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Ancient Angkor (River Books Guides) Paperback – January 16, 2009


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Paperback, January 16, 2009
$88.66 $15.94

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Product Details

  • Series: River Books Guides
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: River Books Press Dist A C (January 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 974986381X
  • ISBN-13: 978-9749863817
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,801,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Freeman, professional photographer and author, with more than 100 book titles to his credit, was born in England in 1945, took a Masters in geography at Brasenose College, Oxford University, and then worked in advertising in London for six years. He made the break from there in 1971 to travel up the Amazon with two secondhand cameras, and when Time-Life used many of the pictures extensively in the Amazon volume of their World's Wild Places series, including the cover, they encouraged him to begin a full-time photographic career.

Since then, working for editorial clients that include all the world's major magazines, and notably the Smithsonian Magazine (with which he has had a 30-year association, shooting more than 40 stories), Freeman's reputation has resulted in more than 100 books published. Of these, he is author as well as photographer, and they include more than 40 books on the practice of photography - for this photographic educational work he was awarded the Prix Louis Philippe Clerc by the French Ministry of Culture. He is also responsible for the distance-learning courses on photography at the UK's Open College of the Arts.

Freeman's books on photography have been translated into fifteen languages, and are available on other Amazon international sites.

They are supported for readers by a regularly updated site, http://thefreemanview.com

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
The books main downfall is not its content, but its weight which is quite heavy because of the good quality paper used.
K. Maxwell
Once you return, reread the sections on the temples you've seen, as it will give you a greater enjoyment of the incredible artistry & majesty of Ancient Angkor.
Oksana
The book is well thought-out -with suggestions of various itineraries, and information on hotels and other items pertaining to travel .
Z Hayes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By robert l kunst on April 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
A lovingly prepared compilation of superb color photographs, maps, history and scholarly explanations of the major world monument that is Angkor Wat. The authors thoughtfully include suggested itineraries ( ranging from one to six days ), sites ranked by interest, peak times and locations for photographing and even helpful suggestions for accomodations. A must for planning a visit to Angkor Wat or for preserving memories.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Michael Gunther on June 14, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book will guide you step by step (literally) through the magnificant temples of Angkor. And even if you weren't planning to go, you will want to for sure, after viewing Michael Freeman's superb photographs and reading Claude Jacques' expert commentary.
No matter where you wander on the very large site of Angkor, Freeman and Jacques are right alongside you, suggesting places to look and explaining what you are looking at. There are maps and temple plans, a glossary, and an index. For visitors with limited time, the suggested itineraries (from one to seven days' length) will let you make the most of your visit.
The book is especially helpful for photographers. Freeman, who has photographed professionaly at Angkor for over a decade, describes the best vantage points and subjects, suggests the best time of day to shoot, and provides itineraries that take you to each location just when the light is best.
The book is well designed and contains many helpful features. For example, a cross-referenced list of architectural features and mythological scenes makes it easy to locate temples that contain whatever the visitor is most interested in seeing.
In short, carrying this book with you is like having an expert photographer and historian as personal guides during your visit to Angkor. You probably won't even need to engage an actual guide, unless you want to pick up a bit of local color; everything you need is right there in the book.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By K. Maxwell on June 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is a fantastic combination of pictures and facts for people wanting to visit the Angkor temples. The pictures stir the imagination and the text provides the facts to go with the pictures.
In fact I recently used this book as my guide while visiting Angkor. It provides a section for each of the most-visited temples and will also give you information on suggested time to put aside for each visit and the best time to go. In fact, my guide at Angkor said this was the best guide book he had seen, and I saw other people using this same book to guide themselves around the temples like I did.
This book provides suggested itineries to the temples and the best times to visist for photography. whether you can actually manage to combine the two is debatable on a short visit. The books main downfall is not its content, but its weight which is quite heavy because of the good quality paper used.
The climate (extremely hot and humid - air conditioning is a worthwhile investment) can make visiting these monuments as trial at times, but they are worth the effort. All the buildings are unique, covered in exquiste carvings (which books can only hint at) and original. Some are still partly swallowed by the jungle. Straight out of indiana Jones.
Get this book, let your imagination wander and visit these amazing ruins if you can before too many other tourists turn up - for they are a world wonder not to be missed. And don't forget your camera - these are places begging to be photographed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By onedrop on September 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bring this book with you to the Angkor temples. It has complete maps of all the temples with descriptions of how to find some of the hidden reliefs and sculptures in the temples. It also has suggested itineraries and lets you know the best time to visit each site for photography.

There are two authors of the book: Freeman is the photographer, and several of his stunning photos are on each page. I would be lucky if any one of my vacation pictures from Angkor come out as good as his. Claude Jacques is the historian, who wrote the background information. This part leaves a little to be desired - I recommend Michael Coe's book if you want historical background. Jacques is recognized as a thought leader on Khmer history, but his writing in English is not very informative. His introductory chapters did not give me any real understanding of the Khmer temple-builders. And some of the descriptions of the reliefs will state things like "on the south wall a warrior is riding an elephant." Well duh, I can see that. However, some of the descriptions are very good. They will describe the story from the Hindu Veda that the relief is depicting, like the story of the monkey army in the Ramayana seen on many temples.

Outside any of the Angkor temples, you will find hustling Cambodian kids selling pirated versions of this book for under two dollars. The pirated version is compact and lightweight, but you would be missing out on Freeman's amazing color photographs.

If you are lucky enough to visit Angkor, here are my suggestions:
1. Get a hotel or guesthouse in Siem Reap with AC and a pool. On your first day there, find a driver you trust that you will hire for the rest of your trip (twenty bucks a day is reasonable for a tuk-tuk, more for a car).
2.
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