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Customer Review

on August 25, 2010
This book is a topical history of artificial lighting from the early use of candles to current trends in electric lighting. It includes interesting information such as the roles and perceptions of early street lighting (will it encourage crime or deter it?) and the effect of artificial lighting on migration patterns in animals and sleep cycles in humans. I found the book to be a worthwhile read for this information alone.

The major problem in the book was the over-reliance on block quotes when the author could have easily paraphrased the material and referenced it. Instead, entire superfluous descriptions were cut-and-pasted into the text (though they were properly referenced). This led to major disruptions in flow, and I found myself skipping many of the quotes as they really weren't necessary to the overall story being told. I was always advised that any piece of writing should not be comprised of greater than 10-15% direct quotations. This book is a good example of why that is excellent advice.

Overall: 4 stars for information and 2 stars for writing. It's worth a read if you'd like a quick overview of lighting through history.
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