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Tunnel Vision Paperback – 1 Oct 2008

3.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 388 pages
  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster; Original ed. edition (1 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743423526
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743423526
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.3 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,222,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Keith Lowe is the author of two novels and the critically acclaimed history "Inferno: The Fiery Devastation of Hamburg, 1943". He is widely recognized as an authority on the Second World War, and has often spoken on TV and radio, both in Britain and the United States. He was an historical consultant and one of the main speakers in the PBS documentary "The Bombing of Germany" which was also broadcast in Germany. His books have been translated into several languages, and he has also lectured in Britain, Canada and Germany. He lives in North London with his wife and two kids.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Book Addict Shaun TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 29 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of my favourite books and I have lost count of the number of times that I've read it. The thing that made me want to read it in the first place is the fact that it's set on the London Underground. I am a self-confessed tube nerd, I love everything about it and spend most of my time on trips to London on the Underground and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Most people go to see the sights but I've seen them enough times. I just love everything about the Tube.

The storyline here involves Andy who bet his tube geek friend Rolf that he could travel the whole system (not entirely true as this book was written in 2001 and so Andy misses out a lot of the Jubilee Line and the whole of the DLR [which I love]) in 24 hours. At the end of the 24 hours he needs to meet Rachel so they can catch the Eurostar to Paris.

Unfortunately the majority of the characters bar one are pretty weak. The best character for me and the star of the book is Brian. Brian is a tramp who Andy bumps into at his first station of the day and Brian sort of latches onto him and follows (and eventually helps) him throughout the day. At first Andy thinks Brian is a plant by Rolf but eventually comes to trust him and realise that it's better to do the system with someone else than alone. And of course for the reader it is much better for Andy to have somebody with him as it would be quite boring reading about him travelling around by himself. I didn't like the character of Rachel and the character of Rolf sounding revolting. And as this is supposed to be one of my favourite books I didn't even like the main character, Andy much. However the main character for me is the tube and that is what makes me keep wanting to read this book.

Unfortunately for Andy he picked the worst day to travel the tube.
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Format: Paperback
The story here is your run of the mill problem... whilst in a drunken state, a soon-to-be-married guy (Andy) bets he can visit every underground station within a day. Sure enough, his "mate" takes him up on his offer and Andy starts the day without honeymoon tickets, passport, credit cards and lots of other useful things, only able to retrieve them should he win the best - oh yeah, and for winning the bet he can also get some collectable train tickets.
Needless to say his wife-to-be (Rachel) is thoroughly unimpressed, unable to fathom why the guy she believes she wants to spend the rest of her life with, is in fact... a TRAIN SPOTTER, is proud of it, and is willing to jeopardise everything over a stupid bet.
The story takes you through the day in question, with extra little challenges along the way, a tramp for Andy's company for most the journey, derailed trains, a gentle jog around North-west London, and a train timetable which isn't running quite to schedule.
The book seems to be remarkably well researched, and although there is another thread to the story about why Andy's mate wants Andy's marriage to end in failure, it's fairly weak and doesn't add much to the story. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, which I didn't really expect to be as good as it was.
Will he make it or will he fail? Well, there's only one way to find out - read the book!
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Format: Paperback
I originally read this back in 2001 when it was first published, and remember thinking it was such a good book that it immediately gained a permanent place on my bookshelf. So when I came across it again a few weeks ago, I thought I would give it another read to see if it still stood up to my (more mature) expectations 15 years later.

Protagonist Andy has agreed to something rather stupid; on the eve of his wedding, he’s made a drunken bet with his friend Rolf that he can visit every station on the London Underground in a single day. And what’s more, he’s bet some pretty important things including his passport, house keys and the tickets for his honeymoon, all of which have been hidden somewhere on the Underground system by the not-so-innocent-as-he-first-appears Rolf.

As a form of public transport, the tube isn’t my favourite form of travel, but it does have a fascinating history and Lowe has certainly managed to include quite a bit of it in this book. Part fiction, part fact, it’s packed with interesting information about the Underground, its history, everyday workings and the people who use it. But for a book which is essentially a story about a man’s race against time, the tone is quite sedate. There are certainly parts where the pace picks up a little, but you never really get the sense of urgency that a trip such as this would actually involve. As Andy points out, the tube (at this time) had over 200 stations and that’s a lot to get through in 24 hours, especially when you have the added challenges of mechanical issues, tourists, rush hour and working out clues set for you by a friend who seems intent on sabotaging your mission.

Added into the mix are the chapters given over to Rachel, Andy’s long-suffering fiancée.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This novel was much darker than I expected; not the usual 'treasure hunt' type of thing. The plot has been explained elsewhere, so I won't repeat it.

I quite enjoyed it, but I did find it vaguely depressing at times! It was interesting; it's useful to have the 'Way Out Tube Map' beside you to appreciate what the main protagonist and his companion are going through.

What did irritate me was that it wasn't written in English, but in American. This edition was printed in the USA, so perhaps it was a translation, although I doubt it. It's the one with white spots on the cover, if that helps; softcover. Lots of American spellings and word usage; this for a book written in the 'first person' where the narrator is English.

Slightly imperfectly researched; I'm not a Tube geek but I noticed a couple of things. You don't generally go up to the main line station when changing from the Victoria line to the Circle Line at Victoria; this is a minor point but as it happens it's the station I know best. And when you arrive at Fenchurch Street on the overground, you don't usually run through City streets to get to Tower Hill tube. Never mind!

All in all, a good read.
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