Curiouser And Curiouser

There's always something fun to be had in the peculiar and curious. Having just finished London Curiosities by John Wade, I can happily say that this book proves my point.

I'm honestly surprised that I knew very little of what was mentioned about London considering my penchant for pointless facts and things that make you go "reeeeeeeeeaaaallly?"

One of the things I liked was that we're told the myth and local lore behind some of the oddities. But we're also quickly reminded that little, if any, is provable. It's nice to get the insight into the local area and the local people who probably came up with some of the fanciful ideas. I can almost see an old geezer sitting in a tavern/inn/pub, supping on his pint, regaling some out-of-towners with his idea of how the curio got there, as if it were fact. And that image does make me smile.

I did have a little niggle about the book, a couple of times areas/monuments are brought up in a later section, and this means you end up hearing part of the history again. Admittedly it is in a slightly different way to the first, but when you've been fascinated by what you're reading the whole way through it is disappointing to hit something that is duplicated. I'm reading this as an eBook from Netgalley, and while I'm not a technophobe, I hate trying to flip back and forth to compare things when I can't put my fingers in the pages and instantly go between them. So I will say... it was enough to annoy me (I'm fairly certain it was only twice... I'm easily annoyed), but not enough that it would change my opinion of the book as a whole.

Honestly, I can definitely see myself getting this for friends who like exploring London. About half way through reading I decided I'd have to go back through it and pick my favourite curios and create a map with a walk for them to follow, and fill the book with post-it note tabs so they could go and read all the facts along the way.

I'm almost surprised that there weren't a few maps included for this sort of purpose. It does have a list of postcodes to help people locate the places, but this seems a little like an after thought, and not entirely useful. I suppose it is just assumed that people use their phones to navigate now, but it's not very easy to plan a day out with just postcodes! I'm not sure what I'm complaining for... I'm actually really looking forward to making a map!

This book is really fun, and certainly makes you want to do more research into the things and places mentioned in its pages. It's also the sort of thing I love coming across, as I can see it being a great "stocking filler" for the man who has everything.

Oh, and just in case the author is reading... I've heard Bristol is a very peculiar place to visit... I wouldn't mind reading "Bristol Curiosities". Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.


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