Loren's Reviews > Night Haunts: A Journey Through the London Night

Night Haunts by Sukhdev Sandhu
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Oct 11, 12

bookshelves: morbid-books
Read in October, 2012

I picked this up in a travel bookstore in NYC (remember travel bookstores?) because I read the chapter in which the author follows an exorcist around Clerkenwell. It made me remember how much I loved the Mike Carey novels with much the same protagonist -- except that this story is true. It's by far the most interesting story in this book and worth the price I paid for it.

The other pieces are of varying depths and therefore of varying appeal. The text is written in London slang, some of which I got from context and some of which I had to let pass. Even after reading the chapter on mini-cab drivers, I'm still not sure how they differ from black cab drivers. The chapters that shine are the ones where the author spends time with his subjects long enough to individualize them, like the barger on the Thames and the urban fox-hunter.

There are snide comments made repeatedly about the ravers and other partiers of the London night, but apparently our author couldn't find any to hang out with, because they remain shadowy shallow caricatures. There is also a serious lack of women in the book, for whatever reason. One would expect there are many working through the London night, even in legitimate jobs.

I don't know if this book is available electronically, but that might be a better way to read it, so that you don't have it taking up shelf-space afterward.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by ♍ichael Ƒierce (last edited Nov 04, 2012 12:15AM) (new)

♍ichael Ƒierce Doesn't sound like something I'd be into.

I just wanted to say it's a really great review and I really liked reading it!


message 2: by Michael (new)

Michael Black cabs you probably recognise as the archetypal London taxi, and these are the ones you can hail from the roadside. Mini-cabs are cars of any make or model that have been licensed to carry passengers, but which have to be booked from a central office: they can't be hailed from the roadside. They tend to be cheaper than black cabs, but the drivers are usually less reliable as they probably haven't done The Knowledge: memorising all the London streets and the routes between them, which black cabbies have to do. Better than a sat nav, usually!

Sadly, there a numerous cases of people taking unlicensed mini-cabs and being assaulted or murdered. If you're visiting London, hail a black cab, or book a mini-cab through a legitimate company, but don't get in a mini-cab waiting at the road-side. Like all big cities, London does still have a heart of darkness.


Loren Thanks! I hope to get back to London soon. Nice icon, btw. Be seeing you.


Loren Michael wrote: "Doesn't sound like something I'd be into.

I just wanted to say it's a really great review and I really liked reading it!"


Aw, thanks!


message 5: by Michael (new)

Michael Loren wrote: "Thanks! I hope to get back to London soon. Nice icon, btw. Be seeing you."

Under the green dome :-)


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