Cabinet 17: Railroad Books
Paul Theroux, The Old Patagonian Express. By Train through the Americas. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1979.
It seems to me, I own, as if this railway were the one typical achievement of the age in which we live, as if it brought together into one plot all the ends of the world and all the degrees of social rank.... So wrote Robert Louis Stevenson in The Amateur Emigrant (1895). And naturally, books of romance and real life have been written about locomotives, railroads, and rail experiences. The two Paul Theroux books remain classics in their field; Michael Crichton provides a creative insight into the Great Train Robbery of 1855, when £12,000 was stolen; and Bernard Darwins book on the achievements of the men and women of the Southern Railway during the Second World War remains an evocative real-life rail story. The dumpy pocket book is left for train-spotting, after finishing these fine reads.
____, The Great Railway Bazaar. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1975.
Bernard Darwin, War on the Line. The Story of the Southern Railway in War-time. London: The Southern Railway Company, 1946.
The Dumpy Pocket Book of Locomotives. London: Sampson Low, 1961.
Michael Crichton, The Great Train Robbery. London: Book Club Associates, 1976.