Andrew Saint's review of A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain for the Times Literary Supplement has some nice things to say, and many criticisms.
For Saint, A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain is
no true guidebook at all but a ranting, panting travelogue eked out with provocatively scruffy little photographs ... [Hatherley] doesn't say much that is perceptive because he doesn't really look. He is in much too much of a hurry to place them in cultural context, say something flip, move on and weave his slashing narrative. Haste is both this book's virtue and its vice. It gives it a vitality and immediacy, but does not make for mature criticism ... its instant and local value is enormous. It destroys shibboleths, and its anger, zest and articulacy make one think.
Saint also remarks on the author's "macho façade and ... semblance of hectic movement." Saint, the general editor of the Survey of London, part of English Heritage's Research Department, then attempts "to define the shape of Hatherley's cultural baggage"
Architecture for Hatherley must be hard, sincere, obtrusive, if possible outrageous, by preference connected to the puritan heyday of the welfare state ... Just as for Betjeman the supreme experience might be evensong in a Comper church menaced by an urban motorway, so for Hatherley it is wandering through the deserted Sheffield Markets with hard-rock tracks in his ears, or talking to ex-punks who remember the last days of Hulme.
The Times Literary Supplement website is "under construction." This review appears in the edition of Friday 28 January 2011.