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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A surprisingly entertaining read
The story here is your run of the mill problem... whilst in a drunken state, a soon-to-be-married guy (Andy) bets he can visit every underground station within a day. Sure enough, his "mate" takes him up on his offer and Andy starts the day without honeymoon tickets, passport, credit cards and lots of other useful things, only able to retrieve them should he win the best...
Published on 25 July 2003 by Darren Simons

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2.0 out of 5 stars Going Underground
If you are or have ever lived or worked in London, or have ever visited, there’s a fair chance you’ve been on the Tube. Chances are you’ve only ever used it to get from one place to another and not looked at all the places you could go to. This is especially true if you’re using the tube at rush hour, where your main concern is to get to your...
Published 3 months ago by Mr. Iain R. Wear


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A surprisingly entertaining read, 25 July 2003
By 
Darren Simons (Middlesex, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Tunnel Vision (Paperback)
The story here is your run of the mill problem... whilst in a drunken state, a soon-to-be-married guy (Andy) bets he can visit every underground station within a day. Sure enough, his "mate" takes him up on his offer and Andy starts the day without honeymoon tickets, passport, credit cards and lots of other useful things, only able to retrieve them should he win the best - oh yeah, and for winning the bet he can also get some collectable train tickets.
Needless to say his wife-to-be (Rachel) is thoroughly unimpressed, unable to fathom why the guy she believes she wants to spend the rest of her life with, is in fact... a TRAIN SPOTTER, is proud of it, and is willing to jeopardise everything over a stupid bet.
The story takes you through the day in question, with extra little challenges along the way, a tramp for Andy's company for most the journey, derailed trains, a gentle jog around North-west London, and a train timetable which isn't running quite to schedule.
The book seems to be remarkably well researched, and although there is another thread to the story about why Andy's mate wants Andy's marriage to end in failure, it's fairly weak and doesn't add much to the story. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, which I didn't really expect to be as good as it was.
Will he make it or will he fail? Well, there's only one way to find out - read the book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable (but unsophisticated) reading, 4 Nov. 2002
By 
Mr. T. H. E. WHITE (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tunnel Vision (Paperback)
This is a very enjoyable novel about a young tube-enthusiast on the eve of his wedding. He has had a bet with his "friend" that he can visit every single tube station on a single day and still make his 1 a.m. appointment at Waterloo Station where he is to take his Eurostar train with his fiancée to Paris, where they are to get married.
The problem is, his "friend" has forfeited the hero's passport, Eurostar tickets, honeymoon tickets and other things, and has placed them strategically around the London Underground, leaving clues at each place with the location of the next items, thereby making it much harder for our hero to follow a working route.
Accompanied by a tramp who has nothing better to do, our hero sets off from Morden station early in the morning, and begins to panic almost immediately.
This novel will appeal to everyone who travels frequently on the London Underground, and has been subjected to the various delays. It will be particularly appealing to tube-enthusiasts who will surely wonder whether they too would have taken the same route, given the obstacles. But don't let that put you off reading the book. It has just the right balance of humour and trainspottery to keep every Londoner amused.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark and strange, 30 July 2006
By 
R. D. Eager "rde42" (Herne Bay, Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tunnel Vision (Paperback)
This novel was much darker than I expected; not the usual 'treasure hunt' type of thing. The plot has been explained elsewhere, so I won't repeat it.

I quite enjoyed it, but I did find it vaguely depressing at times! It was interesting; it's useful to have the 'Way Out Tube Map' beside you to appreciate what the main protagonist and his companion are going through.

What did irritate me was that it wasn't written in English, but in American. This edition was printed in the USA, so perhaps it was a translation, although I doubt it. It's the one with white spots on the cover, if that helps; softcover. Lots of American spellings and word usage; this for a book written in the 'first person' where the narrator is English.

Slightly imperfectly researched; I'm not a Tube geek but I noticed a couple of things. You don't generally go up to the main line station when changing from the Victoria line to the Circle Line at Victoria; this is a minor point but as it happens it's the station I know best. And when you arrive at Fenchurch Street on the overground, you don't usually run through City streets to get to Tower Hill tube. Never mind!

