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The Last London: True Fictions from an Unreal City

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Iain Sinclair has been documenting the peculiar magic of the river-city that absorbs and obsesses him for most of his adult life. In The Last London, he strikes out on a series of solitary walks and collaborative expeditions to make a final reckoning with a capital stretched beyond recognition. Here is a mesmerising record of secret scholars and whispering ghosts. Of distu Iain Sinclair has been documenting the peculiar magic of the river-city that absorbs and obsesses him for most of his adult life. In The Last London, he strikes out on a series of solitary walks and collaborative expeditions to make a final reckoning with a capital stretched beyond recognition. Here is a mesmerising record of secret scholars and whispering ghosts. Of disturbing encounters. Night hospitals. Pits that become cameras. Mole Man labyrinths. And privileged swimming pools, up in clouds, patrolled by surveillance helicopters. Where now are the myths, the ultimate fictions of a many times revised city? Travelling from the pinnacle of the Shard to the outer limits of the London Overground system at Croydon and Barking, from the Thames Estuary to the future ruins of Olympicopolis, Sinclair reflects on where London begins and where it ends. A memoir, a critique and a love letter, The Last London stands as a delirious conclusion to a truly epic project.


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Iain Sinclair has been documenting the peculiar magic of the river-city that absorbs and obsesses him for most of his adult life. In The Last London, he strikes out on a series of solitary walks and collaborative expeditions to make a final reckoning with a capital stretched beyond recognition. Here is a mesmerising record of secret scholars and whispering ghosts. Of distu Iain Sinclair has been documenting the peculiar magic of the river-city that absorbs and obsesses him for most of his adult life. In The Last London, he strikes out on a series of solitary walks and collaborative expeditions to make a final reckoning with a capital stretched beyond recognition. Here is a mesmerising record of secret scholars and whispering ghosts. Of disturbing encounters. Night hospitals. Pits that become cameras. Mole Man labyrinths. And privileged swimming pools, up in clouds, patrolled by surveillance helicopters. Where now are the myths, the ultimate fictions of a many times revised city? Travelling from the pinnacle of the Shard to the outer limits of the London Overground system at Croydon and Barking, from the Thames Estuary to the future ruins of Olympicopolis, Sinclair reflects on where London begins and where it ends. A memoir, a critique and a love letter, The Last London stands as a delirious conclusion to a truly epic project.

30 review for The Last London: True Fictions from an Unreal City

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jonfaith

    The stucco terraces, spurned by Ballard as a diseased pathology, are hollow, bereft of the communal ripple of swinish dreams that followed us through North London. There is a slow burn of poetic vision, political resignation and the heaving convulsions of crotchety aging. The sections on Blake and the Norman Conquest are astonishing, the details on cyclists and umbrellas are risible and only occasionally alarming. There is point where Sinclair is saying, what the hell is wrong with you people? I The stucco terraces, spurned by Ballard as a diseased pathology, are hollow, bereft of the communal ripple of swinish dreams that followed us through North London. There is a slow burn of poetic vision, political resignation and the heaving convulsions of crotchety aging. The sections on Blake and the Norman Conquest are astonishing, the details on cyclists and umbrellas are risible and only occasionally alarming. There is point where Sinclair is saying, what the hell is wrong with you people? I find that fascinating but lack the temerity to address conditions on my own. Ultimately I found this a meditation on London amidst Brexit and Boris as an upscale cruise liner, removed from the rest of the nation and home to a money laundering playground for oligarchs, tourists and criminals. The anonymous preterite maintain the comforts while the proles subsist on reality tv and budget menu carcinogen.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mosco

