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The Little Book of the London Underground Hardcover – 7 Sep 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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  • The Little Book of the London Underground
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  • Mind the Gap: A London Underground Miscellany
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (7 Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752452258
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752452258
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

`Facts to fascinate about the London Underground' --London Evening Standard, 29 October 2009


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I absolutely loved reading this book and I don't even use the tube that often, being an out and out country bumpkin. It's humorous, informative and down right eyebrow-raising in equal measure. David Long obviously knows his subject and has captured the tube, it's foibles and its fancies perfectly. I would strongly recommend this book not only for anyone who uses the tube on a daily basis but to anyone who has any interest in this great and important part of London and its history. It's perfect for tourists, but is intelligent and deep enough for even the most battle-hardened commuter to learn something new from. You never know, it might actually make the journey more bearable with its useful hints and tips on tube etiquette and optimal seating arrangements (just small examples of what this book has to offer). I actually want to go back to London and do an 'underground' tour with this book acting as my guide!
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Format: Hardcover
(....with apologies to fans of Mike Oldfield). Another great and quirky London book that goes beyond the tourist's guide, the social historian's reference book, or the trivia fan's menu of little known facts. This author is a recent discovery for me (see my earlier review), and I am beguiled by the amusing, historical and outrageous tales he lays out for the reader. This is beautifully written in an engaging style that leaves the reader feeling in cahoots, a member of `those who know'. And I loved the cartoons.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The brook is a pot-pourri of facts (and factoids) about the London Tube. It contains a lot of hard-to-find (and interesting and occasionally amusing) information. Unfortunately it also contains a lot of padding, for example the complete list of victims of the Bethnal Green crush, or numerous (and pointless) lists of celebrities and songs associated with each Tube station. Pedantic types (like this reviewer) will also find a quite a few amusing spelling mistakes (an émigré settled in London is described as "Russian ex-patriot").
Well, you get what you pay for (£2.56 in this case).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
These little books of trivia are great for amazing your friends (who knew that Circle line trains wore out more quickly on one side than the other and had to be regularly turned around?). But they are more than that - they are an intriguing insight into the world's oldest (and still arguably the best) underground railway system. This will make you fascinated about the system and amazed that it works as well as it does (despite common groans from many users). Go and see New York's graffiti and plastic seats and you will realise what a great deal we get. This book will make you proud to be a Londoner!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a great book; not just for fans of the underground but for anyone in general.
It is full of facts about the history of the tube, how the lines started, how they got their names and fun trivia such as what stations have been used in location shoots.
I am fascinated now by the 'missing' stations; those that closed down long since but can still be glimpsed if you know when and where to look. Suffice it to say, next time I go down to London it will be with book in hand and trying to avoid busy times so I can have a good look for these ghost stations.
I can imagine that some people will think there is too much detail in parts, such as the fact that all victims of the Bethnal Green crush are listed. But in my view this serves as a memorial to them, I knew nothing whatever about this disaster before I read the book, if I was a descendant I'd be pleased they were not forgotten.
So all in all, a great read, one to go back to again and again, especially if you are going to be 'going underground'!
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Format: Hardcover
This a very entertaining book which can be read between stops on the bus or tube, or just for fun on a rainy afternoon. Although the timeline section gives you the very basic history of the tube, within the book itself I'd have expected at least some facts on tunneling techniques, the development of the trains and signalling, but no. The section on 'Trains in Drains and Daft Ideas' is fascinating and a great read, but a section on the ideas that did work would have made this a far more complete publication. On far too many occasions the book ends up providing a series of facts in long lists, like a dreaded answer sheet from a pub quiz. David Long does provide an extensive bibliography in the back of the book, though a shorter `recommended reading' list may have been more useful. It is a good read, but for those interested in more than just quirky facts, be warned you'll need to buy something else too, such as the Shire Guide publication, even though the book's forward boasts that the book `will tell you everything you need to know...' The book is well worth its meagre asking price, it's a handy size to carry around and the hard cover gives it a nice tactile quality. Just don't expect it to be the only book you'll ever need if you're fascinated by the London Underground. Had it been possible I'd have given it 3.5 stars.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed reading this book which is packed with all sorts of facts and figures about the London Underground from its history and how the famous map of its network was created to stories about ghosts in various stations etc. The author has provided a marvellous insight into the Tube and how it operates on a daily basis. I would recommend it to anyone and particularly tube commuters, who could have a copy with them and pull it out when there is a delay or a cancellation etc. to remind them of what goes on behind the scenes on a daily basis.
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