The Tube: Background information when reading I See You

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

I See You

by Clare Mackintosh

I See You by Clare Mackintosh X
I See You by Clare Mackintosh
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 2017, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2017, 400 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers

Buy This Book

About this Book

The Tube

This article relates to I See You

Print Review

Map of The TubeThe world's first underground railway opened in London in 1863 between Paddington and Farringdon stations using steam engines to pull gas-lit wooden carriages along the almost four-mile, 6-station, route. In its first twelve months, almost 10 million passengers were transported. The early network was built in shallow tunnels and needed many vents to allow engine smoke and steam to escape. Then, at the turn of the 20th century, the invention of electric traction allowed for much deeper tunnels, and replacement lines were created. Today, The London Underground, known to most as the Tube, serves 270 stations and has 11 different lines that link central London to distant suburbs many of which, 150 years ago, were small villages separated by stretches of open space from each other and from the heart of London. Thus, the Tube (the setting for much of Clare Mackintosh's I See You) has deep roots in London's history; and it adds to the cultural wealth of London in more ways than simply transporting five million passengers a day. For example:

TransporterArt on the Underground was started in 2000 with the goal of exposing contemporary art to a wide audience. Believing that the Tube is not just a mode of transportation, but a "cultural and social environment", Art on the Underground commissions artists to create projects, large and small, that reinvent all sorts of spaces. Artists from London and from around the world are chosen to create temporary and permanent pieces, such as the Pocket Tube map cover series and the ongoing Line series, which weaves a common theme between different train lines. Labyrinth
One recent project, commissioned to mark The Tube's 150th Anniversary, is a series of 270 black and white enamel artworks (one for each station) by Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Wallinger.

Art isn't just on the walls of the trains and platforms, it's also on the seats. Over the years there have been many iconic fabric designs including the one shown to the left introduced in 2010. Just a cool 80s-inspired graphic you say? Seat fabricNo! Look very closely and you'll see that WallaceSewell, a woven textile design company, have hidden four London landmarks in the design: Tower Bridge, Big Ben, St Paul's Cathedral, and The London Eye.

And finally, traveling on the Tube becomes the perfect opportunity for reading stimulating, inspiring and short works of literary art. Poems on the Underground, conceived by the American-born and London-based writer Judith Chernaik has brought poetry to the vast audience of Londoner's and visitors, young and old, since 1986. The poems range in style and include classics, contemporary and international works. Judith Chernaik, as well as poets George Szirtes and Imtiaz Dharker select the poems, keeping in mind London's diversity of cultures which are so vital to the city's rich character.

Chilling Out Beside the Thames
by John Agard, London-based poet from Guyana


Summer come, mi chill-out beside the Thames.
Spend a little time with weeping willow.
Check if den Trafalgar pidgeon still salute
old one-eyed one-armed Lord Horatio.
Mi treat gaze to Gothic cathedral
Yet me chant forget how spider spiral
Is ladder aspiring to eternal truth…
Trickster Nansi spinning from Shakespeare sky.
Sudden so, mi decide to play tourist.
Tower of London high-up mi list.
Who show up but Anne Boleyn with no head on
And headless Ralegh gazing towards Devon.
Jesus lawd, history shadow so bloody.
A-time for summer break with strawberry.

Map of London Underground.
Labyrinth by Mark Wallinger, Green Park station, 2013 Photographer: Thierry Bal.
Transporter, Harold Offeh and young people from Baraka Youth Association and Canalside Activity Centre, Bethnal Green station, 2013 Photographer: Benedict Johnson.
Seat fabric.

This "beyond the book article" relates to I See You. It originally ran in February 2017 and has been updated for the November 2017 paperback edition.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Small Fry
    Small Fry
    by Lisa Brennan-Jobs
    Small Fry is the debut memoir from Lisa Brennan-Jobs, long-time journalist and writer, and oldest ...
  • Book Jacket: The Winter Soldier
    The Winter Soldier
    by Daniel Mason
    Imagine the thousands of confounding cases doctors face routinely for which diagnoses are hard to ...
  • Book Jacket: Brother
    Brother
    by David Chariandy
    Brother is the brief, moving account of how a single, tragic moment in time can alter the course of ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Islamic Enlightenment
    by Christopher de Bellaigue
    In this comprehensive and well-researched history, de Bellaigue examines the evolution of Islamic ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Removes by Tatjana Soli

A powerful, transporting novel about the addictive intensity and freedom of the American frontier.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    French Exit
    by Patrick deWitt

    A brilliant and darkly comic novel from bestselling author Patrick deWitt.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Clockmaker's Daughter

The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton

A rich, spellbinding new novel from the author of The Lake House. On sale Oct 9.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T Turn T S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.