Earthbound : The Bakerloo Line, Paperback

Earthbound : The Bakerloo Line Paperback

Part of the Penguin Underground Lines series

2.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


Paul Morley, author, journalist and cultural commentator, tells the story in Earthbound of post-punk, music and changing times - part of a series of twelve books tied to the twelve lines of the London Underground, as Tfl celebrates 150 years of the Tube with Penguin.

It is also available in a boxset. "The stand-out is Paul Morley's eclectic, headspinning Earthbound mixes memoir and manifesto to create something paradoxical: an obituary for pre-digital ways of experiencing art that's gleeful and inquisitive rather than emptily nostalgic". (The Times). "Authors include the masterly John Lanchester, the children of Kids Company, comic John O'Farrell and social geographer Danny Dorling.

Ranging from the polemical to the fantastical, the personal to the societal, they offer something for every taste.

All experience the city as a cultural phenomenon and notice its nature and its people.

Read individually they're delightful small reads, pulled together they offer a particular portrait of a global city". (Evening Standard). "Exquisitely diverse". (The Times). "Eclectic and broad-minded ...beautifully designed". (Tom Cox, Observer). "A fascinating collection with a wide range of styles and themes.

The design qualities are excellent, as you might expect from Penguin with a consistent look and feel while allowing distinctive covers for each book.

This is a very pleasing set of books". (A Common Reader blog). "The contrasts and transitions between books are as stirring as the books themselves ...A multidimensional literary jigsaw". (Londonist). "A series of short, sharp, city-based vignettes - some personal, some political and some pictorial ...each inimitable author finds that our city is complicated but ultimately connected, full of wit, and just the right amount of grit' Fabric Magazine 'A collection of beautiful books". (Grazia). [Praise for Paul Morley]: "At his best he's the Brian Eno of the sentence". (Time Out). Critic and cultural theorist Paul Morley has written books about music history, Joy Division, suicide, the moog synthesiser and the north of England. A contributor to numerous publications from the Face to the Financial Times, a founding member of the Art of Noise, he appears regularly on BBC 2's The Review Show and has presented radio and television documentaries on many subjects including Brian Eno, boredom, the recording studio and Anthony Burgess.

He uses an unregistered Oyster Card.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Rock & Pop music
  • ISBN: 9781846146459



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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

The author lives on a different planet from the one I inhabit. I found this a tedious book full of strange lists, adjectives and musical references beyond my knowledge. 'How clever I am' seemed to be the message the author was trying to convey.

Review by

Paul Morley manages to cram an awful lot into this this small book celebrating London Underground's Bakerloo Line. Morley first encountered the London Underground in his teens, having moved down to London from Manchester to take up a job writing for the New Musical Express in the late 1970s, coinciding with the upsurge of punk and new wave music. As it happens, Morley managed to catch the fianl days of the "old" Bakerloo Line (i.e. before half of it was hived off to form the Jubilee Line), and he bemoans the way in which the old line had to retain the very old rolling stock (dating from the 1930s, and looking like it) while the Jubilee Line was given the benefit of newer (not exactly new, as they dated form the 1960s) carriages, and saw its stations given at least an attempt at a facelift. As with several of the other books in this series, a description of the line is offered, but is used principally as a hook for enticing insights into the writer's life, and Morley gives us a real treat, with a brief history of the personal stereo (from his first Walkman, brought back from Japan by his girlfriend at a time when they were absolutely unknown in Britain, through to the iPod and MP3 players.As one would expect, he also writes eloquently about the music he would listen to while travelling the few stops along the Line from Swiss Cottage or Finchley Road (now, of course, to be found on the usurping Jubilee Line) into the city centre), including a detailed history of the experimental rock band Can (whom I had never heard of before).As it happens, despite having lived in London for thirty years now I have very few experiences of travlling on the Bakerloo Line, apart form the odd jaunt from Embankment to Paddington when rushing to get a train out West, but having enjoyed this informative and engaging little book I shall make a point of travelling on it much more often.

Review by

An 'out of my comfort zone' book but none the less entertaining if rather short. The author wears his passion on his sleeve.

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