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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Anna Quindlen first visited London from a chair in her suburban Philadelphia home—in one of her beloved childhood mystery novels. She has been back to London countless times since, through the pages of books and in person, and now, in Imagined London, she takes her own readers on a tour of this greatest of literary cities.

While New York, Paris, and Dublin are

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Overview

Anna Quindlen first visited London from a chair in her suburban Philadelphia home—in one of her beloved childhood mystery novels. She has been back to London countless times since, through the pages of books and in person, and now, in Imagined London, she takes her own readers on a tour of this greatest of literary cities.

While New York, Paris, and Dublin are also vividly portrayed in fiction, it is London, Quindlen argues, that has always been the star, both because of the primacy of English literature and the specificity of city descriptions. She bases her view of the city on her own detailed literary map, tracking the footsteps of her favorite characters: the places where Evelyn Waugh's bright young things danced until dawn, or where Lydia Bennett eloped with the dastardly Wickham.

In Imagined London, Quindlen walks through the city, moving within blocks from the great books of the 19th century to the detective novels of the 20th to the new modernist tradition of the 21st. With wit and charm, Imagined London gives this splendid city its full due in the landscape of the literary imagination.

Praise for Imagined London:

"Shows just how much a reading experience can enrich a physical journey." —New York Times Book Review

"An elegant new work of nonfiction... People will be inspired by this book." —Ann Curry, Today

"An affectionate, richly allusive tribute to the city." —Kirkus Reviews

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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:
9780792242079
Publisher:
National Geographic Society
Publication date:
01/17/2006
Series:
National Geographic Directions Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
523,977
Product dimensions:
5.52(w) x 7.99(h) x 0.52(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.