    Non ce la posso fa': Un clochard su una panchina: Una guaina profilattica verde [un parka, N.d.M.], così verde che è quasi nera, avvolge la nudità impensabile di quest’uomo. Ascolta. Un respiro come un sibilo di foratura mulina solcando l’erba spolverata di margherite. Il suo cuore rallenta fino quasi a fermarsi, assorbito nel pulsare del luogo. E nel nostro, mentre lo guardiamo furtivi. Il Buddha Vegetativo àncora la città, con l’arco della schiena agganciato alla panchina nervata. [...] il parco Non ce la posso fa': Un clochard su una panchina: Una guaina profilattica verde [un parka, N.d.M.], così verde che è quasi nera, avvolge la nudità impensabile di quest’uomo. Ascolta. Un respiro come un sibilo di foratura mulina solcando l’erba spolverata di margherite. Il suo cuore rallenta fino quasi a fermarsi, assorbito nel pulsare del luogo. E nel nostro, mentre lo guardiamo furtivi. Il Buddha Vegetativo àncora la città, con l’arco della schiena agganciato alla panchina nervata. [...] il parco Hackerstone che si dissove in stoned hackers, informatici drogati. Come quelli che lo attraversano a piedi, di fretta, passo lungo, all’inseguimento, convinti che ci sia una versione migliorata e riveduta del mondo da trasfondere attraverso la tavoletta che gli pulsa in mano. Sono legati a questi filatteri digitali, li portano ovunque ad annunciare una fede irrazionale in sistemi digitali pericolosamente corrotti. [...] Il muro di cinta di Haggerston sostiene e permea chi sceglie di venire qui a lavorare, fare esercizio o sedersi. Inocula la sua mitologia. Il microclima è un beverone inebriante, una droga che dà beatitudine. [...] e la pustola non scoppiata del sole velato che muore oltre le finestre sporche. [...] Munster square: Ora c’era un’attrazione magnetica tra stazione e parco, tra le sfarzose case bianche magnificate dai romanzi di Elizabeth Bowen e i tetri prati verdi e le soglie di casa unte illuminati da flashback con cocci di bottiglia alla The Grass Arena di John Healy. Vagabondi di una stanchezza purgatoriale stravaccati dentro conche tollerate, tra stazione e traffico. Gli hotel per ospiti di passaggio, dai nomi sospettosamente pastorali, pulsavano di congiunzioni tetre e illecite. [...]Pareti di vetro a dominare l’azione in una geometria vorticista di predominio conteso. No, non ce la posso fa'!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mike Newman

