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A History of Capitalism According to the Jubilee Line
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A History of Capitalism According to the Jubilee Line (Penguin Lines – Celebrate 150 years of the London Underground)

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  186 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
'Sometimes you hear people say "Oh I had a nightmare journey on the tube" and you understand that their commute home on the London Underground was more unpleasant than usual. We don't take the word 'nightmare' to mean that in the middle of a packed carriage they literally realised that they were wearing their pyjamas and then felt their teeth crumbling as their childhood ...more
Paperback, 108 pages
Published March 7th 2013 by Penguin UK
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Hayley Fletcher
Mar 26, 2013 Hayley Fletcher rated it really liked it
A thoroughly enjoyable little read set on a Jubilee line stuck in a tunnel. I'm sure many people have experienced similar situations. Hilarious tube announcements informing 'customers' of the situation, the typical characters of the tube including frustrated Northerners and Boris voters, and a well known but well hated political figure. When it comes to it are we lefty because that's what we genuinely think or has it become an anti-establishment fashion accessory? What's better public or private ...more
May 11, 2014 Lorraine rated it it was ok
Dry, dry, dry. Trying too hard to be funnier, but drier than a fortnight-old cake. Has nothing we don't already know -- but then again it could've been more fun if the book were done in a fun way. The 'guest stars' were not funny at all (neither was the 'dry humor').

I suggest that Mr O'Farrell think about what he really wants to do, do the research, and write a sensible essay about it. It might even be funnier.
Mar 12, 2013 Ugh rated it really liked it
This is one of 12 books written in celebration of 150 years of London Underground - one book for each tube line. They're beautiful volumes, but I couldn't afford to buy all 12, so after some slightly painful deliberation I settled for this and the one dedicated to the Central Line.

And O'Farrell's Jubilee Line offering is a dream - its title perhaps seems rather dry, but what lies inside is anything but. However, I don't want to give away any more than the cover already does, as the realisation o
Gavin Felgate
Jan 15, 2014 Gavin Felgate rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Charlie Frame
This is Jubilee Line information. We would like to apologise for the inconvenience while we are being held in the tunnel. This is due to a crisis in capitalism.

The first line of John O'Farrell's novella demonstrates the absurdity that runs throughout it, as it portrays a dream sequence in which people find themselves stuck on an underground train in a tunnel, in a dystopic version of London where their transport system has gone bankrupt. The book's cover alone was enough to make me keen to read
Aug 17, 2013 Ukgardenfiend rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-100-books
This was a very different book and I really think that Penguin have pushed the boat out by commissioning this series with tfl to celebrate the 150 years of the Tube.
According to the description this is: John O'Farrell, author of The Man Who Forgot His Wife, An Utterly Impartial History of Britain and Things Can Only Get Better, turns his comedic genius to the problem of capitalism, encapsulated in a Tube train full of passengers stuck underground. and what we get is a wrapped up as a dream and i
May 23, 2013 Paul rated it really liked it
The copy I read is described on the back cover by John O' Farrell himself as: "Das Kapital meets the Poseidon Adventure somewhere in zone 2." I can't think of any better description. The book is a short story of just a 100 pages that are really easy to read, in my case taking just over an hour or so.

Don't be put off by a rather dry sounding title, the plot is wonderfully witty with a brilliant ending (well first ending, it's all set in a dream so it has the cliché wake up at the very end which I
Niklas Pivic
Nov 11, 2013 Niklas Pivic rated it really liked it
This is dry, thoughtful and very witty English humor, all packed into 107 pages where the author has treated what could easily be a very dulling subject (capitalism) into paranoia and fun; weave into that what you may.

The tube stops on the Jubilee line. The speaker announces that while you shouldn't fret, capitalism has stopped working and while things sort themselves out, yes, you're stuck underground.

So people actually start talking to each other, and what commences is a whirl through modern d
Roxana-Mălina Chirilă
Amusing and interesting, written in an enjoyable, witty style. However, I can't help but feel that it could've been *more*. More details to the debate, perhaps? More of a plot?

