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The 32 Stops: The Central Line (Penguin Underground Lines) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Dorling looks at a wide range of comparators such as GCSE results, lie expectancy and average income as well as a selection of health-based statistics. My description of this is probably doing the book a dreadful disservice as it probably sounds very dry, but the book is actually completely engrossing. I would welcome the same sort of analysis across some of the other lines, and maybe of the wards and boroughs that the M25 passes through I accept that I am a bit of a geek!
A small but easily read and thought provoking book
32 Stops is fairly accessible and tries to make the stats cool. The stats are the best things about the book. The scale ofdifferentiation along the line is noticeable. For those who have spent decades on the Central Line the trajectory of the data largely bears out expectations. Dorling's skill is in presenting nuance of statistics on things like voting patterns to help build an analytical picture of the different communities spread out across the line. It is fascinating stuff and well presented.
However, there are a number of disappointments about 32 Stops. It is clearly written from a leftist populist perspective. Use of the word 'bankers' as code for the rich already feels dated just a couple of years later. The crude terminology does not fit with Dorling's clearly much deeper understanding of social strata which includes people living along the line many times wealthier than a banker. Dorling's analysis is also quite thin. It does not really break down the communities along the line into constituent parts. The profile of who lives where is not really captured in his narrative snapshots. Each station has a story but that story does not particularly tell the tale from the perspective of people who live there. Dorling is not a Londoner. Frankly it shows.Read more ›
This is a rail line that runs in an arc from West to East through London. Taken as a (presumably mythical) journey over a single day, the aspects of life that vary along the line – and often between stops are looked at in two ways!
Firstly they are illustrated by dialogues between people who live in the area of the relevant tube station and secondly by brief reference to actual statistics.
I had a small problem with both of these – in the dialogues I did loose track a couple of times (no pun intended!) and felt like I was just ploughing on to find out what was going on.
The issue with the statistics is that the author admits that a few random events can alter the average of some of these values significantly for one year – in other words the stark differences between one place and another could actually be due to chance – but then never seems to tell us what time periods the statistics represent. If the statistics are long-term averages, they probably represent real difference – but the way they are presented leaves this open to question.
Now, I am not some form of stats geek – but I do know my way around a graph and I have to say I found this element of the book disappointing.
Equally, this is not to say that I did not enjoy reading the book – but I just kept having a little nagging question popping up at the back of my mind!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Illustrated by the progress of the Central Line from West to East, and with lots of little pen-portraits of the people who live around in each stop. Read morePublished on 6 May 2014 by Jezza
Stats, facts and graphs of the people who live above and beside the Central Line. An interesting tale of rich and poor London.Published on 27 Dec. 2013 by Charlie
It is really interesting and useful. I am going to use this book as a reference for my maths course workPublished on 17 Jun. 2013 by CoCo ONew Lin
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