London Transports, by Maeve Binchy

novellyella's review against another edition

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christ on a bike...

genaralbert's review against another edition

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I enjoyed the short stories very much. I like the way Maeve Binchy develops characters, so sometimes it was a little difficult to let them go do quickly. I prefer to read her novels, but this was a very good collection.

pqlibrarian's review against another edition

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I don't care for her short stories. I don't think the characters are very developed in them.

aqsa_ayman's review against another edition

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A collection of stories that take place in a very ordinary setting, but are so intriguing. The author can make you empathise with these characters even though the stories are not very long, though it’s true that because of this some of the endings feel abrupt, mostly because I want to find out more!

On the other hand, the characters are not very diverse, which I have to note because I feel like multiculturalism is the heart and soul of London. And despite the name and synopsis, I can’t say London has much to do with the stories. Each begins with the name of a place there, but it has little effect on the events, which could have happened anywhere.

As for the narrator of the audiobook, she has a distinctly “posh” accent which I didn’t much like at first. But after a while I realised it was one of the best readings I’ve heard, because I could really believe in the different personalities she portrayed.

torts's review against another edition

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I only read "Marble Arch," but there wasn't really an option to review a single short story so I guess I have to settle for the compilation it's from.

The story was decent: well-realized characters and a straightforward narrative which gradually fleshed out their lives (with pointed sympathy toward the protagonist). Her martyrdom was a bit annoying, though. I presumed that it was some sort of feminist critique of working women as being trapped rather than liberated by the supposed freedom to love/nurture/work as they please rather than as dictated in the old-fashioned role of housewife and mother. But reading about a long-suffering, self-sacrificing woman smilingly being alienated from the contented life she has created was kind of a downer. Or rather, it didn't communicate anything other than the fact that the character's life was kind of pathetic. Even though she was compared to some sort of deity.

I liked the details of the story, though. Like the mentions of specific London things. Particularly as I read the story within a month of having walked through Marble Arch and down Oxford Street and all over London, really. It was pretty nifty to read a story set in a place I'd just visited...