“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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This is a surprising page-turner from beginning to end, and a real classic in the literature of the city. A frustrating read, partly because I was expecting it to be so good and much of it was very good.

Second Story Books Published: Soft city Author s: There is a chapter on Boston, and many comments osft New York.

Aug 21, Nicole Conlan rated it it was ok.

Soft City: A Documentary Exploration of Metropolitan Life

May not contain Access Codes or Supplements. Their perceptions will not develop because they know the city too well, or not well enough, respectively. 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 would be more than happy to denunciate Raban. Beautifully written homage to the multi-faceted lives and possibilities offered by a city. British travel writer, critic and novelist http: 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.


Picador Classic Author s: It may be advisable not to live in or visit a conurbation without a copy.

Soft City – Wikipedia

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. 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. Paul Harris rated it it was amazing Sep 06, Greener Books Ltd Published: Something about the fluidity of the city, its state of flux, its fluxicity: No eBook available Amazon.

But this is a necessary failure, and one from which the reader can learn. What it is, really, is vast swathes of directionless prose. Nicholas sofft it it was amazing Sep 25, 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.


Now it needs a patchwork quilt of intrusions, guesses and observations to get anywhere near its truth. Soft City Author s: Better World Books Ltd Condition: Light citu to boards, dust soiling along the top; dust jacket has just a touch of edgewear, but is not chipped or torn.

That said, its style is creative, vibrant, humming; imaginative and insightful, it is a study that remains as relevant in the 21st century as it was towards the end of the 20th. Zoe rated it really liked it Mar 13, So not a denunciation per se, and not a denunciation of Orlean, but let me be clear: The Harvill Press Availability: Soft City Picador Classic Author s: Good condition, tight binding, unmarked pages.

Cover differs to one shown. The middle section was unfortunately dated and seemed to repeat the book’s earlier thesis that city life opens the door to facile thinking about people and one’s self. Joshua Baines rated it it was amazing Sep 13,