Monday, July 6, 2015

Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now - As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It, and Long for It


Rating: 3 Stars


I am a bit obsessed with city biographies. I love the history, how this or that place could just be this village, or this town in a swamp, or whatever and then BOOM, it's this huge, thriving metropolis. I especially love the idea of London, because so many things that I am interested in happened there, albeit 500-1000 years ago.

This is an interesting idea and I appreciate the work that must've gone into this book. The hours and hours of talking to people, I myself would enjoy doing that as well. This is not strictly a history of physical London though, so if that is what you are looking for, look elsewhere. This is a social and cultural history told through the eyes of dozens of current and former Londoners.

The author speaks to a wide variety of people, so you can appreciate the different points of view that comes with varying ages, cultures, careers, etc. There are those who love the city as it is now or was, and those who hate it and want to get out. But none of the perspectives are wrong, because each comes with their story, so you're reading along thinking, "Wow, this guy's life is awesome, I want to move to London" and then the next story is just depressing and you're like, "Oh dear Lord, no way." And of course, the only way you will ever know is if you go for yourself and give it a try.

Interesting read, I recommend it if you are interested in this type of city biography.


Our time in London was so short, due to our delayed flight from Edinburgh. As a result, we didn't get to see any city sights before taking in a show, the BEST show you could ever hope to see. And let me tell you, those cab drivers REALLY are as awesome as they sound in the book. Because our flight had been delayed, the visitor center where we were supposed to pick up our tickets was already closed, so I didn't even have the info with the name of the theatre. I was nearly in tears again (the first time being after Mom and I got separated in the train station!) But I told the driver what show we were going to a BOOM, we were off! We got a super quick tour of the city, he pointed out Big Ben and Buckingham Palace and then, suddenly, we were there:

Some day though Mom and I will go back, and take Eleanor too, and see London as it is meant to be seen - in the daylight!

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