    The destruction of London is an unsettlingly familiar trope. There is something which seems to deeply satisfy authors and readers alike in the toppling of seemingly infallible towers or a surging tide along the sinuous Thames. While it's title is similarly apocalyptic The Last London doesn't describe a literal ending - but suggests a city which has reached its final condition. It is an ending though in another sense - the final work in a cycle of of semi-fictional novels and essays which have tu The destruction of London is an unsettlingly familiar trope. There is something which seems to deeply satisfy authors and readers alike in the toppling of seemingly infallible towers or a surging tide along the sinuous Thames. While it's title is similarly apocalyptic The Last London doesn't describe a literal ending - but suggests a city which has reached its final condition. It is an ending though in another sense - the final work in a cycle of of semi-fictional novels and essays which have tumbled out of Hackney since 1975. Taken together these books form a remarkable cultural catalogue which documents the sometimes jarring changes which have wracked the city as it shudders into the 21st Century. London often feels briskly futuristic on its face, but in truth it always lags behind. Things change disarmingly slowly in a city of this impossible size and complexity, and it takes a sharp jolt to propel London forward. Sinclair posits the 2012 Olympiad as the moment things change. The moment which London enters its final phase. The moment at which he starts to step away from the city, their paths forking in distinctly different directions. The Last London draws the themes which have emerged in his work since 2012 to a spectacularly written conclusion. It also marks a distinct shift in Sinclair's writing style which brings his exasperation to the fore, electrifying and spiking his prose and rendering it curiously similar to some of his earliest poetic works on London. I've seen reviews which bridle at this frustration and disquiet - but I think in a literary career which has spanned well over forty years and countless revolutions in the experience of navigating London, Sinclair has earned a hearing. The irritations which he catalogues as he moves around the rapidly evolving city are individually innocuous but collectively deafening. The flow of digital information along unmediated channels challenges the well-walked paths and mysterious connections which Sinclair has meticulously mapped and remapped. These old ways are clogged with cyclists who have no time to avoid pedestrians now. The sense that devices demand maintenance and drain agency from the people moving around the city's boroughs seems a minor inconvenience to the rest of us until we're facing down a crowd coming the wrong way, heads down, minds elsewhere. It's easy to dismiss the exasperated tone which some passages in the book take as the snarls of a man aging at a different rate to the city - but almost all of them have rung true at some point, even to a relative technophile like me. The Last London begins in Hackney with a sage-like silent man on a bench in Haggerston Park, and slowly expands to the limits of the London which Sinclair has written himself into, and now out of. The journeys this time though are partially an act of erasure - undoing his London Oveground circuit by reversing its direction, revisiting the docks and dereliction of Downriver after the passing of 'The Witch' and finally venturing into the stage-managed artificiality of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park left behind by the Grand Project. By the time the circuit is completed, the mysterious presence has gone from the park. Things are changing again, London is being remade in the image of Beijing or Bahrain. Legacy and Inclusivity - once the bywords of the Olympic city - are now virtual concepts which rarely make the leap into reality from the computer generated vistas which wrap new developments. As the book approaches its conclusion, Sinclair is on the hoof again in pursuit of the next London, if indeed it exists. His walk from Gospel Oak to Barking in the company of (literally) ghostwritten friends who have gone, charts the path of the partially-electrified railway which will eventually spark life into the provisional community rising from the sedge and mud at Barking Riverside. There is a point on the journey where his narrative splinters - the narrator is no longer the walker as he pushes over boundaries and into sectors of the suburbs which are outside his experience. It's strange, and liberating as a long-time reader of Sinclair, to feel the author's raw response to the strangeness of this hinterland. He crosses the North Circular into Barking and recognises the kind of territory he used to occupy pushed out here to the margins, and soon to be pushed back further. He is spun back to Hackney in relief - that he has left Barking, or that places like Barking still exist? The series of walks which are described in the final chapters of The Last London have another function - they detail those who will continue to walk and record. John Rogers, Andrew Kötting, Effie Paleologou - in words, film and images they have already long since taken up Sinclair's mantle. They walk beside him, and they'll carry on walking into their own Londons and beyond. Their work is generously referenced, openly admired. Their activism and vigour a match for the demands of the Last London - their variations on Sinclair's themes spinning off into new territory, new media, new technology, but always anchored into a shared past. Thinking of the influence of Sinclair's now extensive body of London writing, I wince a little on reading my own over-egged thoughts here and see an homage to Sinclair in every description of a decommissioned facility or deleted franchise. The companions on these final walks are commended to us by Sinclair, not least for his appreciation of their ability to navigate the city in its current situation. They are doing what he can't now, receiving messages which are incompatible with his self-confessed duncephone. The book closes with a final pilgrimage - an account of the march from Waltham Abbey to St Leonards on Sea which morphed into Kötting's Edith Walks film - once again piercing the skin of the M25, out into the fractious hinterlands where 'Vote Leave' signs line the lanes. Out of the city, out of the UK, out of Europe. The uncertainty of the future weighs heavily on Sinclair, and he almost pines for the easier times under Thatcher when the needle on the national moral compass was inverted rather than spinning erratically. A time when satire didn't turn eagerly into newsprint with each dumb tweet from Donald Trump. It's down to these new walkers to make sense of the next London in a post-factual, digitally altered world. It would be a gloomy way to pass out of the city if it wasn't written with such vigour and precision - Sinclair is playfully pithy to the bitter end of his walk, enjoying the freedom perhaps of looking back on London? The Last London is as ever an erudite, complex work which will have readers reaching for references and chasing down works by Sinclair's kindred spirits. It's not an easy read, but it rewards time and effort to untangle the threads of myth and modernism which wind around his map of the city, reaching out to his coastal redoubt. While it refers deeply into Sinclair's history of writing on London, it stands alone as a guidebook to future cities which exist everywhere and nowhere. Perhaps it also sounds a call to the next generation of pavement botherers, mythmakers and diviners of this ancient, ever-changing city. If they turn in an account half as vital and detailed as this, there is an interesting future in the written city.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    Iain Sinclair's dreamy prose, applied ot the London of Boris bikes, dizzying rents, poor doors, and post-Grenfell, post-Brexit malaise. The tone is needless to say bleaker than the delirium of Sinclair's earlier work, but at the same time it is by necessity more mature, even if that maturity is the result of the text being something of a eulogy for a city – the Hackney of Lights Out for the Territory and the Hackney of The Last London ain't got much to say to one another. The result is a text th Iain Sinclair's dreamy prose, applied ot the London of Boris bikes, dizzying rents, poor doors, and post-Grenfell, post-Brexit malaise. The tone is needless to say bleaker than the delirium of Sinclair's earlier work, but at the same time it is by necessity more mature, even if that maturity is the result of the text being something of a eulogy for a city – the Hackney of Lights Out for the Territory and the Hackney of The Last London ain't got much to say to one another. The result is a text that isn't the sheer joy of earlier Sinclair, but something odd, melancholy, very well-written, and potentially important – although I'm not British enough to say so.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bren

