The Groundwater Diaries

The Groundwater Diaries : Trials, Tributaries and Tall Stories from Beneath the Streets of London

3.24 (25 ratings by Goodreads)
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A surreal view of London's hidden waterways. Since the mid 19th century, most of the tributaries of the River Thames have been buried beneath concrete and brick. Tim Bradford invites you to take a walk with him along the routes of these forgotten rivers. Join him on a flight of imagination back to a time when London was green meadows and rolling hills, dotted with babbling brooks infested with pigs' intestines, dead dogs and floating corpses. Yet this is more than a historical view of London. For it is London seen through the disarmingly left-of-centre world view of Tim Bradford, a man deeply in love with this capital, who sees just as much fascination and culture in a modern-day group of Albanian Patrick Swayze lookalike ladyboys of Haringay as he does in the historical derivation of the area's name. The journey is interspersed with the author's philosophy on such life and death matters as jazz, football, Dickens and jellied eels and some trivial concerns such as capitalism, politics, death and dreams.
"The Groundwater Diaries" is a book for lovers of London who are also endlessly frustrated by the city, an alternative travel guide focussing on those aspects of London you didn't know you knew about and on those quirks you thought only you knew of. Thus we have ruminations on the Raynes Park model railway shop or the legendary late night police bar in Smithfield. Complete with the cartoons and maps that are Tim Bradford's trademark, this book should prove an entertaining tour through a not so familiar terrain.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 148 x 206 x 38mm | 639.58g
  • Flamingo
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 35 b/w illus, (maps), With index
  • 0007130848
  • 9780007130849

Review quote

'Bradford can see the serious in the inconsequential and vice versa. He comes across as the kind of guy you'd love to have a drink or three with.' Glasgow Herald praise for Tim's first book: 'This is an absolute must for anyone who's ever indulged even a moment of romantic yearning for all things Hibernian. Like some latter day Kerouac, Tim Bradford drives around the Emerald Isle in search of captivating wild women, poetry, folk songs and of course, the odd pint or two. He meets Europe's spottiest hitcher and drives along Ireland's worst road; he gives a bluffer's guide to being Irish for those who aren't and provides an essential map of the land showing the distribution of conversational topics including house prices, moving statues and condom availability. Hilarious.' Scotsman
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About Tim Bradford

TIM BRADFORD is a freelance writer and illustrator. He has written for the NME, When Saturday Comes, Empire and Amateur Photographer. His drawings have appeared in the Observer and the Express. He has a regular cartoon column in the Guardian. He lives over a hidden river in north London.
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Rating details

25 ratings
3.24 out of 5 stars
5 20% (5)
4 12% (3)
3 40% (10)
2 28% (7)
1 0% (0)
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