London Clay

London Clay by Tom Chivers is an exceptional read and one of the best books I've read recently.

Whether you pick this book up because your magpie instincts are drawn the joyously attention grabbing cover, or because the subject matter piqued your interest; be prepared to enter a London you know little if anything about. A London that is riveting, absorbing and at Tom's hands, totally accessible, even if in reality most of it isn't.

Chivers writes of this book: "I make no apologies for the composition of this book, which is partial, subjective and incomplete; I am neither historian nor geographer, but write with a poet's compulsion for rumor and conjecture". 

And of his London he writes: "The Streetfinder is my guide - and yours. Its mysteries will trigger journeys of discovery, journeys across, underneath and into the deep city. We will encounter a landscape fundamentally configured by water, but which has been drained and tarmacked over.".

From Roman Londinium and the Mithraeum to London's Super Sewer there is something in here for everyone, for this is neither an academic tome, a collection of poetry or literature nor is it a guide to the streets and sights of London. It is none of these things and all of these things, and it is a wonderful book for it.

"London is enchanted ground, no longer merely the 'unreal city' of Eliot's Waste Land but glorious hyperreality: a hundred million possible Londons, present and past, imagined, unintended, forgotten and reborn".

Seriously, give it a go and be prepared to travel to parts of London you've never ventured to before.


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