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London Made Us

A Memoir of a Shape-Shifting City
Narrated by: Robert Elms
Length: 12 hrs and 9 mins
5 out of 5 stars (37 ratings)

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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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Memories

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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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For anyone who loves London

Excellent book, written and read by Robert Elms. Anyone who's listened to his BBC London radio show will like this. He clearly loves London, both old and new. He also has an eye for the obscure and the hidden bits of 1970s 80s London.

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  • mr
  • 06-08-19

Greatest book I have listened too

If you only listen to one book that is about London , listen to this.. his soul gets into
Yours

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What a pleasure

I enjoy the way Robert Elms is able to talk about one of his pleasures, London.
The delivery wss great and the content absorbing.
A true pleasure, thank you Robert.

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His town, my town

As a regular listener of his BBC London show, I was always going to get this. And get it I did. Robert captures beautifully things past and present, but not mournfully or mawkishly. If you have even a passing interest in London, or indeed Elms, I thoroughly recommend this book to you

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Something of a curate's egg

There is no doubt that Elms is qualified to have a view on the London of today. He is at times eloquent, insightful and
knowledgeable. At others boring repetitive and annoyingly hypocritical - the lower middle class luvvy popping into his club like so many establishment bores of the past. I hated the football but, liked his performance. On balance it is like his radio show. When he gets it right it is spot on.

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Ever changing city

Great listen for anyone who lives or has lived in London and loves the city as much as Robert does.

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Great read and of interest to anyone who has lived in the best city in the world

Loved this book.
As an adopted Londoner, this was fascinating. Many stories brought memories flooding back. But I learned a lot too.
Worth a listen just for the social aspect alone.