PDF/EPUB Mark Mason Ù Walk the Lines The London Underground Overground MOBI Ù

As a lifelong fan of London Mark Mason embarks on a mission to 'conquer' the capital once and for all The only way to truly discover a city they say is on foot Taking this to extremes Mark sets out to walk the entire length of the London Underground overground passing every station on the wayOver the course of several hundred miles he comes to understand a sprawling metropolis that never ceases to surprise In a story packed with historical trivia personal musings and eavesdropped conversations Mark learns how to get the best gossip in a City pub how the Ritz made its female guests feel good about themselves and why the Bank of England won't let you join the M11 northbound at Junction 5 He has an East End cup of tea with the Krays' official biographer discovers what cabbies mean by 'on the cotton' and meets the Archers star who was the voice of 'Mind the Gap'On a broader level Mark contemplates London's contradictions as well as its charms He gains insights into our fascination with maps and sees how walking changes our view of the world Above all in this love letter to a complicated friend he celebrates the sights sounds and soul of the greatest city on earth


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    Travelogue set in London finding London’s soul?There isn’t exactly a dearth of books about London You don’t have to spend hours scouring bookshops or sitting in front of the computer if you want to find out about its history its people its rivers or its architecture – indeed I guess you could stock a small British town library remember them? solely with books about or set in England’s capital citySo what inspired Mark Mason to add another one to the pile? Well he tells us in the Introduction that he wanted to find London’s soul Now I’m all for having aims in life but this one struck me as a little ambitious – especially as the way he was going about it was by walking all of London’s Underground lines from end to end Disappointingly he didn’t actually patrol the tunnels like a down market phantom of the opera but walked overground to every station on each Tube line in order – and he didn’t cheat once His wife suggested it which made me warm to herWell could such a pedestrian approach really reveal the essence of one of the world’s greatest cities? Of course not However what he did do was take a series of recognizable snapshots of many different parts of London and its suburbs – so many streets and stations that even the most dyed in the wool Londoner would have problems finding all of themThe names of some of these stations are well know like King’s Cross Marble Arch and Piccadilly Circus and anyone who’s ever visited London will be familiar with them The problem is that the glamorous interesting parts of London which they serve are only a small part of the city as a whole and most of his route it is made up of the same sorts of streets and parks offices and shops that form part of every city in BritainI respect his wish not to cherry pick He wanted to experience the whole of London rather than just the bits we see in the background of action movies or news programmes The trouble is that many areas of the metropolis are simply rather boring – at least to people who don’t live there I’m happy to learn that “Woodside Park is pleasant enough” and “notable” is that really the right word? “for being the Tube network’s last station alphabetically” but these facts do not enrich my life On the other hand there were bits and pieces which appealed to my nerdish side Did you know for example that the Maida Vale Tube station opened during the First World War was the first to be entirely staffed by women? Or that Arnos Grove station on the Piccadilly line was modelled on Stockholm City Library? Don’t say you did as I won’t believe youIf you’re a lover of trivia you’ll enjoy this book If you’re looking for an insight into London’s soul you may be disappointed It’s a book to dip into but if you attempt to read it from cover to cover as I did it’s a bit of a challenge as it’s so bitty However the further you get into it the rewarding it becomes Many parts are interesting you learn a lot about a part of England that’s unfamiliar to most of us and you experience a real sense of satisfaction in finishing – and all without developing a single blister