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London (EYEWITNESS TRAVEL GUIDE)
ISBN 1564581837 / 9781564581839 / 1-56458-183-7
Publisher DK Travel
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The essence of London, found "in the swing, tramp, and trudge; in the bellow and uproar; the carriages, motor cars, omnibuses, vans, sandwich men shuffling and swinging; brass bands; barrel organs; in the triumph and the jingle and the strange high singing of some aeroplane overhead..." (Mrs. Dalloway), is ably conveyed in the visual burst of Dorling Kindersley's London guide. This compact book is filled to overflowing with a montage of timelines, street maps, 3-D aerial views, district maps, cutaways of important buildings--including Buckingham Palace and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre--and more than 1,200 full-color photographs.
Like all of DK's books, this reference is overwhelming when you first crack open the pages. There's so much information, you almost don't know where to start. Lucky for tourists, London's editors kept a steady eye on usability when they organized the book. It begins with a short history (mostly conveyed in images) and then moves to an extensive section on the sights and sounds of the city by the Thames. The aim is to give you a "portrait" of each area before divulging the details, of which there is no lack. If you're worried about the practicalities of the trip, fear not: London is on your side. A section on travelers' needs and a handy survival guide--including instructions, complete with photographic aides, on how to use different types of public telephones--should eliminate any apprehension about exploring this wondrous city. Perhaps the most useful feature for those on the go who want portable information, and for those who hate to haul out maps in public ("Hey! I'm a tourist!"), is the "Street Finder," a comprehensive index of street names and 24 pages of corresponding maps. Small enough to fit in your backpack, London is the guide to grab before hopping on the Underground. --Heidi Robinson [via]