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The Image Men [Paperback]

J. B. Priestley
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

25 Mar 1996
Priestley stated that, of all his novels, he liked this one best. It is a satire of the image-worshipping academic and commercial worlds. Professor Cosmo Saltana and Dr Owen Tuby set up the Institute of Social Imagistics, and in a gullible, self-conscious society they are catapulted to success.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Mandarin; New edition edition (25 Mar 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749322969
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749322960
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 14 x 4.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 734,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A guide to Spin for every age 7 July 2009
Long before Peter Mandelson appeared, Priestley penned this masterful satire on the way images are created and lost. Two down-at-heel academics, Cosmo Saltana and Owen Tuby, invent a "science" called Social Imagistics, which they then proceed to sell as a service to anyone with enough cash. Unlike current spin doctors, they make a point of telling the truth quite openly, which has the farcical effect of improving their image. In one scene, they install a big box full of flashing lights in their swanky offices, and when asked if it's a wonderful new computer, reply truthfully that it's a box with flashing lights. It's a nice mixture of Priestley cynicism, Noel Coward farce and some serious messages about the value - or otherwise - of cultivating an image. Politics, supermodels, advertising, academia are all successfully lampooned. A bit of a predictable happy end, but you can't have everything. Originally published as 2 books: Out of Town and London End.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Proto-campus novel 30 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I must say that I was surprised when a very well-read friend who is a teacher of language and literature recommended this book. That was owing to my prejudice in thinking that J.B.Priestley was more a writer of the 1930s. Although I had read 'Angel Pavement' - not particularly enjoyable for me at the time as I had some affinities with the unfortunate Turgis - and 'The Good Companions', I must admit that I rather categorised Priestley into this era. I was told, however, that 'The Image Men' is remarkably prescient about advertising and the media. As the main action is also set in an imaginary 1960s university, upgraded from a college of advanced technology as was occasionally the pattern, where the main protagonists begin their scheme, it is also an early example of the campus novel. Priestley's conception certainly loses little caste by comparison with 'The History Man', although later novels such as 'Changing Places' have become much slicker and more humorous. What Priestley could do - probably better than those who emulated him - was to handle a large cast of characters. There were maybe a few too many for me to hold in my imagination. But yes, my friend was right, 'The Image Makers' is a good novel, ahead of its time and shows Priestley in a different light from the pipe-smoking old buffer that I had presumed.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good condition 8 July 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
excellent condition for a used book. I'm not reviewing the story since lovers of J B Priestley's stories will know it, otherwise they wouldn't be buying such an old book!
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0 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Image Men 23 May 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An old favourite, bought to replace a copy which was falling appart. Full of interesting mid twentieth century characters, with lots of interacting relationships and a happy ending..
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