Tuesday, 8 November 2016

London Overground by Iain Sinclair

London Overground: A Day's Walk Around The Ginger Line by Iain Sinclair
Published in the UK by Penguin Random House in June 2015.

One of my WorldReads From Wales
I registered my copy of this book at BookCrossing

How I got this book:
Received a copy in a Penguin ThinkSmarter giveaway

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

'Echoing his journey in London Orbital over a decade ago, Iain Sinclair narrates his second circular walk around the capital. Shortly after rush-hour and accompanied by a rambling companion, Sinclair begins walking along London's Overground network, or, 'Ginger Line'. With characteristic playfulness, detours into folk history, withering assessments of the political classes and a joyful allegiance to the ordinary oddball, Sinclair guides us on a tour of London's trendiest new transport network - and shows the shifting, changing city from new and surprising angles.'

I'm not really sure what to make of this book. For a flaneur's memoir, there's little about walking and for a book inspired by a railway line, there's not much about trains either! Sinclair uses the London Overground line as departure point for reminiscences and musings about a variety of subjects, but mostly themed around his own artistic and literary past and friends. I did enjoy diversions into London history and gossip, but for me reading London Overground felt like being a spouse at the annual company dinner. I recognised names of people and places, but mostly felt excluded from the conversation. If you're familiar with Sinclair's previous writing and work, or that of his accompanying friend Andrew Kotting, you might well get a lot more out of this book than I did. As it is, I have noted a few potential books for my TBR list, but am ultimately more disappointed than inspired to follow in Sinclair's footsteps.

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1 comment:

  1. My copy of London Overground for sale on eBay. Practically new!