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Insight Guide Oxford Paperback – 1 Jun 2000

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very pretty, but occasionally wrong and incomplete 18 Jan. 2005
By Mr. T. Simchak - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is certainly heavy on the eye-candy - it has lots of great pictures (though perhaps dated... very late-80's hair styles) and nice listings describing the colleges and whatnot. If you're looking for something that gives a feel for the look of the place (or at least the look on nice early-summer days when all the students are wearing their gowns), this is a lovely place to look.

Unfortunately, glaring factual errors and odd 'stereotypes' really detracted from the quality of this guide. Included is a brief summary of the Oxford colleges. Unfortunately, many are left out (seemingly at random - the maps also leave out several important sites while including other entirely mundane ones) and the descriptions of others are factually quite incorrect (and sometimes contradictory - All Souls is described as being the only graduate college [it is not a graduate college], then Nuffield is also described as being a graduate college [it is]). There are also odd little tidbits of information that seem to represent a story of the colleges frozen sometime in the past (and not a nifty 1920's past - presumably the late 1980's or early '90's when the first edition was published) - 'excellent darts team?' ok, so they may have once, but that's rather useless information today. My own college's description, though quite pleasant, is not a very good representation of the place today. Some of the college descriptions are also really just mean, representing some undefined antipathy on the part of the author (did someone from that college steal his girlfriend or something?).

Overall, it's a very pretty publication that certainly had a very good team of photographers and graphic designers, but as it's not so strong on the facts and could do with some updates - Oxford isn't as unchanging as it may seem.
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