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Underground, Overground: A Passenger's History of the Tube Paperback – 10 Jan 2013
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I would strongly endorse Martin's book as the stop to get on at (Will Self Guardian)
Martin's knowledge is both encyclopaedic and full of quirky digressions, based on everyday observation ... this history has plenty of fun detailing the travails of the Underground's pioneering figures (Evening Standard 2012-04-26)
A jaunty history ... studded with little observational gems ... he can occasionally stop you in your tracks with a well-turned phrase (Sunday Times 2012-04-22)
A sparky history of the tube ... honours the Underground, and glories in its oddities (Sunday Telegraph 2012-04-29)
Seeing Martin puzzle his way through the history is half the fun, as are his lively interlocutors ... the language is beautiful (Rose Jacobs FT 2012-04-28)
For those who love a bit of darting about the Londinium subway whenever the chance comes, Underground, Overground will be a sweat-induced, claustrophobic treat (Brian Donaldson The List 2012-04-26)
Hugely entertaining ... gives us all the lore and myths ... Underground, Overground captures the same zest, zaniness and sense of marvel shown in the recent BBC Two series The Tube. (Michael Binyon Times 2012-05-05)
A highly engaging journey through the history and geography of the tube. (Jonathan Sale Independent 2012-05-05)
An excellent "passenger's history" of the network... entertaining (Mark Mason Spectator 2012-04-28)
If you've ever wondered who is responsible for the announcements on the Northern line, or why Bakerloo line trains don't have armrests, then this engaging and witty social history of the London underground is guaranteed to beguile.
. . . Martin is a highly entertaining guide to the stygian depths of subterranean London in all its absurd, confusing glory. . . Offbeat anecdotes abound . . . a compact yet comprehensive study(Alexander Larman Observer 2012-05-13)
Paperback published to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the London UndergroundSee all Product description
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of rope with which to hang himself. The author states that the birdwatcher declares, "There are something like 400 varieties of house sparrows within half a mile of my home". This birdwatcher is none other than Eric Simms not only a pioneering naturalist and author, but arguably the most prolific natural history broadcaster who ever lived and author of four books in the prestigious New Naturalist series. His actual comment on the documentary in Gladstone Park was "there are something like 900 pairs of house sparrows within half a mile of my home" and later Eric Simms states that there are "92 different species of bird within half a mile of my home".
To attribute the ridiculous statement that there are 400 varieties of house sparrows within half a mile of my home" to such an eminent author and naturalist requires an apology. Pity that Eric Simms died in 2009.
The oddities and eccentricities of the oldest metropolitan transport system in the world are covered and as it transports over a billiion passengers every year, it fully deserves such an engaging book.
The book is written chronologically and its only obvious failing is its lack of maps. It covers everything from Opening to Oyster Cards and is a witty and compelling social history of a transport phenomenon.
The compelling things about this book are the quality of writing, which is both entertaining and excellent, and the engagement with the subject. It's simply a really good, interesting read, sometimes a little colloquial but also scholarly.
There's just one this wrong with it - no maps. I think that Andrew Martin just knows the system so well that he doesn't need a map himself, but it would have been useful to be able to look at one while reading. that said, it's easy these days to download one, so I would suggest that if you buy this book then you do just that!
I didn’t realise how many different colourful individuals were involved a hundred years or so ago in the construction of London’s subterranean transport. This book gives an interesting insight into their characters and feuds which had such a strong effect on the system we have today. Thie story continues well into the 20th century as other visionaries weld the various lines into a railway that we all accept works ( most of the time ) despite all the difficulties experienced along the way
Don’t expect to get through this in a couple of hours………..