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Summary

Robert Elms has seen London change beyond all imagining: the house he grew up in is now the behemoth that is the Westway flyover, and areas once deemed murder miles have morphed into the stuff of estate agents' dreams, seemingly in a matter of months.

Elms takes us back through time and place to myriad Londons. He is our guide through a place that has seen scientific experiments conducted in subterranean lairs, a small community declare itself an independent nation and animals of varying exoticism roam free through its streets; a place his great-great-grandfather made the Elms' home over a century ago and a city that has borne witness to epoch - and world-changing events.

'This is a shape-shifting city, happy to shed its skin of brick and stone for steel and glass, to jettison the unprofitable unsentimentally, to abandon the unfashionable and discard the undesirable. London is a giant kaleidoscope, which is forever turning. Take your eye off it for more than a moment and you're lost.'

©2019 Robert Elms (P)2019 Canongate Books Ltd

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  • Overall
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Superb love story about our nations capital

Brilliant, thoroughly enjoyed this.
Having read alot about london history, this is easily one of the very best! Historical and cultural analytical stories and facts collide in a beautifully written and presented ode to an ancient city brimming with modernity.
The only point I would argue is- Elms's far too accepting and forgiving views of the dreadful plastic, steel and glass ugliness of the modern, commercially obsessed, outpriced, financially elite, so called evolving city.
London's fascinating cultural history is being erased far more than ever before, to the point whereby I myself no longer recognise it from the playground of my youth a mere 20 years ago, but this book is a reminder that that I'm not the only one missing a city that's supposedly still here.

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Brilliant!

I wasn’t sure how relevant this book would be to me, as I’m a generation younger than the author. I needn’t have worried; from the first
Chapter I was hooked. I know LONDON pretty well but the collection of stories in this wonderful book have given me a new perspective on certain parts of London. Who knew about ‘Frestonia’!!! Roy.

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LONDON MADE US- it certainly reminded me of the good and not so good London.

This is the most fabulous memoir of a talented man in so many ways. Having lived in the same area of NW London, I whole heartedly agree with his brilliant descriptions of the old and the new. The carefree times through the 60s, 70s etc. and how the the present day compares is written by a knowledgeable wordsmith. Even if you don’t live in London, it’s a great read and it will stir up some memories you lived through or heard about.

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Memories

A brilliant listen or read for all middle aged people who used London during the 80's.

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The best recent book about London

An insightful, thoughtful and thought provoking work about a great, ever changing city. The read is as good as you'd expect from an author with such a rich broadcast experience. To listen is to love London more.

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Nice one geezer

Made me want to poke around some old haunts again. A really good listen.

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Brilliant

A great voice, great and interesting view of London. Hope he writes more books.

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Faultless!

Tone, content, memories. I cried at the end for the love of this great City, where my family have lived for generations too!

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  • MJ
  • 27-06-21

London Made Us

Stories that took me back to my own 60s childhood, brought to life brilliantly by Robert. Loved it!

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An engaging and compelling listen

An enjoyable ramble about town with more than one eye on the historical detail, of the place