When Christopher Ross put on a hi-visibility vest and joined London Underground as a station assistant, he discovered a Plato’s cave of reflection and human comedy, populated by streakers, buskers, onanists and angry commuters. A meditation on life, a philosophical enquiry into human nature and a profoundly funny dissection of urban madness.
Christopher Ross, philosopher and traveller, decided to cease his journeyings and go underground, working for a year as a station assistant on Platform 6 (northbound Victoria Line) at Oxford Circus. After training school, where he is taught how not to electrocute himself and always to look a member of the public in the eye as they are assaulting you, he faces up to his new duties with a mixture of curiosity and foreboding.
‘Tunnel Visions’ is a delightful mixture of lived experience in the sureal world of London’s Underground and the more elevated ideas, thoughts and imaginings that experience provokes. Oxford Circus station, complete with its weeping wall, its streakers, buskers, onanists and cupboard containing one employee whose ideal working day was to sleep soundly 100 feet below ground, is a Plato’s Cave of reflection and human comedy. Christopher Ross, a still point in the whirling stream of the bizarre and otherworldly life below ground, has written a profoundly funny book.
Reviews of Tunnel Visions: Journeys of an Underground Philosopher
- ‘This is one of the most original and surprising books that I have read for years: a reflection on city life by an unusual mind that proves just how extraordinary the ordinary can be.’ Christopher Matthew, Daily Mail (Critics Choice)
- ‘Ross has produced a truly brilliant book.’ Gary Younge, Guardian
- ‘Very funny…a parable of our times.’ Iain Sinclair, Daily Telegraph
- ‘…this unique, utterly original little philosophical tome. This is pop philosophy in its best sense: a kind of subterranean “Sophie’s World”, but more adult, darker-edged, its modest wisdom harder won.’ Literary Review