This book consists of three lectures given by Professor Rybczynski at the New York Public Library (lectures he admits to revising for publication based on the need to respond to challenging questions from his audience). While not as innovative in topic and scope of inquiry as his books "Home" and "Waiting for the Weekend," there is much here that Rybczynski's loyal readers will recognize and appreciate--the author's love of his subject, his deep and broad knowledge of the history of architecture, his high regard for the minutia others tend to dismiss, and his confidence in his own opinion. The three essays--"Dressing Up," "In and Out of Fashion," and "Style"--are an investigation, among other things, of archtects' reluctance to speak of their work in terms of style. "Architects don't like to talk about style," Rybczynski says in his introduction. "Ask an architect what style he works in and you are likely to be met with a pained expression, or with silence." (p. xi). The lectures explore the differences between arcitecture and other art forms (including interior design, cooking, and the rag trade). Of the distinction between style and fashion, he says, "If style is the language of architecture, fashion represents the wide--and swirling--cultural currents that shape and direct that language." (p. 51) In the end, Rybczynski observes, "A suspicion of style is a heritage of the Modern Movement, which preached against the arbitrary dictates of style and fashion, while maintaining an unspoken but rigid stylistic consistency." (p. 109) He also attributes the reluctance to speak in terms of style to archtects' fears (but I'll let you ferret out the provocative supporting quotations for yourself). The lectures are well-seasoned with aphorisms, and I found myself often lowering the book to my lap and pondering individual statements for minutes at a time as if in conversation with the author. I will leave you with just one more of these statements, "The role of details is not to complement architecture; details ARE archticture." (p. 94) All in all, I found "The Look of Architecture" to be a very enjoyable read.