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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dame At The V & A In A Nutshell
If you are intending to go to see the exhibition at the V & A or not, then you need this book. It in a nutshell, it contains photos, many close up, of all the main exhibits at the museum. From all the early 'Ziggy' costumes through to the one's he wore for the Reality tour via a breathtaking section based around the Diamond Dogs tour. As no photographs are allowed to be...
Published 18 months ago by Mark Sach

versus
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The star rating for the book is not a reflection of the content but quality.
I was upset when I received this book as it was a present for my partner and though advertised as new and came packaged. It has a hole on one of the pages.

Melanie Ibbotson
Published 8 months ago by Melanie Ibbotson


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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dame At The V & A In A Nutshell, 22 Mar 2013
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This review is from: David Bowie Is (Hardcover)
If you are intending to go to see the exhibition at the V & A or not, then you need this book. It in a nutshell, it contains photos, many close up, of all the main exhibits at the museum. From all the early 'Ziggy' costumes through to the one's he wore for the Reality tour via a breathtaking section based around the Diamond Dogs tour. As no photographs are allowed to be taken at the V & A, this is the closest you will get to seeing these items again. Apart from original lyrics shown full page, and costumes mentioned above, you also get plenty of original period photos, and documents relating to stage productions, etc. My favourite photo is of the original; model of the Diamond Dogs set. As that tour didn't come to the UK, most of us have rarely even seen photos of the set, let alone a working model ! The hardback edition of the book has a lovely velvet feel to both the front and back cover. The book overall is huge, and like the man himself, beautiful.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely superb, production, pictures, text all outstanding, get it quick, 29 Mar 2013
By 
Mr. T. Anderson "onlyconnect" - See all my reviews
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This review is from: David Bowie Is (Hardcover)
I am a big Bowie fan and have a ton of books about him. Created as a companion to the exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, this is one of the best. Several reasons:

1. The exhibition was given full access to the official David Bowie Archive which means there is plenty of material you have not seen before, such as handwritten lyrics with corrections (that line in "Heroes", "and we kissed as though nothing could fall", was drafted as "and we kissed and you felt called"), minor details maybe but it is fascinating to get a glimpse at how these songs evolved. There is also a big focus on costumes, photographed in superb quality, many of which are stunning, as well as photographs, posters, artwork done for album covers complete with some early mock-ups and that I have not seen before, and other memorabilia.

One costume example is Natasha Korniloff's "cobweb bodysuit" designed for the 1980 Floor Show, which has a pair of hands clutching Bowie's chest stitched into it. First we see Mick Rock's photo of Bowie wearing this on stage, then pictures of the costume itself. Fantastic.

2. This is not just a picture book. There is a lot of text, and it's good stuff. The authors are various, but the editors are Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh from the V&A, who take a scholarly approach though they still convey enthusiasm for their subject (and overall this is a book for fans, there is not much here that is negative). There is a lot of factual information though, both biographical and cultural. The cultural bit is important. As you would expect from people working for a museum, the editors are interested in how Bowie was influenced by the culture of his times, and in turn how he influenced it.

The book is organized into nine main chapters. These are as follows:

- Astronauts of Inner Spaces: by Geoffrey Marsh, mainly covers early career in London

- Theatre of Gender: by Camille Paglia, covers Bowie and sexual revolution

- Oh you pretty things: by Jon Savage, about Bowie and youth culture

- Putting out fire with Gasoline: by Victoria Broackes, covers bowie and design, costumes, album covers and more

- Bowie Music: by Howard Goodall, about the music, pictures of lyrics and sheet music

- For 'We are the Goon Squad': by Christopher Breward, about the album covers

- Changes: by Oriole Cullen, an essay on Bowie and fashion

- David Bowie then ... David Bowie now: a roundtable discussion with Christopher Frayling, Philip Hoare and Mark Kermode. Wide-ranging, enjoyable.

- David Bowie is Photographic: by Nicholas Coleridge, short piece on 16 favourite photographs, reproduced in small size on a single page. Most if not all of these pictures are properly reproduced elsewhere, but there are no page references which is a shame.

3. The production is superb. Stitched binding, fabric-covered spine, interesting textured feel to the cover, and excellent reproduction of the pictures. Some of the early pictures are not so good, but this is because of the quality of the originals (or the best copy that was available to the publishers).

Having said all that, some Bowie fans may find the text over-scholarly; I can imagine some finding it pretentious though personally I would disagree. Not a problem though, ignore the text if you don't like it and just enjoy the images.

Anything to criticise? Well, bear in mind that the book was done along with the exhibition, and reflects the content that is there. It is not in any sense a comprehensive Bowie book. The text does tend to focus on the early years which is fair enough since this is when Bowie was culturally most influential, but you could say that it is unbalanced.

As you will note from the above guide to the chapters, the book is not chronological but rather, loosely thematic. A bit confusing, and it means that if you want, for example, all the material relating to the Thin White Duke era, you have to look here there and everywhere.

