- Hardcover: 144 pages
- Publisher: The History Press; First Edition edition (1 Sept. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0752458124
- ISBN-13: 978-0752458120
- Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 374,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
London Underground: Architecture, Design & History Hardcover – 1 Sep 2011
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"A handsome book...brilliant and nostalgic." --Robert Elms Show, BBC Radio London, February 8, 2012
`One of the most beautiful books about the London Underground I have ever seen (& trust me, I've seen a lot).' --Annie Mole, Going Underground, December 2011
`David Long's London Underground: Architecture, Design and History tells the story of how a humble transport system rapidly became one of the city's greatest icons.' --Mark Mason, The Spectator, December 17, 2011
`I've reviewed many of David Long's London books and will confess I'm a bit of a fan. Long uses beautiful, architectural descriptions that are still accessible and easy to read.'
--Laura Porter, Go London, February 6, 2012
About the Author
Writer and journalist DAVID LONG has regularly appeared in The Times and the London Evening Standard, as well as on TV and radio. As well as being an award-winning ghostwriter, he has written a number of books on London, including Spectacular Vernacular, Tunnels, Towers & Temples, and the highly successful Little Book of London. JANE MAGARIGAL has been a freelance photographer specialising in black and white photography for over 35 years
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
Most of the left-hand pages form a nice informative well-written essay on the architecture and design of the underground network during the period associated with Pick & Holden. Beck and Johnston and others who created the remarkable corporate identity of the London Underground of that time also get a mention.
It would have been great to have a good selection of photos and illustrations to go with this - what better to show the impact that this golden age of design had on the Underground.
However, Baron Frankenstein's assistant appears to have returned to his master with something entirely unsuitable, and whilst the good Baron has done his best to stitch them together, the outcome is once again deeply flawed.
Most of the right-hand pages consist of arty photos (ie not straight documentary-style photos) of the Underground. Whilst some are pleasant, it rapidly became repetitive. One or two arty views up a stair or escalator tunnel is nice enough - but ten is pushing it, and when the boredom is relieved by another nine views down stairs and escalators it becomes very dreary. Perhaps it was hoped that the eleven views along passageways would improve matters (they don't).
But worse still is the bizarre dichotomy between text and photos. Whilst the text is almost entirely concerned with Pick's time, most of the photo's are either of infrastructure from before this period, or post-war. For no obvious reason there is a picture of a main line railway terminus in amongst them too.
The result is a mess - the photos need to be in an art book (or possibly a skip as I don't share some of the reviewers' views on the quality of the pictures) and the text should have been accompanied with something more suitable.
The reality is a series of black and white photographs, all apparently taken in the 1970s, most of which are of escalators and underground passages. None of these photos are captioned. The accompanying text is rather plodding and unexciting - in marked contrast to Mr Long's other work - and the impression given is that it was knocked out rather hurriedly to flesh out a book of photographs. The chapter on Mapping the Network contains not a single map!
There is space in the market for a really good book on the architecture of the London Underground, but this isn't it. I bought this book, sight unseen, on the strength of the title and promotional blurb alone; I feel that I've been deceived and have wasted my money.
She said "It is when stations are empty of people that the history of the place comes alive. For without the bustle of people one can feel the energy of by gone days - the Blitz raging overhead, the architects and designers' choices, the souls of plague victimes unearthed in the building of the London Underground, the millions of people who have travelled through this miraculous labyrinth; all of this is there".
Thanks to the publishers for for seeing the possibility of this book and not letting these pictures and David's story remain unseen.
The text, on the other hand, ignores the photos altogether and gives a short description of the history of the Tube and its design, but it's rather let down by the fact that the photographs don't match with it at all. There's a chapter on Frank Pick's use of posters, but not one picture of any of them (the only posters that do appear are rather dreary ones that happen to be on the walls that are occasionally photographed. And Long waxes lyrically about John Hassall's famous poster "No need to ask a p'liceman" but doesn't show it - this is where the lack of colour in the book really tells. And the chapter "Mapping the network: The genius of Mr Beck" manages to occupy 20 pages without showing us the map - or any map - at all!
This book might have been worth having if the text had told us something about the photographs - where they were taken, for example - but as it is there's nothing. A very odd, and fundamentally disappointing book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I wish I'd paid attention to the reviews before I bought this as it has turned out to be a bit of disappointment. Read morePublished on 5 Feb. 2013 by jules
I like this book. The level of information is just right and there's a plethora of pictures to enjoy. Read morePublished on 21 Nov. 2012 by Paduan
What an absurdity - a lavishly-illustrated book about architectural design, not one of the illustrations in which is captioned. Read morePublished on 18 July 2012 by J. E. Collings
A lovely book with gorgeous photographs of the London Underground. It traces the history and design of the world's oldest underground railway with a beautiful, evocative... Read morePublished on 9 Mar. 2012 by J. Wolfers