What is visible to the naked eye has been exhaustively raked over; in Underground London, acclaimed travel writer Stephen Smith provides an alternative guide and history of the capital. It's a journey through the passages and tunnels of the city, the bunkers and tunnels, crypts and shadows. As well as being a contemporary tour of underground London, it's also an exploration through time: Queen Boudicca lies beneath Platform 10 at King's Cross (legend has it); Dick Turpin fled the Bow Street Runners along secret passages leading from the cellar of the Spaniards pub in North London; the remains of a pre-Christian Mithraic temple have been found near the Bank of England; on the platforms of the now defunct King William Street Underground, posters still warn that 'Careless talk costs lives'.
Stephen Smith uncovers the secrets of the city by walking through sewers, tunnels under such places as Hampton Court, ghost tube stations, and long lost rivers such as the Fleet and the Tyburn. This is 'alternative' history at its best.
I enjoyed this book and it is full of interesting facts and stories about what lies beneath the metropolis. The only off putting thing is it is written by a man and read by a woman and for some reason it does not quite work.
But never the less a good 'easy' listen and you can dip in and out which is good if like me you listen in bed and fall asleep and have to keep re winding!
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
I love history of London and the Underground, but found I couldn't maintain my attention on this. While there were some interesting parts, I was hoping for something as engaging as a Bill Bryson, it's just not that good. Like others, I'm going to ask why the narrator is a woman? At first I thought maybe the author was writing as a lesbian, but later it becomes apparent that no, this woman's voice talking about being a man. Actually the narrator, is otherwise, very good. Didn't return it, but came close to it. It won't get a second listen.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
This book held my interest and is written in an accessible and engaging style. I enjoyed it and found much of it fascinating. The 'but' is that although it has been written in a clearly male voice it is read with a female voice, at times, this just sounds wrong.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
In agreement with previous reviews - subject matter is riveting, but why was this read by a woman when written by a man?
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
I would like to know why they chosen to have a book written from a man's point of view read by a woman?
It does detract from the experience.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful
I grab this title as I was about to lose my credits and was at a loss what book I'd like
I had no real expectations but I'd just finished boris Johnsons book on London so I thought why not
I'm so glad I did, what a funny and informative book, the authors sense of humour is pitched perfectly against what could be a bit of a dry subject, and the performance was great If you have any interest in left of centre history then LISTEN TO THIS BOOK :)
Really interesting book. Steven Smith covers a large range of subjects and time periods while also covering some really interesting side stories.