“Author Jonathan Raban’s book ‘Soft City’ is a fascinating exploration of the relation between the imagined, personal, “soft city” and the physical built. In the city we can live deliberately: inventing and renewing ourselves, carving out journeys, creating private spaces. But in the city we are also afraid of being. Soft City [Jonathan Raban] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers . A tour de force (Jan Morris) from the winner of the national book critics circle.

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One of the classics of travel writing, this is a prescient exploration of the individual’s relationship with urban living.

Soft City: A Documentary Exploration of Metropolitan Life by Jonathan Raban

El Pinarillo Books Published: It was written in the s and it’s interesting to read from a “how times have changed” perspective as well.

Laura rated it it was amazing Jan 24, Soft City Jonathan Rabab No preview available – Want to Read saving…. Wear and tear on cover. Bound in tan cloth, stamped in red in matching glossy dust jacket. Picador Classic Jonathan Raban As such, it’s a hit an miss affair. But this is a necessary failure, and one from which the reader can learn.

It comes to us as lightly and insidiously as the symptoms of an unconsciously harboured disease. Signed and inscribed by Raban in blue ink on title page with name of recipient erased. Aside from all that, it’s super over-written and pretentious. Beautifully written homage to the multi-faceted lives and possibilities offered by a city. Part reportage, part intimate autobiography, this vivid, often funny portrait of metropolitan life has become a classic in the literature of the city.


His analysis is often really on point and he has a lot of great observations about how we interact with and live in the city. Log-in or create an account first! Soft City Jonathan Raban London: Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Soft city Jonathan Raban Essentially a series of related essays, Raban eschews the statistics that a sociologist would rely on an Written in the early ‘s, The Soft City is a psychological look at the metropolis and its inhabitants, built around anecdote, impression and insight, almost exclusively based on London, with brief interludes into the America of Boston and New York.

Because of this, despite his seeming detachment, an intolerant, fogeyish quality emerged at times. I am guessing Raban was a four-cornered mathematical figure in those days. Brit Books Ltd Condition: World of Books Ltd Condition: His sharp, poignant wit gracefully lightens his factual presentation. Mar 05, Callum McAllister rated it it was ok. The author states the premise of his endeavour in the introduction: The middle section was unfortunately dated and seemed to repeat the book’s earlier thesis that city life opens the sodt to facile thinking about people and one’s self.

He brings to the task the audacity of a 30 years old cit writer, a readiness to disclose his personal intimate experience together with detached erudition, and an incisive analytical mind. Soft city Author s: Your purchase also supports literacy charities. Soft city Jonathan Raban Good.

It records one man’s attempt to plot a course through the urban labyrinth, and holds up a revealing mirror to the modern city, finding it a stage for a demanding and expressive kind of personal drama.

Essentially a series of related essays, Raban eschews the statistics that a sociologist would rely on and instead relies on his own experiences and a handful of sources and literary quotations. Overall a Very Good copy in dust jacket. So not a denunciation per se, and not a denunciation of Orlean, but let me be clear: I would be more than happy to denunciate Raban.


In a very good dust jacket with minor staining to reverse not visible from the front. Refresh and try again.

The city, our great modern form, is soft, amenable to a dazzling and libidinous variety of lives, dreams, interpretations.

While limited by the concreteness of the When and Where, the contrast between the accounts of Islington and Earl’s Court is nevertheless intriguing: A philosophical treatise on the nature of cities. DJ is toned, with a few small tears.

No eBook available Amazon. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Published May 21st by Harvill Press first published January 1st And if you thought that last paragraph did not go anywhere: Trivia About Soft City: We are a world class secondhand bookstore based in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom and specialize in high quality textbooks across an enormous variety of subjects.

Soft City: A Documentary Exploration of Metropolitan Life

Wise Children Angela Carter. I guess it’s because a lot of what he’s observing he’s also very judgemental about, in a way he always frames as something inapplicable to himself.

Most of the book is about a London from the early 19th century Soft in the title, refers to the people populating a city, in contrast to the hard construction materials of the built environment. Advanced Book Search Browse by Subject.