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Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now - as Told by Those Who Love it, Hate it, Live it, Left it and Long for it Paperback – 5 Jul 2012
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"A splendid oral history of the city... On occasions Londoners attains a level of eloquence as beautiful and blue as anything to be found in the works of Jean Rhys or Samuel Selvon ... A remarkable volume" -Guardian
"Craig Taylor tunes in to the multi-tongued, self-justifying noise of the streets. And he leaves us with a substantial account, not just of our imaginary riverside capital, but, more vividly, of himself: as inquirer, investigator, part of a long and valuable lineage"-Iain Sinclair, Observer
"Londoners must be 2011's most ambitious and creative book about London ... This is a book to deepen your relationship with London and make you fall in - or out - of love with it all over again ... I can't tell you how much I enjoyed it" - Evening Standard
"Memorable, funny and occasionally melancholy... a rich, satisfying tapestry of metropolitan life" - Sunday Times
"Ranging from the shocking to the poignant, 80 London voices produce a vivid collage of this impossible city" - Independent
"A cacophonous testimony to the multiple lives of the capital... all life is here in all its dirty, exuberant glory" --Metro
"Its brilliance lies not in the way Taylor frames the concept but in the way he lets people talk without obvious motive or direction. Five stars." --Time Out
"Craig Taylor is the real deal: a peerless journalist and a beautiful craftsman. He'd be a household name already if he wasn't so modest. He'll be one anyway in due course." --David Rakoff, bestselling author of "Fraud" and "Half Empty"
From the Back Cover
Acclaimed writer and editor Craig Taylor spent years traversing every corner of London, getting to know the most interesting of its residents--the voice of the London Underground, a West End rickshaw driver, an East End nightclub door attendant, a mounted soldier of the Queen's Life Guard. Now, in Londoners, this diverse cast of characters--rich and poor, young and old, native and immigrant, men and women (and even a Sarah who used to be a George)--shares indelible tales that capture the city as never before. With candor and humor, these voices paint a vivid, epic, and wholly original portrait of twenty-first-century London, scripting the autobiography of one of the world's greatest cities.--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition. See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a very easy book to read, a great book to take on holiday.
As someone who was born in London and has lived here for more than 60 years, although not continuously, I was very dubious that a collection of short experiences from a very small number of people (the population of London is about 7.5 million) could possibly give a balanced view of the city. Were my original doubts vindicated? No, they were no. Obviously, a different choice of contributors would have produced different stories, doubtless with contradictory views, like the current ones, but overall the chosen contributions have a ring of authenticity and hang together well. They give a good feeling of what it is like to live and work in this great city. It is an excellent book and I thoroughly recommend it.
But I'd read rave reviews about Londoners and so I decided to give it a whirl regardless. Thank god I did. This is a fantastic collection of candid tales about our metropolis. And while completely contradictory in their sentiments, all the voices feel genuine and unembellished; whether their account is bleak, loving or plain bizarre, you can guarantee that the narrator means every word.
The leg work in itself is impressive, five years worth of interviews, spanning all thirty-two boroughs and notching up around a million words of material. The hard work has paid off, because however you feel about modern London, you'll be accounted for by Mr. Taylor. He hasn't tried to sway the collection towards any particular conclusion.
Full of laugh-out-loud anecdotes, just as many angry and sinister rants, with some beautiful and poetic depictions of the city which come from the unlikeliest of sources.
Every time I put the book down I had the urge to jump on the tube and have a wander for myself!
So who should read Londoners? This book should be handed out to any young person looking to move to or visit London. It should be given to anyone who has lived in London and had to relinquish the place; anyone who wants to move out of London; anyone who has passed through London. It should be mandatory for anyone who is curious about how cities work. Who else should read this book? Ken and Boris -- they could learn a few things by listening to the voices of the people. Sociologists, politicians, playwrights, screenwriters, documentarians, Northerners who would rather chew their arm off than visit and maybe even smug Brighton people who want to feel good about selling up and moving out.
Every single one of the stories taught me something new about the city. I've been here for years but I feel I'm just getting know this place.
This book is for readers who want to get beyond the guidebooks and glimpse a unique view of this everchanging city.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very enjoyable read. The author's first book was "Return to Akenfield" in which he visited the villages that were the subject of Ronald Blythe's classic. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Geoff Poole
Beautiful, multi-faceted, honest-drawn portrait of London. Enjoyable and easy to read. A great book to dip in and out of, and read aloud to people...Published 14 months ago by Helen Crawford
Great book and a fantastic snapshot of how diverse the greatest city in the world isPublished 16 months ago by LondonToon