All in all, a good read.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Going Underground, 17 Jan. 2015
By 
This review is from: Tunnel Vision (Paperback)
If you are or have ever lived or worked in London, or have ever visited, there’s a fair chance you’ve been on the Tube. Chances are you’ve only ever used it to get from one place to another and not looked at all the places you could go to. This is especially true if you’re using the tube at rush hour, where your main concern is to get to your destination and get your face out of the armpit of the person standing next to you. Who cares where you can go when getting to where you need to be is so smelly and distasteful?

Andy’s done something a bit stupid. He’s taken on a bet that even Tony Hawks would have derided as being too absurd. He’s bet that he can visit every station on the London Underground in a single day. Having been talked into the bet whilst drunk, at stake are his credit cards, his passport and his honeymoon tickets. For as if taking the bet on doesn’t appear stupid enough to begin with, Andy is due to be getting married tomorrow and if he doesn’t win, it’s not likely to happen. Essentially, he’s bet his entire future against the Tube.

Starting at Morden at 5 a.m., we follow Andy through the whole of the Underground in a race against time, points failures and delayed trains. We see him accompanied by a tramp, who attaches himself to Andy and follows him around for the whole day. We get glimpses of Rachel, Andy’s fiancée, as she prepares herself for the big day and wonders what on earth Andy is up to and where he is.

Perhaps surprisingly for a story that is essentially a race against time, it’s not really a fast paced read. This is largely because for the majority of the story, it’s simply two people sitting on the Tube chatting as they travel from place to place. Whilst the reasons for them travelling might be fairly interesting, the actual journey isn’t. There are parts where the pace picks up a little, largely while Andy is running from one platform to another to change trains, but that’s about it.

It also feels that the bits involving Rachel have been added in to make things a little more interesting. With these included, it’s no longer a story of two blokes on a Tube, it gives it a little wider interest, turning what is more or less a travel book into something a little more human and well on the way to being a work of bloke-lit. However, it seems to fall a little between the two, feeling as if it’s trying a little too hard to be more popular.

It succeeds slightly more as a book that would appeal to Tube users. Whilst there isn’t enough for it to be for Tube buffs as such, there’s a few little nuggets of information that may enlighten the casual traveller or commuter. However, although this group will have more of an understanding of the problems Andy faces on his journey, it’s unlikely that many of us will have experienced them all, and certainly not all in a single day, which makes the whole thing seem a little unrealistic.

The book’s main failing, however, is in the characters. Andy is more of an anti-hero than a main character. It’s difficult to get involved with the bet as Andy isn’t presented as a person you can sympathise with or care about. You know he has a lot at stake, but you just think of him as a bit stupid for taking the bet on in the first place and even more so for when he took it on. Whilst many of us may be able to identify with Andy, very few of us would ever even think about trying what he’s doing, much less do it.

If you’ve never been on the London Underground, there is really little to recommend this book. It’s not terribly well written and it’s trying a little too hard. You won’t be interested in the bet that makes up the story and if you’re a fan of either chick-lit or bloke-lit, you’ll most likely be disappointed in the watered down attempt at that genre that “Tunnel Vision” provides. If you’re not a fan of either genre, this will hold no interest for you at all.

If you have used the Tube or, even more so, if you use it regularly, this might hold some interest. Not for the story itself, but to see Andy’s journey as it intersects your own. It’s a little like watching a travel programme that has a segment on somewhere you’ve been to, as you can watch it and say “ooh, we went there!”. It’s likely to have a brief fascination, but no real interest.

It’s not a book you can really sit down and enjoy, more one to be picked at occasionally. It’s one you can pick up and put down very easily which would make it ideal reading for your Tube journey to and from work, if it were any good. If you’re likely to be interested in seeing your regular journey in a book, it has that novelty value, but doesn't provide much pleasure beyond this and once the initial fascination has passed, there’s nothing of substance left.

This review may also appear under my name at any or all of www.ciao.co.uk, www.thebookbag.co.uk, www.goodreads.com, www.amazon.co.uk and www.dooyoo.co.uk
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourites, 29 Jan. 2013
By 
BookAddictShaun (England, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Tunnel Vision (Paperback)
This is one of my favourite books and I have lost count of the number of times that I've read it. The thing that made me want to read it in the first place is the fact that it's set on the London Underground. I am a self-confessed tube nerd, I love everything about it and spend most of my time on trips to London on the Underground and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Most people go to see the sights but I've seen them enough times. I just love everything about the Tube.

