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Publisher's Summary

Here are the voices of London - rich and poor, native and immigrant, women and men. From the woman whose voice announces the stations on the London Underground to the man who plants the trees along Oxford Street; from a Pakistani currency trader to a Guardsman at Buckingham Palace - together, these voices paint a vivid, epic and wholly fresh portrait of 21st Century London.

Craig Taylor, an acclaimed journalist, playwright, and writer, spent five years exploring the city and listening to its residents to create this amazingly rich portrait of London.

©2011 Craig Taylor (P)2012 W F Howes Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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  • tim
  • Qualicum Beach, BC, Canada
  • 12-11-12

An interesting look at what makes London tick.

Having lived near London over the last 10 years, now living on Canada's West Coast near the author's origin, I really enjoyed this book.I learned a lot about many facets of life in London that normally you take for granted (the tube train announcer, for example)
It was fun to move onto each new experience and reminiscence and I looked forward to listen to what was coming next
The narrators were spot on and often very amusing.
A really good listen


4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • hy
  • 08-25-16

Great audiobook for commutes

What's better than listening to an audiobook about Londoners while watching Londoners on your commute? Great collection of stories.

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  • Overall
  • tules
  • 12-23-12

Tired of London? I don't think so.

I write this as a Londoner and as someone who loves the city. This is a fascinating insight into the people that make it such a great place to live and work. There's much pleasure to be had in the recognition of "yes that's how it is."



It's frequently funny and always interesting and the interviews are quite short so you can easily skip forward if you get bored, although I don't think that will happen.



My only gripe is that this is meant to be the many, many voices of London, but the audio version uses only half-a-dozen different actors and you quickly get to recognise each voice as they tend to voice each person the same rather than "get into character." This distracted me a little so I felt I was listening to the actor rather than the interviewee. Otherwise it's a very good book.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Dr Caterpillar
  • 01-10-15

Distractingly random

If you could sum up 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 in three words, what would they be?

Why even try?

What other book might you compare 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 to, and why?

I can't think of anything similar. Can't I just review the darned thing on its own terms?

Which scene did you most enjoy?

It's not really about enjoyment and it's not really about scenes. The eyewitness account of a suicide on the Underground was particularly compelling but I certainly wouldn't say I enjoyed it. The book pleased me because it was London from such a diverse set of viewpoints - some interesting, some boring, some admirable and some which invited contempt - but all valid enough to the people who said the words.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

It's not that kind of book. These question templates don't really work.

Any additional comments?

Why did the chapters - which were of wildly different lengths - bear no relation to the length of the stories being told? Sometimes you got three stories in one chapter, other times a story began partway through one chapter, took up a complete chapter, and finished partway through another chapter. If, like me, you like to got through a single short story on your walk to work, you'll find this frustrating. Also, the book was split into two halves, but both halves appear to have the same content. What is going on?<br/>But at the end of the day, I felt I had a better perspective on London.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Daniela
  • 02-02-17

Great but needed more voice artists

There are over 80 stories in the book, you need more than just a few voices being recycled over and over again, some of their attempts at accents also weren't very convincing you could tell it was the same person as before just putting on a rather poor voice. This is the one way this book could have been improved.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • barjil
  • 07-07-14

Fascinating!

I have read the only review so far to be made of this book, and agree with the writer except that I didn't feel that the voices marred the presentation - the episodes are well-spaced so that you don't hear the same voice too frequently.

It's a wonderful book because the stories are quite offbeat and not what you're expecting. Each has an introductory name and occupation, and though you feel you may know about the world of that occupation you find new angles to it every time. I think different generations will find different parts intriguing (I'm older, so the life of a female bouncer is outside my ken and a revelation!)

I shall certainly listen to the book again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Goldie Horne
  • 02-07-17

So thrilling and entertaining

So much that I was unaware of - the stories are so addictive and the narrative is clear and interesting

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  • Gilly
  • 08-27-16

Good Overall Listen

Lived in London in my 20's and had great fun. It was really good to hear others stories and how they connected Loved this overall view. Great to listen to when you're working Please please please can Audible leave more than half a second before they say it's the end. It always spoils the ending Please stop!

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  • Miss C A Kerrigan
  • 02-11-15

Excellent

I really really enjoyed this! Driving home every night listening to this book made me appreciate the rich tapestry of the city. Intriguing narratives by interesting characters.

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  • Daniel Hearn
  • 01-28-15

Good book made unlistenable by overkeen performers

Would you listen to 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 again? Why?

I'm about quarter of the way through and I fear I may need to give up on this one and download a copy on my Kindle for reading instead. Unfortunately this defeats the fact of wanting to listen to it to begin with. The book concept is fantastic, the interviews are solid and the content is enjoyable and illuminating. The strange choice of reading style is baffling and completely ruins the listening experience for me.

What didn’t you like about the narrators’s performance?

The book is not merely read with expression, it is performed as a series of monologues by a small, overenthusiastic cast. Some of the accent attempts border on the offensive, and almost all of the performances are irritatingly over-acted. The camp performance style serves only to embellish the narratives with elements of characterisation which come from the actor's own interpretation. Furthermore, the occasional interruptions by the author in the middle of the spoken passages are jarring and disjointed.It is not necessary in an audiobook to represent multiple people of varying backgrounds with a cast of kooky stereotypes, lest a listener is unable to form his or her own mental image. A normal, expressive reading of the text by a single performer is sufficient and I'm sure would be preferred by the majority of those who listen to audiobooks for the content of the book foremost.

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  • Joanna
  • 01-07-15

Totally hilarious!

Really great book! I did not know what to expect when I got it, but it proven to be totally outrages, crazy and funny book. Must read for everyone who live or lived in London.
Highly recommended

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  • Sam Still Reading
  • 11-18-15

Varied and interesting snippets of London life

Londoners feels to me like a big book. I was rather surprised to find that the print book is only 422 pages! For me, it felt like it took quite some time to listen to the audiobook (probably because I went away in the middle of it and wasn’t listening very much) but it’s also big in terms of ideas. To talk to a wide group of Londoners, from the new to the old, the lovers, the haters and all those in between is a huge effort. It must have taken ages for Craig Taylor to find people to be interview, conduct the interview and then transcribe and edit. It’s an ambitious project that captures so many different people who share a city.

The story is a collection of these interviews, divided into themes like arriving and leaving, marriage and death. It’s pretty easy to pick up where you left off (particularly if it’s at the end of an interview), so the audiobook is particularly good for short bursts. There is also a collection of narrators who are all brilliant at different accents and speech cadences. (I had to check that one of the narrators wasn’t my colleague, she sounded exactly the same!) My only niggle was that I knew some of the narrators really well by the end and it was occasionally hard to disconnect from the person they were playing in the previous vignette.

There were some really interesting people that Taylor spoke to. I think one of my favourites was the man looking after lost property on the Tube – it sounds like he does a brilliant job and really cares about it. He also had some classic tales to tell – like someone calling and asking what the chances were of a cake they left on the Tube being found uneaten! The pilots talking about taking off and landing too was fascinating. Marriage celebrants, grief counsellors, people going through supermarket bins, barristers, antique shop owners…all real people with many stories to tell. Some people I think could have had their own book of tales!

Some of the interviews weren’t my cup of tea – people complaining about others on their commute (I hear you, but deal with it) and some just went on a bit long. Other people had a viewpoint that appeared prejudiced or narrow minded at time, but it takes all sorts to make a city.

I think listening to this book really helped it to come alive for me. Worth a listen if you’re a Londoner or interested in the everyday thoughts of a range of people in a city.