2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Circle Line: Around London in a Small Boat (Paperback)
Cracking read on the whole, and lots (Lots?) of stuff that, as a Londoner, I never knew. Tunnels and power stations and secret rivers and obscure facts about London's river always fascinate me.
I could go on about some of those facts and figures I most enjoyed reading - indeed I would have liked more of London and not quite so much of the diversions abroad and into childhood, which made it read at times like an early autobiography, albeit peppered with some rather serious and wise philosophising that belies the author's tender-ish years.
Having said that his upbringing by the Thames and the strong attraction he will always feel for it came out the most strongly. Surfing on the power station wave - wouldn't be allowed these days for sure... What larks!
As an inveterate sub editor I picked up a few things that need changing in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th editions. Stephenson never challenged for the America's Cup, and SAS and SBS surely stand for Special, not Secret, Boat and Air Services. And he has a tendency to explain terms that needn't be explained, such as the meaning of bathyscape, but then this is meant to be a book for all, not just those steeped in boats.
I also detected a slightly world weary tone to the writing (which is nevertheless rich and descriptive), rather than the kind of implausible optimism in the face of adversity one finds so amusing in his fellow Thamesophile, Jerome K. Cheer up Steffan!