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Visions of Paradise Hardcover – October 21, 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic (October 21, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1426203381
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426203381
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 1.3 x 12.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #390,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David A. Purcell on November 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Paradise has about as many meanings as there are people on this planet. When I first picked up the book at a Barns and Noble, I was intrigued by the pictures. Many were out of focus, or lacked a clear subject while others seemed normal, and cliche. I put the book down and went on with my day. A week or two latter, I was in the same section again, and again found myself thumbing through the full page photographs. I stopped on one that caught my eye; Hokkaido Japan in winter. Just trees and a fence, but against the white and grey background they appeared an ink drawing. I started reading the captions, and an hour latter, my back was aching trying to stand there and hold this large book.

Each picture is a photographer's vision of paradise. It is interesting to see the shear number of differing opinions on this subject. Yet at same time it is hard not to be moved or transfixed by the images. We all spend a lot of time searching for some sort of paradise on earth. Most of us don't even know what were are looking for, perhaps no one ever will. Yet every page of this book catches a small feeling of that search. Very well done: 5 stars
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Format: Hardcover
This book is sort of a companion to National Geographic's "Sacred Places of a Lifetime," based on National Geographic photographers' answers to "Where - or what - is heaven on Earth?" The book is divided into sections on Land, Water, and Air. Sometimes the choices led to remote places, other times to urban scenes. The hoped for outcome is to encourage us to heal and preserve the environment.

Many of the photos are in black and white, other deliberately blurry, and still others lack perspective. Written material accompanying the photos is too skimpy. Overall, "Visions of Paradise" is disappointing.
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Format: Hardcover
A 'National Geographic' (N.G.) book that's different than you'd expect.

This is your basic coffee table book. Of all the publications I've seen from N.G., this one truly exemplifies the old cliche, 'beauty (or maybe paradise, in this case) is in the eye of the beholder'...Let me explain.

The book features (not surprisingly) page after page of photographs, taken from various locales around the world. The difference, from other N.G. books, is that many of the photos displayed are not really beautiful or well taken (some are poorly composed or blurry). It's not until you read the caption accompanying the photos that you get some insight into what the photographer 'saw' in these photo that made it so special to him/her. Once you marry the caption to the picture you start to realize that these photos could only represent the personal feelings that the photographers had for the subject/area at that moment in time. The very fact that he considered these photos worthy of a 'vision of paradise' is a reflection of his very subjective, personal viewpoint.

To me, most of these photos/captions were different and interesting but not, by and large, particularly 'beautiful'; or at least not beautiful in the traditional sense of what you'd usually expect from N.G. And that is not to say there weren't some stunning photos here, because there were, many in fact. It's just that this work was so different than your 'usual' N.G. photo book that you have to dig a little deeper to appreciate the 'Visions of Paradise' that you'll find between these covers.

Conclusion:

Having perused this book and having just written this review, I have come to the realization that this work was never intended to harbour N.G.'s traditional glamorous photographs.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a book that my girlfriend bought a year ago, at a steep discount ($3.99), and she got what she paid for.
As another Amazon reviewer (who gave this book two stars) said, the majority of the photos are either blurry or grainy, or both, and I have NO idea what most of the pictures have to do with the concept of "paradise".

At first I thought our copy was a counterfeit (how could National Geographic have produced such a shoddy product?), but apparently it's for real. I highly recommend that you NOT buy this book, because you will be wasting your money, no matter what price you pay. Shame on National Geographic!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not a great photographic collection. I give 2 stars because there are photos from some locations I will never go to. I agree with -ve comments like not Coffee material and denigrate a very poor product from National Geographic.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was slightly disappointing. You would think with the title, you would get some beautiful pictures. Instead, a lot of the photos displayed seemed to be of low quality and not eye-popping. If it contained more crisp photos, I definitely would have given it more stars. It is still a must have, for those who don't care whether or not the photos are crisp or not.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one NG photo book that I can put side by side with Magnum books due to the varied personalities imparted to the photographic works. It's somehow different from typical NG coffee table books featuring postcard cliches. It takes more than casual browsing to appreciate the depth of each individual photo and the photographer behind, an experience which can be rewarding to readers searching for beauty beyond the most conventional sense.
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