    Although I did at times enjoy this book, it was largely a disappointment for me. The biggest disappointment revolves around the fact that it mostly takes place in a small section of London (Hackney) or outside of the city entirely. This despite the fact the jacket led me to believe it encompassed a wider area of the city itself. The second gripe with this book was the authors neverending gripe with the city (or surrounding towns as the case may be). He was so incredibly negative, that reading it Although I did at times enjoy this book, it was largely a disappointment for me. The biggest disappointment revolves around the fact that it mostly takes place in a small section of London (Hackney) or outside of the city entirely. This despite the fact the jacket led me to believe it encompassed a wider area of the city itself. The second gripe with this book was the authors neverending gripe with the city (or surrounding towns as the case may be). He was so incredibly negative, that reading it became an exercise in depression. Some of the things he rants about (bicyclists, new construction, cell phones) are indeed frustrating aspects of modern urban living. But he rarely ever mentions the positive aspects (such as bicycles being environmentally friendly), only the negative. On more than a few occasions, I asked myself "why the #*&% do you live in London if you hate it so much?" I do admit that this is the first time I'd read a book written in the style of Mr. Sinclair. Sort of a poetic polemic. It is therefore possible that I'd need to warm up to the style before I could fully appreciate it. And although I did at times enjoy his writing, I more often than not found it forced and drowning in its own artsy prose. There were some comical points and some really good observations, but it was largely an ugly rant that left me bothered. And another little tidbit I found entertaining was his days long walk with a group of musicians who were re-enacting a march of centuries past when the English fought the Vikings. It was supposed to come across as a walk with some eccentric artists, but the authore either failed to realize (or failed to tell us) that one of the eccentrics was from the Pogues, a pretty famous Irish Folk Punk band out of London circa early 80's. Despite my love of the Pogues, that reinforced my sense that much of the book as well as his stories from the past dealt with well-to-do white folks he tries to pass off as destitute artists or eccentric semi lunatics too edgy for modern society.

