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51 Reviews
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57 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love the photos & text; don't like the layout
I spent the weekend reading this book cover to cover. I love the idea of PILGRIMAGE and am inspired that Annie Leibovitz can take her incredible talent and use it for self-discovery while taking stunning photos to share with the world. I was fascinated by the subjects she chose and their interelationships. What I didn't like is that the photographs and the text describing...
Published on November 14, 2011 by Anon

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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful photos but
The photos in this book are absolutely stunning. I could have looked at some of them for hours. However, the book's gutter runs right through many of the pictures and ruins them. Perhaps either a bigger book or smaller pictures that would fit on one page would have been better. And the juxataposition of text and photos is just sloppy. The text talks about one subject, the...
Published on December 2, 2011 by Amazon Customer


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57 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love the photos & text; don't like the layout, November 14, 2011
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Anon (Vermont, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pilgrimage (Hardcover)
I spent the weekend reading this book cover to cover. I love the idea of PILGRIMAGE and am inspired that Annie Leibovitz can take her incredible talent and use it for self-discovery while taking stunning photos to share with the world. I was fascinated by the subjects she chose and their interelationships. What I didn't like is that the photographs and the text describing them are often many pages apart, and the narrative about an individual or place is interrupted by pages of photographs on a completely different subject. However, I am very glad that I purchased the book and know that I will go back to it again and again.
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful photos but, December 2, 2011
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This review is from: Pilgrimage (Hardcover)
The photos in this book are absolutely stunning. I could have looked at some of them for hours. However, the book's gutter runs right through many of the pictures and ruins them. Perhaps either a bigger book or smaller pictures that would fit on one page would have been better. And the juxataposition of text and photos is just sloppy. The text talks about one subject, the photo shows another completely different topic. It's jarring and shows hasty, sloppy design. The history is fascinating but again, perhaps less of it. Less text about Sara Roosevelt and her awful treatment of her daughter in law and more pictures of Val Kil. Ditto for Thoreau, Lincoln and the others.

One more thing: I would have loved some information about what cameras and set ups Liebovitz used. The pictures really are amazing and it would have been fascinating to learn how they were created.

Okay, so my review is a bit harsh. I guess because I loved the pictures so much and got a little frustrated with the books shortcomings. However, this book occupies a prominent place in my book shelf, and I know I will read and study it again and again and again. If you love AL's work, go ahead and purchase this book, it does contain some awesome photographs and imo, some of her best work.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Access is everything, November 17, 2011
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This review is from: Pilgrimage (Hardcover)
The photographs in this book are like a visual diary. There is nothing technically slick about the images. Many tourists could have taken the same shots if given the level of access Leibovitz was granted to the historical sites and their objects. The images that illustrate the stories have a random quality that anyone who has ever visited a historic site will understand. As you enter a room your eye is caught by objects, maybe a vase on a mantel, a hatbox on a shelf in a closet, or the wear patterns on a well loved piece of furniture. You and I would not have the opportunity to memorialize a visit to the interior of Monticello, or the home of Georgia O'Keeffe as Leibovitz has done here. We would have to rely on our memories or the book in the gift shop. For that reason I appreciate Leibovitz's Pilgrimage. There is an accessible quality to the photographs here, pictures of Lincoln's bloodstained gloves, Marion Anderson's concert dress or the hole in the bedcover in Georgia O'Keeffe's Abiquiu home, allow us the closest access most of us will ever have to examine such intimate objects that are part of our shared history. (Cameras and cell phones are not allowed in many historical houses.)
There is dissonance when you read the text and look at the photographs. To resolve it, either read the text and ignore the photos, or look at the photos, ignoring the text. The text does not always match the image on the page.
Leibovitz wrote the book in conjunction with Sharon DeLano and the flow of the narrative is accessible.
For those of use who dream of being able to pilgrimage to those places that mean something to us, and for those of us who have had the opportunity to visit these historic places, but had to stand behind the rope - this is more than a coffee table book. It is a chance to have a special tour over and over again.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, January 21, 2012
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This review is from: Pilgrimage (Hardcover)
This photographer is one of the best of the best. Whoever did her printed layout did a terrible job. The photos are not placed with her written words and it is distracting and unpleasant to read and view. You have to keep flipping through to place what picture goes with what she is talking about. In spite of the wonderful photographs (and they are exactly as good as you would expect) I would never have bought this book had I known how poorly it was put together.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sloppy layouts ruin what could have been a great book, February 13, 2012
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Jenn J (San Francisco, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pilgrimage (Hardcover)
One would think that a photographer of Annie Leibovitz' stature would merit a sharp layout editor, but sadly - this book proves otherwise.

