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Brick: A World History [Hardcover]

James W. P. Campbell , Will Pryce
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
RRP: 48.00
Price: 38.40 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

27 Oct 2003
This first ever comprehensive study of brick follows the story of brick from 5,000 BC to its use in building today, via the vast baths and basilicas of ancient Rome, through the wonders of Gothic brick in Germany, the majestic temples of Pagan and Mughal mosques in Iran, to its modern revival. Illustrated with specially-taken photographs, "Brick" is at once an historical account of how bricks have been employed by architects of every period, a technical survey of brickmaking and bricklaying, and an essay in architectural and cultural history.

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Brick: A World History + Bricks and Brickmaking (Shire Library) + Geometric Patterns from Tiles and Brickwork
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson (27 Oct 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500341958
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500341957
  • Product Dimensions: 3.4 x 24.4 x 31 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 343,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Glory of Brick, a world history 7 Jan 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This is a fascinating book on a neglected topic. The photographs are ravishingly beautiful and haunting.The well produced and presented text introduces its subject in a way which can be appreciated by expert and layperson alike. The wonderful Images live in the memory. An ideal gift for a valued friend
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great pictures, great text, beautiful book 1 Jan 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
After reading favourable reviews by architectural critics, I was pleased to find that this book exceeded my expectations. The book is an authoritative history of the use of world’s oldest building material. Despite its massive size, it is easy to read and covers a lot of ground, from the origins of the brick in mud-bricks in the Near East to the modern day. The clearly written text is complemented by sumptuous colour photographs. For these reasons, it stands out.
This book certainly opened my eyes to the variety of buildings in which brick has been used and introduced many that I would like to visit myself. It makes you look at the world in a whole new way. It not only covers the shows the wide range of design possibilities but also the practical aspects of building in brick. For the serious student, there is an illustrated glossary at the end. A fascinating book for both students and laymen alike.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really beautiful 23 Nov 2004
Format:Hardcover
I bought this book online after reading a rave review in 'The Guardian'. Jonathon Glancey was right when he pointed out that these books tend to either be attractive or informative but that this triumphs in both regards. It is both well written and exquistely photographed. The categories are well ordered and its range is quite phenomenal; eveything from the Flatiron building to the temples of Pagan to Iranian Moques and great Russian buildings. A masterpiece.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent 12 Oct 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This is a surprisingly fascinating book on a subject I would never have previously considered. The text is concise and seemingly very learned, and the photographs are out of this world. I am particularly interested to see the excellant coverage given to little known but very fascinating structures such as The Tomb of The Saminids in Bukhara and the wonderful temples of Pagan.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More coffee/guide book 7 April 2013
By Arthur
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
After all of the positive reviews, I was fairly disappointed by the book. The review of the technology is fairly general and not very specific. For example, brick composition percentages, firing temperatures, bond patterns, etc. are not discussed very much at all. He talks about Romans sawing bricks, but not what implements they used to saw them nor does the book include any illustrations of such implements from that period. Certainly some must be available from Pompeii.

What is worse is that the illustrations do not seem to be linked to the text. Not only is there no cross-referencing system (i.e. see Fig. 5), but more complicated points are not illustrated, e.g. opus recticulatum, and where there is an accompanying illustration, such as the Temple of Rediculus, the captions do not reflect the text, e.g. 'note the use of red brick highlights and moulded bricks.' Therefore, you must read the text to understand what to look for in the picture. Diagrams of how to lay the bricks to achieve the various designs shown in the photos would have been a great addition.

The photographs are good quality prints. Some have close ups of details. But others, like of the small mausoleum on p. 117, waste good space on the background, resulting in a smaller picture of the building, and do not have a close up of interesting details, in this case the two colour brickwork of the dome. The text often reads like for a guidebook, i.e. building x is noted by its use of y bricks and z patterns. These are great if you are going to visit, but rather weak in the light of limited photography.
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