Long Road from Jarrow

  • by Stuart Maconie
  • Narrated by Stuart Maconie
  • 12 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Random House presents the unabridged downloadable audiobook edition of Long Road from Jarrow by Stuart Maconie.
In the autumn of 1936, some 200 men from the Tyneside town of Jarrow marched 300 miles to London in protest against the destruction of their towns and industries. Precisely 80 years on, Stuart Maconie walks from north to south, retracing the route of the emblematic Jarrow Crusade. Following history's footsteps, Maconie is in search of what modern Britain is really like today.
Travelling down the country's spine, Maconie moves through a land that is, in some ways, very much the same as the England of the '30s, with its political turbulence, austerity, north/south divide, food banks and, of course, football mania. Yet in other ways, it is completely unrecognisable: highstreets peppered with pound shops and e-cigarette vendors, smoothie bars and Costas on every corner.
Maconie visits the great, established and yet evolving cities of Leeds, Sheffield and London as well as the sleepy hamlets, quiet lanes and roaring motorways. He meets those with stories to tell and whose voices build a funny, complex and entertaining tale of Britain, then and now. Written in Maconie's signature style, this is a fascinating exploration of a modern nation that, though it looks and sounds strangely familiar, has been completely transformed.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Fabulous, edgy recreation of the Jarrow March

Initially, this must have been a simple idea - recreate the Jarrow March 80 years - to the day - after it took place in October 1936, and compare how the walkers fared to what he discovers on his own journey. Typical Maconie, you might think. However, Brexit and Trump hang so heavily over this excellent, thoughtful book, that it becomes - as well as an excellent potted account of the 1936 walk - an analysis of where England finds itself in 2016-17. As you might expect, he is no fan of Trump, May or indeed Brexit itself, nor is he a fan of Corbyn - accusing him, with some justification, of ignoring Labour's traditional working class voters, so typified by the Marchers themselves. Along the way he eulogizes about Leeds has little good to say about Market Harborough, but is charmed by the drinkers in an Italian bar in Bedford, and has other memorable encounters with multi-cultural England, most of them positive.

As you might expect, this is an entertaining book, beautifully read by the author (although be warned that there is some rather jarring editing that almost made me take a star off the performance - but I though to do so would be churlish and insulting to the author). I suspect the strong political slant may grate with one or two listeners, yet as always his points are well made and winningly argued.

Overall,Long Road From Jarrow is funny, educational and actually rather moving. Highly recommended.

PS. Any book that slips in a mention of Yes guitarist Steve Howe is fine by me.

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- Mr SA Lambe

Charming and Evocative

There were times early on in the book where I lost sight of whether this was a then and now tale of English life with the Jarrow Crusade at the epicentre, interjected with feelings of Brexit. or a Brexit tale, interjected with feelings of the Jarrow Crusade. But looking past all that, Stuart meets some fascinating people, and recounts the story of a historic march. All while giving a detailed and enjoyable listen of how different life has changed over these 80 years, and not just on an obvious way. Overall? I loved it.
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- Ed Goodman

Book Details

  • Release Date: 20-07-2017
  • Publisher: Penguin Random House UK