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Portobello Road: Lives of a Neighbourhood
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Portobello Road: Lives of a Neighbourhood

3.5  ·  Rating details ·  28 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Designed as a series of snapshots, told through the eyes of those who have lived it, this is the alternative history of a street rich in diversity, full of fascinating voices and unlikely encounters. Portobello Road and the surrounding neighbourhood is perhaps the most important source and barometer of social and cultural change in Britain over the last fifty years. Themes ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published July 25th 2014 by Frances Lincoln (first published January 1st 2014)
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Meg - A Bookish Affair
Jul 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, non-fiction, travel
"Portobello Road" is a travelogue that brings to life the sights and sounds of London's Portobello Road area. After reading this book, I know that this is an area that I would absolutely love to visit the next time I happen to be in London. This is a great collection of stories about the people and places that make up this vibrant neighborhood!

I love to travel and when I can't travel, books are definitely one of the best ways to visit a new place without leaving my favorite chair. Hurray for arm
...more
Esther
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a discovered gem. Picked this up on clearance in a local bookstore for next to nothing. It is one of the best things I've read in ages. I lived in this area of London back in the late 90s and retain a lot of affection for it. This book tracks its history - and more widely of Notting Hill. Tales of buildings, immigrants, musicians, market traders, squats, the evolution of the NH festival and so many great characters. Of course like most of London, its mainly gone to billionaires and homogeno ...more
Jeff Howells
Aug 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
In nearly 20 years of living in London, I reckon I've only visited Notting Hill/Portobello Road less than half a dozen times. That being said its held a bit of a fascination for me, partly due to it turning up in early Van Morrison songs, partly because of The Clash, Blur, the film Performance and the film Notting Hill itself. Just the names of the places have an almost mystical resonance. This book is made up of a series of interviews with people who live, work or are associated with the area.. ...more
Silvia Agostini
May 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly interesting book!

Knowing London very little, I found this book in the small bookshop shot in the Notting Hill's movie. The writer clearly loves the area and make you love it too, telling you all its history and many stories from the people who live there.

I have always believed Notting Hill to be a very posh area of London, ideas based on what I have seen in the movie. I was very surprised to discover that it used to be a rough area, famous for being rich of immigration and poverty.

A
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Marlene
Anyone who's been to the Portobello Market in London will be interested in the back story about the area. The author interviewed lots of people who lived and worked in the area over the years - stall owners, artists, writers, West Indian residents, rock musicians and activists. A fascinating view of an area and it's inhabitants.
Amanda
Dec 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Not quite what I expected or hoped for based on the description, but still pretty good. More of a portrait of the history of Portobello road, with a lot of focus on the 1970s. I ended up skimming some of the rock interviews, but the Rhys Ifans section was the perfect way to end the book.
Amanda
Mar 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: at-athenaeum
Not quite what I expected or hoped for based on the description, but still pretty good. More of a portrait of the history of Portobello road, with a lot of focus on the 1970s. I ended up skimming some of the rock interviews, but the Rhys Ifans section was the perfect way to end the book.
Jaslyn
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
This book walks up to the front doors of hairy issues like poverty, social justice, and gentrification, only to take the easy route out: cloying, fanboying nostalgia. It is essentially a curio cabinet stocked with Portobello Road figurines.
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