  6. 4 out of 5

    David Harris

    I thought this would be more of a travelogue, ie. something for London like what _Berlin Now: The City After the Wall _ by Peter Schneider was for Berlin. But it turns out to be more of a sociological survey combined with many, many asides relating to poetry, philosophy and a wealth of other topics. There's interesting information in the book, but I often found the narrative hard to follow because of the great numbers of asides. At one point, he's describing a dog being tormented by its owner. It I thought this would be more of a travelogue, ie. something for London like what _Berlin Now: The City After the Wall _ by Peter Schneider was for Berlin. But it turns out to be more of a sociological survey combined with many, many asides relating to poetry, philosophy and a wealth of other topics. There's interesting information in the book, but I often found the narrative hard to follow because of the great numbers of asides. At one point, he's describing a dog being tormented by its owner. It's struggling to stay afloat in a canal the author is walking along, but every time the dog gets close enough to shore to climb out, the owner nudges it back out into the water again. At that point, he shifts off into 2-3 side topics, and he never returns to what is happening with the dog or why. Or maybe by the time he did, I had shifted off to another chapter out of boredom or confusion. I think the book might be suitable reading for someone who lives in London or who knows the city well and is interested more generally in random goings on here and there in the city. But you'd have to be willing to tolerate all sorts of diversions into subjects far afield from London.

  7. 4 out of 5

    John Houghton

    You can read my review of The Last London here: http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/last-e... You can read my review of The Last London here: http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/last-e...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Keen

    “The capital had become an illuminated cruise ship, a floating casino for oligarchs, oil sheiks and multinational money-launderers; a vessel, holed at the waterline, staffed by invisibles on zero-hour contacts, collateral damage of war and famine and prurient news reports, huddled in lifeboats.” In many ways Sinclair is London’s biggest critic and its loudest fan. He can find beauty where others find poverty, and can see the ugliness behind the beauty. Without doubt his semi-poetic, semi-rambling “The capital had become an illuminated cruise ship, a floating casino for oligarchs, oil sheiks and multinational money-launderers; a vessel, holed at the waterline, staffed by invisibles on zero-hour contacts, collateral damage of war and famine and prurient news reports, huddled in lifeboats.” In many ways Sinclair is London’s biggest critic and its loudest fan. He can find beauty where others find poverty, and can see the ugliness behind the beauty. Without doubt his semi-poetic, semi-rambling style is not for everyone. At times it’s hard to know what is profound masking as superficial, and the other way round. Initially some of the tangents serve only to confuse, and many of the off roads lead only to dead ends, but it soon warms up, as he finds his feet, and as ever there is much of interest in Sinclair’s London. It won’t always make sense, it tests you and he can make you work for it, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Brexit, Trump, gangsters, the London bike programme, the Shard, WG Sebald, The Mole Man, a murdered soap actress, an obscure book from 1935, Haggerston Park, Haggerston Baths, as well as an ever shifting, supporting cast of artists, poets and writers, are all pieced together here to make up a colourful and eventful jigsaw of a journey. The sheer depth of social history and his vast knowledge and insight can make for quite a treat. He captures the chatter and babble of the everyday too, squeezing the marrow out of the minutiae with some really authentic results. Sinclair is mourning for a London that is slowly fading, but then London and the idea of it can never be a static thing, or else it would cease to be, and in there lies the beauty of it, the fragility and ephemerality of it, and it’s this that he tries to grasp. As ever it’s often during the digressions and diversions where the real wonders and excitement is unearthed. For anyone looking for some more original insights into the many other hidden aspects of contemporary London, I would highly recommend these recent works, Bradley L Garrett’s, “Subterranean London”, Shove & Potter’s, “Banksy: You Are An Acceptable Level of Threat”, Ben Judah’s, “This Is London” and Rowan Moore’s, “Slow Burn City”. All of these books really look at the capital in a number of refreshing ways.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Anya Bird

    This is the worst book I’ve ever read (and I’ve read ‘The Raw Shark Texts’, so that’s saying something!). Unfortunately I have a condition which compels me to finish a book once I’ve started it, so I had to finish it. The only way I found to make myself do this was to only read it when I was blow drying my hair. It took over a year (and lead to some occasions where I just went out with dirty hair). Strongly recommend you avoid this book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tobias

