Most helpful critical review
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Nicely Produced But A Very Disappointing Text
on 24 March 2011
This is an irritating book about an irritating man. It is true that Taschen art and architecture monographs usually represent outstanding value for money, however, in this case that cannot be said. Whilst the book is nicely produced and contains many excellent illustrations arranged in chronological order, the accompanying text by Jean-Louis Cohen is, in many places, incomprehensible and often downright nonsensical. Reading the introductory text does not give a clear exposition of either the life or work of Corbusier (Charles-Edouard Jeanneret) and reading the texts that accompany sections devoted to his seminal works is rather like joining a conversation that has been in progress for some time. References are not explained or clarified, Corbusier's texts or influences are often mentioned but exactly what the text or influence meant is not made clear and some sentences and phrases are just plain silly, what, for example, is a "narrow cube" ?
There is no critical appraisal of the ideas or plans of Le Corbusier, many of which were unsuccessful and did not work although he has, without doubt, had a tremendous influence on modern architecture. Perhaps I am asking too much of a small monograph, but beware, if you are new to the subject, and it is likely that you are if you are considering buying this introductory monograph rather than a larger tome, you will not be very enlightened by the text. Like many of Taschen's books a chronological summary of the subject's life is provided.