Outskirts is dotted with funny anecdotes and familiar cultural references from a 1970s childhood. Grindrod segues elegantly between memoir and fascinating social history
A coherent, deeply researched study . . . the experience of Grindrod's very ordinary yet unique family upbringing forms a logical sequence underpinning much of what he says about the green belt.
A satisfying ramble through the Green Belt of past and future with a backpack full of research . . . thought-provoking [and] compelling'
Well-researched and engaging . . . It allows the reader to reconsider parts of the country that they might have taken for granted, and offers its own modest encomium to a part of England that seems under threat.
A terrific, and very moving read. Fascinating study in the emotional landscapes of cities. A hymn to the peripheral that is totally on target.
Illuminating and enjoyable . . . tolerantly and unsentimentally, he gets us close up to the green belt as it actually is today . . . what truly lifts it is the personal element, above all Grindrod's portrayal of family life.
Grindrod writes beautifully about nature . . . a lucid, evocative book, suffused with sadness and anger.
Very topical . . . interesting and moving . . . Grindrod has the knack of putting an issue into precisely the right perspective
Grindrod's evocative and intelligent exploration of the green belt and its place in our national consciousness is part history and part memoir. He deftly weaves the two together, transforming what might otherwise have been a dry, technical discussion of planning and housing policy into a heartfelt narrative . . . One of the great strengths of Grindrod's book is his moving portrait of his late parents . . . [his] personal yet highly informative account of the origins and meaning of the green belt provides an excellent point of departure for an essential debate about its future, one that is likely to be contentious but is long overdue.
What better lens to view the current friction between nature and our engorged cities than the Green Belt? A brilliant idea, brilliantly executed.