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Paper: An Elegy Hardcover – 25 Oct 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (25 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007480261
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007480265
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 2.9 x 20.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 335,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Essex, England, Ian Sansom is the author of the popular Mobile Library Mystery Series. He is also a frequent contributor and critic for The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The London Review of Books, and The Spectator. He is a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4.
He studied at both Oxford and Cambridge and is a former Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Currently, he teaches at Warwick University.

Product Description

Review

Praise for ‘Paper’:

‘Engaging and dynamic’ Andrew Martin, Financial Times

‘Wonderfully diverting…Splendidly dense with fact and thought’ Steven Poole, Times Literary Supplement

‘Sansom’s scholarship is prodigious; his enthusiasm inexhaustible…He can make one laugh out loud by his placing of a single word’ Daily Telegraph

‘A collection of ever so erudite, witty, chucklesome essays, rich with digressions and asides, on paper, in many of its guises, that seeks to refute – and does refute – the idea that we are moving towards a paperless world’ Bookmunch

About the Author

Born in Essex, England, Ian Sansom is the author of the popular Mobile Library Mystery Series. He is also a frequent contributor and critic for The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The London Review of Books, and The Spectator. He is a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4.
He studied at both Oxford and Cambridge and is a former Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Currently, he teaches at Warwick University.


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brian Wilson on 4 Dec 2012
Format: Hardcover
Extraordinarily interesting read. My second and favourite Ian Sansom book. References to Paper Mario surprised and delighted me. It almost makes me bad that I'm typing this review online, though...
Great book. Great writer. Extremely entertaining man. Do yourself a favour and procure some papery knowledge! Mammocks.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Feb 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a totally fascinating exploration of paper and the ways it is woven into the fabric of our lives in ways we may not even realise. It isn't a chronological history of paper though there are plenty of historical asides in the book. Throughout the book the author's love of paper in all its forms shines through and it seems to have been a labour of love to write it. I found it an interesting and well written book and I came across a great many snippets of information of which I was not previously aware.

Books - both printed and hand written are discussed as is paper money, which has been around a lot longer than you might think. Labels and packaging are explored by way of Charles Dickens and his job in a blacking factory and Nick Drake provides the title for the final chapter `Five Leaves Left'. Origami merits a chapter to itself - anyone remember Robert Harbin and his fascinating children's programmes? Paper's use in art is explored not just as the surface to which paint is applied but also to make three dimensional models.

The book is beautifully produced and designed. It has a comprehensive bibliography for those who would like to see the sources of the information contained in the book and there is an index.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By dianne vinson on 20 Dec 2012
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Sansom is intelligent and has obviously done much research about endless
uses for paper. But he is funny too! The perfect book to read to learn something
or to be entertained. A gift for all teachers of English lit or readers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Navigator on 21 Mar 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I rather thought this book was going to be one of those slightly worthy plodding accounts of the history of paper since ancient times. Not a bit of it: it's a gushily enthusiastic and very learned eulogy for all things paper. Not just the books but their covers and wrappings and going into areas like Japanese paper clothes and the further reaches of paper technology.

It is happily eccentric, choosing its focus on myriad different areas. But within each of those areas it is admirably learned with wonderful references to any number of disparate other writings - a real tour de force. Occasionally the author forgets his subject is paper and spends his time instead on the object the paper was used for - but who's to quibble over the odd rivulet from a maniac in full flood.

All of these are very minor gripes, it is, in all a tremendous, eccentric, learned miscellany of all things paper and the author deserves congratulation for the way such a mass of material is brought together and on the whole so successfully
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Half Man, Half Book on 20 Feb 2013
Format: Hardcover
A delightful little book celebrating the material that is paper.

This is the type of book that the English do best, quirky, a single subject, and by someone with an obsession boarding on OCD!

It covers all sorts of subjects, from money to origami, it is a book that allows the author to describe his passion for this now ubiquitous material. There are lots of anecdotes and stories, and it is written in a pleasant style, with a moderate number of diagrams.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. Skeldon on 5 Aug 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A misleading title as 'elegy' is a song of praise for the dead, and paper is far from dead. The forecasts of the paperless office never came true, and never will. Full of wonderful anecdotes and useless information that I find myself dropping into conversations, such as the tons of leaflets dropped on Vietnam, the tons of toilet paper consumed by the Chinese, Anyone who enjoys reading and writing will love this book, and it is a must for stationery fetishists like me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By San Diego surfer on 20 Mar 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Paper: An Elegy is an interesting book, examining the ways in which our lives have been dominated by paper and the effect of the increasing 'digitalization' of paper. The book discusses paper in a historical context in an easy-to-read and enjoyable style.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. Burford on 19 Mar 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As the general manager of Frogmore Paper Mill, the world's oldest mechanised paper mill, I'm delighted that Mr Sansom has tackled paper in such an engaging way. Although we all take paper for granted, its actually a very sophisticated product and it is almost impossible to conceive of modern life without it. Super work.
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