The storyline here involves Andy who bet his tube geek friend Rolf that he could travel the whole system (not entirely true as this book was written in 2001 and so Andy misses out a lot of the Jubilee Line and the whole of the DLR [which I love]) in 24 hours. At the end of the 24 hours he needs to meet Rachel so they can catch the Eurostar to Paris.

Unfortunately the majority of the characters bar one are pretty weak. The best character for me and the star of the book is Brian. Brian is a tramp who Andy bumps into at his first station of the day and Brian sort of latches onto him and follows (and eventually helps) him throughout the day. At first Andy thinks Brian is a plant by Rolf but eventually comes to trust him and realise that it's better to do the system with someone else than alone. And of course for the reader it is much better for Andy to have somebody with him as it would be quite boring reading about him travelling around by himself. I didn't like the character of Rachel and the character of Rolf sounding revolting. And as this is supposed to be one of my favourite books I didn't even like the main character, Andy much. However the main character for me is the tube and that is what makes me keep wanting to read this book.

Unfortunately for Andy he picked the worst day to travel the tube. He runs into the most annoying and unbelievable situations that you can't help but laugh. In all the times I have travelled the tube I haven't once had a delay, in fact a train has always arrived within seconds or minutes of me arriving at the station. Of course this would be different if I lived there and travelled every single day but for the sake of this book Andy had the absolute worst luck he could have had.

The ending of the book felt quite rushed but it was fairly satisfying. I loved the chapter with Brian at the end and I'd actually have liked an Epilogue which perhaps looked at the characters years down the line. Anyone who has been to London has seen a tramp of some sort and most people including myself pass them by without a second thought, but a lot of them are just like Brian. Normal people who have been dealt a bad hand, it is easier to end up like that than some people are aware of and reading about a tramp as nice as Brian makes you look at them twice.

Overall probably not a five star book and if you don't have even the slightest interest in the Underground then this probably isn't the book for you but I always enjoy reading it, especially before a trip to London.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Original idea and very funny., 11 Sept. 2001
This review is from: Tunnel Vision (Hardcover)
For a first book this is promising. The presentation has immediate involvement with the reader. Every line needs to be read in order to follow the story which is something one cannot say about most books. The author obviously has first hand knowledge of the London underground system and must have travelled the circuit for the story to be convincing. I like Brian, the tramp, who was quite an educated man, as some tramps are and have just not fitted into modern society. I look forward to reading the author's next book, "Chocolate.com"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intresting and completely different read., 4 Mar. 2003
This review is from: Tunnel Vision (Hardcover)
I really enjoyed this book it was very different from anything else that I have read. I found the plot hilarious and couldn't wait to see how it all ended up. I highly recommend it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Tunnel Vision, 28 Dec. 2008
This review is from: Tunnel Vision (Paperback)
One of the recommended titles of the Booktrust's Get London Reading campaign, the story is of a guy who on the eve of his wedding has a bet to travel to every station on the London Underground network. As a London resident who regularly uses the Underground service, I could relate to the sentiments and imagery. Was a little surprised at his method and found myself thinking about the logistics of such a challenge. For the central character who is such an enthusiast for all things to do with London Underground, how he manages to be engaged is a little far fetched. Overall, an enjoyable read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Surprise Hit, 27 Dec. 2011
This review is from: Tunnel Vision (Paperback)
I was a bit dubious when I picked this up - whether a book about an underground trip could really be that interesting, but after a slightly slow start this had me gripped. The background information about the underground lines, stations etc I found more interesting than perhaps I should, and the story of how the pursuit of a bet threatens the upcoming marriage of (tube) 'train-spotter' and Rachel is brilliantly developed. A great read and I almost found myself getting an underground map to try to plot out the route to see how the journey described could be done.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A top read for all tube-travellers, 1 Oct. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Tunnel Vision (Paperback)
This is a great read - ideal for whiling away those long hours spent on the Northern Line every day. Lowe has created a superb character in his protagonist, Andy, who is torn between a bet with his tube-spotting mate to travel round the entire London Underground in 24 hrs - and his fiancee, Rachel, who has no interest whatsoever in all things 'tubular'. The tone is immediate, it is pacy and you just want to keep reading until the end. If you are a regular tube-traveller you will appreciate the characters that Andy observes on his journey - from the lost Japanese tourist to the hordes of foreign schoolchildren. Of course I won't tell you how it ends, but it doesn't disappoint.
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Tunnel Vision by Keith Lowe (Paperback - 6 Sept. 2001)
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