I'm not really sure where the reviewer was coming from who said "Overall, there just doesn't appear to have been that much work put into the book as there should have been. There's no feeling that it was done as a labor of love, so much as just an excuse to grab more cash from fans..."
After receiving this book I feel the complete and absolute opposite. The attention to details and the little knowing touches are what makes this book really stand out in my opinion.
The book was actually much smaller than I had imagined, which I think is a great thing. It fits neatly in your hands and feels just right - not like one of these huge staggering books that makes your arms ache whilst flipping through.
The first thing that make me smile was the dust cover for the book. It's made out of a similar waxy paper that the cards came in back in the 80s. Very nice touch and a clever piece of design. If you take off the dust cover there's a beautifull minimalist photograph of the iconic gum stick on the front and a snapped picture of it on the back. Once again, really creative, clever and appropriate design.
Once in the superb design doesn't let up. The title page is a peeled sticker, the contents page is designed like the iconic yellow check-lists on the back of the cards etc.. etc.. real big-up to the graphic designers who worked on this. They clearly know what it's all about.
The Art Spielgman introduction is Brilliant and goes into how all of this got started with some exclusive inspirational artwork. Nice afterword too - some great info.
As for the book itself from here on in it's a no-nonsense page by page GPK run-down of the first 5 series. The print quality is high and each card has it's own page with the alternative names featured just below. Each card is given space to breath and shine on it's own and it feels very much like flicking through a deck. My one fear was that the cards would all be crammed onto pages with text everywhere, making it a bit of a headache to take in - this is not the case at all.
The final (and for me -most wonderfull) surprise was that tucked at the back of the book are 4 never released before GPK stickers! And more than that.. they're really good ones too (a couple of them are super dark). Pretty much the perfect touch on a brilliant book which knows itself inside out and which I couldn't recommend highly enough to fans and non-fans of GPK alike.