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

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

4.3 29
by Craig Taylor
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

“Craig Taylor is the real deal: a peerless journalist and a beautiful craftsman.”
—David Rakoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Fraud and Half Empty

Londoners is a wonderful book—I wanted it to be twice as long.”
—Diana Athill, New York Times bestselling

See more details below

Overview

“Craig Taylor is the real deal: a peerless journalist and a beautiful craftsman.”
—David Rakoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Fraud and Half Empty

Londoners is a wonderful book—I wanted it to be twice as long.”
—Diana Athill, New York Times bestselling author of Somewhere Towards the End

In Londoners, acclaimed journalist Craig Taylor paints readers an epic portrait of today’s London that is as rich and lively as the city itself. In the style of Studs Terkel (Working, Hard Times, The Good War) and Dave Isay (Listening Is an Act of Love), Londoners offers up  the stories, the gripes, the memories, and the dreams of those in the great and vibrant British metropolis who “love it, hate it, live it, left it, and long for it,” from a West End rickshaw driver to a Soldier of the Guard at Buckingham Palace to a recovering heroin addict seeing Big Ben for the very first time. Published just in time for the 2012 London Olympic Games, Londoners is a glorious literary celebration of one of the world’s truly great cities.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Sarah Lyall
Craig Taylor had a rough time when he first moved to London from Canada a dozen years ago…But something about the city got under his skin, so he resolved to push beyond his own experience and take its measure. Happily for us, the result is Londoners, a rich and exuberant kaleidoscopic portrait of a great, messy, noisy, daunting, inspiring, maddening, enthralling, constantly shifting Rorschach test of a place…And though countless excellent books have been written on the city, this is the one that best captures what it's like to live in London right now, through the words of the people themselves—just as Studs Terkel did for Chicago in his oral histories years ago.
—The New York Times Book Review
Booklist
“Highly engaging. . . . Bursts with charm, edification, and life.”
Guardian (London)
“Splendid. . . . A remarkable volume [of] countless funny, terrifying, epic stories.”
New York Times Book Review
“A rich and exuberant kaleidoscopic portrait of a great, messy, noisy, daunting, inspiring, maddening, enthralling, constantly shifting Rorschach test of a place. . . . Delightful. . . . In Taylor’s patient and sympathetic hands, regular people become poets, philosophers, orators.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“Remarkable. . . . Essential. . . . Enlightening. . . . Londoners offers an impression of the city’s people, a way to understand their motives and fears and the simmering rush. It captures the combination of quiet desperation and boundless optimism required to live [there].”
Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Fascinating. . . . Makes you want to join Taylor in “The London Chase.”
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
“Engaging. . . . A treasury of compact vignettes from voices that are rarely heard but come closer to the truth of the city than any travel brochure or official document.”
Newark Star Ledger
“Impressive. . . . A scintillating oral history.”
Chicago Tribune
“From Brixton to Piccadilly Circus, a fascinating oral history of contemporary London.”
Londonist.com
“The best book about London in at least a decade. . . . Masterful. . . . A cracking and insightful read [that] will still be widely enjoyed 50 years from now. Treat yourself . . . you really are investing in a classic.”
Very Short List - The Observer
"Immensely enjoyable. . . . Reminded us of Studs Terkel’s best books."
Time Out London
“A remarkable new book that celebrates the city’s endless diversity. . . . Five stars.”
Newsday
“Whether or not you know London, whether or not you love it, this book is for you. . . . A polyphonic hymn to the Big Smoke.”
Oona King
“A thrilling portrait of the city. . . . Enchanting. . . . I feel I almost learned more about Londoners from this book than from being a Londoner for more than four decades. . . . Too good to miss.”
David Nicholls
“An epic portrait in eighty voices that shows the city to be just [as] Dickensian as it has ever been.”
Diana Athill
Londoners is a wonderful book—I wanted it to be twice as long.”
David Shields
