Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available

 
Tell the Publisher!
Id like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Wordplay: The Philosophy, Art, and Science of Ambigrams [Paperback]

John Langdon
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover --  
Paperback 10.37  
Paperback, 1 Nov 2005 --  

Book Description

1 Nov 2005
Take a second look at the cover of this book—this time, turn it upside down. The title, Wordplay, is an ambigram, which means you will be able to read it both right side up and upside down.

You may be familiar with the John Langdon’s ambigrams from Dan Brown’s bestseller Angels & Demons (see pages 186 and 188 of Wordplay), but if this is your first experience with the art of the ambigram, prepare to be dazzled! This lovely updated edition of the classic collection of ambigrams features a section of full-color ambigrams and dozens of stunning, mind-bending examples of this cryptic art form. Each strikingly beautiful and arresting illustration is accompanied by a short essay—sometimes serious, sometimes witty—to delight your brain as much as your eyes. Taken together, the art and the essays show how the very shape of letters can change our idea of words and their meanings. As Dan Brown says in the Foreword of this revised edition, John Langdon brilliantly rearranges the familiar, casting it in a new light.

Both playful and profound, Wordplay will challenge you to take a second look at your world.


Product details

  • Paperback: 203 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (1 Nov 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767920759
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767920759
  • Product Dimensions: 1.6 x 20 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,801,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

"'If you've not experienced the artwork of John Langdon, you're in for a treat. A brilliant alchemist of symbols and language.'" (Dan Brown)

"'I can imagine no reader of this delightful, fantastic volume who cannot enjoy the magic of Langdon's creations and the Taoist insights of his commentaries'" (Martin Gardner)

"'John Langdon is a marvellous creator and a consummate artist. The combination yields some of the most beautiful trompe l'oeil lettering ever designed. Wordplay sparkles with elegant visual discoveries and conveys Langdon's deep love of both pattern and illusion'" (Douglas R. Hofstadter) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A beautifully designed book celebrating and explaining the art of ambigrams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt
Search inside this book:

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Customer Reviews

3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Inspiration 13 Jun 2006
By Spirit
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is fantastic if you want some inspiration...or if you are simply feeling a bit philosophical. Langdon is highly articulate. His intellectual and yet somewhat emotional take on the philosophy behind the symbolism covered in the book is intriguing. The book has a rare quality, in that it can make readers focus the same amount of attention to both the symbols and their explanations, and it leaves you with a desire to go and do something creative.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Metaphor for Non-Duality 22 Nov 2009
Format:Paperback
A totally original and completely fascinating investigation into the way in which many fundamental concepts in life and science are effectively reconciliations of opposites. What we might initially think of as entirely different concepts or feelings may be just opposite poles of a single idea. Happiness and misery, desire and fear, love and hate are obvious examples. Here, Professor John Langdon begins and ends with the Taoist concept of yin and yang and the ancient divination system of the I Ching. But along the way he examines many aspects of the physical world - from astronomy to electricity and mathematics; the natural word - such as seasons and waterfalls; and the world of art and beauty. In each case, he provides stimulating insights into ways of looking at these subjects which will usually not have occurred to us. But - and this is the totally novel brilliance of the book - each topic is illustrated by his wonderful ambigrams. In their basic format, these are words which read the same upside down but here there are many variants, from mirror-image ambigrams to circles, spirals and 3-D models. And the concluding section explains the process of development of this intriguing art form. This is a book that you can pick up and delve into anywhere and enjoy.

If you are wondering why the book should be relevant to Advaita, it is because the ambigram can be seen as a powerful metaphor. Firstly, it presents the appearance of duality but, on investigation is found to be only one - a resolution of seeming opposites. Secondly, the recognition that the symbol is an ambigram does not usually occur immediately. It is only after a period of study and contemplation that the realization suddenly occurs.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ambigrams are Fun 17 Nov 2006
By E. Cheng - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It should be noted that the text "wordplay" on the cover of the book is itself an ambigram. Turn it upside-down and it will read the same as right-side-up. You'll find dozens of examples of ambigrams that the author has patiently created.

