The Last London: Book summary and reviews of The Last London by Iain Sinclair

The Last London

True Fictions from an Unreal City

by Iain Sinclair

The Last London by Iain Sinclair X
The Last London by Iain Sinclair
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2018
    336 pages
    Genre: Travel & Adventure

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Book Summary

A memoir, a critique and a love letter, The Last London stands as a delirious conclusion to a truly epic project.

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. If this is truly Sinclair's final word on the city as he claims, he has saved the best for last." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. This is no ordinary memoir, but we wouldn't expect such from one of England's most inventive psychogeographic writers. " - Kirkus

"Readers interested in popular culture and the history of London and who enjoy challenging and provocative essays will find this volume at times enraging, amusing, and eye-opening." - Library Journal

"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." - The Daily Telegraph (UK)

"Across five decades, [Sinclair] has been prowling the streets, part poet, part satirist part prophet. Very few authors have fashioned a London more real than the one we see: Dickens, Conan-Doyle, Patrick Hamilton, Angela Carter. Sinclair is firmly among them." - The Spectator (UK)

"This is vintage Sinclair: mature, acerbic, sharply observant and original, as always...This is the finest contemporary writing we have. I relished every page." - Michael Moorcock, award-winning author and creator of creator of Elric, Jerry Cornelius and Colonel Pyat

"Iain Sinclair's The Last London is an angry, poignant and frequently hilarious elegy to a London that has lost its soul...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 Kötting and other renegade nonconformists familiar from earlier odysseys suggest that Sinclair is weaving a new myth for a wiser London." - Toby Jones, actor

"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, author of V for Vendetta and Watchmen

"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, author of Hippie and William Burroughs

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More Information

Iain Sinclair is the award-winning writer of numerous critically acclaimed books on London, including Lights Out for the Territory, London Orbital and London Overground. He won the Encore Award and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel Downriver. He lives in Hackney, East London.

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