I'm a freelance writer currently living in L.A. Home is where the heart is and my heart is in London. I'm a massive music, travel and Arsenal fan.
Published July 31st 2012
Released earlier this year, 'Londoners' is an incredible 413-page hardback collection and portrait of 21st Century London compiled and edited by Canadian born, London resident, Craig Taylor.
Five years in the making, 'Londoners' features over 75 individual, non-fiction stories from residents and former residents of one of the world's most incredible and vibrant cities. Separated into over a dozen sub-sections that include: 'Arriving', 'Getting Around', 'Making A Life', 'Keeping The Peace'; 'Londoners' is a truly engrossing read.
Whilst there are many books about the city, there are two things that make this book unique. Firstly, it's not a book about the city's history although naturally given the city's rich past, many of the stories do incorporate the city's yester-years. Secondly, the book provides a completely unbiased perspective ranging from those who have migrated (legally or illegally) to England and now call London home, people who came and left, people who long to return, people who long to leave, and those who were born and bred in London.
The cast of characters are truly entertaining; a tourist from America, an airline pilot, a currency trader, an actor, a Beefeater, a street photographer, a rapper, a nightclub door attendant, a taxi driver, a social worker, a former guard of the Queen, a suspect, a chef, a street cleaner, a town planner and police officer among dozens of others, each with their own unique perspective and experience.
On a personal note, I loved how 'Londoners' captured and documented the "village" element that's so uniquely London and so important in making this city what it is and what it has always been.
The book also documents the changes that have occurred in London over the years, be it immigration, changes in government, changes in the night club scene, the decline of the city's markets or the slow death of the High Street. Although some of the stories are truly harrowing, 'Londoners' conveys the city's eternal spirit and that no matter the changes, London will always survive.
Told with sincerity and with humour, 'Londoners' includes accounts from every corner of the city from North to South and East to West and while some stories will warm your heart, others will leave you saddened.