Monday, April 22, 2013

The central [line] clemency

When Rae Joyce bought The 32 Stops, she had already visualised what the book would be like. Danny Dorling is a geographer who's done much to make his subject visually interesting in recent years through the development of spatial maps, so Rae was surprised, when she read The 32 Stops, not to find it stuffed with them in all their primary coloured loveliness. What she was presented with, however, was an intriguing and equally attractive combination of data presented as a sort of soap opera written in a way that could easily pass for a pastiche of Philip Hensher's The Northern Clemency. It wasn't a novel, mind; it was an example of statistics brought to life. Though there were graphs scattered every few pages to remind Rae the characters originated from facts, the narratives were so effective that Rae really began to care about the people marking the x axis of the Central Line, which was, she guessed, the point.


Group 8 said...

Rae is intriguing me with this post. She has encouraged Nu to look up The 32 Stops to see what it is all about.

Rachel Fenton said...

Hehe! Rae is addicted to case studies - of which this is essentially a collection of. She read such a funny one in a criminology journal recently - it had her howling, with cartoon-esque tear squirts, too.