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North Korea Hardcover – 23 Oct 2006

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson (23 Oct. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500543291
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500543290
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 30.5 x 27.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 854,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Review

'Absolutely fantastic ... Chancel's images, much like North Korea itself, emphasise the seemingly innocent, glossily perfect, surface of things' --British Journal of Photography

'Fascinating ... a weighty tome, and so is the contents ... beautiful' --Professional Photographer

'Tantalising' --The Dubliner

'Fascinating and disturbingly beautiful' --Outdoor Photography

'A remarkable coup ... a unique work of reportage'
--Ellesmere Port Pioneer

'Chilling scenography ... a talented survey' --The Daily Telegraph

'A unique work of reportage' --Liverpool Daily Post

'Startling images that are at once impressive and chilling' --Metro

'Beautifully disquieting'
--Esquire

About the Author

Philippe Chancel has worked all over the world and his photographs have been exhibited widely. Michel Poivert is the author of several books on photography. Jonathan Fenby is the former editor of the South China Morning Post and the Observer.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Tirana44 on 20 Dec. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've visited the DPRK. This book beautifully illustrates the unique and sometimes chilling bizarreness of the place. A great book.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Oates on 13 Jun. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Chancel's images of North Korea depict an empty, ordered, inhuman landscape apparently only superficially affected by its citizens.

Criticized by some for his objectivity and seeming unwillingness to comment overtly on the political situation, the work invokes a sense of emptiness and futility which speaks of oppression and a lack of individualism.

The work was shortlisted for the prestigious Deutsch Borse prize and voted best on the shortlist by gallery attendees at London's Photographers gallery.

If you want a guide book to the country don't buy it. North Korean guidebooks don't exist (for obvious reasons)
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robin Benson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 Sept. 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Photo books about North Korea are few and far between and then two come along together (I wonder if publishers just hate that?). The other title is 'Inside North Korea' with photos by Mark Harris. In fact they cover different aspects of the same country.

Philippe Chancel's book essentially covers the capitol Pyongyang but Harris visits several places in the country. Pyongyang is stuffed with bureaucrats, civil servants and the military plus their families so it can hardly be considered truly representative of the country. Chancel's beautiful photos reflect this. You'll have to look hard to find the tell-tale signs of the typical third world city: poverty side by side with the wealthy few, falling apart infrastructure, litter and just too many people. What you will see are wide boulevards lined with apartment blocks, trees and grass covered areas, huge, solid, predictable socialist style museums, monuments and plenty of signage revealing the (wise?) political thoughts of the Great Leader and his lad. It all seems clean, tidy and nothing out of place. Even close-ups of people don't reveal inferior and tatty clothing. For the real Korea you'll have to look at the Mark Harris book.

Both books rightly cover the extraordinary Arirang Massed Games (Chancel has twelve excellent photos) held in the 150,000-seat May Day Stadium where 100,000 performers parade and surrounding them 20,000 to 40,000 students create amazing human pictures by holding flip boards above their heads. How this part of the Games is organised would make a book in itself. Chancel also has several photos inside the Children's Palace showing embroidery, dancing and singing classes. I wonder if this kind of education is the norm outside of Pyongyang?
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5 of 13 people found the following review helpful By G.I.Forbes on 3 Jun. 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book purports to be a photographic journey through North Korea.It fails.The book is divided into 3 parts.Part 1 entitled Appearanes (introduction) is no more than a syncophantic eulogy by the second author(Poivert) of the first authors picures Chancel).The wording of this part is so convoluted,flowery and obscure t..hat it defeats any message it is trying to convey in giving the pictures a "message they do not have.Part 2 entitled A Country Apart (history) is a collection of facts,myths and ledgends that have accumulated over the years and does little to enhance the gravitas of the book.Part 3 is 129pictures.121 of the pictures are of Pyongyang the capital,4are of Panmunjam ,3 are outside the capital while one is a painting.Hardly a picture of North Korea.The Pyongyang pictures are repetative(plackard diplays at the May Day stadium,the Kims,traffic police) pointless(empty rooms,empty spaces,empty roads)while afew are badly lit or exposed.This could hae been a good book with a sensible text and a more balacced spread of pictures.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ita7683 on 3 July 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fantastic quality of photos, of one of the world's most isolated and rigid nations. Everything is for show, and reality doesn't get a look in. What lies under the surface?
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