"Novelist and biographer Wilson's history of London encompasses much English history yet spends a fair amount of time on the modern city. It moves chronologically, but by an association of ideas sometimes hard to follow, especially by ear. A true conservative, Wilson is harshly critical of much in modern London, and he dwells too long on parochial concerns, of interest only to Londoners. Christopher Kay, a fine reader, provides accents, dialect, and even imitations, but his cultured, quiet voice belies, rather than expresses, Wilson's often acerbic tone. He is too urbane. Still, the book, if jaundiced and at times too narrow, is well written and, with Kay's help, gets the job done. W.M. (c) AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine"