Soft City: Picador Classic - Picador Classic (Paperback)
  • Soft City: Picador Classic - Picador Classic (Paperback)

Soft City: Picador Classic - Picador Classic (Paperback)

Paperback 320 Pages
Published: 19/01/2017
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Jonathan Raban's Soft City is a compelling exploration of urban life: a classic in the literature of the city. First published in the 1970s, it is now more relevant to today’s overcrowded planet than ever.

With an introduction by Iain Sinclair.

In the city we can live deliberately: inventing and renewing ourselves, carving out journeys, creating private spaces. But in the city we are also afraid of being alone, clinging to the structures of daily life to ward off the chaos around us.

How is it that the noisy, jostling, overwhelming metropolis leaves us at once so energized and so fragile? In Soft City, Jonathan Raban, one of our most acclaimed novelists and travel writers seeks to find out.

'A psychological handbook for urban survival' – Sunday Telegraph

Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9781509823413
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 216 g
Dimensions: 196 x 130 x 20 mm


'A psychological handbook for urban survival' - Sunday Telegraph

'A brilliant hymn to urban disorientation and weirdness . . . Reading it on buses I felt I was looking into my fellow passengers' minds, which was creepy, and that I was offering them the means to loook into mine, which was terrifying' - Peter Robins

'A marvelous picture . . . Soft City shows how, in the midst of physical decay, a city can flourish by fulfilling an elemental need, the need to play out fantasies of self' - New York Times

'A tour de force' - Spectator

'Raban looks at London with the omnivorous, scandalised relish of Dickens and Mayhew and General Booth' - Sunday Times

'The self that confronts the city is chameleon and caddis-worn, changing colour, aggrandizing objects and districts; and it tries on masks, a range of personae through which different styles and attitudes can speak... Often, Soft City is Walden in reverse; Raban goes to the city to find himself' - Encounter

'His approach is impressionistic rather than quasi-scientific, but his impressions are sensitive and informed and worth any amount of meaningless statistics and academic jargon' - Washington Post

'Raban's is the picaresque novelists's eye' - London Magazine

'A highly intelligent enquiry' - Waugh, New Statesman

'A perceptive and illuminating thesis which draws on acute observations of what makes the city tick, what makes it exciting, what frustrates and what inspires' - Architectural Design

'An absorbing book' - Observer

'His metropolis is not the rational, order-imposed "hard" city perceived by the logical mind of town planner or traffic engineer, cartographer or demographer. It is the more elusive but no less real city that oozes out from between the grid lines, smudges and smears the statistics with something messy, irrelevant but impossible to ignore' - Times

'Soft City is a must' - Time Out

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