PDF Trains And Buttered Toast: PDF

by John Betjeman

I love Betjeman's poetry, but if I had to read one more reference to ilex trees, stucco walls, Georgian architecture, gimcrack, gas lighting town planners, London spreading like an octopus, or how the Victorians ruined most churches, I was going to throw the book out of a window and have done with it.

Sometimes the writing is beautiful, poetic, and nostalgic in a good way, but a lot of the time it is repetitive and comes across as stilted and as though Betjeman was hopelessly old fashioned. I like to think this has something to do with the selection and the editing, but I fear that if this is a selection of his best radio work then a lot was left out which wasn't work wasting ink on.

Also, I didn't like the edition. The occasional asterisk was used to highlight a salient point, but large lists of names went unexplained, and numerous references and points which a modern reader might not have picked up on were lost in the text. I'd like to see the text annotated in a scholarly way instead of half-heartedly.

By far and away the best chapter of the book was Eccentrics; the English have always had a penchant for producing eccentrics, and we do like to hear about the maddest. But this, again, lost a lot through lack of footnotes.

I do hope listening to Betjeman delivering these essays and talks would have been a lot more enjoyable than reading them.

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File info

Book Title
Book Author
PublisherJohn Murray Publishers
GanreNon Fiction
Release date 01.06.2007
eBook formatPaperback, (torrent)En
File size4.3 Mb
Book rating4.45 (68 votes)
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