The Days and Nights of London Now - As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It and Long for It

Craig Taylor

Published: 5 July 2012
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 448 pages
ISBN: 9781847083296


Here are the voices of London - rich and poor, native and immigrant, women and men - witnessed by Craig Taylor, an acclaimed journalist, playwright and writer, who spent five years exploring the city and listening to its residents. From the woman whose voice announces the stations on the London Underground to the man who plants the trees along Oxford Street; from a Pakistani currency trader to a Guardsman at Buckingham Palace - together, these voices and many more, paint a vivid, epic and wholly fresh portrait of Twenty-First Century London.

About the author

Image of Craig Taylor

Craig Taylor is the author of two books, Return to Akenfield and One Million Tiny Plays About Britain, which began life as a column in the Guardian newspaper. Both have been adapted for the stage. He is the editor of the literary magazine, Five Dials. His third book, Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now - As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It and Long for It will be published autumn, 2011. Born in Edmonton, Alberta, he grew up on Vancouver Island. He now lives in London. More about the author


‘[A] splendid oral history of the city... On occasions Londoners attains a level of eloquence as beautiful and blue as anything to be found in the works of Jean Rhys or Samuel Selvon ... A remarkable volume’



Londoners must be 2011's most ambitious and creative book about London ... This is a book to deepen your relationship with London and make you fall in - or out - of love with it all over again ... I can't tell you how much I enjoyed it’

Londoners will tell you more about the multiform life of the capital than a lifetime reading the Evening StandardJoe Moran

‘A cacophonous testimony to the multiple lives of the capital... all life is here in all its dirty, exuberant glory’ Claire Allfree

‘A cracking read’

‘An epic portrait in eighty voices that shows the city to be just as ... well ... Dickensian as it has ever been’ David Nicholls

‘Captures the resilient but inclusive attitude that characterises its residents’

‘Craig Taylor tunes in to the multi-tongued, self-justifying noise of the streets. And he leaves us with a substantial account, not just of our imaginary riverside capital, but, more vividly, of himself: as inquirer, investigator, part of a long and valuable lineage’ Iain Sinclair

‘Fascinating’ William Leith

‘I am crazy about Craig Taylor's Londoners ... I wanted it to go on and on, and I can't imagine any lucky recipient not enjoying it’ Diana Athill

‘Its brilliance lies not in the way Taylor frames the concept but in the way he lets people talk without obvious motive or direction. Five stars.’

‘Memorable, funny and occasionally melancholy... a rich, satisfying tapestry of metropolitan life’ Nick Rennison

‘Ranging from the shocking to the poignant, 80 London voices produce a vivid collage of this impossible city’ Christopher Hirst

‘Stimulating’ Alastair Mabbott

‘Taylor set out to understand London by talking to people about their lives there. It's not an original idea but Taylor has been astonishingly enterprising in the way he has gone about it ... it is to his credit that he has the inspired people he has met to speak so thoroughly about the city and what it means to them ... Often inspiring, occasionally infuriating, always interesting, Craig Taylor has given us something of a Mayhew's London for our own times’ Jerry White

‘Taylor's superb book does full justice to London and its people, and should be enjoyed by everyone, whether they love the place or regret ever having set foot there’ Alexander Larman

‘What I'm really enjoying about the book is the richness of language used by its huge variety of characters’

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