Most helpful critical review
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Interesting, well-researched, original, yet tedious and pointless all at the same time
on 25 September 2006
This is the second Tim Moore book I have read, having previously read French Revolutions which details Moore's efforts to cycle the Tour de France. This time Moore's challenge to himself is to visit every square on the London Monopoly board and get someone at each location to roll the dice to tell him where to go next. Along the way a detailed history of each square ensues.
There's something unusual about Moore's writing at times - maybe it's the detailed research and the obvious effort he puts into writing every chapter, maybe it's the rather english eccentricity that you know could not happen anywhere else in the world. Somehow the book has an appeal which keeps the reader interesting although it's not really throughout the whole book. Sadly at the same time, parts of the book are mindless drivel and really a waste of trees that have been knocked down to print this on to. Certain bizarre aspects of London become a fixation for Moore in this book and remain throughout (this was similar in French Revolutions).
I suppose Moore's a bit like Bill Bryson but on a mission, although he is without the Anglo-American nuances to fall back on when he runs out of things to say and when you're describing Monopoly that seems to happen a lot. This is a game which most people have probably played as a child and the chance to read a book and look back on the game is great - learning all sorts of things such as which roads do not actually exist? Of all the stations in London why did Marylebone get picked as one of the four? Who created the game and why? But putting this information into a book which is readable, interesting and enjoyable is a tough task... It would be harsh to say Moore's failed but it's not an award winning book in my view.