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A Humument: A Treated Victorian Novel, Fourth Edition Paperback – April 1, 2005

4.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A visual adventure, a peculiar space where the reader-spectator is invited to speculate on the meaning of words and images. -- ARTnews

A wonderful entertainment...full of humor, visual invention, and the peculiar poignancy of unnoticed meanings. -- San Francisco Chronicle

It may be the closest a paperback book has come to being an art object. -- New York

One of the more winning and witty artistic experiments of recent times. -- Washington Post

Outbursts of words that find themselves in an altogether new syntactical space; there, like notes, they sing a painted music. -- William A. Gass, Artforum

About the Author

Tom Phillips RA has worked widely in many media. Among his previous books is The Postcard Century, published by Thames & Hudson in 2000.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; 4 edition (April 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500285519
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500285510
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 5 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,325,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I own multiple copies and give them away to worthy friends. Visually, artistically, and intellectually stunning, this masterpiece is unique in the world of art/literature. The author/artist Tom Phillips began this work in the 1960s, and first published it in book form in the 1980s. He called the result of his decades of effort The Humument and it is a completely illustrated version of W. H. Mallock's 19th Century novel A Human Document. Each page is a well conceived and compelling work of art. On each page the author leaves only a few of the original words revealed. These surviving phrases tell, in prose and poetry, the pathetic love story of Bill Toge. Symbiotically linked to the art itself, the preserved text, and its tale of Toge, reveal a story Phillips found submerged within the original text, a story which Mallock neither wrote nor intended. Phillips calls his work `mining for meaning'. Everyone who has received this book from me has had great difficulty putting it down until they had read/absorbed/experienced/lived/studied it from cover to cover. If there is such a thing as a priceless book, The Humument would be a good candidate for the category.
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By A Customer on November 29, 1998
Format: Paperback
I expected this to be arty rubbish, but I was greatly surprised. It's a unique and strangely beautiful experience -- and not only that, but the picture-per-page structure makes it ideal to dip into during spare moments. Whether it actually has any deep meaning is open to debate, but each page has something on it to provoke thought. I love this thing.
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Format: Paperback
Incredible treatment of a victorian novel using techniques of modern illumination to create a autobiographical love story. All written from within the context of an existing novel. Great graphics by one of England's best living artists. Surely unlike any other piece of literature you'll buy this year. See the Tom Phillips web page.
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Format: Paperback
I love this book. I first learnt of Tom Phillips when he recently did the cover of an album by a band called Dark Star, and then was introduced to his work whilst on work experience last summer. I hunted down a copy of this book, and then devoured it completely. at times moving, at times funny, and all the time completely incredible to just look and marvel at. the art work is great. ingenuitive, original and inspired. this book seems to be getting harder and harder to find... buy one while you can.
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Format: Paperback
I received this book as a gift about 10 years ago and have yet to tire of it. It is beautiful and funny, surreal, creepy and profound.
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Format: Paperback
Truly an elegant, messy piece of work.
Tom Phillips' Humument is one of the most affecting marriages of image and text that I have viewed/read. Visaully, it is stunning, with its layers of subsumed text and inventive imagery. Moments of profundity bordering on Zen surface intermittently, whilst bawdy puns [...] up beside.
If you're looking for sustained, easily interpreted narrative, then this book simply is not for you. If, on the other hand, you long for a story that is as much in your head/heart, as on the page, I can heartily recommend A Humument.
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