Most helpful critical review
29 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful Images, Horrible Research
on December 20, 2009
I was quite excited to find this book on the Bargain table at my local book store. The idea of a field guide to the imagery used within cemeteries, and with such good examples, was a great concept, and I really thought it was well done. However I had just flipped through it as I was in a hurry. The Images and topics were certainly on the mark. Once I was home and had a chance to look through it I was mortified. The explanations for these symbols are not simply "simplistic" or "shallow" as another reviewer said. They're simply WRONG. You probably could get a better explanation out of Wikipedia... I do not know much about the author. However I feel they should stick to photography. Anyone with a basic back ground in theology, history, art, freemasonry, or the occult will quickly see just how badly the symbols are explained. If you just want a book with some interesting examples of symbols used in burial this is nice enough for that. The photos are well done. However it feels like a high school student did the research to write the book the night before it was due.
The only thing more horrifying to me then the definitions of these symbols, is the number of 5 stars people have posted for this. (I imagine equally ignorant as the author) Remember these were carefully and thoughtfully selected for the deceased by those that loved them and are simply mutilated by the definitions. Anyone serious about symbolism should look elsewhere, and the author I hope will primarily focus on their photography, and perhaps consider actually spending REAL time researching a topic before writing so much nonsense again.
Also a guidebook should speak of religions and philosophies with an amount of academic detachment ....not personal opinion.