None of this troubles me in the least. The book exceeded my expectations and is essential for fans (and easier to get than a ticket for the exhibition). Sometimes these exhibition-related books do not stay in print for all that long, so I recommend grabbing it quick.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a great year to be a Bowie fan, 22 Mar 2013
By 
markr - See all my reviews
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This review is from: David Bowie Is (Hardcover)
This is a beautiful book created to accompany the David Bowie Is exhibition at the Victoria and Albert museum. Beautifully illustrated throughout with photographs of clothes and other items from the exhibition this covers the full 40 plus years of Bowie's outstanding career up to the Reality tour. Clothes include the Life on Mars sky blue suit, the Station to Station black suit, the Sound and Vision stage wear designed by Armani, the Ashes to Ashes pierrot costume, numerous examples from the Ziggy and Aladdin Sane tours and the blue suit stage costume from the Diamond Dogs tour which Bowie also wore in the 1985 Live Aid performance, as well as many others.

But there is much more here too, including images of the lyrics from Heroes, Lady Stardust, and Oh! You Pretty Things, complete with Bowie's handwritten scoring outs and amendments. Interspersed through the photographs are a variety of narratives covering Bowie's career and influence from several angles, including his album covers and his influence on fashion and style throughout the years.

2013 is already one of the great years to be a Bowie fan, and this beautiful book just adds to the joy of the new album, and the anticipation of the what might still be to come

Cant wait to see the V&A exhibition for myself!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars David Bowie Is...Dazzling!, 16 July 2013
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After visiting the exhibition at the V&A I really wanted to buy this at the time, but two things stopped me. The first thing is the weight - this is a heavy, heavy book to be carting round busy streets. The second thing was the equally hefty price, which was much more expensive than Amazon.

Anyway, all that aside, I can guarantee that this is a fantastic book, and a must-have for any true Bowiephile. Many things that are in the exhibition are listed - from the rare photos and scrawled lyrics to many of the classic songs, to a large well illustrated section on all the costumes. The latter here is especially welcome, as anyone who's been round the gallery knows that due to the volume of people milling about, and the fact that it's difficult to get too close the costumes. The pictures here are amazing and zoom right in on all the details. There is an extensive text throughout, but this is really more of an ultra-stylish coffee table book. It's well worth going for the hardback edition, which is much more impressive than the paperback.

As someone who has a huge library of Bowie reading material I thought I had just about every book worth having, but this blew me away.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bowie is., 1 Aug 2013
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This review is from: David Bowie Is (Hardcover)
I went to the exhibition in London which was great. This book is excellent.
It is a coffee table book ,very heavy that is why I got it at Amazon instead of carrying
It around London. Also cheaper from Amazon. This book has everything about Bowie. Lots to read and beautiful pics. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have., 31 July 2013
By 
Lorenzo "Lorenzo" (Terranuova Bracciolini (AR)) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: David Bowie Is (Hardcover)
Perfect! Simply perfect.
A must have for all Bowie fans.
I'll wait for an italian traduction.
The hardback version is the best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bowie book, 14 July 2013
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I went to the exhibition and was tempted to buy it there but bought another book so was delighted when I saw it on Amazon with a much cheaper price tag, I was so pleased I told my brother who I went with to the exibition and he also bought one for his wife.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtakingly beautiful, 2 April 2013
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I bought this book because it was cheaper than at the V&A and also I didn't want to carry a 2.5kg tome around London with me! I've already attended the "David Bowie Is" retrospective and this book is a fabulous souvenir of that visit. For anyone who is unable to visit, this book beautifully encapsulates the essence of the exhibition and I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in music of that generation or more specifically, David Bowie fans. There is something to be learnt from the pages within even for the most die-hard fan.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars David Bowie is... beautifully presented!, 26 Mar 2013
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Delighted to open the door on the Saturday to find this book arrived ahead of the estimate, the order had already been amended to arrive earlier on Monday the 25th March... the very day I was going to visit the exhibition behind this book!

I bought this book as no photography is permitted at the exhibition and I wanted to have a permanent reminder of the day, torturous as it was, I resisted opening it before my visit!... its worth noting that here is a lot at the exhibit to take in, its vast and overwhelming and this book is gives you a more leisurely chance to look at anything you missed or couldn't absorb at the time, but don't get me wrong, this is a book that can be totally appreciated as a stand alone piece.

Speaking as a Bowie fan, I would recommend this book to any Bowie fan, beautifully photographed, well bound and larger than A4 in stature its an impressive weighty tome, I'm guessing it will be a firm fave gracing manys a coffee table, BUT this is more than just a 'pretty picture book' , in my opinion it is more insightful and significant than most 'Bowie biogs' which we usually find rehashing a lot of second hand words and the same old quotes and misquotes. Although I haven't had a chance to read all the text yet, just on pictorial merit alone, I see enough of a glimpse of Bowies past captured in highly relevant freeze frames telling his unique story in a 'speaks for itself' unique kind of way which I truly appreciate, this is a fine representation of a vast, archived collection, gathered during a huge portion of a mans lifetime, illustrating a widely varied career simply like no other.

David Bowie is... many things to many people.
David Bowie is... beautifully presented
David Bowie is... Future History and this book recognises that.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars David Bowie is simply exquisite, 22 Mar 2013
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Book arrived this morning, always like when I get a product before the actual release date. Quite simply it's visually stunning, So many great photographs, I've only had a few minutes to glance at the book, but I know it's not going to disappoint.

Certainly a book for any fan of Bowie, this book celebrates his own style as a writer/musician/artist/actor/enigma.
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David Bowie Is
David Bowie Is by Geoffrey Marsh (Hardcover - 23 Mar 2013)
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