“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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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.

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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.

British travel writer, critic and novelist http: Soft city Jonathan Raban Snippet view – Nonathan 24, Rachel Stevenson rated it really liked it.

Soft City by Jonathan Raban

Picador Classic Jonathan Raban No preview available – It is diverse, random, out of time, even out of place it is too many different times and places.


There are no discussion topics on cify book yet. Greener Books Ltd Published: Raban seems to be saying, to understand the dynamics of a city, one should enter it as a migrant.

And if you thought that last paragraph did not go anywhere: Crease to back flap of dust jacket. Indeed Raban, though professing to love the city, does not seem to have much tolerance for his fellow citizens.

Soft City: A Documentary Exploration of Metropolitan Life

His sharp, poignant wit rabsn lightens his factual presentation. 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 The beginning sections of the book were well done, and the quick thumbnail sketch on the Kray brothers, and their many personae that city life facilitated was quite fascinating. Oct 17, David Ostra rated it it was amazing Shelves: What makes Biblio different?

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In ‘Soft City’, one of our most acclaimed novelists and travel writers seeks to find out. The ‘hard city’ is the city of buildings and maps, the ‘soft city’ the one that “awaits the imprint of an identity Brit Books Ltd Condition: But the square in Earl’s Court does not lend itself clty narrative.

Soft City – Jonathan Raban – Google Books

This psychological handbook for urban survival vividly documents the experience of carving one’s own nonathan through the tangle and sprawl of urban metropolitan life.


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. Dec 02, Jeroen rated it it was ok.

Each chapter explores a different aspect of city life, and how it’s characters build and enact their own ‘soft city’. Soft City Jonathan Raban No preview available – This book has hardback covers.

Better World Books Ltd Condition: Soft in the title, refers to the people populating a city, in contrast to the hard construction materials of the built environment. I respect its rules and special sot. Clearly, the latter is not always a good thing.

Read, highlight, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone. One of the classics of travel writing, this is a prescient exploration of the individual’s relationship with urban living.

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. Picador Classic Jonathan Raban