Penguin Underground Lines

August 7 2013
3:00 PM

London is filled with stories. For the 150th anniversary of the Tube, Penguin asked twelve authors to tell their tales of the city. Danny Dorling, Fantastic Man, John Lanchester, John O’Farrell, Kids Company, Leanne Shapton, Lucy Wadham, Paul Morley, Peter York, Philippe Parreno, Richard Mabey and William Leith published their accounts, each inspired by a different underground line. Read individually, they’re delightful small reads; pulled together, they offer a particular portrait of a global city. Artist and filmmaker Philippe Parreno’s Drift takes us on a psychogeographical path through London. “This is my rather steampunk proposal: a time machine. While you read this book you will go back in time. It takes an hour to read the book and it takes an hour to reach Barking station from Hammersmith station. This is an hour in twenty-one years.” So begins the artist, exploring the meaning of time and consciousness—the result is a paperback manifesto. London is also a center of cutting-edge fashion, and in the tale Buttoned-Up, the creators of “the best fashion mag out there” Fantastic Man, Gert Jonkers and Jop van Bennekom, tell us the history of the button-down shirt, encompassing music, street style, cool locations and east London at large. With star contributors and fashion shoots, this is a fashion magazine in a book. (Ingrid Melano)