    This is supposedly Iain Sinclair’s final book on London in a series of book which form a cultural catalogue based on walks around the city he was been writing from his home in Hackney since 1975. He is an amusing companion and has done some interesting walks including Orbital (an anti clockwise walk around the M25 Motorway) exploring edgelands and London Overground: A Days Walk Around the Ginger Line (clockwise) looking at the gentrification process going in London’s Inner Suburbs. In this book h This is supposedly Iain Sinclair’s final book on London in a series of book which form a cultural catalogue based on walks around the city he was been writing from his home in Hackney since 1975. He is an amusing companion and has done some interesting walks including Orbital (an anti clockwise walk around the M25 Motorway) exploring edgelands and London Overground: A Days Walk Around the Ginger Line (clockwise) looking at the gentrification process going in London’s Inner Suburbs. In this book he does a reverse circuit of the London Overground and a couple of linear jaunts one along the soon to be electrified Gospel Oak to Barking line (The Goblin line) and another long walk in costume from Waltham Abbey through Brexitland to St Leonards following the route of Harold before the Battle of Hastings. He also revisits some hold haunts in the London Docklands which he wrote about in his 1980s book Downriver and the canoes around the Olympic Park which was the subject of his Ghost Milk book. He is clearly a big fan of WG Sebald and there are the signature Sebaldian black and white photographs and a repeating refrain of melancholy about his description of continual changes to the city which he cant always fully accept on an emotional level. But quite often this deteriorates into curmudgeonly, peevish and sour rants against his pet hates which include public sector regeneration slogans; cyclists and mobile phone users. Less TS Elliot, recounting lost souls in an unreal city and more like JR Hartley,” betraying his befuddlement at the modern world” as one reviewer put it. Sometimes his rants are hilarious such as his diatribe against Hackney Council’s free breakfasts for cyclists in London Fields and his doleful incantation of billboard slogans which he attacks as part of the “slow death of meaningful language”: “TRANFORMING WASTE INVESTING TO IMPROVE OUR STREETS BUILT TO OUTPERFORM WORKING FOR A BETTER TOMORROW INVESTING IN THE WALKING ENVIRONMENT PUTTING PEOPLE FIRST CREATING THE SPACE TO INSPIRE JUST ENOUGH IS MORE OUR PROPERTY KNOWLEDGE GIVES YOU POWER TURNING IDEAS INTO BUSINESS TRANSFORMING AND RESTORING LIVES A HOME FOR EVERYONE WORLD LEADER IN PAINTBALL WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP WITH HACKNEY COUNCIL OWN A PIECE OF EAST LONDON HERITAGE CCTV CAMERAS INSTALLED FOR THE PURPOSE OF CRIME DELIVERING GOOD DECISIONS INVESTING IN COMPETITIVENESS IMPOSSIBILITY IS NOTHING HACKNEY IS MORE INTERESTING THAN HISTORY” But he has always had a love hate relationship with London and I hope it is not his last word on the city. He should take a bit of a rest, perhaps and write about some other stuff and gain his mojo and then return.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Blake Fraina

