The Last London: True Fictions from an Unreal City (Hardback)
  • The Last London: True Fictions from an Unreal City (Hardback)
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The Last London: True Fictions from an Unreal City (Hardback)

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£18.99
Hardback 336 Pages / Published: 07/09/2017
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I had walked here - and I would soon walk on, I'm not sure where - because my sense was that London, my home for fifty years, was being centrifugally challenged to the point of obliteration; of being unable to say just where, and why, it began and ended.

Iain Sinclair has been documenting the peculiar magic of the river-city that absorbs and obsesses him for most of his adult life. In The Last London, he strikes out on a series of solitary walks and collaborative expeditions to make a final reckoning with a capital stretched beyond recognition.

Here is a mesmerising record of secret scholars and whispering ghosts. Of disturbing encounters. Night hospitals. Pits that become cameras. Mole Man labyrinths. And privileged swimming pools, up in clouds, patrolled by surveillance helicopters.

Where now are the myths, the ultimate fictions of a many times revised city?

Travelling from the pinnacle of the Shard to the outer limits of the London Overground system at Croydon and Barking, from the Thames Estuary to the future ruins of Olympicopolis, Sinclair reflects on where London begins and where it ends.

The Last London is a delirious conclusion to a truly epic project.

No modern writer has so effectively captured the contemporary landscape and psychogeography of London as Iain Sinclair. A novelist, poet and writer of non-fiction, his best-known works include Lights Out for the Territory: 9 Excursions in the Secret History of London, London Orbital: A Walk Around the M25, Edge of the Orison, Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire (shortlisted for the 2010 Ondaatje Prize) London Overground and The Last London.

Publisher: Oneworld Publications
ISBN: 9781786071743
Number of pages: 336
Dimensions: 234 x 153 x 29 mm
Edition: MMP


MEDIA REVIEWS

"Where JG Ballard lauds the sexual aesthetics of the M25, Sinclair gives voice to those living and working beneath it, creating fresh narratives to replace those that the developers steal from us.' - New Statesman, Books of the Year 

"A coming together of everything that has made this great chronicler of the English capital such a compelling and perceptive guide... When late 20th- and early 21st-century London pass into distant history, it is Sinclair who will make sense of a time when 'everything is pop-up, nothing is true" - Observer

"Very few authors have fashioned a London more real than the one we see... Here in this brilliant, crackling series of final walks through the London landscape, he finds the dissolving identity of the city increasingly disconcerting." - Spectato

"One can only marvel at Sinclair's eye for telling detail and his sense of the subtle ironies of modern London life...With its elegantly civilised melancholy for what is lost, neglected or hidden, Sinclair's position is highly seductive." - Daily Telegraph

"The Last London is an elegy for a London that is now over. The artists, the homeless, the eccentrics - the people Sinclair has always been on the side of - are moving out, or being moved out. The city seems to want him out too. He receives cards from estate agents urging him to "sell up, cash in, get out"... He writes a kind of Imagist prose, in which what Ezra Pound called the "luminous details" of poetic observation are compressed and transmuted into something altogether fresh... Like all true styles it's infectious stuff. Read a bit of him and you start to think like him. Read too much and you might try to write like him... Sinclair has always been a collaborator, standing against the co-option of space and narrative by capital and grand political visionaries. Underpinning all his work is a vision of the commons, describing both the places we inhabit and the stories we are allowed to tell, which are out there in the world, waiting to be shared. It's sad to think that London will, of course, go on without him." - Guardian *

'If this really is the last of Sinclair's London, he'll leave you wanting more.' * Prospect *

`Without [Sinclair] there to bear witness to 21st century London, many of the city's historic delights, surreal ironies and brutal hypocrisies would pass by unnamed.' * Financial Times *

`In this majestic culmination, Britain's finest writer wraps up what turns out to have been one enormous opus, puts a truly lustrous finish on our finish, and, as gently as is possible, tells us where we and everything we knew have gone. In a career of masterpieces, this is Sinclair's masterpiece.' -- Alan Moore

`It takes a poet to write prose as good as this. There is no doubt that future historians will have to look to Sinclair for an insight into the London of our era.' -- Barry Miles

`Iain Sinclair's Last London is an angry, poignant and frequently hilarious elegy to a London that has lost its soul. He chronicles "twilight days of tramping in search of mislaid selves, stories uncompleted and forgotten friends". The post-Brexit gloom never quite overwhelms Sinclair's phantasmagorical city. The infernal Olympicopolis may inspire dread pelotons of self-righteous cyclists, joggers and Mamils into a war on Sinclair's trails. But the return of Andrew Kotting and other renegade nonconformists familiar from earlier odysseys suggest that Sinclair is weaving a new myth for a wiser London.' -- Toby Jones
`This is vintage Sinclair: mature, acerbic, sharply observant and original, as always. I have admired him since I read his first novel, White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings, a vivid investigation of the Ripper myth. His Lights Out for the Territory remains one of the greatest pieces of non-fiction published in English since the War. In The Last London his imagination is at full force. He has never been better, never been funnier. This is the finest contemporary writing we have. I relished every page.' -- Michael Moorcock

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