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3.7 out of 5 stars
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3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 25 October 2003
I just love this book and totally agree with a prior review which stated that you should not read this book in public.
In fact, I have been "ordered" not to read it within my own lounge room, as I distract the rest of the family from whatever it is, they are doing. They cannot concentrate with the titters,giggles and raving rounds of laughter, the deeper I get into the book.
Having just returned from this fantastic City of London, where I too played live "MONOPOLY" ,I have found though, that a most necessary accessory for reading Tim's master piece, if you are not a Londoner oneself, is a decent map of the city. I find I need to check out exactly where he is, in certain chapters so that I can get a true picture in my mind of where he is enjoying those truly special experiences. By finding my bearings on the map, I am able to relive my wonderful vacation to this remarkable city, which unfortunatly is so so far away from me now.
His facts and figures about specific issues amaze me and not only do I find myself laughing throughout the book but I also feel a strong urge to share these unknown facts to my whole family or in fact whoever is around at the time. It seems to me whilst reading, that Tim has written these strangely amazing bits and pieces of history, culture and trivea as if to to enlighten everyone and so I feel as if it is my duty as the reader,to be the delivery medium for the information. If I'm enjoying it then, so should others. His tongue in cheek humour just breaks me up and I feel as if I am lost within the huge expanse of those city streets myself as I delve into his interpretation of London via the Monoply Board.
Very very funny, very well written and truly entertaining. Thank you Tim for the memories.
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on 21 December 2003
Not a big Monopoly fan, but certainly a big fan of this book. Tim Moore does his research before going to a place, so he knows the kinds of things to look out for as well as the questions to ask: which makes this book really very enjoyable. I've learnt a lot of trivia from this book too - did you know that, for example, more people shop at Selfridge's every year than live in Australia? His writing is amusing and clever; his observations all the more valid for the research he does; and he comes across as a very human writer. If you live in London, or visit regularly, you'll get a lot out of this book - probably why I read most of it on holiday in the USA.
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on 7 February 2004
I loved this book! Gripping from start to finish, I couldn't wait to continue the trip around the monopoly board each night for the last few weeks.
The story told via the author's journey around the Monopoly Board streets often made me laugh (the sort of giggling that when on a train, everyone looks over at you wondering what the heck you're reading); often enraged me about how London has pretty much changed for the worse since the 1930s, and made me really wonder about our history as a whole.
Despite having walked down many of the streets, I would have never guessed the history or stories of each, and I now feel compelled to go and visit them all now that I do know. There is so much more than meets the eye to the popular game we all played as kids. It never occurred to me to think why the colours were linked together, why some unfamiliar streets and stations were chosen instead of their more obvious counterparts and what has happened to those places since Monopoly was created.
I would recommend this book to anyone. It was the best book I've read in ages.
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on 4 November 2003
I really enjoyed reading this. The chapter exploring the water works by investigating the history of sewage treatment in London was one of my favourites. I learnt a lot of previously unknown knowledge about London and it helped me realise why the locations on the board are grouped as they are.
I'll never look at a monopoly board in the same way again.
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on 6 October 2003
I have read all of Moore's books to date and this is definitely one of the best. I hacked through most of DO NOT PASS GO on two 3 hour flights. Be warned. Do not read alone in public spaces unless you are immune to the embarrasment of being considered deranged for laughing out loud.
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on 10 February 2004
Did you know that Leicester Square was once home to a woman who claimed to have given birth to fifteen rabbits? That Liberty's department store is made out of a battleship that helped sink Napoleon? And that you don't have to pay parking fines on electric cars in Westminster?
If you're the kind of person who found Schott's Miscellany interesting, but too full of things you either already knew or could find with very little difficulty on the net, you'd love this book - which is not only full of brilliant research but also really very funny indeed. It's a great read as a narrative, but dip into any page at random and you'll find the most extraordinary things about London, Monopoly,and just life's rich tapestry in general.
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on 24 November 2002
I've lived in London almost all my life. I suspected I didn't know my city half as well as I thought I did, this fascinating, clever book proved me right.
Using the Monopoly board as a city guide is such a good idea I'm surprised it's never been thought of before. Tim Moore really succeeds in making the concept a success. Although Do Not Pass Go is crammed full of facts,it's so funny and well written it never gets boring. And while the narrative holds together really well, the way it's organised by "sets" means it's also great for dipping in and out of. It's solved a lot of my present-buying dilemmas this holiday season.
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VINE VOICEon 30 December 2003
I’ve never got on with Monopoly at all; maybe I’m an incipient socialist, or just hopeless at board games. Anyway, “Do Not Pass Go” has inspired me to have another stab at it. It is one of those books that provokes barks of laughter, snorts of incredulity and little grunts of “ooh, well I didn’t know that!”. Even the most seasoned Londoner will discover fascinating facts and feel compelled to go and have a good nose around previously undiscovered areas of the metropolis.
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"'A carton of jellied eels, please,' I said, with all the enthusiasm of a child forced to choose between raw tripe and a bearded great aunt." ‒ from DO NOT PASS GO, Tim Moore on The Browns ordering a snack along the Old Kent Road