“Samuel Johnson said, ‘When you are tired of London, you’re tired of life.’ Craig Taylor is tired of neither London nor life, and this book is a gorgeous, utterly irresistible—even addictive—ode to both.”
Lucy Worsley
“Ambitious [and] creative. . . . A book to deepen your relationship with London and make you fall in - or out - of love with it all over again. . . . I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it.”
David Rakoff
“Craig Taylor is the real deal: a peerless journalist and a beautiful craftsman. He’d be a household name already if he wasn’t so modest. He’ll be one anyway in due course.”
The Observer's Very Short List
“Immensely enjoyable. . . . Reminded us of Studs Terkel’s best books.”
Library Journal
Fans of Studs Terkel's insightful oral histories will be delighted to discover a successor in British writer Taylor (One Million Tiny Plays About Britain). His collection of conversations with contemporary Londoners emerges from five years of work, an original total of 200 interviews, and more than 300 AAA batteries for his recorder. The end result is a perspective on London as diverse and fascinating as its denizens. This is the kind of book one can dip into at leisure. Divided into sections such as "Arriving," "Earning One's Keep," and "Feeding the City," the book features conversations with a dominatrix who declares, "London is one of the kinkier cities in the world"; a nurse who discusses the seasonal nature of treatments required in her clinic; a "skipper," whom U.S. readers would call a dumpster diver; and a rickshaw driver who comments on the often sleazy side of Soho. VERDICT More than a collection of conversations, this book brings London to life as it is—ever changing, ever eternal, ever unforgettable. A delight! With the 2012 Olympics coming up in London, this should be a popular purchase. [See Prepub Alert, 8/22/11.]—Janet Ross, formerly with Sparks Branch Lib., NV
Kirkus Reviews
A Canadian playwright and literary-magazine editor ponders the love and hate for London, sifting through hundreds of interviews with the denizens. Living for a time in the city, Taylor (One Million Tiny Plays About Britain, 2009, etc.) is clearly fascinated and fond of the place and those who manage to thrive there, even if he is still mystified by who is and isn't a "Londoner." With 32 boroughs (New York only has five), London is truly a city of villages and takes its postcodes very seriously. Cleverly, Taylor organizes his masses of voices by "people who worked with the stuff of the city." His subjects include a male nurse; a street photographer; a nightclub door attendant; a manicurist who offers her singularly wise take on the strata of society; a personal trainer who tries to smarten up his clients but finds the shoulders and the alignment give out immediately; the black actress who got tired of being cast as a slave and now plies her trade as a plumber; a beekeeper atop the Royal Festival Hall; a gay man who depicts the best cruising spots; the female voice of the London Underground who reveals that even the officials couldn't decide how to pronounce the stop "Marylebone." From the well-heeled Pakistani currency trader near his office across from Bank station to the transsexual "skipper" ("forager for waste food in the skips") on the streets in South London, the stories are alternately poignant, uplifting, amusing and sad. A nicely polished oral history--good reading just for the vicarious kicks.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062096937
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/21/2012
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
235,335
File size:
1 MB

What People are saying about this

David Nicholls
“An epic portrait in eighty voices that shows the city to be just [as] Dickensian as it has ever been.”
Diana Athill
Londoners is a wonderful book—I wanted it to be twice as long.”
Lucy Worsley
“Ambitious [and] creative. . . . A book to deepen your relationship with London and make you fall in - or out - of love with it all over again. . . . I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it.”
Oona King
“A thrilling portrait of the city. . . . Enchanting. . . . I feel I almost learned more about Londoners from this book than from being a Londoner for more than four decades. . . . Too good to miss.”
David Rakoff
“Craig Taylor is the real deal: a peerless journalist and a beautiful craftsman. He’d be a household name already if he wasn’t so modest. He’ll be one anyway in due course.”
David Shields
“Samuel Johnson said, ‘When you are tired of London, you’re tired of life.’ Craig Taylor is tired of neither London nor life, and this book is a gorgeous, utterly irresistible—even addictive—ode to both.”

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >