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London: The Biography (2000)

de Peter Ackroyd

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
3,264484,106 (3.97)166
Much of Peter Ackroyd's work has been concerned with the life and past of London but here, as a culmination, is his account of the city. For him it is an organism with its own laws of growth and change, so this is a biography rather than a history. This part covers trade and enterprise.
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    Thames: Sacred River de Peter Ackroyd (John_Vaughan)
    John_Vaughan: Knowing and loving London means you have to know the Thames. Peter Ackroyd lovingly describes both with a deep knowledge of history.
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Inglês (46)  Alemão (1)  Espanhol (1)  Todos os idiomas (48)
Mostrando 1-5 de 48 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Just re-read this book and have upped my rating from 2 to 3 stars. Last time I was annoyed by the length, the over-poetic language and the unfounded mysticism along the lines of asserting that there is continuity of spirit in London's locations, because he can find several examples of places where similar activities have occurred at different times. These things annoyed me on the re-read as well, but I found compensation in the sheer volume of interesting information & the sweep of the historical coverage. I like the way he arranges the book by theme - fire, poverty, natural environment - rather than a strictly chronological approach. ( )
  sjflp | Jun 18, 2023 |
This book is a fantastic achievement. Every aspect of the city is both explained and connected. Its motivations and desires are laid bare. To an American, it cannot help but be interesting as this British giant has had so many centuries that it sometimes loses track of them. In its constant rebuilding, whether caused by fire, bombing, or the wreckage of revision, the past is always present.

I did find that Ackroyd made loving use of words such as "palimpsest", "atavistic" and "demotic". However, if those aren't terms that ought to be utilized for London, I puzzle where they do find work. The author's passion for his subject translates well to the reader. We are not left puzzled in his absorption by the very thing he studies. We, in turn, thank him for his sacrifice.

This isn't a quick read. This is a book to get lost in, not unlike the streets that Ackroyd lovingly revisits.
( )
  ednasilrak | Jun 17, 2021 |
I'm not sure why this is called a biography but it has a certain appeal. If you know London, it provides a series of thematic views on a personification level of the capital which are both interesting and warming, rather like amusing anecdotes about a good friend. It's definitely going for the coffee table market and is neither comprehensive or analytical. An enjoyable but in no way a challenging read. September 2020 ( )
1 vote alanca | Oct 15, 2020 |
This is a book composed of short essays on some general topics containing a large number of factoids. While the author has assembled a large amount of information about the city it is often, and far too often, dispersed among a number of rapsodies about the wonder and hidden conflicts of the city. It could well have used a timeline, or several essays arranging a connected account of the themes he returns to so constantly. From a marketing point of view it is admirably designed to be consumed in short visits, thus a good book for the morning commute, or for idle moments during a structured day. and a number of historical maps could have aided the non-resident reader a very great deal. Another lack in a book of such an episodic nature, the indexing is very weak. While Mr. Ackroyd, a good stylist, has made a book that will enjoy good sales, it will not in the long run be a keeper. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Jan 24, 2019 |
An excellent living history of one of the great cities of the world. Ackroyd has researched London history thoroughly and presented in a way that makes you want to book a flight to London, stet. I haven't spent a lot of time in London but I can imagine using "London: the biography" as a guide to the city, learning of the history of suburbs and streets and how, over the centuries, some buildings seem to attract particular types of business.

This was the first book I've read by Peter Ackroyd and I eagerly dived in to read more of his, only to be left slightly disappointed. No doubt I'll eventually find another of his books to love. ( )
  MiaCulpa | Oct 23, 2018 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 48 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
London is what was meant to be, secured across the centuries in a multiplicity of races, ways and tongues. You could not re-create it; you cannot destroy it. This London is our London, and if you want to know it better, to see it with eyes wide open, then Ackroyd is your indispensable companion.
adicionado por waitingtoderail | editarObserver, UK, Peter Preston (Jun 26, 2011)
 

» Adicionar outros autores (19 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Peter Ackroydautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Cipriano, EllenDesignerautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Wilson, MeganDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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Much of Peter Ackroyd's work has been concerned with the life and past of London but here, as a culmination, is his account of the city. For him it is an organism with its own laws of growth and change, so this is a biography rather than a history. This part covers trade and enterprise.

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