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London  By  cover art

London

By: Peter Ackroyd
Narrated by: Nigel Patterson
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Publisher's Summary

London: The Biography is the pinnacle of Peter Ackroyd's brilliant obsession with the eponymous city. In this unusual and engaging work, Ackroyd brings the listener through time into the city whose institutions and idiosyncrasies have permeated much of his works of fiction and nonfiction. 

Peter Ackroyd sees London as a living, breathing organism, with its own laws of growth and change. Reveling in the city's riches as well as its raucousness, the author traces thematically its growth from the time of the Druids to the beginning of the 21st century. Anecdotal, insightful, and wonderfully entertaining, London is animated by Ackroyd's concern for the close relationship between the present and the past, as well as by what he describes as the peculiar "echoic" quality of London, whereby its texture and history actively affect the lives and personalities of its citizens. 

London confirms Ackroyd's status as what one critic has called "our age's greatest London imagination."

©2000 Peter Ackroyd (P)2020 Tantor
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about London

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Great Book

Narration was good and this book is full of solid history and is superbly writtten. Good Job, Peter Ackroyd

7 people found this helpful

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I will never be uncomfortable in London.

First of all I would like to thank Nigel for his unerring narrative throughout this arduous and perilous journey through the pillars and troughs, gardens and dungeons of this 2000 year town called London. My own family emigrated to London around the reign of George the 1st from the Wear River region, hence my middle name George and family name of Wear.

5 people found this helpful

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A fascinating journey

I very much enjoyed the long and short discourses on various London historical topics. Ackroyd is a great writer and Patterson's narration does him justice.

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Soooooo boring

I’ve just moved to london and am very interested to learn about the history. So I was excited to pick up this book. I really tried with this one — listening to 6 hours in the hopes that it would get better, but it never did. After the 6 hours, in addition to being deathly bored, I had also learned little to nothing. So I decided to cut my losses and give up on the book.

The author doesn’t actually tell you about the history of London in an overview fashion or even connect dots from one period to another. Instead, he picks random anecdotes from that period in history and tells you about “a baker on a certain street” and a million such other examples of whatever they were doing on a particular day. And the book is literally just hundreds of these anecdotes strung together without any real purpose. I found this to be a frustrating and very inefficient way to learn anything. I rarely give up on a book once I’ve started it, but this is easily one of the worst books I’ve read in years.

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Great book

I rarely take the time to read a book twice, but Ackroyd’s London, his biography of Shakespeare and his Venice are exceptions. I’ll probably return for a third time. He manages to pack staggering amounts of fascinating material on every page but he does it with elegant style. I would