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

27 Mar

This book by Craig Taylor is a compendium of snapshots of various people who at some point have called themselves Londoners. Taylor met with the most diverse line up of Londoners you could imagine, from tube drivers to market stall moguls to commuters grappling with First ‘Great’ Western. What unites them is that they all have a story.

I am now wandering the streets of London with fresh eyes, looking at that street sweeper or hedge fund emperor and wondering what his story is. I chat to the lady I buy my coffee from and wonder where she lives, how she got into work this morning, what she thinks of this mad place.

Until now, if I’d ever tried to make my way through the human traffic of Oxford Street or squeezed into a sardine can tube carriage, I tended to block out the cacophony. Knowing now that every other person has a story and a struggle makes living in this heaving metropolis very overwhelming indeed.

After I first finished it, I wished I’d read it when I first moved here, but now I’m glad I knew London before I read these stories. I had a picture in my head of every person Taylor met, which made for a much richer read.

Every Londoner should read this book. I guarantee it will change the way you see your city.

NB: This one is a bit of a chunky monkey, so it is a great book for the Kindle or your bedside table. Lugging it on the tube is not advised! Also, it is a series of short vignettes, making it perfect for those whose attention spans have taken a nosedive in recent years.

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One Response to “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”

  1. Girzeva February 1, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

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