The back cover of Museum Without Walls proclaims, in large capital letters: ‘There is no such thing as a boring place.’ What?! Is this guy going to bore the pants off me? I wondered. Well, my pants stayed largely in position throughout this tumultuous and hefty book, which is mainly composed of journalistic firecrackers about buildings, towns and architects written over the past twenty years or so, as well as six meticulously scored (though fairly unreadable) television scripts. Jonathan Meades is a consistently amusing and provocative polemicist and this book is a rollercoaster ride, though not to be consumed all in one go.
Among the things Meades hates most are Tony Blair (‘our Christian bomber and his gurning hag’), Albert Speer and the Nazis in general (quite an easy target, admittedly), Libby Purves, Buenos Aires, regeneration (‘publicly funded parochial vanity … volume-building in disguise’), affordable housing (‘there is a significant proportion of the