71 of 78 people found the following review helpful
great book, but not enough pictures...,
This review is from: The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance (Hardcover)
I can't remember when the Economist last urged readers to "buy two copies" of a book, before this came along. I would recommend the same. The book starts out as a personal quest, a family history, and seamlessly incorporates the social, cultural and political history of 19th-century Paris and 20th-century Vienna, plus some deep thoughts on art and objects, the act of owning and losing, leaving and remembering. Sometimes people who don't write for a living outwrite all the other professionals, and Mr de Waal is one of them. Luminous, condensed, thoughtful prose. Wonderful!
The cover wasn't very enticing but it is nicely bound - it looks and feels better than the jpg image. However, there are not enough pictures (photos) to accompany the text. If you were to name your book "The Hare With Amber Eyes", and keep talking about netsuke for hundreds of pages, wouldn't the readers be entitled to look at at least SOME of them??? It helped that there was a picture accompanying the review in the Economist, so I had an idea of what they looked like from the start, but here in the book itself (I expected to find many, if not all, of the 264 netsuke in color inserts) there is not a single photograph. The eponymous hare, plus some additional photos, are featured in the paper strip wrapping the bottom 1/3 of the book (no proper dust jacket) - tiny, tiny(the size of a thumbnail). Black-and-white photos, mainly of family, are interspersed throughout but the absence of the netsuke is so frustrating. Otherwise, a quite perfect book.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Oct 2010 23:50:39 BDT
J Delsman says:
You will be delighted to know that the Guardian have published an album of the beautifully photographed netsuke from de Waal's collection which you can access at http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/gallery/2
In reply to an earlier post on 15 Oct 2010 05:06:05 BDT
S. Park says:
oh wow! thanks for letting me know. the pictures are different from those on Mr de Waal's homepage, so much the nicer. One never gets tired of looking :)
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