- File Size: 2375 KB
- Print Length: 448 pages
- Publisher: Random House (December 18, 2007)
- Publication Date: December 18, 2007
- Sold by: Random House LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B000XUBDIA
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,432 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Color: A Natural History of the Palette Kindle Edition
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Whenever the author switched to talking about her travels and tourist activities (because they did not read as serious research trips ever - has this woman ever used the internet to research her destinations or even called any people in the country she's going to ahead of time?!). She mentioned using out of date travel books and used travel info from 10 years prior at one point to guide her travels. It just felt...shoddy for what was purported to be scholarly, research trips.
I was a bit put off by some of the dumb things she did in the name of "researching" her book - she traveled to Afghanistan right after 9/11, completely refusing to heed well-earned warnings about traveling there. She somehow managed to finagle a visa meant for people working with NGOs in the region at the time, which to me just came across as immature and really selfish. As a reader, I could care less about how much she had to hike to get to a lapus lazuli mine or how she supposedly charmed the mine workers as the only white woman they'd seen. That literally had nothing to do with the history of the color blue that the chapter was supposed to be about. Anytime her writing veered into her recounting her travels it just felt self-indulgent and more like a diary ("Dear Diary, I couldn't find any coffee this morning because the whole country was in mourning over the just deceased leader. I couldn't go to the place I wanted and it was so annoying."). I was also taken aback by some of her glaring ignorance (you didn't bother to look up what an indigo plant looked like before you left to try to see one in India?) and just silly musings - it read sometimes like I was reading something by a teenager rather than an supposedly educated adult. At one point, she's trying to "outwit" some guards at an archaeological site to get a look at some ancient dying vats by pretending to "look dreamily out at the ocean" and then running over old columns when they looked the other way. If that is what you traveled so far to see, why wouldn't you call ahead and get access with a guide to a part that is usually not accessible to the general public? There was time after time mentioned where she showed up to a place and then was surprised by not being able to get in or not being able to see what she wanted or she'd arrived just before closing time.
I'm giving this 3 stars as the historical information was actually really good and very interesting, and I liked all the extra information in the extensive notes in the back. If she had just stuck to the history, I would have enjoyed this a lot more. All the stories and actual historical info kept me intrigued, but the book always lagged as soon as she started talking about all the details of her travels.
Top international reviews
Da leggere per chi si avvicina al mondo dell'arte in tutti i sensi, o per chi è semplicemente curioso!
I would recommend the book, but I am on likely to purchase from this supplier in the future.