On Roads: A Hidden History Paperback – 27 May 2010
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Every page contains something enthralling or bizarre or funny or perceptive ... Moran has the poet's ability to finds the remarkable in the commonplace ... a beautiful little book: an argument, if ever there was one, for staying home this summer, finding the nearest traffic jam and enjoying it. (Craig Brown Mail on Sunday, *****)
A beauftifully-written, quiet masterpiece ... Moran's genius is to show us what was right in front of us all along' (Bee Wilson Sunday Times)
Terrific ... he takes numerous diversions into subjects that really shouldn't be interesting, but which he makes fascinating. (Robert Macfarlane Guardian)
In this book Joe Moran maps the fascinating history of British roads... (Charlotte Vowden Daily Express 2010-05-28)
A stylish and witty analysis of Britain's maze-like road system. They are cultural artefacts as much as a means of transport; they are too a kind of parallel universe. (Philip Womack Sunday Telegraph 2010-05-30)
Anyone who likes Bill Bryson will love Joe Moran -- I think he may even be eclipsing him...it's a terrific book. (Joel Morris BBC 6 Music 2010-06-01)
Quiet, considered and oddly gripping. (Chris Moss Time Out 2010-07-22)
`Wonderful. Whoever could have known that roads were so fascinating?'
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
This sums up the contradiction in British culture when it comes to transport. We all love our railways, but not to the extent of using them all that often. You can see this in any good public library where there will be racks full of erudite volumes about past and present railways, but (apart from highway atlases) nothing on the roads we use every day.
This oddity has now been redressed. Joe Moran's book `On Roads' celebrating what Moran calls "the most commonly viewed and least contemplated landscape in Britain" is now out
The job he sets in this book is a new one. It is to make us look afresh at modern life on our roads, and to appreciate their hidden history and their oddities.
I need to say immediately that Moran steers clear of both highway pre-history and our residential and town centre roads, which he sees as owing more to the surrounding urban surroundings, instead preferring to concentrate on the development of our main inter-urban roads over the last century or so.
He also digs deeper than just looking at the development of the tarmac forming a waffle iron pattern across our land.Read more ›
A second feature of the book which seems to have gone unnoticed is the felicity and wit of the author's style which make it a surprisingly entertaining read. He occasionally soars to the lyrical level which driving certain stretches of road can elevate one. He is also capable of coining some very exact phrases.
Having driven along so many roads I thought I knew a great deal about them. Now I know a great deal more. I won't bore anyone with examples - entertain yourselves!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Surprisingly interesting book considering the subject. Makes you realize how recent the modern street furniture is! Excellently written.Published 4 months ago by Cathy Jacob
Fascinating 20th century social and cultural history, especially poignant if you lived through itPublished 6 months ago by Richard
As a retired roadbuilder,I've really enjoyed the book, as it covers many of the years I was involved & filled in some of the gaps in my knowledge of the design elements.Published 9 months ago by shazgolfer
In no way does this live up to it' s title. The grandiose title suggests a broad scope. There are so many aspects that could have been covered: Historical, cultural,... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Amazon Customer