Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Book Review: Peter Ackroyd's London

I took this book with me on sail to the Arctic Circle: boy was that a mistake, wrong on pretty much every level.

Firstly the topic was the great, sprawling, historic city packed with millions of people and their noise, pollution, views, dramas, money and so much much more, while of course I was living isolated surrounded by nature and with just one other person for company.

Then it was home, just when I should be ignoring those memories and concentrating on the present and the near future.

Finally of course there was Ackroyd's style, which regular readers of this blog will know I compare to a bucket of the richest vintage port.

This book is called the "concise" biography but still its over 650 pages long, packed full with the juiciest stories his team of researchers could come up with.

That's one problem of having read several of his books, you begin to see how its been put together, what the skeletons are underneath - which is a very appropriate analogy for Ackroyd, who loves writing about death, the macabre & grotesque, damnation, bodies, salvation and the spiritual.

Its not really a book to read, cover to cover that is, more dip into. It has 52 chapters, one for each week of the year, and it would be a good choice to be left in a bathroom to be examined as you do your motions.

With that appropriately Ackroydian image there is no more I can add so I'll leave it there.

Picture from: Amazon.

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