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25 Reviews
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars anatomy of an infrastructure
This book ranks as one of Macaulay's best, as it reveals the networks of systems that are the lifeblood of a city, from various building foundations to sewers to subways, showing how they are constructed and sometimes interact with each other. The text, though minimal, is packed with information, which is supplemented by the superb and detailed drawings. One of the...
Published on July 11, 2004 by David Group

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Macaulay is a brilliant illustrator
Unfortunately his illustrations just don't come across in the Kindle ebook version of his works.

Part of the problem is that there are many different versions of Kindle devices in the world, not only are there real Amazon Kindle devices but there are Kindle readers for a number of tablets and other hardware devices.

I get the impression that Amazon...
Published 11 months ago by David F


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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars anatomy of an infrastructure, July 11, 2004
By 
This review is from: Underground (Paperback)
This book ranks as one of Macaulay's best, as it reveals the networks of systems that are the lifeblood of a city, from various building foundations to sewers to subways, showing how they are constructed and sometimes interact with each other. The text, though minimal, is packed with information, which is supplemented by the superb and detailed drawings. One of the coolest aspects of the book, though, is the views from below, as if a rat with x-ray vision were able to gaze up at this intricate maze of technological wonders. Macaulay's sense of humor is evident throughout, as seen by his inclusion of various critters (including an alligator and an elephant), lots of references to dogs and fire hydrants, a billboard ad for his book PYRAMID, and even a human skull and hand (!!) in one drawing of an excavation. Great fun to read and highly recommended.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Visual Imagination and Wit, January 1, 2007
This review is from: Underground (Paperback)
Most book illustrators portray buildings from an eagle's eye perspective. A few talented illustrators will open up the buildings and give insightful cross sectional views. What makes this book so special is that David Macaulay shows us buildings from the perspective of looking up from the bedrock on which the building rests. This is unique and is typical of Macaulay's great visual imagination and wit.

This book concentrates on a big city corner where four large buildings sit. The story begins with the foundation excavation, the pouring of foundation pilings and moves up to building infrastructure that sits just below the city street. We are all aware that a great deal of engineering goes into making large cities livable. However, there is nothing like a well illustrated book to help one understand the sheer complexity of our modern infrastructure.

I would recommend this book to older children with an interest in the physical world around them. It is also a great book for adults with an interest in architecture and urban planning. There are illustrators with better drafting skills than David Macaulay but when it comes to sheer imagination, Macaulay is in a league of his own. Highly recommended.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "What are those round metal things in the street?", October 4, 2002
By 
KURT H KROHN (Albuquerque, NM United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Underground (Paperback)
What Mr. Macaulay does is pull up a city by the roots, shake the dirt off, and take a no-nonsense (well, maybe a little nonsense) look at what is revealed. The illustrations are clear and informative, with just a touch of whimsy. The book covers sanitary sewers, storm sewers, water lines, electricity, telephone, subways and building foundations. A gift for aspiring civil engineers of all ages!
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Work!, July 9, 2000
This review is from: Underground (Hardcover)
David Macauley's work has just gotten better thru the years ...but even his early books like underground are wonderful! I received this book as a child & I'm now ordering it as a gift.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good clear book for the layman / secondary school child, September 7, 2005
By 
This review is from: Underground (Paperback)
An award winning book, famous amongst teachers of architecture. This book is full of pen and ink cutaway line drawings of just about every underground structure, explaining to the lay person how they all interact. The problem is it is set in the USA, but that aside, it is a very interesting book.

J
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars underground, February 13, 2008
This review is from: Underground (Hardcover)
this the best book i have found to explain to eit's (engineering in training) just what civil engineering is all about.
it may be a childern's book, but it is the best on the subject of undeground utilities and transportation.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new perspective on things, June 4, 2007
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This review is from: Underground (Hardcover)
Macaulay uses his amazing talents to turn the world upside down in this unique book. Children (and even adults) will learn all kinds of things about what's beneath a modern city. I enjoyed showing my son the illustrations and explaining what it all means. Do beware, however, that this is a pretty abstract topic and that it can be difficult for younger kids to fully comprehend exactly what's going on. After all, thinking about what a city would like like with all the soil and rock removed and from many feet below street level is not a simple idea. So this one is probably best for older kids, as opposed to earlier works by Macaulay such as Cathedral or Castle that are much more tangible and easy for kids to comprehend.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Macaulay is a brilliant illustrator, September 2, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Underground (Kindle Edition)
Unfortunately his illustrations just don't come across in the Kindle ebook version of his works.

Part of the problem is that there are many different versions of Kindle devices in the world, not only are there real Amazon Kindle devices but there are Kindle readers for a number of tablets and other hardware devices.

I get the impression that Amazon can only provide one level of resolution for illustrations for all the devices that are out there... I have an iPad (and I am aware that there are other even higher resolution tablets on the market now) and it's more than capable of displaying Macaulay's illustrations in great detail, even if they would have to be panned and zoomed to really appreciate them.

But Amazon apparently can't provide the appropriate pixel-per-square-inch values to accommodate all the hardware variables of hardware that can read them.

This isn't just an Amazon problem, as it happens I bought a similar book from B&N and it has the exact same problem, images that are displayed at well below the capability of their reader on my hardware.

What's the solution? I have nothing like even a remotely like an informed opinion on this issue so I don't know if different versions of ebooks for different readers are possible.

For now, though, I'd have to recommend that while books and routine illustrations work just fine elsewhere in the ebook universe, for books like Macaulay's that require high level graphics and illustrations... you should just buy the paper version, which works just fine. I'll be doing so with Underground and the ebooks I bought from B&N.

Edit: I'm thinking "PDF", as in Portable Document Format, that at least tries to address the different capabilities of different devices, with some success. Adobe created it and heroically offered the standard to the world.

Could it be remotely possible that a standard for ebook illustrations could be established by ebook publishers?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Castle by David Macaulay, September 6, 2010
By 
Mountain Hiker (Brooklyn, New York USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Underground (Paperback)
It doesn't take a lot of words to review the books of David Macaulay. Having loved these books for decades, I recently purchased Castle, Pyramid, and Underground for my grandson who even at 5+ years is wildly excited about building things. Although he won't be able to read these on his own for a year or two, his parents read to him daily and Castle has immediately captured him. In a year or two he'll be ready for Pyramid and Underground. Macaulay's line drawings are excellent and the text proves that he professionally knows what he's drawing. (He's been teaching at the Rhode Island School of Design for many decades.)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars best read on a colored device, January 2, 2013
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This review is from: Underground (Kindle Edition)
I used this first on a kindle touch.
not good as too small and bulk an white device.
best to view on a pc or laptop or kindle fire
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Underground
Underground by David MacAulay (Paperback - March 23, 1983)
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