Destinations Magazine

World Book Night No.24

By Lwblog @londonwalks
Tonight is World Book Night.
World Book Night is an annual celebration of reading and books which takes place on 23 April. It sees passionate volunteers give hundreds of thousands of books away in their communities to share their love of reading with people who, for whatever reason, don’t read for pleasure or own books.
It is run by The Reading Agency - the charity with a mission to give everyone an equal chance to become a reader. Because everything changes when we read.
In the UK 35% of people don’t regularly read despite reading for pleasure being a globally recognised indicator in a huge range of social issues from poverty to mental health.
World Book Night is about giving books and encouraging those who have lost the love of reading – or are yet to gain it – to pick up a book and read. Line by line, paragraph by paragraph until they too have discovered the power of reading and the opportunities in life that reading can open the door to.
For World Book Night events in London visit the World Book Night Website
To mark the occasion, we're reblogging 24 classics (one every hour!) from our London Walks Reading List series…
World Book Night No.24 The Great London Reading List! Essential London books that Londoners take away on holiday to remind them of home… books visitors should read before arriving in London… fact, fiction, poetry, all genres welcome. If you’re in the mood to recommend a great London bookshop, too, we’d love to hear it!  All suggestions to the usual address, please, or leave a comment below or get in touch via Twitter @londonwalks.
From Hell
Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell

The business of telling the Jack the Ripper tale on a nightly basis is no straightforward task. Other London tales sit still, remain constant. Jack is fluid.
The facts of the story remain the same – and there is no better place to read them than Donald Rumbelow’s definitive book The Complete Jack The Ripper. We’ll cover that well-respected work a little later in this series.
World Book Night No.24The facts of the tale, however, are constantly buffeted by the winds of conspiracy. With all those theories flying around, with all the perpetual beard-scratching and pontificating on the nature of the killer’s true identity, it is surely only a matter of days before we can pull back the curtain, rip off the madman’s mask and stamp Case Closed on the whole affair once and for all.
Yet each new “theory” seems to take us further from a resolution than ever before. Each “new” idea, each “new suspect” merely adds another distorted looking glass to the already labyrinthine hall of mirrors that the case can become in the hands of a poor, if enthusiastic storyteller.
That’s not to say that the conspiracy theories are without value. They work particularly well in the slab of modern Grand Guinol that is the graphic novel From Hell – the source work for the Johnny Depp film of the same name. It joins our series on the recommendation of a number of Daily Constitutionalists and London Walkers:
KEVP commented right here on The DC:
“I do like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but I really think that the Alan Moore book of most interest to London Walkers is his book about Jack the Ripper – entitled "From Hell". It combines the facts of the case together with all the mythology of Jack the Ripper, and places it all within the mystical architecture of the streets of London.”
Indeed KEVP, we agree; it’s a perfect blend of fact and riveting fiction with clear indications from Moore where "The scene depicted here is invention". Yet the drama never flags.

Kate Weikert 
added her review to our Facebook page:
“Just finished with From Hell a couple of weeks ago. Thought-provoking stuff, not just with the pretty spectacular London geography. I definitely appreciated the epilogue/historiography at the end.”
As a post-script, we also picked up a couple of recommendations for further graphic novel reading on Twitter (@londonwalks)Tim Bird tells us…
It's Dark In London is a collection of shortish comics coming out in March, which looks really good. Various writers including Alan Moore, Iain Sinclair, Neil Gaiman. It came out a while ago, but is being reprinted by Self Made Hero publishers.”
Thanks Tim, we’ll look out for it.
And finally this from Paul Hunter, also via Twitter. We’d asked for recommendations for great London-set graphic novels and here was Paul’s reply:
“Hi guys. Try 'The Human Test Part I" written by me ;o)”
Thanks Paul!
World Book Night falls on the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth. To mark the occasion, here's the BRAND NEW London Walks Podcast, Shakespeare & London…

A London Walk costs £9 – £7 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at
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