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Underground, Overground: A Passenger's History of the Tube - Hardcover

 
9781846684777: Underground, Overground: A Passenger's History of the Tube
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This is an entertaining and enlightening social history of the world's most famous underground railway. Why is the Victoria Line so hot? What is an Electrical Multiple Unit? Is it really possible to ride from Kings Cross to Kings Cross on the Circle line? The London Underground is the oldest, most sprawling and illogical metropolitan transport system in the world, the result of a series of botch-jobs and improvisations. Yet it transports over one billion passengers every year - and this figure is rising. It is iconic, recognised the world over, and loved and despised by Londoners in equal measure. Blending reportage, humour and personal encounters, Andrew Martin embarks on a wonderfully engaging social history of London's underground railway system (which despite its name, is in fact 55 five per cent overground). Along the way he attempts to untangle the mess that is the Northern Line, visit every station in a single day - and find out which gaps to be especially mindful of. "The London Underground" is a highly enjoyable, witty and informative history of everything you need to know about the Tube.

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About the Author:
Andrew Martin is a journalist and novelist. He has written for the Evening Standard, the Sunday Times, the Independent on Sunday the Daily Telegraph and the New Statesman among others. His 'Jim Stringer' series of novels based around railways are published by Faber.
Review:
Martin's knowledge is both encyclopaedic and full of quirky digressions, based on everyday observation... this history has plenty of fun detailing the travails of the Underground's pioneering figures... -- Andrew Neather * Evening Standard * A jaunty history... the book is studded with little observational gems... he can occasionally stop you in your tracks with a well-turned phrase. -- Andrew Holgate * Sunday Times * Seeing Martin puzzle his way through the history is half the fun, as are his lively interlocutors ... the language is beautiful -- Rose Jacobs * FT * A sparky history of the tube ... Martin has more fun with it than most ... He honours the Underground, and glories in its oddities -- Tom Fort * Sunday Telegraph * For those who love a bit of darting about the Londinium subway whenever the chance comes, Underground, Overground will be a sweat-induced, claustrophobic treat -- Brian Donaldson * The List * Hugely entertaining ... gives us all the lore and myths ... Underground, Overground captures the same zest, zaniness and sense of marvel shown in the recent BBC Two series The Tube. -- Michael Binyon * Times * A highly engaging journey through the history and geography of the tube. -- Jonathan Sale * Independent * An excellent "passenger's history" of the network... entertaining -- Mark Mason * Spectator * If you've ever wondered who is responsible for the announcements on the Northern line, or why Bakerloo line trains don't have armrests, then this engaging and witty social history of the London underground is guaranteed to beguile. . . . Martin is a highly entertaining guide to the stygian depths of subterranean London in all its absurd, confusing glory. . . Offbeat anecdotes abound . . . a compact yet comprehensive study -- Alexander Larman * Observer * Pages of fascinating facts... -- Lola Sinclair * The Lady * Where Martin's book comes into its own is on the experiential aspects of tube travel... Martin is never less than engaging. He also mounts a spirited - and even to this sceptic, thoroughly convincing - defence of Ken Livingstone's tenure as London transport supremo, which should be required reading by public policy wonks all the way to the top. On balance, if you're a tube neophyte - I mean reading about it, as much as riding it - I would strongly endorse Martin's book as the stop to get on at. -- Will Self * Guardian * Martin's witty tome is as entertaining as its subject is frustrating and, perhaps surprisingly, liable to induce sympathy for the poor sods who run the ever teetering service. -- Steve Jelbert * Word * A compelling social history that blends reportage, humour and personal experience. -- Simon Evans * Choice * A deeply pleasurable history of the London tube. Martin has all the history at his fingertips... -- Kathryn Hughes * Prospect * So dense with fascinating facts that a Londoner can dip in it at almost any point and get a new insight to enrich their experience of the city... a fine tribute to the tube -- Kevin Younger * Time Out * Martin is the Laureate of the Underground... Martin has an acute eye for detail, and tempers his own knowledge with a dry humour. Unlike many funny writers, he is both affectionate and alert to nuance... you emerge from this book as though from the Underground itself, blinking into the sunlight as you bid farewell to its peculiar, parallel universe, a place where, as Martin says, 'it always seems to be evening'... it wouldn't be surprising if the next pigeon he spots on the Tube was bent over a copy of his fascinating book, saying 'Coo!' -- Craig Brown * Mail on Sunday * The best introduction to the tube . . . I missed my stop on three separate occasions when engrossed in this readable and very funny history . . . Mr Martin is the perfect guide -- Michael Murray-Fennell * Country Life * Fascinating -- Craig Brown * Daily Mail *

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  • PublisherProfile Books
  • Publication date2012
  • ISBN 10 1846684773
  • ISBN 13 9781846684777
  • BindingHardcover
  • Edition number1
  • Number of pages256
  • Rating

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