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Paris Underground: The Maps, Stations, and Design of the Metro Paperback – October 27, 2009
Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
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About the Author
When Atlantic252 closed down Mark moved to Ministry Of Sound where he helped set up their DAB station, Ibiza unit and later, as Head of Radio there, ran a popular FM version of the station. Mark moved into consultancy after this working with Purple radio and the DRG.
In 2002 while still working in his spare time on his book project he moved to a fledgling TV channel as Channel Manager.
Mark Ovenden's Metro Maps of the World was published in November 2003 to great critical acclaim. It has since been re-written and updated for the American market and is now published by Penguin as Transit Maps of the World. Mark currently resides in Paris where he is researching his next book on a century of cartography of the Paris Metro Map. He is also working on several other book projects, a radio sit-com, and a TV travel show.
Top Customer Reviews
It then details the steady implementation of the planned network covering the whole of central Paris and also deals with the structures and stations.
Well wrtitten and very readable.
Just as in his other book, this is a study of transit maps especially Paris.
Hopefully this author will cross over to this side of the pond and do such a book om a system in the USA.
With "Discover Paris by Metro", a RATP sanctioned guidebook Discover Paris by Metro, in addition to whatever version of this book you chose, the armchair Metro enthusiast is well set for enjoyable reading.
The book consists primarliy of variants of metro maps printed over the last (and current) century, and although includes some photos, is really focused on the representational diagrams of the metro in all its incarnations over the years. Of particular emphasis is the design and stylistic decisions that were made on each iteration of the map to increase clarity, improve speed of use, and also to represent the system in a pleasing and distinctive format. Some of these discussions, though written at a level of detail that will surprise non-cartographers, are fascinating explorations of the work and effort that goes into these kinds of maps, and this one in particular. The accompanying text also lays out in some detail the construction and extensions of the system built afte Line 1, and serves to make this book something that can serve as a long-term exploration of the Metro. Pair this book up with Plotkin's The Paris Metro: A Ticket to French History (which has a more developed layout in text of each individual metro station across the entire 14 Lines), and you'll really have a grand exposition of the system.Read more ›
On a personal note, on a recent trip to Paris, which sparked my interest in the book, I had the opportunity to travel on all of the Metro lines and 4 of the 6 RER lines. It did not take long to make sense of the system. I was relieved to learn that La Republique where I was based has the most complex series of passages between platforms, though IMHO the area around Les Halles comes close. Having read this book, on my next trip, I hope to be able to pay more attention to the architectural details of the stations and get out to some of the newer ones such as La Defense and Auber. The book also discusses stations that are no longer used and phantom stations that appeared on the maps, sometimes for decades, but were never built.
What the book does not do is discuss rolling stock or gauges of track. It does observe that Metro cars are interchangeable between lines, implying the same gauge, though this is rarely done. The cars are themselves are interesting, possibly unique, in that doors do not open automatically but require the passenger to either press a button or turn a lever. On the design side Ovendon only has the briefest mention of tickets which also changed over the years.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I adore this book. I'm writing this review quickly, in frustration that there is no electronic version, as I must once again spend valuable space and weight in my one bag I'm... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Venizen
I was hoping for more pictures of the Metro today and layouts of the actual stations - kind of geeky. This is more a historical read, which is what is said. Read morePublished on October 18, 2013 by Mack Hicks
I got it as a gift and the child who was doing a school project on underground transportation network found it very useful.Published on August 20, 2013 by janice
This is a well-written book that traces the history of the Paris Metro through numerous official and unofficial system maps from inception to present. Read morePublished on March 1, 2013 by MBA in the ICU
Found this book to be a great look at the history of the Paris metro. Would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in such thingsPublished on January 13, 2013 by William Harger
There are many great reviews here already, so I won't add more (obviously I had hours and days of fascinating reading) except to say that most purchasers of this book will also be... Read morePublished on July 4, 2011 by D. Chambers
Mark Ovenden has tapped into all things great with this follow-up to his Transit Maps book. Just when I thought he couldn't get any closer to my heart, he came out with this gem,... Read morePublished on December 20, 2010 by House of Jules
I didn't eat for a day and a half,
just so I could buy this book.
This book helps me to lovingly revisit Paris from my armchair whenever I want. I expect that it will also help me to appreciate future visits to Paris - my favorite city.Published on September 28, 2010 by Richard Patenaude