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Book Review: What's So Great About The Eiffel Tower?

2 min, 11 sec read
9:00 AM | 29 March 2017
by Hollie Wong
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The latest book by architectural critic, Jonathan Glancey, is full of interesting tidbits of information and charming stories of how some of our most iconic landmarks were once treasured, resented and discovered by critics, architects and explorers of the past.

What's it about?

In 'What's So Great About the Eiffel Tower?' Glancey journeys time and architectural periods to question the historic and current status of our most famous structures, including the Manhattan Skyline, Stonehenge, and even the city of Venice.

The rebelliousness of Christopher Wren, the noise of the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the ruined vision of Stansted Airport make for engaging stories that’ll interest even the most architecturally adverse readers.

Long enough to give us some great detail, but concise enough to capture, Glancey balances historical context with fun facts fit for a pub quiz.

Is it any good?

With most industry books you've got to sacrifice the fun factor, but Glancey doesn't do this, he makes the historical anecdotes amusing and absorbing for all 70 structures he explores.

"The historical anecdotes are amusing and absorbing for all 70 structures he explores."

It's a great read for a Sunday afternoon and would sit perfectly on any coffee or lounge table. Though it may not have the depth of some of Glancey's previous works, it still offers a valuable insight into the history and culture of the architecture industry that's suitable for most readers.

Who's it for?

Glancey's latest really is a great opportunity for aspiring architects to learn and question the structures that will go on to inspire them, whilst also widening the knowledge of even the most notorious architecture experts.

The mixture of iconic structures like the sphinx and a modern town hall in Finland mirrors the opportunity for a mixture of readers of all ages and interests to enjoy this book.

How much is it going to cost me?

At £12.99, 'What's So Great About the Eiffel Tower?' is reasonably priced, but is an even more tempting purchase with the 35% discount code 'FutureRising' on the Laurence King website.

Overall verdict

What's So Great About the Eiffel Tower? is an interesting and engaging look at the iconic buildings, palaces and museums that have long adorned key rings and t-shirts but would have ended up looking very differently had history had its way.

"You'll learn and laugh with Glancey's latest."

But in Glancey balancing popular culture icons with context and terminology, he's produced a great text for multiple audiences and purposes.

Whether you've got a beginner's understanding of architecture, or have had the experience and expertise of Christopher Wren himself, you'll learn and laugh with Glancey's latest.

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