Paperback reivew: Earthbound, By Paul Morely

 

Earthbound is part of a new Penguin series, in which authors discuss their favourite London Underground lines. Paul Morley's effort, which focuses on the Bakerloo, takes the form of an enjoyably meandering and opinionated essay – he recounts his own experiences as a bewildered commuter, weaving in digressions on Krautrock, modernist architecture and Impressionist painting.

In teasing out these "various interactions and cross-fertilisations in art and science" Morley may have been influenced by Graham Robb's Parisians, which describes the genesis of Paris's underground in similar terms. Robb tells of how early travellers on the Metro, engrossed in a newly-published Proust, often missed their stop, and had to cross the platform to go back the other way. Start reading Earthbound on the Tube and you'll soon know the feeling.

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