Publishing date etc for 'The Well of Shadows', my memoirs of the London Underground

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Re: Publishing date etc for 'The Well of Shadows', my memoirs of the London Underground

Post  tigerlily on Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:14 pm

I have finished reading cheers

As with most of what we read, there is that bit of us that relates personally on some level to what the author writes. For me with this book it is that, in the end, Eddie gets himself out of Hell. He finally realized that what he started with good intentions years earlier (taking a job with financial security) turned out to be toxic for him. I applaud him for making the conscious decision to take the leap away from this living hell before he lost his nerve, for writing about it (which I suspect was a healing move), and for realizing that we don't need to put up with shit in our lives no matter how old we may be. Life is just too damn short to spend it in misery.

Bravo Eddie! I love you

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Re: Publishing date etc for 'The Well of Shadows', my memoirs of the London Underground

Post  eddie on Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:20 am

tigerlily wrote:we don't need to put up with shit in our lives no matter how old we may be. Life is just too damn short to spend it in misery.

That's the kind of response an author loves: the whole damn opus summarised in a couple of phrases. Thank you, tigerlily. I love you

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Re: Publishing date etc for 'The Well of Shadows', my memoirs of the London Underground

Post  pinhedz on Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:43 am

Yes, escape from Hell is the summation cheers but there is also the economic-trap theme:
"Economic necessity--he had no choice." Neutral

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Re: Publishing date etc for 'The Well of Shadows', my memoirs of the London Underground

Post  eddie on Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:20 am

pinhedz wrote:"Economic necessity--he had no choice." Neutral

Also true, of course. Once this book is finally out there, I'll be back in the jobs market again, for a while at least. Less money with less madness would be fine. Smile

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Re: Publishing date etc for 'The Well of Shadows', my memoirs of the London Underground

Post  eddie on Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:07 pm

I was dreading this, but half expecting it: there will be a delay of up to one month occasioned by a family bereavement before the publication of 'The Well of Shadows', my book of LU memoirs. I'll let you know the new publication day as soon as I can. Apologies.

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Re: Publishing date etc for 'The Well of Shadows', my memoirs of the London Underground

Post  pinhedz on Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:23 pm

Sorry to hear about the family bereavement. Under the circumstances there's certainly no need to apologize (in DC the term "delay" is just the short form of "standard operating procedure").

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Re: Publishing date etc for 'The Well of Shadows', my memoirs of the London Underground

Post  eddie on Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:55 pm

pinhedz wrote:Sorry to hear about the family bereavement.

It's my IT boffin in Wales who's lost a family member, Pinz. I should have made that clearer. Coming on top of her current house move, she's obviously pretty upset. In the face of real life-and-death happenings, literature quite properly pales into insignificance.

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Re: Publishing date etc for 'The Well of Shadows', my memoirs of the London Underground

Post  blue moon on Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:38 pm

Hi eddie. We docked this morning. I arrived home half an hour ago, thanked my house/dog-sitter and logged on before he'd driven away.

I started reading the ms between family outings in Cairns, and got through 3/4 of it. It held the sort of strange fascination for me that occurs to make one not want to put it down. I tucked it into my backpack and finished it during my first watch out of PNG.

For the first half I noted typos and redundancies (old habits fie hard)...then, too absorbed, put the pen down.

My last encounter with the LU was about 34 years ago, and a few year's back i wrote a poem about it, reminded of the encounter after rereading Anna Karenina. I posted it when I was still at ER. I mention this only because of pinz's earlier post here. The poem was inspired because the first read of Anna was on the LU. I couldn't help but think "how things have changed"...except possibly for the feeling of desolation I shared with anna.

trains of thought

On her pallid face
drifts of snow
softly fall.

On the platform
from a red steel engine
black smoke billows
and obscures her
desperate figure
stumbling on numb feet
as she tries
to pace the train
easing from the station
as she races.

Look ahead from that Russia Anna,

imagine me below the ground
in London, far below
those drifts of falling snow,
a million creeping faces gathering
momentum, sweeping past and then

it’s just an empty platform and me
and the warm turbine wind huffing on my cheek,
lifting sheets of newsprint,
stirring soot beneath my feet

as I read of you.



I'm bone-tired and sweltering...I have to fly to Cairns in a day or so to pick up my car and drive it the 800k back home. Rolling Eyes

I'll post my considered opinion later when I'm more articulate. I wouldn't do it justice in my depleted condition (I caught some awful stomach lurgy first trip to PNG that it seems I'm going to have to seek medical advice about...)

...soon Very Happy


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Re: Publishing date etc for 'The Well of Shadows', my memoirs of the London Underground

Post  eddie on Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:02 pm

Welcome back. cheers

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Re: Publishing date etc for 'The Well of Shadows', my memoirs of the London Underground

Post  eddie on Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:35 am

As you were. New IT techno-boffin located. All is well. Stand easy.

And the book is now finally edited, cut, revised, improved, proofread...finished!

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Re: Publishing date etc for 'The Well of Shadows', my memoirs of the London Underground

Post  pinhedz on Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:36 am

eddie wrote:proofread...finished!
What a Face study

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Re: Publishing date etc for 'The Well of Shadows', my memoirs of the London Underground

Post  eddie on Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:40 am

Actually, a book is never REALLY finished. The deadline arrives, that's all.

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Re: Publishing date etc for 'The Well of Shadows', my memoirs of the London Underground

Post  pinhedz on Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:45 am

"A work of art is never finished--it is merely abandoned ..."

