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Underground Library Binding – 9 Apr 2009


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First Sentence
Beneath the buildings and streets of a modern city exists the network of walls, columns, cables, pipes, and tunnels required to satisfy the basic needs of its inhabitants. Read the first page
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Amazon.com: 31 reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
anatomy of an infrastructure 11 July 2004
By David Group - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book ranks as one of Macaulay's best, as it reveals the networks of systems that are the lifeblood of a city, from various building foundations to sewers to subways, showing how they are constructed and sometimes interact with each other. The text, though minimal, is packed with information, which is supplemented by the superb and detailed drawings. One of the coolest aspects of the book, though, is the views from below, as if a rat with x-ray vision were able to gaze up at this intricate maze of technological wonders. Macaulay's sense of humor is evident throughout, as seen by his inclusion of various critters (including an alligator and an elephant), lots of references to dogs and fire hydrants, a billboard ad for his book PYRAMID, and even a human skull and hand (!!) in one drawing of an excavation. Great fun to read and highly recommended.
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Great Visual Imagination and Wit 1 Jan. 2007
By Marco Antonio Abarca - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Most book illustrators portray buildings from an eagle's eye perspective. A few talented illustrators will open up the buildings and give insightful cross sectional views. What makes this book so special is that David Macaulay shows us buildings from the perspective of looking up from the bedrock on which the building rests. This is unique and is typical of Macaulay's great visual imagination and wit.

This book concentrates on a big city corner where four large buildings sit. The story begins with the foundation excavation, the pouring of foundation pilings and moves up to building infrastructure that sits just below the city street. We are all aware that a great deal of engineering goes into making large cities livable. However, there is nothing like a well illustrated book to help one understand the sheer complexity of our modern infrastructure.

I would recommend this book to older children with an interest in the physical world around them. It is also a great book for adults with an interest in architecture and urban planning. There are illustrators with better drafting skills than David Macaulay but when it comes to sheer imagination, Macaulay is in a league of his own. Highly recommended.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
"What are those round metal things in the street?" 4 Oct. 2002
By KURT H KROHN - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
What Mr. Macaulay does is pull up a city by the roots, shake the dirt off, and take a no-nonsense (well, maybe a little nonsense) look at what is revealed. The illustrations are clear and informative, with just a touch of whimsy. The book covers sanitary sewers, storm sewers, water lines, electricity, telephone, subways and building foundations. A gift for aspiring civil engineers of all ages!
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Great Work! 10 July 2000
By Elizabeth Brady - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
David Macauley's work has just gotten better thru the years ...but even his early books like underground are wonderful! I received this book as a child & I'm now ordering it as a gift.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A new perspective on things 5 Jun. 2007
By AcornMan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Macaulay uses his amazing talents to turn the world upside down in this unique book. Children (and even adults) will learn all kinds of things about what's beneath a modern city. I enjoyed showing my son the illustrations and explaining what it all means. Do beware, however, that this is a pretty abstract topic and that it can be difficult for younger kids to fully comprehend exactly what's going on. After all, thinking about what a city would like like with all the soil and rock removed and from many feet below street level is not a simple idea. So this one is probably best for older kids, as opposed to earlier works by Macaulay such as Cathedral or Castle that are much more tangible and easy for kids to comprehend.
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