It's ambiguous where it needs to be, keeping you wondering how it would end (and it's readable in one setting), but at the same time it feels somehow like too much of an 'in' book, for which you already have to be well-versed in the left-right debate. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it somehow felt as if I
Apr 18, 2013 Helen rated it it was amazing
Oh this was good - for all kinds of reasons. Very funny, very accurate about tube protocol, politically interesting and some wonderful facts about the tube too.Some of it very disturbing if you're worried that John O'Farrell really has dreams like this poor man. One particular image will haunt me forever, thank you John ! A lovely series from Penguin - going for the Paul Morely one next about the Bakerloo line.
Steve Gillway
Mar 31, 2013 Steve Gillway rated it really liked it
A modern equivalentb to "The News from Nowhere" celebrating 150 years of the tube. It is cleverly set out with some excellent oneliners. I wonder if the writer rewrote the final part after his mauling in the Eastleigh byelection. I say this because during the campaign , where he was standing as a Labour candidate, some reporters leafed through his books to came up with some hateful comments against M Thatcher (GBH, and here he is careful to be much nicer to the Iron lady.
May 26, 2013 Jess rated it really liked it
Most interesting looking of the tube line series, and I was not disappointed. This is politics and tube history ultra-lite by a gent who writes comedy for the screen--it's clearly tv writing down to the descriptions of what would be visual gags. A fun little story you can probably get through in a day.
Barry Pierce
Dec 07, 2013 Barry Pierce rated it liked it
Very interesting little book, read it in one sitting. Puts forward some interesting arguements about Capitalism, leftist and rightists, and the private vs. the public sector. Read it for: Interesting facts about the Jubilee Line, a fist-fight between Noam Chomsky and Roger Scruton, and Maggie Thatcher having an epiphany.
Titus Hjelm
Mar 24, 2016 Titus Hjelm rated it liked it
I like the Tube 150 series. I'd only read Danny Dorling's brilliant Central Line study (note: not a story, although told in semi-fictitious form), but was interested, obviously, in O'Farrell's title. The story is good and funny, but perhaps impossible to pull off in a neutral way, which he attempts. Read it for yoursefl to figure out what I'm trying to say...
Jun 16, 2013 clogsilk rated it it was ok
At least this was short. Pretty rubbish that a book written as part of a series celebrating the underground's 150th anniversary contains quite so many mistakes about the line it's writing about and the tube in general. And the plot was as thin as Kate Moss.
Jan 07, 2015 Sacha rated it really liked it
interesting take on british politics. some of it went over my head but i understood the general idea. um margaret thatcher's appearance was both amusing and unsettling.

definitely want to read the rest in this series.
Peter Gates
Jun 19, 2013 Peter Gates rated it liked it
There are not many books which make me laugh out loud. This did. Some really funny stuff. Peters out a bit.
May 17, 2013 Scruffy rated it really liked it
A wonderful read! Had me laughing & thinking in equal measures. Finishing it off during my lunch hour however, has made it far more difficult to return to the mundanety of office life!
Jan 04, 2014 Eric rated it really liked it
A Swiftian allegory of the multipolar interpretations of capitalism and statism. Includes historical figures in new positions...

Fuguey and dreamy.
Jun 03, 2013 Lizixer rated it really liked it
The cover of this is irresistible and is an enjoyable quick read that mixes political philosophy and O'Farrell's comic writing.
Feb 16, 2016 Phil rated it it was ok
Subtitled "A Political Short Story", this contains a couple of good jokes but is generally forced and facile. More Tube history, less 'Idiot's Guide to Marxism' would have been welcome.
May 03, 2013 Seumas rated it it was amazing
I expected this to be a weak book phoned in for the Underground 150 celebration. It's actually a very witty examination of the economic crisis. O'Farrell uses some wonderful imagery.
Richard rated it really liked it
Oct 06, 2014
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Apr 28, 2013
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Oct 18, 2014
Jesse rated it did not like it
Feb 09, 2014
Beatrix Kiddo
Beatrix Kiddo rated it it was amazing
Dec 03, 2013
Cath O'Connell
Cath O'Connell rated it liked it
Apr 10, 2016
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Nov 22, 2014
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Sep 07, 2014
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John O'Farrell is the author of four novels: The Man Who Forgot His Wife, May Contain Nuts, This Is Your Life and The Best a Man Can Get. His novels have been translated into over twenty languages and have been adapted for radio and television. He has also written two best-selling history books: An Utterly Impartial History of Britain and An Utterly Exasperated History of Modern Britain, as well ...more
More about John O'Farrell...

Other Books in the Series

Penguin Lines – Celebrate 150 years of the London Underground (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Blue Riband: The Piccadilly Line
  • Buttoned-Up: The East London Line
  • A Northern Line Minute: The Northern Line
  • Drift: The Hammersmith and City Line
  • Mind The Child: The Victoria Line
  • The 32 Stops: The Central Line
  • Earthbound: The Bakerloo Line
  • Heads and Straights: The Circle Line
  • A Good Parcel of English Soil: The Metropolitan Line
  • Waterloo-City, City-Waterloo: The Waterloo and City Line

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