Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
Neither entertaining nor informative
on 17 March 2014
Having read a popular science book or history book, I like to feel that I have learnt something useful or have been amusingly diverted for a few hours. Unfortunately, this book did neither for me.
For example, there is probably no more important topic in the history of map making than the Mercator projection. However, rather than try to explain how the projection works and how it was developed, this book merely states that it happened. Likewise with triangulation. It is described as a way of measuring distances using trigonometry, but doesn't try to explain how it works.
This could have been forgiven if the book were more entertaining, but the author really seemed to be struggling to fill up space - resorting in some of the later chapters to the tours of celebrity homes in Hollywood and the worlds created by computer games.
Overall, this struck me as a book by someone who had the topic recommended to him by his publisher and not one written by a man who knows and loves his subject.