Imagined London: A Tour of the World's Greatest Fictional City

Imagined London: A Tour of the World's Greatest Fictional City

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by Anna Quindlen
     
 

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"This book is a tale of three cities: the fictional London that lives in the pages of writers from Shakespeare to P. D. James and Martin Amis; the historical metropolis where so many immortal authors have made their homes; and the vibrant capital that today welcomes visitors from all over the world. Anna Quindlen evokes all three as she travels from Sherlock Holmes's…  See more details below

Overview

"This book is a tale of three cities: the fictional London that lives in the pages of writers from Shakespeare to P. D. James and Martin Amis; the historical metropolis where so many immortal authors have made their homes; and the vibrant capital that today welcomes visitors from all over the world. Anna Quindlen evokes all three as she travels from Sherlock Holmes's digs at 221b Baker Street (as real an imaginary address as there ever was), to Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey, a memorial to the greatest writers of our language, to Hyde Park Gate, the genteel neighborhood from which Galsworthy's Forsyte Saga unfolds. We stroll through elegant squares that summon the ghosts of characters from Thackeray and Trollope, and pause at a pub whose ornate sign would be familiar to anyone - real or fictional - from Shakespeare's era to today." At once a tribute to one of the world's greatest cities and a freewheeling celebration of the rich literature it has inspired, this is a writer's vision of a world both imagined and utterly true - all gathered, refracted, and reflected in a magical mirror called London.

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Editorial Reviews

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Dr. Watson once described London as "that great cesspool into which all the loungers and idlers of the Empire are irresistibly drained." Fortunately, others have experienced the city on the Thames more sympathetically. In Imagined London, American novelist Anna Quindlen describes her lifelong love affair with London.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780641951923
Publisher:
National Geographic Society
Publication date:
09/01/2004
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Anna Quindlen is the author of three best-selling novels, Object Lessons, One True Thing, and Black and Blue. Her latest novel, Blessings, came out in 2002. Her New York Times column "Public and Private" won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992; a selection of those columns was published in the book Thinking Out Loud. She is also author of a collection of her "Life in the 30's" columns, Living Out Loud; a book for the Library of Contemporary Thought, How Reading Changed My Life; and two children's books, The Tree That Came to Stay and Happily Ever After. She is currently a columnist for Newsweek and resides with her husband and children in New York City.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
New York, New York
Date of Birth:
July 8, 1952
Place of Birth:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Education:
B.A., Barnard College, 1974
Website:
http://annaquindlen.net/

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Imagined London: A Tour of the World's Greatest Fictional City 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
SAJ1 More than 1 year ago
A brilliant book but I would say that wouldn't I as a Brit - but living in New York! I love her sense of irony - something not many Americans understand plus her honesty with the language differences. Yes there are a lot of references to well written English literature so if you are a Philistine don't bother on the other hand if you have a passion for reading plus an interest in London then this is definitely the book for you. I couldn't put it down and intend re-reading it very soon!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
If you love London (either from personal visits or through history and literature), don't miss this book. I disagree completely with the previous reviewer---this book is well worth your time and attention. It is indeed an essay of sorts (and definitely not a novel). The whole point of the book is to visit the London with reference to books the author has read....I did not find it boring at all. On the contrary, I was up very late finishing the book! I have read some, but not all, of the books referenced by the author: it's not necessary to know each individual literary reference to enjoy this book. I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in London, or to anyone who enjoys Anna Quindlen's writing style.
Brian_A More than 1 year ago
I really wanted to like this book, but it becomes too much a reference to great authors of fiction. Not an easy read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I would not recommend this book. It's more of a really long essay than a novel. The author writes in such a way that if you haven't read every book she's describing (and trust me, there are a LOT), you cannot understand nor enjoy the book. A few of the authors frequently mentioned are Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Arthur Conan Doyle and Virginia Woolf. Not your favorites? Don't read this book! I have read some of the books described in this novel, and I STILL nearly slept through it. Definately not worth your time.