Top critical review
38 people found this helpful
on 30 April 2014
I have generally been a fan of Paul Atterbury's pleasant railway pictorials, though I have often thought they would have benefited from better maps.
So when I came across this title on Amazon, I thought "Oh, good! He (or his publisher) has heard enough muttering about maps, and decided to do a book that corrects the shortcoming!"
I wasn't silly enough to believe that the book would actually be about "mapping" - that was surely a marketing choice, with no particular interest in accuracy.
But I did expect some samples of different maps, an interesting level of detail.
Between the author and the publisher, they found one old map, with no other apparent redeeming factor beyond being out of copyright so they could use it for free. They then proceeded to cut that aesthetically unappealing scrap into regional chunks, color code the lines, blow them up larger than the scant detail justified, and go to press. While surely congratulating themselves on having met the expectations of undiscerning book buyers.
Discerning map lovers should look elsewhere. I suggest various Times/Collins books by Julian Holland - access to the Bartholemew mapping, and generous inclusion, places them a world above what is found here.
Other than that, is a pleasant enough hodgepodge of interesting pictures and trivia - failing perhaps in any sense of completeness due to having too narrowly defined what qualifies for selection, while still including so many that those included are merely glossed over, before moving on to the next.
I pick it up, look through it casually until something intrigues me, then put it down to go to a better book - or Wikipedia - to find more and better information, or more gratifying entertainment.