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The Lost World of Pompeii (Getty Trust Publications: J. Paul Getty Museum) 1st Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0892366873
ISBN-10: 0892366877
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author


Colin Amery is architecture correspondent for the Financial Times. Brian Curran, Jr., is director of projects for the World Monuments Fund in Great Britain. Chris Caldicott's photographs have appeared in newspapers and magazines including The Independent, The Sunday Times, and Geographical Magazine, and in two books, World Food Café and The Spice Routes.
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Product Details

  • Series: Getty Trust Publications: J. Paul Getty Museum
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: J. Paul Getty Museum; 1 edition (December 26, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892366877
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892366873
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.6 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,427,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
A few years ago, our son, an art student, decided that Pompeii would be the perfect place to do an architectural dig. He came back with all kinds of strange stories about a stray dog for every excavated room, poor protection for delicate fresco paintings, and incredible heat and dust. Having been fascinated by volcanoes since I was a youngster, that meant that I had to get to Pompeii and see what was up.
Three years ago, the opportunity arose to spend part of a day there during a quick trip to the Naples region while visiting in Rome. I was totally astonished by what I saw. Pompeii is much larger and richer than I would have ever imagined. As I went from fascinating room to fascinating room, I found myself wishing I had months to spend there . . . and someone to explain what I was seeing in much more detail. There is much to pique one's curiosity . . . including the many graphic references to bacchanalia. What was life there really like?
Until I found The Lost World of Pompeii, I had no answers to my questions. I deeply regret that this book was not available to me before visiting Pompeii. Whether you will ever get to Pompeii or not, this book is a must for those who are interested in the story of Pompeii, Roman life and art history.
The book is divided into 7 sections, each of which addresses a different aspect of Pompeii:
(1) The city's destruction through the volcanic eruption of Vesuvius on August 24, 79. The current thinking on the destruction is different from what I was told by more tour guide at the time of my visit.
(2) How Pompeii was rediscovered and excavated (with much work left to be done). This unveils the city and explains the slow development of archeology as applied to the city.
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Format: Hardcover
Collaboratively written and presented by Colin Amery (Directory of the World Monuments Fund in Britain) and Brian Curran, Jr. (West Coast Consultant for the World Monuments Fund), and enhanced by the photography of Chris Caldicott, The Lost World Of Pompeii is a lavishly illustrated history, filled from cover to cover with full-color photographs, showcasing what history and archaeology can tell us of the ancient Roman seaside community and culture of Pompeii that suffered sudden oblivion from the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius. An erudite text combines with revealing artworks and the results of archaeological excavation to make The Lost World Of Pompeii a truly immersive, informative, and enthusiastically recommended reading experience.
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Format: Hardcover
I chose this expensive book to add to my collection of Pompeii books based on the editorial and customer reviews so I was very disappointed when it didn't live up to my expectations. In addition to information about Pompeii, I wanted to see quality photographs of the frescos, mosaics sculpture and architecture. The images included in this book are of poor quality and only half are of Pompeiian artifacts. As for the awful photographs, I'm not sure if the blame lies on the photographer, Chris Caldicott, or the printing press. All the photographs are under-exposed which results in any valuable details being obscured by a mass of black ink. The color of every image is flat and many pictures need color correction to to reduce a distracting orange cast. In addition, the black type-face is difficult to read, especially when printed on a background of dark blue sky.

I am immensely frustrated at the shortcomings of this book because the writing of Colin Amery and Brian Curran Jr. is better than any other I've read about Pompeii. With a major overhaul this book could be really great.
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Format: Hardcover
I found the information in this book interesting and well thought out. I've read more in depth analysis of Pompeii by Mary Beard. The let down for this book is that the photographs are terrible. The photographs look underexposed and many lack decent composition. The photographs truly let the book down. The reason I am giving it only 2 stars is that in spite of the writing, the book is presented as a (fairly pricey) image oriented hardcover. It fails as being a book that presents the imagery well and feels far less expensive than the price for what is in it. If it were a less expensive book presented more for the informational content, I would rate it higher. There are better books if you are interested in images of Pompeii.
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