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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely interesting!
London's Strangest Tales

London's Strangest Tales is a fantastic book full of quirky little facts about London. Being a Londoner myself, I found it endearing and loved hearing things about places I am familiar with and go to often. I definitely think I will plan a day going around London to see if I can spot the hidden landmarks and pieces of our history that...
Published on 30 Dec 2008 by Ms. K. M. Sanford

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun introduction to London's quirks, but...
As a city with a couple of thousand years or so of history, there's no shortage of strange tales to tell about London. This is a fun book, with each tale presented in roughly chronological order and in easily digestible chunks of between half a page and three pages. A good read, then, for anyone wanting a light diversion, or who likes to spout arcane information at...
Published 11 months ago by A Ryder


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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely interesting!, 30 Dec 2008
By 
Ms. K. M. Sanford (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: London's Strangest Tales (Paperback)
London's Strangest Tales

London's Strangest Tales is a fantastic book full of quirky little facts about London. Being a Londoner myself, I found it endearing and loved hearing things about places I am familiar with and go to often. I definitely think I will plan a day going around London to see if I can spot the hidden landmarks and pieces of our history that still survive today.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Strange but fun!, 16 July 2014
This review is from: London's Strangest Tales (Paperback)
This is a very nice collection of tales full of humour and fun historical information. If you have ever been curious about what goes on behind the scenes in history, this would be a perfect book to choose.

This book is not extremely lengthy, but moves progressively forward to the future from the distant past, recounting some of the most hair-raising and comical events in local history.

What I liked about this book more than anything, was the voice of the narrator. Rather than a stiff, formal approach, the book felt very conversational and easy going. There were multiple parts that made me laugh.

If you like learning about history and want to have a few smiles along the way, this is an excellent choice.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun introduction to London's quirks, but..., 22 Aug 2013
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This review is from: London's Strangest Tales (Paperback)
As a city with a couple of thousand years or so of history, there's no shortage of strange tales to tell about London. This is a fun book, with each tale presented in roughly chronological order and in easily digestible chunks of between half a page and three pages. A good read, then, for anyone wanting a light diversion, or who likes to spout arcane information at parties, and a source of inspiration for the reader's imagination.

What lets it down are the inaccuracies. Charles II's wife was Portuguese, not French (Charles's mother - Charles I's wife - was French) and there's an assertion that Tess of the d'Urbervilles was fooled into thinking that her ancestors were noble. In the version I read, her ancestors WERE noble, it was Alec who had usurped the title. I assume there is only the one book with this title, by one Thomas Hardy? This may be pedantic, but these are not little-known facts or hard to research, so it's inexcusable that the mistakes made it into print. Having read the above two errors in the first fifty pages I had to take the rest of the book with an unhealthily large pinch of salt, and I suggest other readers do the same to avoid egg on the face at those parties....
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant read, 14 Oct 2010
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Alison Roberts (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: London's Strangest Tales (Paperback)
Such a great concept for a book and it lives up to the original idea. It's such a good read. You'll read a few stories you probably know a little about but the majority of the tales in here are new to me and not only interesting some of them are really funny. It's helped me to really appreciate London again and I want to go on a tour based around some of the places mentioned in the book. I'd recommend this to anyone that lives in London or visits London.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, 16 Jan 2011
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This review is from: London's Strangest Tales (Paperback)
I bought this as a gift. I see this book at a friends house and got myself one some time ago. I leave it on the coffee table and whenever I have guests someone always picks it up and it always starts a conversation. I have lived in London my whole life and found it really interesting, suprising and a perfect book to dip in and out of.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars London's Strange Tales:By Tom Quinn, 14 Nov 2012
By 
ShiDaDao Ph.D (London UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: London's Strangest Tales (Paperback)
This book is a delightful read. Its full title is - 'For Your Reading Pleasure, London's Strangest Tales, Extraordinary But True Stories.' It forms a volume in the 'Strangest' series also published by Portico. The author - Tom Quinn - has compiled chapters that span a thousand years of London history. The chapters work forward in chronological order, starting from 950 CE and culminating in 2007.

The 2007 paperback edition contains 378 numbered pages, and is comprised of an Introduction and 178 short chapters. Each chapter is comprised of 1 to 3 pages and covers an interesting and important aspect of the history of London. As a book, the combined effect of the many chapters is that a developmental history is presented to the reader in snap-shot format that is surprising coherent and detailed. Quinn's style of writing is highly engaging, intelligent, insightful, and humourous. An examples of chapters are as follows:

Why Part of Scotland is in London (950)
Put Out Your Fire (1066)
Human Lavatory (1190)
The Queen's Bosom on Show((1597)
Cockney Maori Chief (1776)
Eighteenth-Century Viagra (1779)
Trains Only for the Dead (1854)
How Crime Became Art (1995)

The short chapter presentation often disguises the fact that this is a work of great research that has probably involved the author visiting many of the buildings, open spaces, strange objects, monuments, and graveyards that he writes about. The writing style takes the reader through the streets of London within a time-travelling extravaganza!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 14 July 2010
This review is from: London's Strangest Tales (Paperback)
I've liven in London for half of my life now and the city doesn't cease to fascinate me. This book is a guide to those hidden areas and stories that hide in the nooks and crannies of the Big Smoke. I'm sure that I am irritating everyone with useless facts about London now but I really don't care - and I can't wait to try and find all these interesting places - especially the Silver Mousetrap!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Easy read full of factual antidotes, 10 Jun 2014
By 
J. Mottram "JEM" (Ferring, West Sussex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Extremely and informative book full of fascinating snippets of London's past. Thoroughly recommend it to anybody who wishes to learn more about the capital's quirky history.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book, 30 May 2014
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This review is from: London's Strangest Tales (Paperback)
Very interesting book to dip in and out of on occasions. would recommend this to anyone who is interested in out of the ordinary
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read, 26 May 2014
By 
Mr M.R.Watkinson (Norfolk, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: London's Strangest Tales (Paperback)
With few of the tales running to more than a couple of pages, this is a perfect book for dipping into for a few minutes at a time. What lets it down is the author's tendency to sneer, most especially at royalty, the rich, and anyone he feels is responsible for having an old building demolished (and nothing that has gone up in place of something else is ever any good). This can be best illustrated by his comment on Waterloo Bridge, "destroyed by a stupid decision". Ummm, no, actually. A quick google shows that the bridge was demolished after decades of increasing problems with damaged bridge pier foundations. So perhaps building a brand new bridge wasn't such a stupid idea after all? Anyway, the sneering aside, despite the lack of pictures or maps, the author's journalistic style makes for easy reading, and there's certainly plenty of tales & plenty of variety amongst them. An interesting & enjoyable read, worthy of 4*.
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London's Strangest Tales by Tom (Paperback - 17 Mar 2008)
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