I have just finished reading “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” by Craig Taylor, and was published in the summer of 2012.
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 – Craig Taylor (via Amazon)
The book description (as seen on Amazon) reads as follows:
“Here are the voices of London – rich and poor, native and immigrant, women and men – witnessed by Craig Taylor, an acclaimed journalist, playwright and writer, who spent five years exploring the city and listening to its residents. 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 and many more, paint a vivid, epic and wholly fresh portrait of Twenty-First Century London.”
Craig Taylor has brought together so many different voices talking about their experiences of London and how they feel about it. There is a decent range of characters from all walks of life telling their stories. Some of the stories are better than others, but altogether they weave a brilliant tapestry about the city.
We get a good glimpse into the minds of people working and living in London, with tales from everyone from London black cab drivers to stock traders to teachers. There are stories about famous landmarks like Big Ben, stories about the codes and etiquette used on the Tube, stories about night-time antics in the city. We get foreigners talking about their experiences of moving to England and London, with a Polish woman talking about coming to London to earn money while leaving her daughter at home in Poland, and then we get the UK residents who have moved to London, including a Geordie girl describing how she moved to London from Newcastle, and her friend who stayed behind in Newcastle.
There is a real mix of people, with a Wiccan, a funeral director, a dominatrix, a street cleaner, a squatter, a rapper, a mother, a paramedic and so on.
The book is divided up into sections, with sections on entertainment, living and dying in the city, buying a home in London, travel, etc. One interesting section of the book is about “Keeping The Peace” where we discover more about how London is kept safe, with stories about court appearances, policing, and especially the riots of 2011.
There were several stories i liked, with the rickshaw rider and the lost property clerk having good tales.
I give this book a 7 out of 10 because there is something for everyone through this range of stories! It’s easy to read a story in a few spare minutes, which is probably better than reading the whole thing in one go! I have to say that this book hasn’t made me want to live in London though! It’s a good book and i recommend it whether you are a Londoner or an outsider like myself!