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Look Up Glasgow [Illustrated] [Hardcover]

Adrian Searle , David Barbour
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
RRP: £25.00
Price: £17.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

7 Oct 2013
Glasgow is Scotland's largest city, its streets a constant frenetic bustle of activity. But rarely do its residents take the time to stop and look up at the extraordinary architectural heritage all around. Glasgow's 'no mean city' image belies this world-class architectural detail, comprising of stunning sculpture, ornament, friezes, gables and decoration, the vast majority of which are hidden in plain sight above eye level. Writer Adrian Searle and specialist architectural photographer David Barbour have scoured the city, bringing together in one volume a fabulous record of the hidden jewels of 'the second city of the Empire', created in a time of great wealth and virtuoso craftsmanship now long gone. The book also includes poetry from six of Scotland's leading poets, responding in very individual ways to Glasgow's extraordinary built environment. Look Up Glasgow will be a beautiful surprise to residents, visitors and non-residents of Glasgow alike, demonstrating that it is much more than just another post-industrial British city. It will be a book that those passionate about the city and of architecture will treasure.

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Look Up Glasgow + The Glasgow Smile: An A to Z of the Funniest City on Earth
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Freight Books (7 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1908754214
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908754219
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 17.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 76,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


'A book befitting the beauty of Glasgow's under-appreciated skyline.' --The List

'[A] fascinating book.' -- Evening Times

'Even those who think they know Glasgow well will find something new.' --The Herald

'...this beautiful book is rich in heritage, visually stunning and a fine tribute to the treasures that sit just below the Glasgow skies.' --Daily Record

About the Author

David Barbour spent 15 years as in-house photographer at international architectural practice BDP. Having travelled the world, in 2012 he chose to go freelance. He lives with his family in the West of Scotland. Adrian Searle is co-editor of Gutter, Scotland's leading literary magazine. He has edited a number of anthologies of new writing including The Hope That Kills Us: An anthology of Scottish football fiction (Freight, 2002) and The Knuckle End: A meaty collection of new Scottish writing (Freight, 2004). He co-authored 101 Uses of a Dead Kindle (Freight, 2012) with the artist Judith Hastie, a BA top five Christmas Book of the Year 2012. The same team will publish If Dogs Could Swear in October 2013.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful souvenir or a great Victorian city 23 Nov 2013
By B.B.
The image of Glasgow, Scotland's largest city, is historically grim. Violence, sectarianism and post-industrial decline. However, little media attention is given to the city's extraordinary Victorian architectural heritage, possible the best - or certainly some of the best - in Europe. This book focuses on architectural detail - sculpture, ornament and the like - which is often easily missed since it is invariably at the tops of buildings. There are lots and lots of great photographs, taken by architectural photographer David Barbour and others, which shine a light on this treasure trove of craftsmanship. The handy captions, gathered at the end of each chapter, cover not only the basic detail but also include interesting history about many of the buildings. And occasional poems inspired by the photos adds an extra dimension. At 270-odd pages its a handsome volume with high production values. A great book to buy and keep - or give as a gift.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely stunning 23 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I've lived in Glasgow all my life, and have always said it's one of the most beautiful cities in the world...if you look up. Well, I have to say, this book is a real triumph, capturing the character of Glasgow in all of the nooks and crannies you'd never think to look. I've recommended it to my foreign friends from University, but also to my local friends from home, because whether you're a tourist or a native, this book will definitely point you in the right direction for some beautiful sights. I recommend bringing along a pair of binoculars to really pick up on the detail of some of the statues and figures depicted, in real life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been better 26 Dec 2013
By lotty
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was a little disappointed that the name of the building was not under the photograph of the carving/gargoile etc., and not even on the same page,and that I had to go to the end of the chapter or district to get the number of the photograph and try to match it to the description. Too much like hard work! This spoiled my enjoyment of discovering some unknown architectural delights.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Glasgow Book 10 May 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Arrived earlier than expected and neatly protected in its package.
A fantastic book and more detailed than I thought and looked more expensive than purchase price. Therefore I am giving this a 5 star rating.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good little book this but try the titles below 23 April 2014
By John
If you want a REAL insight into Glasgow, its places an people, read Colin MacFarlane's fantastic trilogy and best sellers The Real Gorbals Story, No Mean Glasgow and Gorbals Diehards...great stuff and absolutely amazing!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring! 9 April 2014
Look Up Glasgow with its beautiful photographs is a brilliant and unique guide book for both Glasgow insiders and tourists! It really inspires the reader to see Glasgow from a different point of view – especially the pocket version is perfect for taking it with you when exploring the city's architecture.
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5.0 out of 5 stars facinating 6 April 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
only criticism that you had to turn to the back of the book to identify the picture, would have been better had the picture been named on the page.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Poetry Frozen in Stone 3 April 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've lived in or near Glasgow for well over 70 years. Always, like anyone who knows the city well and loves much of what he knows, I've been aware that its vast heritage of handsome Victorian buildings, including many before and after, represents one of the world's most visually impressive cityscapes. But in cities, we hurry and bustle, looking to our next urgent destinations, rarely pausing to let the cityscape snatch our breath away with form, proportion, elegance and, frequently, sheer virtuosity. What Adrian Searle and David Barbour do is to stop us in our tracks and make us look up and observe with a precise beauty and sharpness the sculptural detail that adorns so many of these buildings. They make me go back to many familiar buildings and see them for the first time. They present a stunning tour de force of the "statues, gargoyles and ornament on the walls and roofs of its grand buildings…[and] the city's residents seemed oblivious to their existence".
The photography is sublime (not a word I ever thought I would put in print), precise, evocative, and perfectly lit. It is a wonder that this has been achieved with subjects that are extremely inaccessible. But, further, the images are embellished by a selection of poems that add their commentary to the theme, perhaps especially Look Up Glasgow! by Colin Begg that takes no prisoners in its acid commentary on the merchants who patronised these wonderful architects and sculptors
I love just leafing through this volume in idle moments, picking up snippets wherever the page falls open, but it is organised in seven district covering all parts of the city containing notable sculpture, so it can be used to track down buildings district by district, and each site is accompanied by beautifully written very short notes that tell the reader why the authors thought merited inclusion. So it is a very sensible book, modern and precision built, but overall I just find it a fantastic delight.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Pat Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent exploration of Glasgow's hidden architectural beauty
It's so easy to compare Glasgow to Edinburgh and call Edinburgh the fairer city. There is a more obvious beauty about Edinburgh, with its cobbled streets and new tram system, but... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Have a go Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Photos!
Packed full of fantastic photos of details that we normally miss whilst walking along Glasgow's streets. A great book to dip into at leisure.
Published 7 months ago by Carla Corneli
2.0 out of 5 stars Mmm..room for improvement!
Would have been much better if pictures had a description beside them ,rather than having to constantly refer to back of book ! Was not as good as I anticipated unfortunately
Published 9 months ago by G. Mellin
3.0 out of 5 stars Love Glasgow
Photographs are super but I would have preferred the information on each photo on the same page. You have to scroll to the end of the book to find out where these architectural... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Sandy C
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting with lots of photographs
There are lots of photographs with a bit of commentary on each one. Not as much text as I thought but an informative book. I enjoyed it.
Published 9 months ago by Skinny G
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Art, Excellent Photography
Look Up Glasgow is an artistic representation of Glasgow City which would make an excellent coffee table or gift piece. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Yara
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