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Normandie Frances Legendary Art Deco Ocean Liner: France's Legendary Art Deco Ocean Liner Hardcover – 3 Aug 2007


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 260 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (3 Aug. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393061205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393061208
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 0.3 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 562,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

John Maxtone-Graham is the author of The Only Way to Cross, which has been in print for almost forty years. He lives in New York City when not lecturing aboard ocean liners and cruise ships.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Richard N. Walker on 31 Jan. 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lavishly illustrated and - unlike some ship books - beautifully written, this book is a worthy memorial to the most glamorous liner that ever sailed, with highly informative sections on Normandie's decorative antecedents, on the origins of Art Deco and her construction, debut, career and demise. As a nice postscript there's also section on what remains of the liner today - chiefly, fragments of her decor, furnishings and memorabilia.

John Maxtone Graham's previous books have been among the most readable on the topic of the great liners, and this one does not disappoint.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gerald David Coleson on 3 Mar. 2009
Format: Hardcover
After hearing about this book in '06, and getting it in October '07, it exceeded my expectations. This book is simply beautiful. The photos are much nicer than in most books I've seen as they are larger and delicious. Historical influence from Exposition des Arts Decoratifs (1925) is a brilliant inclusion. The deck plans illustrated are something I had always wondered about, and it is nice to know what has happened to the remaining relics. There are many nice little visual touches to this book one has to see to appreciate.

A few people in the American reviews have complained about the way this book is written and how the technical aspects of the engines are omitted, but that says more about them than the book. Eloquent writing or speech can intimidate some, but I find it refreshing, and when placed in context with this subject, it seems quite fitting. The visual aspects of this ship are primary, and the technical secondary, although she was a technical marvel of her time.

Influences from SS Normandie interiors can be noted on the Queen Mary 2, and that is no accident. Normandie was a pinnacle for ship design, and this book helps one to understand that.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By mikeisthecity on 31 Mar. 2012
Format: Hardcover
I am a bit of an ocean liner buff. Normandie is one of my favourite ships of all time and as such I have a great hunger to learn as much as I can about it. Maxtone Graham's book seemed ideal.

Although it was expensive I was mighty impressed with its appearance. Disappointment followed; MG's writing is so convoluted I find it an incredibly challenging and frustrating read and henceforth un enjoyable.

The book is packed with images but they ALL have a sickly sepia effect which ruins them. I assume this is an attempt to create a more lavish looking book but in my opinion it makes the images seem less genuine.

If you want a book as an introduction to Normandie I cannot recommend this one. I would much prefer to read William H. Miller or Mark Chirnside.
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Format: Hardcover
Finally a book to do Normandie justice.

Whilst Maxtone-Graham's writing style is a little hard to digest at first (typically a sentence can run to 60+ words!), the visual impact of this book more than compensates. Beautifully illustrated, this book tells the whole Normandie story, from design-influencers through to its tragic loss in New York harbour during the war.

The text brings the ship to life and provides suitable tribute to the men who designed and built her, as well as to all who served on her during her short life.

This is a real coffee-table art book and will satisfy for year to come.
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