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Underground, Overground: A Passenger's History of the Tube Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Length: 321 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Review

I would strongly endorse Martin's book as the stop to get on at (Will Self Guardian)

Martin's knowledge is both encyclopaedic and full of quirky digressions, based on everyday observation ... this history has plenty of fun detailing the travails of the Underground's pioneering figures (Evening Standard 2012-04-26)

A jaunty history ... studded with little observational gems ... he can occasionally stop you in your tracks with a well-turned phrase (Sunday Times 2012-04-22)

A sparky history of the tube ... honours the Underground, and glories in its oddities (Sunday Telegraph 2012-04-29)

Seeing Martin puzzle his way through the history is half the fun, as are his lively interlocutors ... the language is beautiful (Rose Jacobs FT 2012-04-28)

For those who love a bit of darting about the Londinium subway whenever the chance comes, Underground, Overground will be a sweat-induced, claustrophobic treat (Brian Donaldson The List 2012-04-26)

Hugely entertaining ... gives us all the lore and myths ... Underground, Overground captures the same zest, zaniness and sense of marvel shown in the recent BBC Two series The Tube. (Michael Binyon Times 2012-05-05)

A highly engaging journey through the history and geography of the tube. (Jonathan Sale Independent 2012-05-05)

An excellent "passenger's history" of the network... entertaining (Mark Mason Spectator 2012-04-28)

If you've ever wondered who is responsible for the announcements on the Northern line, or why Bakerloo line trains don't have armrests, then this engaging and witty social history of the London underground is guaranteed to beguile.

. . . Martin is a highly entertaining guide to the stygian depths of subterranean London in all its absurd, confusing glory. . . Offbeat anecdotes abound . . . a compact yet comprehensive study

(Alexander Larman Observer 2012-05-13)

No mere tube-spotter's manual, this is an elegantly written and witty history of London itself as well as its tube system, enriched by lierary referenecs and quotations (Katie Owen Sunday Telegraph Seven 2013-01-20)

Book Description

Paperback published to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the London Underground

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3227 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books (26 April 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007XUG9EG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #179,608 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's alway going to be difficult to beat in-depth nerdism such as one might find from capo-di-capo Christian Wolmar and The Subterranean Railway: How the London Underground Was Built and How it Changed the City Forever but what I liked about this book is the anecdote and affection, together with a little more about the personalities and the politics.

I didn't appreciate (but on reflection wasn't surprised) that Harry Beck, the pioneering tube map designer had a face that didn't fit and his contribution was only recognised years later. I also thought the discussion of the lost property office interesting (yes, I've been there...). And his description of Northern Line islands together with the speculation as to why people don't fall off the edge during the rush hour (I've been there and there too) are just some of the charming stories that keep this well written personal reflection moving forward. A tiny criticism, knowing Temple very well, and the map to which he refers, which is so faded and insignificantly positioned, I would think one could stand there a long time before observing anyone having noticing it let alone becoming confused by it.

I enjoyed reading that just as documented in The Bus We Loved: London's Affair with the Routemaster that there was no such thing as a standard Routemaster because of continual tinkering with the design, there was no such thing as the standard tube train.

Other reviewers have criticised the lack of a tube map, I wasn't sure I understood this.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The attractive cover drew me to this book, and the reviewers quoted inside who described it as sparky (Sunday Telegraph), engaging (Observer), jaunty (Sunday Times), fascinating (Time Out) and very funny (Country Life) persuaded me to buy it. Just the thing to see me through a long train journey, I thought, and very appropriate for one which started with a tube trip across London.
I wasn't expecting thrills and romance, but I don't think I was being unreasonable in hoping to be entertained. It was billed as a personal memoir of one man's lifelong obsession with and love for the tube, after all: at the very least I expected a lively social history peppered with some engaging anecdotes. But I'm afraid I found it deadly dull - and, having nothing else to read, I was stuck with it for the next four hours!
It fails because it falls between two stools: it's far too meandering and stodgy to entertain, yet it's not authoritative enough to satisfy historians or train nerds (and other reviewers have pointed out a lot of inaccuracies).
The icing on the cake is the lack of good illustrations - and whoever thought that there was any point to publishing a book like this without a series of maps to illustrate the subject should be sacked. Or was it a question of reproduction rights? Because the author talks at length about the unique design of the underground roundel and that doesn't appear, either.
But it is nicely written, and it's probably one of those books that it's better to dip into rather than just read through. So you might want to give it a try - but use a tube map as a bookmark, as I did, otherwise you'll find it a very frustrating read.
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Format: Hardcover
Without historical and current maps this is a very difficult history to follow. I'm baffled by their exclusion. Could have been so much better.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved this book but was a bit disappointed by the lack of explanatory maps, as new lines were discussed and brought into the book.

Andrew Martin has an easy writing style but I found I had to keep stopping to look at a map of London to try and work out some of the points he was trying to bring across.

A few more pictures would also have helped but a worthwhile read nevertheless.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You have to be fair to this book - it doesn't really set out to be a comprehensive history of the system. that said, it does pretty well, looking chronologically at how it was all put together, and giving a few hints as to how it might develop in the future.

The compelling things about this book are the quality of writing, which is both entertaining and excellent, and the engagement with the subject. It's simply a really good, interesting read, sometimes a little colloquial but also scholarly.

There's just one this wrong with it - no maps. I think that Andrew Martin just knows the system so well that he doesn't need a map himself, but it would have been useful to be able to look at one while reading. that said, it's easy these days to download one, so I would suggest that if you buy this book then you do just that!
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Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book. It was not too technical, whichI is often something that defeats me when reading about railways in general. It was scattered with anecdotes, and useless pieces of information that I am sure will come up in quiz sometime. It was short enough-280 pages- not to get bogged down in the history of each and every line. For the enthusiast this is probably not the book, but for the interested amateur such as myself it achieved its aim. It was enjoyable and there was a little bit of humour to keep the whole story going. It certainly gave me some aspects to look out for the next time I travel on the underground. I just hope I can remember all the different angles and places that I need to look out for, and it will make travelling on the underground for enjoyable and educational. Good read.
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