“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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Meticulously researched, Soft City is an insider’s guide to the stresses and strains of city life.

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 student and I couldn’t in good conscious recommend this book to a friend. DJ is toned, with a few small tears. Lau Zhen khai rated it liked it May 26, The city, our great modern form, is soft, amenable to a dazzling and libidinous variety of lives, dreams, interpretations.

Indeed Raban, though professing to love the city, does not seem to have much tolerance for his fellow citizens. No marks in text.

Laura rated it it was amazing Jan 24, Milt rated it liked it Dec 24, My library Help Advanced Book Search. Soft City Jonathan Raban London: 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 proper will first tell strangers that they are from Boston rather than say Roxbury, or what have you.

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

If the effort is ultimately doomed, then Raban is the right guide to follow on the attempt. What it is, really, is jonzthan swathes of directionless prose. Read because of the following sentence in an article on “How digital is making maps personal” [ http: He talks about the shallowness of people’s dress, objects, materialism and such as a way for them to be defined.


There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Beautifully written homage to the multi-faceted lives and possibilities offered by a city.

Soft City by Jonathan Raban

Buy with confidence, excellent customer service! Books by Jonathan Raban. Refresh and try again. Soft City A non fiction book by Jonathan Raban.

His sharp, poignant wit gracefully lightens his factual presentation. In an age when the big city is becoming less popular than ever, this is a passionate and imaginative defense of city life, its “unique plasticity, its privacy and freedom. But he also seems like a man I really wouldn’t like. Rear panel DJ has rabxn full page photo of author.

He brings to the task the audacity of a 30 years old independent writer, a readiness to disclose his personal intimate experience together with detached erudition, and an incisive analytical mind.

New and in stock. Soft Citya work dating back tocontains much of the same award-winning style of narrative, wit and compassion for the subject. The Saint Bookstore Condition: Without ever intending to literarily dominate, conquer, or impose upon wisely recognising that this would be a futile taskthe author captures the intricacy and variety, danger and intrigue, of the city.

The ‘hard city’ is the city of buildings sogt maps, the ‘soft city’ the one that “awaits the imprint of an identity 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.

Lists with This Book. World of Books Ltd Condition: Brit Books Ltd Condition: Picador Classic Author s: It was written in the s and it’s interesting to read from a “how times have changed” Read because of the following sentence in an article on “How digital is making maps personal” [ http: In ‘Soft City’, one of our most acclaimed novelists and travel writers seeks to find out. Jan 08, Mike Mcconnell rated it it softt amazing Shelves: Arundel Books of Seattle Published: Trivia About Soft City: Then of course there’s also ” the shit”, which is actually positive, but I see no reason to go into that here.


A frustrating read, partly because I was expecting it to be so good and much of it was very good.

Soft City: A Documentary Exploration of Metropolitan Life

Some interesting observations, particularly about the different perspectives different people recent arrivals versus old timers can have about the same place. While limited by the concreteness of the When and Where, the contrast between the accounts of Islington and Earl’s Court is nevertheless intriguing: But in the city we are also afraid of being alone, clinging to the structures of daily life to ward off the chaos around us. But he also then talks about how a commitment against materialism and in favour of simple living is another faddish way to live shallowly and goes on about the ugliness of the Hare Krishnas and digs on vegetarians and people who smoke “a joint of marijuana”.

There is a chapter on Boston, and many comments about New York. Jul 24, Rachel Stevenson rated it really liked it. Clearly, the latter is not always a good thing. Dan Hill rated it it was amazing Dec 08, 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 on the nature of cities.

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