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I really enjoyed this piece of nonfiction.
I read it late in 2017, not long after it was published. I think I was most amazed by the environmental impacts of this coal-induced fog that lay London in its choking hold. So many people died--.
And still we're burning coal. Not the Northeastern US so much, but the rest of the country.


This sounds like a really interesting read - I don't read many true crime stories, but I think the dual focus of this book might make it work for me.

Bride of the Book God

I have this on my reading list and hope to get to it soon. I worked with someone who had worked alongside Christie, though she never talked about it. My husband was born in 1951 and had many tales via his parents on what London smogs could be like. Glad you enjoyed this one.


I have heard of the deadly smog, but oddly enough when I read of it in fiction, I always pictured 'fog' as being mist from rain, or rising off the Thames. I'll have to remember it's actually coal smog next time I come across that kind of reference- because it never had the sinister connotation for me before. Mysterious and cloaking yes, but not deadly and dreadful if I was picturing precipitation!


This sounds fascinating. I don’t know if you saw the Netflix series The Crown, but one of the early episodes featured a terrible smoggy fog — not sure if it was this one or an earlier one, but it really showed how they affected daily life, health, etc. You are really reading some interesting non-fiction with this and the book about the little dancer plus crossing off something on your challenge list!


I had no idea that coal was this bad and still being used to this extent. I always thought it was a Victorian era problem that was solved, but even as recent as the 1950s it was causing such drastic problems. Certainly an eye opening book and one I am very much enjoying.


It is much more than true crime (which I am not a fan of either actually). This is closer to social history and environmentalism. It touches on so many things and I am finding it pretty riveting!


That's pretty scary--he sounds like he was pretty charming really, which he must have been to induce those young women to come home with him. It is a little blood curdling to read about his crimes! It is an excellent read--why do those London peasoupers sound so atmospheric--when really they are very scary! Definitely a read I can recommend!


I am not sure if fog and smog are the same thing or not--I always thought of fog as being a meteorological thing, but smog is definitely a product of coal emissions/pollution combined with just the right kind of weather situation--having the right temperatures and winds. But this does put a different shade on the 'romance' of fog. I know that during the Blitz there were nasty crime sprees, too. Nothing like the weather and war cloaking your ill deeds!


I only watched the first episode and meant to get back to it--it is still in my queue. I really need to go back and start watching again--I think 1952 was when Queen Elizabeth was either crowned or preparing for it, so it might well have been the same event. Yes, this and the book about the Degas are both really excellent. The Degas book is actually quite interesting, too, and eye opening as well--she writes about the critical reception of the statue and what Degas intentions were when he created and showed it. I hope this is a good NF reading year--and so far am off to a good start!


I was going to recommend to you the exact same episode. It is memorable because it gives you a visual idea of what it must have been like for people. I experienced smog while living in China in the early 2000s and it was no fun; it was due to factory fumes and yellow sand from the desert, in addition to coal.


I need to catch up and watch it. I liked what little I saw of the Crown--always in need of more time for the things I want to do at home! I imagine the larger cities in China (which must be hugely populated) deal with the same smog problems. It is nasty to think of the air being so dirty that we breathe. This has been an eye opening read!

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