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Around the World in Eighty Treasures (Phoenix Press) Paperback – 6 Oct 2005


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: W&N; New Ed edition (6 Oct 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753819473
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753819470
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 344,929 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

the book allows you to savour at greater leisure his undoubted scholarship. (SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)

a book both solid and lively enough to transcend tie-in status. Cruickshank boasts breadth and depth, bubbling with as much glee over the VW Beetle as the Taj Mahal. (INDEPENDENT)

... beneath the jocular surface lies an entirely serious expertise. The breadth of Cruickshank's knowledge and the very speed of his journey enables him to make striking connections between apparently unrelated cultures... illuminating... inspirational. (THE GUARDIAN)

enthusiasm backed up by impressive research. (SUNDAY TELEGRAPH (TRAVEL))

a highly enjoyable read (COUNTRY LIFE)

Book Description

Dan Cruickshank travels to 36 countries in four and a half months to tell the story of civilisation through the world's greatest treasures.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Harry Carr on 4 Jun 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an avid fan of the BBC show 80 Treasures, and disgruntled at the lack of a DVD for the fine series, Cruickshank's book seemed like a good bet. I am interested in monuments and world history, and so Dan's travel around the world and look into the significance of its architecture in relation to society spoke to me on several levels.

And what a good choice it was to make the purchase! Cruickshank's writing style is quite something to behold when you first encounter it - it's between first- and third-person, past and present narrative, personal and social comment - and crucially it teems with the excitement he clearly has for his endeavor.

The pictures are stunning, but more stunning is the story Cruickshank tells. The story of the treasures and the story of his journey combine to provide a story about life - his conclusion that 'there is a universal religion' offers a fantastic conglomeration of expression and content which pervades the book as a whole.

Highlights include the Giants of Tula, Dan's obsession with eating insects, Petra, The Acropolis, the Taj Mahal and my personal favourite Lepis Magna, in which he manages to bring to life the city both on the page and in the mind of the reader. This is what is truly stunning and moving about the book - the story of the world's past is quite clearly the story of man's struggle to find meaning - to square the circle as Dan puts it - in his own existence, and his treasures and journey explore this to its fullest.

So don't even worry if you disagree with the inclusion of the colt, the death masks, the volkswagen and other such non-architectural treasures, because each one is chosen for its part in the wider story of history, and serves its purpose admirably.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Josquine on 3 Dec 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you missed some of the television programmes, or want a tangible souvenir of them, this is for you. Unlike some books made to accompany programmes, this really is a record of the programme, having been written at the same time as the 5-month, 80-treasure voyage was made, and during which material for the eight episodes programmes was gathered. Here Dan Cruickshank gives us informative background to the treasures, and their descriptions (with many pictures of course), along with his own interesting reflections and musings. In addition there is a lovely map of the treasures' locations around the world.
One gripe. I have a lot of time for Dan Cruickshank. Some are irritated by his whispery soft delivery and some find his foppishly elegant appearance off-putting. Personally I like both. But nevertheless he soon started to get on my nerves as I journeyed through the 248 pages of text. These 248 contain some 233 photographs, and before counting I would have said that DC appears on nearly half of them. In fact he doesn't, he appears on `just' 53 of them. But it feels like lots more. Why so many? What is more, mostly he is looking direct into camera, like the worst of holiday snaps. Including a human figure can be justified in some cases by the need for an indicator of scale, or sometimes to give some human interest. But why always DC? The production team was made up of 5 other people whom it would have been interesting to meet, and these were often joined by a local `fixer', of whom DC sometimes gives colourful descriptions, leading to the hope (always dashed) of a photo of this person on the next page. This aspect sadly reduced the impact for me of this otherwise very enjoyable and different travelogue.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bo Johansson on 28 Sep 2008
Format: Hardcover
Leaving the discussion what to include or not of our world's vast treasures and remote places to visit, I did enjoy Dan Cruickshank's and BBC's DVD episodes thoroughly. Mr. Cruickshank has a very seductively narrative voice, very distinct and alluring, which brings out the unique character of every new place. The descriptions are not too long not too short . The photographer is one of the best I have watched. My curiosity grew and I couldn't stop before I had finished all the episodes. Some reviewer thought it worthwhile having the Book as a fill in so I bought it only to find that some description given in film is the same as in the book. Stylish language, well balanced but nothing new and above all the he enclosed pictures of representative objects and milieus way too small to bring about the feeling of travelling again. It is understandable the book would have become more extensive but then would have served it own purpose as an own standing narrative. What a pity. So I would not recommend the book as a complement to the BBC serial. Therefore medium rating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T. R. Alexander TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 Nov 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Written at the same time as the BBC documentary of the same name this book doesn't only deal with the treasures detailed in the TV show but also sheds some light on some of the troubles and events behind the scenes. As I missed most of the programs when they were originally on the television, this book was a good stand in for those episodes that I missed as the BBC has yet to release the series on DVD. The treasures detailed cover all the worlds' major continents and everything from jewellery, buildings and paintings. Although some of the treasures detailed are not ones I would have chosen but Dan Cruickshank makes them all interesting with his relaxed style of writing. The book does seem to trail off slightly towards the end but this is understandable due to the schedule that the team were on and the fact that they had been travelling the world for five or six months. The book is a must read for anyone who liked the series and even those who missed it should find the book interesting.
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