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

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9780007130849: The Groundwater Diaries: Trials, Tributaries and Tall Stories from Beneath the Streets of London

A comic and surreal view of London’s hidden waterways.

Over the last 150 years, 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 and fantasy 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 much 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 our 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. And the journey is interspersed with the author’s unique 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 is a vastly entertaining, wildly amusing tour through a not so familiar terrain.

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Review:

‘Very funny, fascinating, convincing and engaging. Read in small bursts THE GOUNDWATER DIARIES have the wit, energy and attitude of punk music itself which was not without serious cultural importance and even occasional beauty.’ Independent on Sunday

‘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

About the Author:

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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Bradford, Tim
Published by HarperCollins UK (2004)
ISBN 10: 0007130848 ISBN 13: 9780007130849
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