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The Elements of Style Illustrated Hardcover – October 20, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-1594200694 ISBN-10: 1594200696 Edition: Ill
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Editorial Reviews


"So friendly, so classic, so delightful . . . Kalman has taken 'the little book' and made it even more elegant and uplifting."
-Los Angeles Times

"While The Elements of Style has never lacked fans or dutiful adherents, appreciation for this slim volume has taken a turn toward the whimsical and even surreal."
-The New York Times

"The pictures are playful and subtle, which suits the spirit of this beloved bestseller."
-USA Today

About the Author

In her own words: "born. bucolic childhood. culture-stuffed adolescence. played piano. stopped. danced. stopped. wrote. discarded writing. drew. reinstated writing. married Tibor Kalman and collaborated at iconoclastic yet successful design studio. wrote and painted children's books. worried. took up Ping-Pong. relaxed. wrote and painted for many magazines.  cofounded the Rubber Band Society. amused. children: two. dog: one."

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Press; Ill edition (October 20, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594200696
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594200694
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

137 of 142 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This jazzy edition of the classic "The Elements of Style," by Strunk and White, features stylized, exuberant, riotously colorful, and often whimsical illustrations by Maira Kalman. In addition, a few references have been changed to make the book more relevant. For instance, in the earlier edition, the authors cautioned against the use of acronyms with this example: "Not everyone knows that SALT means Strategic Arms Limitation Talks." The new edition states, "Not everyone knows that MADD means Mothers Against Drunk Driving." In the section on slang, Strunk and White advised writers to use standard language and avoid such words as "uptight, groovy, rap, hangup, vibes, copout, and dig." In the new edition, examples of slang are "psyched, nerd, ripoff, dude, geek, and funky." Strunk and White advocated "using scissors on the manuscript, cutting it to pieces and fitting the pieces together in a better order." In the current edition, writers are encouraged to use a word processor to move text from place to place.

Is a new edition of this handbook really necessary? I believe that it is, not only because of the archaic references that needed updating, but also because today's younger writers need visual stimulation and pizazz to capture their attention; this edition has both. Strunk and White's words of wisdom are, for the most part, reprinted as they appeared in earlier editions. The authors discuss such topics as elementary rules of usage, principles of composition and form, words commnonly misused, and tips on how to develop an effective and natural style. Even experienced writers would do well to review "The Elements of Style" now and then to remind them of the importance of clarity, brevity, simplicity, and consistency.
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96 of 103 people found the following review helpful By pistachio on October 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
For the reviewer who pines for life as it was 50 years ago, actually in 1959, William Strunk Jr.'s Elements of Style, which had gone out of print at that point, was revised by a former student of Strunk's, E.B. White. This 2005 revision takes nothing away from the book, but reconsiders the original from a design perspective. As far as I'm concerned, the cloth cover, the 57 color illustrations, the high-quality printing, only add to the pure pleasure of reading or re-reading this book.
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150 of 165 people found the following review helpful By D. Stuart on October 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Strunk and White's Elements of Style is the absolute classic guidebook to grammar and to clear writing. It is underpinned by a simple philosophy of making every word count. The paperback edition resides on millions of desks world-wide: a wise guide to people who appreciate words and clear communication.

But here's a hardback edition, beautifully illustrated. Why not just go for the paperback? The answer is because Elements of Style has become much more than a reference text: it is an icon, and this edition is like a glorious piece of birthday cake that celebrates the fact that we've been in the presence of a faithful and inspiring servant for almost 50 years. Elements of Style is a classic that retains a resilient role even (or especially) in this age of txt.

If you love artful writing, buy a copy for yourself. For any friend who cherishes the written word, this book is the perfect gift. It allows us to stop, to marvel and to appreciate the power of simple truths, well told.
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61 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Larry J. Clark on November 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The illustrations are interesting and nice. But this edition is certainly not a "user". Page numbers are all "inside" - along the binding side and at the bottom of the pages. To accommodate the illustrations you can go six pages without a page number. When you try to use this book as a reference, the illustrations just get in the way, breaking up your train of thought.

Not that I'm pushing book sales, but if you get this illustrated edition (or plan of giving it as a gift), do yourself a favor and also get the paperback version. That way you have something you can actually use, as well as having a volume for muse.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Nico Brusso VINE VOICE on March 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My new "The Elements of Style" by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White, illustrated by Maira Kalman, lies before me now, beside the 1959 edition that I have had since August of that year.

Since I hadn't reread the old one in who knows how many years, what induced me to buy a new one? I have always retained affection for Strunk's "little book."

Recently I read a review of the new "The Elements of Style Illustrated," and saw a few of the paintings by Maira Kalman. And I heard of the song cycle, based on the book, composed by young Nico Muhly in collaboration with Ms. Kalman and premiered in the Rose Main Reading Room of the New York Public Library.

The illustrated book sounded like fun, so I ordered it, which prompted me to read Strunk's words again with new appreciation.

The overall design of the new book is appealing -- bright red covers, a somewhat larger format (about an inch wider, a half-inch taller, and 156 pages as opposed to 71), the cleaner look of the pages (with more white space and semi-glossy). Both books are hardbacks; I think I would not like the feel of the new one as a paperback.

Most striking on the mostly bare, red front cover, is a huge white colon punctuation mark, centered below "THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE." The printing is white (no connection to E. B. White, I'm sure). The word "illustrated" in small gold italic is printed near the lower right. The red back cover is completely bare except for a matching, centered white semicolon.

The cover designer, presumably Ms. Kalman or someone she worked closely with, no doubt intended that we follow these magnified punctuation marks: The colon by reading and viewing the book. The semicolon by proceeding to our own independent work.

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