"They say eating an oyster is like swimming in the sea with your mouth open, but taking all consistency issues into account (jellied eel) was more akin to biting the hand off a corpse dragged out after three weeks in the Thames." ‒ Tim Moore

"Piccadilly Circus at night used to be like standing inside a giant pinball machine with three balls on the go and Roger Daltry battering the flappers. Now it's like watching a kid over the road turn his PlayStation on." ‒ from DO NOT PASS GO, Tim Moore bemoaning the loss of neon in the after-dark Circus

"... (Selfridge's) wooed women off the pavement with the promise of warmth, excitement and flushable porcelain fixtures ..." ‒ from DO NOT PASS GO, the author describing the early 20th-century rise of the Oxford Street department store

Since London is my very favorite city, my knee-jerk response is to acquire and read just about any book on the place. In this case with DO NOT PASS GO, I did so without any knowledge of the title's significance. You see, I've never played Monopoly in my life. Not even once. I'd never even seen the playing board before calling up on the Web a photo of the game's standard UK edition for the purpose of this review. Such statements by author Tim Moore such as the one immediately below left me pathetically uncomprehending:

"Criminal psychologists and addiction counsellors could save a lot of time by scrapping all that blather about personality profiles and upbringing in place of a single yes or no question: have you ever landed on a Park Lane hotel and then rolled a double one?"

Moore's love - well ok, obsession - with the game inspired this travel narrative, a walking tour of London determined by the squares on the periphery of the (UK) playing board. For those unacquainted with this version of the game, the squares are:

King's Cross - a mainline rail terminus
The Purples - Pall Mall, Whitehall, Northumberland Ave.
Free Parking - virtually impossible to find in London
The Yellows - Leicester Square, Coventry Street, Piccadilly
Go To Jail - for Tim, Her Majesty's Prison Pentonville
The Oranges - Bow Street, Marlborough Street, Vine Street
Water Works - for Tim, the Crossness Southern Outfall Works
The (Other) Stations - Liverpool Street, Fenchurch Street, Marylebone
The Reds - Strand, Fleet Street, Trafalgar Square
The Light Blues - The Angel (Islington), Euston Road, Pentonville Road
Electric Company - for Tim, the Lots Road Power Station (shut down in October 2002)
The Greens - Regent Street, Oxford Street, Bond Street
The Dark Blues - Park Lane, Mayfair
The Browns - Old Kent Road, Whitechapel Road

Lucky for me, the author spends only minimal text referring to actual Monopoly play. Rather, with the same dry wit and self-deprecating humor displayed in You Are Awful (But I Like You): Travels Through Unloved Britain and I Believe In Yesterday: My Adventures in Living History, Tim's book comprises an entertaining and informative tour of the locations he visits and walks through.

I would never have to come up with an excuse to visit London; I'd just go, even if the price was to eat a helping of jellied eels when I arrived. That said, DO NOT PASS GO compels me (next time) to walk Oxford Street and penetrate into the heart of Mayfair, neither of which I've bothered to do on a multitude of previous visits for no reason that I can think of at the moment. And Moore's excellent account just as certainly makes me determined to avoid the Old Kent Road as a rewarding destination.

Any travel essay that leaves me with unambiguous feelings about the topic has done its job and DO NOT PASS GO meets and exceeds this standard.
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on 30 January 2004
I just got this book for Christmas and it was probably the best thing I got!
I know that's quite sad. However Tim Moore creates a cosy enviroment in which he takes you around the Monopoly board and gives fascinating insights into the background of the streets and areas that you visit. He obviously loves London and via the Monopoly board you get to see some of the high and low lights in a very eclectic selection. Well worth a read.
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