The text and photos are completely jumbled, so that you're reading about one experience while seeing photos about another - for instance, reading about her journey to learn more about Eleanor Roosevelt while seeing photos connected with Abraham Lincoln.

It's so disconcerting - like being in a museum where the art is mis-labeled.

Seriously, what were they thinking? If you care about such details, this book will only frustrate and disappoint.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars NOT a Photo Book, December 20, 2011
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This review is from: Pilgrimage (Hardcover)
When a book is authored by the best known photographer of our times it's natural to imagine that it's a photo book. But while the book features many of Annie Liebovitz's photographs it's really a very personal journal...accompanied by photos. Leibovitz tells us of her long desire to make a "pilgrimage" to various historically significant American sites, then narrates her impressions of each. The photos are uncharacteristically (for her) unsophisticated snapshots presented largely as the same type of attendance evidence that most everyone's travel snaps provide. Nothing much more, although their casual existing-light style generally does add emotional punch to the narrative.

I admit to being a bit enchanted by this quirky, rather egocentric book for a while. But it did become tiresome by about the 2/3rds mark. Its rather disjointed structure, with site narratives beginning and ending without any logical construction or order got on my nerves. And the layout and placement of images (which are not very well reproduced) seems to have absolutely no relationship to the accompanying text.

So I have to honestly give this a shrug. I know that there are plenty of Annie Leibovitz fans who worship anything she leaves for them. They'll like this book sight unseen. But I came away with a rather sad impression of a person who's just a bit lost in life and time.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pilgrimage - not just a diiferent title!, November 9, 2011
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This review is from: Pilgrimage (Hardcover)
What happens when a photographer takes pictures not on assignment? If you see photos taken by Annie Leibovitz among other photographers photos you see a very distinct style. Try for instance to see Vanity Fair: The Portraits: A Century of Iconic Images. Then you know what I mean, without reading the caption you can see if she was behind the camera.

This book is not just another coffee table book. Somehow the photos is very different from her style, but when you view them again and again, you are drawn into them, and start seing the fingerprint from the author. Some photos are like (old) paintings. Look at page 176, and try to search for paintings by Hammerhoj done many years ago, and see the similarity in style. The photos differ in style with some landscape photos like the cover, motives seen before, but executed very differently. Some are recordings of subjects, some interiors, but all interesting to watch.

Pilgramage becomes a project with an assignment: choosing subjects that means something to her. It ends up being an eccentric list, but also a voyage that I somehow want to follow, not only by reading the book, but to visit some of the same places.

The book is very nicely printed and designed. Personally I don't like when a photo is spread over two pages, but here it do give a lively design, so I will keep the 5-stars. I book you can enjoy on several levels.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointingly obscure, March 22, 2012
This review is from: Pilgrimage (Hardcover)
The photos were evocative, and some were powerful. I liked her choices of places to visit, and I've visited some of them myself. However, when I tried to go back and forth from picture to text, it was frustrating because the pictures and text weren't located near each other. So then I tried to read passages of narrative, but they read like a travel record (I went here, they showed me this...) without the insightful interpretation I expected from a 'pilgrimage.' So, summing up: the pilgrimage concept, choice of places visited, and photos were great, but the writing lacked content, and the book's structure was difficult to work with.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Saw the exhibition, August 15, 2012
This review is from: Pilgrimage (Hardcover)
I was lucky enough to see the exhibition of the photos at the Concord Museum in Massachusetts. Brilliant and mesmerizing, and the descriptions of the photos were key to understanding what you were looking at. She captures the essence of the person in details of what is left for us to look at in the homes of historic people, along with some photos of iconic landscapes. I was interested in buying the book, but when I looked through it at the museum shop, I have to agree with the criticism of the layout, and frankly, it just didn't capture the awesomeness of the photos.

If you don't have the opportunity to see the exhibit, the book is interesting, particularly since the photos are not what you normally expect from Annie Liebovitz. The concept is intriguing and may inspire you to take more interesting, creative and meaningful vacation photos. But, if you have a chance, go to the exhibit instead.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sensational and strong, December 9, 2011
This review is from: Pilgrimage (Hardcover)
I just wish the large images weren't cut in two. It takes away from the power of the photograph. The color pops and Annie shows her power in this book. This is a nice addition to my collection and it will make a nice gift to any photo fans on your list.
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Pilgrimage
Pilgrimage by Annie Leibovitz (Hardcover - November 8, 2011)
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