Trans-Europe Express: Tours of a Lost Continent

Matthew Engel at Literary Review:

Hatherley has a remarkable set of skills: he has the architectural, historical and political knowledge and the literary gifts to make him a worthy successor to the late, great and now rediscovered Ian Nairn – and occasionally some of the passion, too. Unfortunately, it all comes together here only in fits and starts. The main reason for that becomes clear at the end, in the acknowledgements, where he admits that the book is ‘essentially an anthology’. The majority of the chapters – portraits of individual cities – started as articles, published elsewhere, mostly in the Architects’ Journal.

There seems to me to be a helluva difference between writing for architects and appealing to moderately intelligent travellers, anxious to be told what they ought to be thinking but confident enough to disagree.

more here.