Book Title: London Tales
Series: Short Stories,Book Two
Author: Tim Walker
Publication Date: 8thNovember 2023
Publisher: Independently published
Page Length: 203
Audiobook: 3 hours
@TimWalkerWrites @cathie.dunn1 @thecoffeepotbookclub @debbiereadsbooks
This collection of eleven tales offers dramatic pinpricks in the rich tapestry of London’s timeline, a city with two thousand years of history. They are glimpses of imagined lives at key moments, starting with a prologue in verse from the point of view of a native Briton tribeswoman absorbing the shock of Roman invasion. The first story is a tense historical adventure set in Roman Londinium in 60 CE from the perspective of terrified legionaries and townsfolk facing the vengeful Iceni queen, Boudica, whose army burnt the fledgling city to the ground.
Further historical dramas take place in 1381 during the Peasant’s Revolt, the Great Fire of London in 1666 and the last ice fair on the frozen Thames in 1814. These are followed by a romance set during the Blitz in 1941, then the swinging Sixties and wide-flared seventies are remembered in the life story of fictional policeman, Brian Smith. Moving on, an East End family get a fright from copycat killings that are a throwback to the 1888 Jack the Ripper murders.
There’s a series of contemporary stories that reference recent events, including the London terrorist bombings of 2005, a literary pub crawl and a daring prison break, building to the imagined death throes of London in a chilling, dystopian vision. These stories are loosely inspired by the author’s personal experiences and reflections on his time living and working in London in the 1980’s and 90’s. Adaptability, resilience, conformity and resolve are recurring themes.
London Tales evokes the city’s rich history and the qualities that were needed by Londoners at various times to survive and prosper – from the base and brutal, devious and inspired, to the refined and civilized.
Available from Amazon in e-book, paperback, Kindle Unlimited and audiobook formats, London Tales is a companion volume to Thames Valley Tales.
Book cover designed by Sean McClean, shows elements from stories.
Available in #KindleUnlimited
4 out of 5 (very good)
Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
What this is, right, is a step out of my comfort and I needed this book right now!
It's a wonderful tale of London, through the ages, told in short stories. You could, I suppose, skip ahead a few stories, and you wouldn't miss anything, other than a few years!
Each story is set at key points along London's timeline, right from when the Romans invaded, up to the present day, told by the Londoners who lived then. Ordinary people telling their extraordinary tales.
I found each story complete, and wholly engaging. I found myself fully engrossed in these tales, all of them. I even recognised a few places when they were mentioned. I'm not a Londoner, but have been a time or two.
As I said, a step off my usual book path, and one that led me to fabulous place.
4 very VERY good stars
** same worded review will appear elsewhere **
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book; the comments here are my honest opinion. *
Tim Walker is an independent author living near Windsor in the UK. Although born in Hong Kong in the sixties, he grew up in Liverpool where he began his working life as a trainee reporter on a local newspaper. After attaining a degree in Communication Studies he moved to London where he worked in the newspaper publishing industry for ten years before relocating to Zambia where, following a period of voluntary work with VSO, he set up his own marketing and publishing business. He returned to the UK in 2009.
His creative writing journey began in earnest in 2013, as a therapeutic activity whilst recovering from cancer treatment. He began writing an historical fiction series, A Light in the Dark Ages, in 2014, inspired by a visit to the part-excavated site of former Roman townCalleva Atrebatum at Silchester in Hampshire. The series connects the end of Roman Britain to elements of the Arthurian legend and is inspired by historical source material, presenting an imagined historical fiction of Britain in the fifth and early sixth centuries.
The last book in the series, Arthur, Rex Brittonum, was published in June 2020. This is a re-imagining of the story of King Arthur and follows on from 2019’s Arthur Dux Bellorum. Both titles are Coffee Pot Book Club recommended reads. The series starts with Abandoned (second edition, 2018); followed by Ambrosius: Last of the Romans (2017); and book three, Uther’s Destiny (2018). Series book covers are designed by Canadian graphic artist, Cathy Walker.
Tim has also written two books of short stories, Thames Valley Tales (second edition 2023), London Tales (2023); a book of verse, Perverse (2020); a dystopian thriller, Devil Gate Dawn (2016); and three children’s books, co-authored with his daughter, Cathy – The Adventures of Charly Holmes (2017), Charly & the Superheroes (2018) and Charly in Space (2020).
Tim took early retirement on medical grounds and now divides his time between writing and helping out at a Berkshire-based charity, Men’s Matters.
Find out more about the author at his website:
Goodreads Author Page:
Amazon Author Page: http://author.to/TimWalkerWrites
Facebook Pages: https://facebook.com/TimWalkerWrites
London Tales and Thames Valley Tales audiobooks were narrated and produced by actor, author and playwright Richard James who has been appearing on stage and screen for over thirty years. Most recently, he played a guest role in Miss Scarlet & The Duke for PBS and Alibi Films and was nominated for 'Best Supporting Performance' at the Off West End Awards for his roles in A Sherlock Carol at the Marylebone Theatre in 2022. The play will be reprised in winter 2023/4.
Richard is on Twitter as @RichardNJames