I Never Knew That About London


This was picked up on deal. In part because I love a fact. So this sounded right up my street.

It follows a course from east to west across London, covering each borough as it goes.

The facts vary from the small and personal (a famous person was born/died/went to school here) to the those that span continents or centuries or changed the world (inventions/government/societal change).

There’s no doubt this book is packed with interesting facts I didn’t know about London, but they’re delivered unrelentingly one after another like there’s some sort of quota per hour.

Instead of being knitted together in a story, the hook is a simple traverse across the city, which means you get the random selection of facts from each area thrown at you. This leaves you bouncing between numerous spheres, with very few related to one another.

As they pile up and one particularly interesting or thought-provoking one lands, you are barely given chance to digest it before the next, usually more mundane, one follows on and you’re forced to try and absorb that instead.

Imagine being fed a constant stream of doughballs without being allowed to stop for a sip of water.

This may work better as a physical book as you stroll around the streets, rather than an audiobook that is chomped through, albeit very competently, by Timothy Bentinck.

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This was an copy of the book

Reviewed: 25th January 2020