London'. -- Evening Standard

`the most important point about Soft City is that it is overwhelmingly right and true. . . . Soft City [is] as timely as ever' -- Evening Standard

About the Author

Jonathan Raban is the recipient of - among other prizes - the Heinemann Award of the Royal Society of Literature, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Thomas Cook Award, and the Governor's Award of the State of Washington. His novel, Waxwings, was longlisted for the 2003 Man Booker Prize, and his most recent work of fiction, Surveillance, was published in 2006 to much acclaim. In 1990 Raban, a British citizen, moved from London to Seattle, where he now lives with his daughter.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
2
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
1
1 star
0
See all 3 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J S Banks on 25 Oct 2013
Format: Paperback
'I come out of a formica kebab-house alone after lunch, my head prickly with retsina. The air outside is a sunny swirl of exhaust fumes, smoky-turquoise big city colour.' And so this brilliant, beautiful, hypnotic book begins. Some of the best opening sentences I've ever read and they're what instantly attracted me to this book and resulted in me borrowing it from my local library some 25 or so years ago. I subsequently acquired my own copy from Amazon several years later and have reread it a couple of times since. Brilliant, mesmerising and intelligently written. If you've ever made eye contact and sensed a fleeting connection with someone in a crowd or on the opposite side of an escalator and then realised with a brief sense of sadness and regret that you will probably never see this person again, such is the vastness of the urban landscape, then this is probably the book for you. Read and enjoy.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Ostra on 2 Jun 2013
Format: Paperback
Written in 1974, this ambitious study of the modern city in its psychological significance is still an exciting and illuminating read 40 years on, even though its mission - to capture the impact of the overwhelming diversity of the city-experience on the individual 'citizen' - must have been as impossible to achieve in a finite text then as it clearly is today. If the effort is ultimately doomed, then Raban is the right guide to follow on the attempt. He brings to the task the audacity of a 30 years old independent writer, a readiness to disclose his personal intimate experience together with detached erudition, and an incisive analytical mind. The author states the premise of his endeavour in the introduction:

"Signals, styles, systems of rapid, highly-conventionalised communication, are the lifeblood of the big city. ... The city, our great modern form, is soft, amenable to a dazzling and libidinous variety of lives, dreams, interpretations."

The book then proceeds by a sequence of independent chapters that investigate different facets of the soft city - London, mostly - as it employs methods from discussions of urban planning-literature and cultural criticism to original literary fiction based on Raban's personal experience (in "The Foreign Girl"). Chapter Two, "The City as Melodrama" argues that city dwellers often stage-act in a way that emphasizes moral extremes - much against common rationalistic or dystopian models of the city population. "Greenhorns" traces the fate of the immigrant in the city, with his/her heightened expectations - Raban was one of them. "The Emporium of Styles" emphasizes the importance of surfaces and appearances in the city - an issue that has become only more pressing by now (2013).
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By barbicandy on 5 May 2014
Format: Paperback
Raban’s 1974 meditation on cities, mostly London, are sadly dated and were never that insightful. A little too much meditation and rather too little anecdote or telling detail or atmospheric evocation this light volume falls between several stools and I wasn’t inclined to pick it up again.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Look for similar items by category


Feedback