Kevin McCloud’s 43 Principles of Home: Enjoying Life in the 21st Century Hardcover – 28 Oct 2010
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‘a serious man of taste and integrity’ The Observer
‘like most television naturals, Kevin McCloud has an unmediated quality which comes across as effortless… (the) David Attenborough of the building site’ The Guardian
‘passionate; knowledgeable; eloquent and basically everything that most TV presenters are not’ The Independent
‘Kevin McCloud can enthuse over a simple joist like no one else. This is a man who actually enjoys watching concrete dry… his enthusiasm is so infectious’ The Observer
About the Author
Kevin McCloud is best known as presenter of Channel 4's BAFTA-nominated ‘Grand Designs’, now in its tenth series. He writes books and articles about decoration, design, lighting and colour, and is editor-at-large of Grand Designs magazine. In addition, Kevin is a product and lighting designer and has produced ranges of furniture, lighting and tableware for high street names.
Top customer reviews
I must admit I didn't expect the book to be amusing, as well. (McCloud's description of trying to set a bale of hay on fire had me giggling throughout.) That's a bit of a plus. And the design of the book is really truly good, which is encouraging and shows McCloud's publisher going out on a limb to follow McCloud's principles for his book. (I am particularly pleased with the citations being in the margins of the book, rather than at the end.)
Another reviewer said they found some of the insights to be "insulting", by which I assume they mean "simple" or "basic". I have no problems with that. For some people, they will be new, and I think McCloud was more interested in completeness of philosophy than making sure he wasn't insulting someone's assumed level of experience and knowledge. People have to start somewhere, after all.
All in all, I've really enjoyed reading this, and am already recommending it.
However, none of that means it's not a good book. If you look past the title and the presentation the content is very sound and clearly communicated. Assuming you are familiar with Kevin from the TV, you can really hear his voice coming through and it's definitely his work rather than just his name on a generic book. It's best thought of as something like a 'Director's Cut' of his TV shows in written form - all the stuff he would like to talk about, such as energy usage and recycling, that he doesn't have the airtime for. The main thing to understand is that this book is not more hands-on than the TV programmes, it's more hands-off and philosophical.
I guess what I was expecting was a treatise on internal or external architecture.
What you get is more a philosophy of living, and how that (should) shape(s) your home and how your home shapes you.
Delightfully green and left field with more than a hint of agent provocateur, and why joined up thinking makes sense.
Yes, it does get round to architecture, and design (it's big on design), and recycling, and a shed load of other things as well.
And why it's OK to drive a gas guzzler (one careful owner with very, very low mileage), and beautiful 1960's Hofler bass guitars.
An enjoyable rollercoaster!
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