-- Who said that? scratch

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Re: Publishing date etc for 'The Well of Shadows', my memoirs of the London Underground

Post  pinhedz on Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:46 am

Allegedly E.M Forster. geek

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Re: Publishing date etc for 'The Well of Shadows', my memoirs of the London Underground

Post  eddie on Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:46 am

pinhedz wrote:
eddie wrote:proofread...finished!
What a Face study

I've double-checked with 'The Guardian Book of English Language', which gives 'proofreading' etc as the correct usage. If The Guardian says it's correct, it must be so.

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Re: Publishing date etc for 'The Well of Shadows', my memoirs of the London Underground

Post  blue moon on Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:09 am

study

Hi eddie.

I really enjoyed your book. I couldn't put it down. I like your writing style and was interested to read about the history, the inner-workings and the hideous working conditons of the LU.

But what really absorbed me was the picture it presents of the narrator. I want the sequal. I want to know what happens to ed. I want his perspective on life in general and the rationale for the choices he makes.

I've worked for a large, impersonal corporation, and as a teacher, so no amount of corruption and stupidity, or the inadequacies and horrors and lack of common-sense involved in economic rationalism surprise me.

But the view into the trials and tribulations (guarded as they sometimes are) of ed's world fascinate me. It's a wonderful first-person account. My taste runs strongly to the autobiographical (with a dash of magic realism), so I find The Well of Shadows is an immensly satisfying read.


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Re: Publishing date etc for 'The Well of Shadows', my memoirs of the London Underground

Post  eddie on Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:16 am

^

I love you I love you I love you

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Re: Publishing date etc for 'The Well of Shadows', my memoirs of the London Underground

Post  eddie on Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:11 am

This morning I received via snail mail 11th-hour permission from the publishers of Peter Ackroyd to use quotations from his work...at a price. Since I'd already despaired of ever getting a response, I'd been paraphrasing the quotes I wanted to use, and generally filling the gaps. I was tempted, then, to laugh this last minute offer to scorn, except that there is one particular quotation I would still rather like to use as an epigraph, viz:

"One sewerman told an interested guest below: ‘You should see some of ‘em under the City. They’re medieval. They don’t show ‘em to visitors.’ In that medieval spirit we read then of a ‘cavernous chamber… with pillars, arches and buttresses, like a cathedral undercroft ‘. It is a strange city beneath the ground, perhaps best exemplified by worn manhole covers which, instead of reading SELF LOCKING, spell out ELF KING..."
(‘London: the Biography’ by Peter Ackroyd. Copyright Peter Ackroyd 2000.)

I'm very tempted. It's a great quote, but do you think it's worth £75 +VAT?


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Re: Publishing date etc for 'The Well of Shadows', my memoirs of the London Underground

Post  Nah Ville Sky Chick on Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:30 am

I don't, that's so greedy. You would think he had made enough money, he knocks out a book a week!

You could always just use the first part of the quote I suppose, seeing as Ackroyd is quoting a sewerman who appears to be anonymous?

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Re: Publishing date etc for 'The Well of Shadows', my memoirs of the London Underground

Post  eddie on Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:35 am

Nah Ville Sky Chick wrote:You could always just use the first part of the quote I suppose, seeing as Ackroyd is quoting a sewerman who appears to be anonymous?

It's the second part of the quote ('SELF LOCKING/ELF KING') I really like.

I agree it's a rip off. Random House's original offer was £150 + VAT to uses 4 quotations from 2 Ackroyd books (London: the Biography & Shakespeare: the Biography) or £75 + VAT to quote from just one book. I've replied stating that I just want to use this one quotation- the other 3 I've either cut or paraphrased. Let's see if they come up with a better offer.

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Re: Publishing date etc for 'The Well of Shadows', my memoirs of the London Underground

Post  blue moon on Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:40 am

My first reaction was to tell them to shove it...but ELF KING's really good.
Any chance of taking a photo of the manhole covers involved, and referring to the photo?

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Re: Publishing date etc for 'The Well of Shadows', my memoirs of the London Underground

Post  eddie on Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:44 am

blue moon wrote:Any chance of taking a photo of the manhole covers involved, and referring to the photo?

Sadly, I've never personally encountered an ELF KING manhole cover. If I had, I'd have disappeared down it years ago. Subterranean homesick blues?

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Re: Publishing date etc for 'The Well of Shadows', my memoirs of the London Underground

Post  blue moon on Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:59 am

I've seen a picture of it on fb...wonder if you can use that, legally. Gotta go to work. Back later.

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Re: Publishing date etc for 'The Well of Shadows', my memoirs of the London Underground

Post  blue moon on Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:58 pm

I'm on lunch. I found this on google...a shot of the original manhole cover. If you right-click on the photo, the licensing info comes up.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/wyrmworld/3292026965/

I'm about to trawl fb for the photo I think I remember. Not sure now if the image got into my head from reading your book, or if I actually saw it. It's a vivid image either way.

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Re: Publishing date etc for 'The Well of Shadows', my memoirs of the London Underground

Post  blue moon on Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:22 pm

I found this quote via the link:
http://www.angelfire.com/weird/junkyard/dodgy.html

All this and more is revealed in the wonderful and highly recommended London Under London – A Subterranean Guide by Richard Trench and Ellis Hillman (new edition by John Murray 1993). This records developments underneath London from the very beginning and includes curiosities like the network of pneumatic pipes that once carried messages beneath the city and the manhole covers marked "Elf King".


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Re: Publishing date etc for 'The Well of Shadows', my memoirs of the London Underground

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