Learn more Download now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more



on 18 June 2014
On the Jubilee Line our author faces a life-threatening situation – the collapse of the world order, or perhaps the collapse of a section of tunnel, or maybe both.

In order to escape, the author – and his fellow passengers - needs to make a decision about which way to go to reach safety. Although constrained by a tunnel they need to choose a path defined by either the Left or by the Right.

So begins a (sort of) debate about the way forward and which political light should guide it. The cast of characters in the tube train is drawn from the heroes and heroines of both sides of politics, as well as members of the public.

Much of the detail of the financial comings and goings that built the new parts of the Jubilee Line occurred after I left the UK, but even from the distant shores of Australia there was enough detail in the book for me to follow the lines of argument and disagreement.

It’s reasonable to say that this books reaches no firm conclusions on its central debate, but it does entertain on the way to a point of no conclusion.

I have to say that the end of the book is rather predictable, using a device beloved of Soap Operas when an unlikely plot line needs to come to en end.

A brief and generally entertaining read.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 8 October 2015
A clever enough idea, using the Underground and the Jubilee Line in particular as a metaphor for capitalism and left-wing alternatives. The story itself is awful, though, a contrived "dream sequence" and to be honest almost unreadable. A few flashes of the O'Farrell wit but not enough to enliven the trite, plodding politics either. This is definitely not The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, but it is thankfully quite a bit shorter.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 7 August 2013
John Farrell's writing obviously enrages those on the right as one review of this book demonstrates. But this warm and witty history of the Jubilee Line, also puts all sides to the debate of who can best run Britain - individualists or collectivists. Originally to be called The Fleet Line, the Jubilee Line was named, without consulting the public, by the Tory leader of the GLC and completed two years AFTER the 1977 Queen's silver jubilee. In the final analysis, who should run Britain - democratically elected politicians at Westminster or The City bankers and international spiv capitalists at Canary Wharf? Since New Labour (with the Tories demanding even less restrictions) allowed the latter unrestricted freedoms - from lending money to those who can never pay to employment based on Zero Hours contracts - the Left has won the argument but nobody is listening any more. This book is never angry, but it carries with it a sadness of what might have been. "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe themselves to be free". Goethe's word's ring truer than ever.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 22 July 2014
London's Jubilee Line as the most brilliant metaphor for capitalism and where we all are. Fellow passengers include Noam Chomsky, Roger Scruton, Maggie Thatcher and Anthony who may be poor deluded Giddens. An inspired idea carried out beautifully.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 13 March 2013
I know it was a short story, and I know it had to be centred around the Jubilee line, but this was just a bit contrived and not Mr O'Farrells usual excellent writing....
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 2 April 2013
A great short story, full of funny remarks and an oddly thought provoking debate among the characters. While this is definitely not a book to take on holiday (you'll finish it on the flight), I can't recommend it enough for some entertainment on a commute or light reading.

As ever with Penguin, the binding is superb and cover art dead on.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 31 July 2013
This is a fantastical dream sequence, which would give any former student hothead who has gone a bit soft in middle age something to laugh about.
As if the thought of Noam Chomsky in a punch up wasn't enough, we then get Maggie making an appearance on the jubilee line.

Not a classic novel, but a really good read. And just the right length for tube reading.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 23 June 2015
Clever little book, good story and great metaphorical illustrations of political thinking. In Mr O'Farrell's usual witty and slightly self depracating style.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 18 November 2015
Good book but far too short! Thanks for great service, Jim
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 27 December 2013
A sideways look at the economic and political ties that influence us all in the waking and sleeping worlds. A good read.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse