Top critical review
You probably had to be there and if your were you won't necessarily feel nostalgic
on 15 June 2017
Time has not been all that kind to Ian Nairn's writings. They do not contain enough data, diagrams, illustrations, topography etc. to reflect what it seems he was trying to say. Too often you are left to consider what a town might be like on the basis of a handful of buildings covering a small area. This does not correspond to the reality of everyday life. His prose style is really not all that compelling or distinctive, from this distance. He is not much different to Pevsner - useful if you are already in the know and on the spot but a bit myopic and plodding. The attempt to update these essays in the light of subsequent events is worthwhile but serves to reinforce that aesthetic judgements are frequently arbitrary.