    I’ll be visiting London this fall for the first time since my honeymoon 23 years ago. In anticipation of all the changes that await me, I decided to check out Iain Sinclair’s The Last London. Although he’s a well-known novelist in the UK, I’m only familiar with him through his appearances in filmmaker John Roger’s YouTube videos of his walks around literary London. Based on the description, I was expecting a melancholy tract lamenting the relentless modernization and homogenization of the ancien I’ll be visiting London this fall for the first time since my honeymoon 23 years ago. In anticipation of all the changes that await me, I decided to check out Iain Sinclair’s The Last London. Although he’s a well-known novelist in the UK, I’m only familiar with him through his appearances in filmmaker John Roger’s YouTube videos of his walks around literary London. Based on the description, I was expecting a melancholy tract lamenting the relentless modernization and homogenization of the ancient city, and that’s certainly plays a big part, but on the whole this book is much more nuanced and multi-faceted than that. First and foremost, this is a challenging read. Sinclair has a very unique way of coming at things and, as a result, his writing is often unnecessarily complex and circuitous. I frequently found myself unsure of the point he was trying to make. There are also many references to art – literature and literary figures, in particular – much of which was not familiar to me. But the reward for toughing it out are moments of undeniable brilliance and humor. To the younger crowd, he might come off as curmudgeonly, particularly when he carps about the dangers of bike traffic or obsessive cell phone dependency, but that’s also when he’s at his most hilarious. Two of the book’s funniest passages are simply snippets of overheard phone conversations and a list of slogans taken off posters pasted up in his beloved neighborhood of Hackney. It seems that Sinclair sees globalization as blurring the edges of London (and, by extension, all cities), as it bleeds into the rest of the world, losing what makes it unique and making it indistinguishable from any city, anywhere. For all its dry humor, keen observation, sardonic wit and obvious affection, The Last London makes me a bit heartsick for all that’s been lost in the two decades since last I saw that amazing city.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mick Mick

    After a bright start it became a hard slog, only dogged determination and sheer bloody mindedness got me through it. Seven weeks to read 318 pages is just too long. That said, it’s well worth reading up to page 172 (paperback) but Part 3 ‘Walking’ was tough going. I have seen Iain Sinclair interviewed and filmed on his walks around London and he comes across as an engaging character, interesting to listen to with a rare insight into what’s become labelled as ‘psychogeography’. However from readi After a bright start it became a hard slog, only dogged determination and sheer bloody mindedness got me through it. Seven weeks to read 318 pages is just too long. That said, it’s well worth reading up to page 172 (paperback) but Part 3 ‘Walking’ was tough going. I have seen Iain Sinclair interviewed and filmed on his walks around London and he comes across as an engaging character, interesting to listen to with a rare insight into what’s become labelled as ‘psychogeography’. However from reading this book one could come away with the impression that the author is a rather supercilious individual with a taste for name dropping and obscure references. He must have written better books but I’m afraid The Last London will be The Last Sinclair for me.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Matt Hunt

    Came to me highly regarded with 5stars in Stewart Lee's round up of the books he read in 2017. I like London, I like Stewart Lee and I like social commentary pieces so I thought I'd give it a go. I found the prose inaccessible and, having got through one chapter really didn't have a clue what I had just read, I just couldn't follow it. Second chapter the same so I've given up. Maybe it has some really great things to say, but I couldn't get at them.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Schopflin

    You either get Iain Sinclair or you don't. I often find his grumpiness verging on sneery (mate, don't have a go at people living in a gentrified area when you live on the leafiest street in the borough) and of course his verbose referentiality is completely unnecessary, but once I become reacquainted with it, I always enjoy it. And it's funny.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nicolette Loizou

    There is no doubting his talent, research skills, knowledge and passion. But those familiar with his work will find it can be a bit overwritten and stuffy at times. But I did like his evocations and portraits of a city undergoing significant change.

  16. 5 out of 5

    John Ollerton

    A very very clever writer

  17. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    Sublime

  18. 4 out of 5

    Robert Lukins

    His last on London, though it won't be; wonderfully weary and exhausting.

  19. 4 out of 5

    T.

    Beautiful. Wonderfully poetic. No doubt correct about the end of London. A real downer.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Petri Silas

    Sinclairin maagisten kävelykirjojen kulminaatio tuo nykyhetkeen, The Shardin uima-altaaseen asti. Upeaa kieltä, jälleen kerran. Lopussa piipahtaa Alan Moore.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Paul Lehane

    Stimulating, provocative & satisfying. Stimulating, provocative & satisfying.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Steve

  23. 5 out of 5

    Max Norton

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sofia Natella

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

  26. 5 out of 5

    SDKalos

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ceri Thomas

  28. 4 out of 5

    scarlettraces

  29. 4 out of 5

    Richard Gladman

  30. 5 out of 5

    Peter Zingg

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