I've always had an interest in calligraphy and different typefaces. John Langdon's Wordplay allows the reader to look at this from a different point of view, and brings insight into how he goes about creating his intriguing ambigrams. It should appeal to the type of person who likes visual riddles or illusions. I first learned about the author's work through Dan Brown's Angels & Demons, which features several of Langdon's ambigrams. I'm glad I purchased the book and love looking through it. Recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing and entertaining book 28 Nov 2007
By Gustavo Forster - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is just fantastic. It looks like an art book, but it's more than that. It's a philophy book. John Langdon makes us think about the words he draws and the meaning of them in our lives. Each word is an ambigram, and each one is beutiful and more intriguing than the other.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ambigrasm! 24 Feb 2008
By C. MACHIDA - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
When I showed the cover of this book to my roommate, she started having a hard time focusing and felt dizzy. As she opened the book up and started to puzzle out all the letterforms and artistic fonts, she went into an almost trance like state. She was mesmerized for the next 2 hours as she devoured this book from cover to cover.

After seeing Scott Kim's "Inversions" (as a result from reading "Angels & Demons" by Dan Brown), I became an instant fan of ambigrams. I wanted to pick up anything I could about the unique artform. This book completed my collection.

This book is great for anyone interested in the artistic aspect of letters and the english letterform. Tatoo artists, students, graphic art designers, graffiti artists, kids all love this book. It makes a great coffee table book and is great to stir discussion at an informal get together.

Buy this book not for the words you just read, but for the words you've yet to experience through the hands of John Langdon.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing and Mind-Opening 22 July 2010
By P. Lio - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a gorgeous book of art, really. The ambigrams are beautifully represented here, with a whole color section in the middle that is gorgeous. There are several that I'd love to get posters of, that's how neat they are!

What I also liked is some of the discussion and exploration into making the ambigrams. It is both creative and intellectual, and clearly Langdon is a master thinker and artist.

An incredible coffee table book and one that really ignites the mind, I highly recommend it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Metaphor for Non-Duality 22 Nov 2009
By D. Waite - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A totally original and completely fascinating investigation into the way in which many fundamental concepts in life and science are effectively reconciliations of opposites. What we might initially think of as entirely different concepts or feelings may be just opposite poles of a single idea. Happiness and misery, desire and fear, love and hate are obvious examples. Here, Professor John Langdon begins and ends with the Taoist concept of yin and yang and the ancient divination system of the I Ching. But along the way he examines many aspects of the physical world - from astronomy to electricity and mathematics; the natural word - such as seasons and waterfalls; and the world of art and beauty. In each case, he provides stimulating insights into ways of looking at these subjects which will usually not have occurred to us. But - and this is the totally novel brilliance of the book - each topic is illustrated by his wonderful ambigrams. In their basic format, these are words which read the same upside down but here there are many variants, from mirror-image ambigrams to circles, spirals and 3-D models. And the concluding section explains the process of development of this intriguing art form. This is a book that you can pick up and delve into anywhere and enjoy.

If you are wondering why the book should be relevant to Advaita, it is because the ambigram can be seen as a powerful metaphor. Firstly, it presents the appearance of duality but, on investigation is found to be only one - a resolution of seeming opposites. Secondly, the recognition that the symbol is an ambigram does not usually occur immediately. It is only after a period of study and contemplation that the realization suddenly occurs. In this sense, it is a metaphor for the enlightenment that takes place in the mind on the dawning of Self-knowledge. Lastly, appearances should not be taken at face value. If we look beyond the name and form, as John does in this book, we may discover the unity behind the outward show. Overall, a highly recommended book. (And this has nothing to do with the fact that John has also designed the triple ambigram for the cover of the second edition of `Book of One'!)

Dennis Waite, author of The Book of One (N.B. If the image on the 'Book of One' cover that you see is not an ambigram, it is the wrong one! This is the case as I write this review.)
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category


Feedback