- Gebundene Ausgabe: 192 Seiten
- Verlag: Harry N. Abrams (1. September 2009)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0810978490
- ISBN-13: 978-0810978492
- Vom Hersteller empfohlenes Alter: Ab 13 Jahren
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 14 x 1,9 x 20,3 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 1.216.850 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Obsolete: An Encyclopedia of Once-Common Things Passing Us By, from Mix Tapes and Modesty to Typewriters and Truly Blind Dates (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 1. September 2009
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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Anna Jane Grossman is a New York-based freelance writer specializing in lifestyle and arts and entertainment features. Her work has appeared in dozens of publications, including the "New York Times, "Salon.com, the "Washington ""Post, "CNN.com, the Associated Press, "Elle, New ""York Magazine, Marie Claire, "and "Fortune."
I can relate to a lot of these - and I'm just in my mid thirties.
I especially like that the author does not use the "everything used to be better in the past" approach.
The illustrations are not beautiful per se but they fit the tone and theme of the book quite nicely.
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"Obsolete" is thought-provoking in that it does make one realize how once-seemingly indispensible "things" have somehow simply disappeared in our society's race toward the technological future. Presented in an alphabetized/encyclopedic format, Grossman's range of topics for all-things obsolete are diverse (ditto-paper or easy to open packaging), humorous (handkerchiefs), expected (typewriters) and occasionally odd (wrinkles). Some of the topics covered are simply addressed with a witty, sarcastic quip (anonymity), while others delve deeply into the history of the subject matter (film). In this regard, "Obsolete" scores big points as being both entertaining and informative. While it isn't exactly baffling to understand the downfall of stuffing mucous-covered cloth into pockets for re-use, it is interested how our society has gradually snuffed the art of cursive writing. Grossman definitely does the research on several topics and her efforts often provide a curiosity-satisfying history that led to the flourish of things that have since disappeared.
While the book is oftentimes educational and fun to read, I was hoping for more considering there are so many common things have disappeared in recent years. Maybe this is expecting too much from the author, but when a subtitle includes the word "encyclopedia", I expect the content to reveal more, not less. While brevity could have benefited some of the topics covered and more detail provided for others, I still believe what Grossman presents is worthy. The only other issue I have with "Obsolete" is that the silly artwork that illustrates many of the topics is unnecessary and photos would have been great.
In format, this book is a list of various items that Grossman has designated as obsolete, often with some snarky description of the item. Okay, her humor rarely worked for me, but that is a rather subjective thing. On other, more objective levels, this book fails to live up to its potential.
For one thing, there are clearly items missing, ones that should definitely be in a book like this. Slide rules certainly fit in the "obsolete" category; at one time an essential calculation device, it has since been replaced by calculators and computers which do better jobs at a faster pace. How about tapes? Cassettes, eight-tracks and reel-to-reels are all worthy of mention but are neglected (although she doles mention mix tapes).
Grossman also describes items as obsolete that are really just styles that have fallen out of fashion. Yes, short basketball shorts are no longer used, but not because they are obsolete, but rather just because they are not the style of the moment. Grossman also lists items she may wish were obsolete but aren't there yet, such as books or cash. And then there are layaway purchases: maybe they have fallen out of use, but they're actually making a comeback in this shaky economy.
From a writing standpoint, Obsolete is okay but nothing special. Since it fails to deliver on what it promises, however, I have to rate this with two stars. This book is sadly a disappointment.
In these times a look at the past with reminders of how things were - with a laugh out loud - can always find a ready audience.