“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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Rather than being open-minded a lot of the time he sees himself as being solely correct.

Things improve though, via an interesting look at the newcomer ‘Greenhorn’ to the city, and how it encourages us to make personas, become a character; like the fantasist Ronnie Kray projecting his elevated self-image as a ‘gangster’ onto the city, rather than appear as what he actually was, a slow-minded criminal thug. Raban’s dialogue is truly a joy to read. Soft City Jonathan Raban No preview available – This psychological handbook for urban survival vividly documents the experience of carving one’s own path through the tangle and sprawl of urban metropolitan life.

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.

jonatthan Competence in the uniquely imaginative and creative life of a big city is something to be proud of, and even the oddest, most ramshackle characters can possess it. 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, rabam around anecdote, impression and insight, almost exclusively based on London, with brief interludes into the America of Boston and New York.

Anthony Wong rated it did not like it Oct 12, To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Bound in tan cloth, stamped in red jonqthan matching glossy dust jacket. Dec 20, Jane rated it liked it.


Soft City – Jonathan Raban – Google Books

Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Soft city Rabann, Jonathan Paperback. Soft city Jonathan Raban Snippet view – After all those pages I A very frustrating read, particularly because it is clear that Raban is a capable writer, and probably some sort of capital-I intellectual.

Quotes from Soft City: We are guided not only by Raban, but by Henry Mayhew and Charles Booth, along with numerous others from the cannon of city planning. Also weirdly sexist and sexual in ways that it didn’t need to be, which I think was partially the style of the time and partially just that weird older intellectual dude sometimes being a weird creep kinda deal.

Most of all, what is the point? My library Help Advanced Book Search. Milt rated it liked it Dec 24, I respect its rules and special skills. Written in and definitely feels dated. And if you thought that last paragraph did not go anywhere: Flicking between many cities, but primarily London and New York, the reader is shown the true horror and, to an extent, joy of life in a modern metropolis.

After all those pages I’m not quite sure. Jan 04, Chris Marmo rated it really liked it.

I would be more than happy to denunciate Raban. Nicholas rated it it was amazing Sep 25, The reasons why people flock to cities, why some stay and why some leave are some of the many topics covered. Trivia About Soft City: A very frustrating read, particularly sogt it is clear that Raban is a capable writer, and probably some sort of capital-I intellectual. Each chapter explores a different aspect of city life, and how it’s characters build and enact their own ‘soft city’.

Xoft city Jonathan Raban E.

Soft City by Jonathan Raban

Its history stopped when householders could no longer afford squads of servants – somewhere between and Cover differs to one shown. Clearly, the latter is not always a good thing. Laura rated it it was amazing Jan 24, 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.


His novel, Waxwings, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and his most recent work of fiction, Surveillance, was published in to much acclaim.

Soft City: A Documentary Exploration of Metropolitan Life

The closing Boston section was astute in its observations and pretty damned interesting in its argument that Boston isn’t really a city on par with London or New York; rather it’s a city that resisted the cacophony of big city life by instead allowing small towns and villages to keep their independent identities Puritanesque thinking was Raban’s conclusion –ironically, today those folks who live outside of Boston eoft will first tell strangers that they are from Boston rather than say Roxbury, or what have you.

We aim to provide a vast range of textbooks, rare and collectible books at a great price. World of Books Ltd Condition: Ex-library with wear and barcode page may have been removed. Picador Classic Jonathan Raban No preview available – Soft City Jonathan Raban London: 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 ciyt London, with brief interludes into the America of Boston and New York.

There was a lot of really interesting stuff in here, but I think a lot of it was only interesting to me as an Urban Planning grad st A philosophical treatise raaban the nature of cities.