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Ghost Milk: Calling Time on the Grand Project Paperback – 5 Apr 2012

2.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (5 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141039647
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141039640
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 476,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Wonderful, sharp, amusing, grippingly atmospheric. One of our most dazzling prose stylists (Daily Telegraph)

Dazzling . . . Sinclair's explorations by foot are highly engaging and anything but pedestrian (Sunday Telegraph)

Brilliant, superb. Anger drives the book forwards. Sinclair has gone from cult author to national treasure (Robert Macfarlane Guardian)

Ghost Milk reads like a meld of poet Allen Ginsberg, comic books writer Alan Moore and an anarchists' message board . . . There is no doubt that Sinclair is original, observant, a wonderful phrase maker (Evening Standard)

A striking visual poetry and tart black comedy are extracted form even the most hopeless of London locations (Spectator)

A scorching 400-page diatribe against this and other "grand projects" . . . [Sinclair is] a crazily knowledgeable local historian with a shaman's grasp of strange energies, unseen ley lines, urban esoterica (Independent Magazine)

About the Author

Iain Sinclair was born in Cardiff in 1943. He is the author of numerous works of fiction, poetry non-fiction, including Lud Heat; White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings; Downriver; Radon Daughters; Lights Out for the Territory; Rodinsky's Room, with Rachel Lichtenstein; Landor's Tower; London Orbital; Dining On Stones; Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire and Ghost Milk; American Smoke and London Overground. Downriver won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Encore Award. He lives in Hackney, east London.


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Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sinclair goes out and sees what's there, and then comes back and tells us about it - like George Orwell did. Also he writes very well (ditto). He goes out and wanders around the Dome in Greenwich as TPTB wonder what to put in it, walks up the Thames to Oxford, drives around in the rain with an architect and a film maker. The architect has a brilliant plan for the north - he'll turn the M82 between Hull and Manchester into an American-style ribbon city consisting entirely of non-places: business parks, bowling alleys, supermarkets, burger bars. In the face of the patronising, opportunistic "regeneration" Sinclair discovers, this begins to appear quite attractive. At least you'd get a burger instead of a frozen fishcake in a godforsaken Italian restaurant in a "waterside development" that never quite happened. Money has been thrown at the north, eviscerated by the death of industry. It has created museums of nothing - huge showy "iconic" buildings, many now boarded up or surrounded by dog-patrolled perimeter fences. He was sure that Manchester's "marinas" now all boasted cafes and "bistros", but on a cold rainy night all he found was that doomed Italian eaterie. The regeneration money mainly went into the pockets of southerners who headed back home when the project withered and the money ran out. It's all a crying shame. And I'm disappointed that Amazon reviewers have done nothing more than titter at the title, which is silly. I think he's referring to the white smears that used to turn up on cheap coloured photographs, and suggesting that these regeneration projects are nothing more than meaningless smears on the landscape. How many artists' quarters do people need? Can you replace steelworks with coffee bars? Can you heck-as-like.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another fascinating tour of the old places, such memories (and a few horrors) and an insight into the plans for the future of dear old London. Iain Sinclair is a man after my own heart - just wish I could write as well as he does!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i first heard of ian sinclair when the graphic novel writer alan moore mentioned in an interview that sinclair was his favorite living author, i decided to check him out and ordered this. its a wonderful read, its not a book to be rushed, you can come back to it , and reread chapters and find get something new from it. anybody studying to be an architect would do well to read and ponder this book
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Format: Paperback
The English love a moaner, as long as he doesn't challenge their habits or demand action. This is why Iain Sinclair has been able to publish so much weak non-fiction over the years - and make no mistake, that's all 'Ghost Milk' is (it's not a 'docu-novel' or part of an art project, whatever anyone half-heartedly claims).

Insights shared here include: Iain doesn't like the new buildings much; people at the council have got computers now; and "spam email - what's that all about?" There's a strong whiff of the Partridge throughout: substitute 'Hackney' for 'Norwich' and you'll see what I mean. Dull details of his daily wanders, meetings with small-time media contacts, complaints about the council you'd expect to hear from the Taxpayers' Alliance, a cancelled book reading, and a contretemps with a friendly French listings magazine - it's accidentally quite funny in places, read in Partridge's voice. That's the kind of survival tactic you'll need to develop to get through it. He wakes up a bit when discussing other writers, and remembers a couple of times to describe the light on the canal poetically, but these are very meagre rewards when spread across 430 pages.

The opening reminiscences about his Hackney life in the 70s are quite interesting, but they do remind you that he was an engaged, creative writer back then. His career since seems to reflect the decline he sees in the country quite neatly. I get the impression publishers have steadily become more brand conscious and commercially minded, and light reading like 'Ghost Milk' won't frighten any horses; it's basically bit of travel, local history and news speak mixed together - all idioms familiar from newspaper leisure sections - which must be why so much of it has been commissioned.
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