Iain Sinclair has been documenting the peculiar magic of the river-city that absorbs and obsesses him for most of his adult life. In The Last London, he strikes out on a series of solitary walks and collaborative expeditions to make a final reckoning with a capital stretched beyond recognition. Here is a mesmerising record of secret scholars and whispering ghosts. Of disturbing encounters. Night hospitals. Pits that become cameras. Mole Man labyrinths. And privileged swimming pools, up in clouds, patrolled by surveillance helicopters. Where now are the myths, the ultimate fictions of a many times revised city?
Travelling from the pinnacle of the Shard to the outer limits of the London Overground system at Croydon and Barking, from the Thames Estuary to the future ruins of Olympicopolis, Iain Sinclair reflects on where London begins and where it ends. A memoir, a critique, a love letter, The Last London is a delirious conclusion to a truly epic project.
Iain Sinclair is the award-winning writer of numerous critically acclaimed books on London, including Lights Out for the Territory, London Orbital and London Overground. He won the Encore Award and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel Downriver. He lives in Hackney, east London.
“In this majestic culmination, Britain’s finest writer wraps up what turns out to have been one enormous opus, puts a truly lustrous finish on our finish, and, as gently as is possible, tells us where we and everything we knew have gone. In a career of masterpieces, this is Sinclair’s masterpiece.” – Alan Moore
“It takes a poet to write prose as good as this. There is no doubt that future historians will have to look to Sinclair for an insight into the London of our era.” – Barry Miles
“Iain Sinclair’s The Last London is an angry, poignant and frequently hilarious elegy to a London that has lost its soul. He chronicles ‘twilight days of tramping in search of mislaid selves, stories uncompleted and forgotten friends’. The post-Brexit gloom never quite overwhelms Sinclair’s phantasmagorical city. The infernal Olympicopolis may inspire dread pelotons of self-righteous cyclists, joggers and Mamils into a war on Sinclair’s trails. But the return of Andrew Kötting and other renegade nonconformists familiar from earlier odysseys suggest that Sinclair is weaving a new myth for a wiser London.” – Toby Jones
“This is vintage Sinclair: mature, acerbic, sharply observant and original, as always. I have admired him since I read his first novel, White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings, a vivid investigation of the Ripper myth. His Lights Out for the Territory remains one of the greatest pieces of non-fiction published in English since the War. In The Last London his imagination is at full force. He has never been better, never been funnier. This is the finest contemporary writing we have. I relished every page.” – Michael Moorcock