Saturday, September 25, 2010

What I've Been Reading 2

I intended to do this more often, but here are three more books I've read recently.

Michael Broggie is the son of legendary imagineer, Roger Broggie who was their transportation specialist, overseeing the development of pretty much anything that conveyed people from the railroad trains and monorail to the people mover and attraction cars, among many other things. Walt Disney's Railroad Story: The Small-Scale Fascination That Led to a Full-Scale Kingdom is a thorough examination of the development of the Disney theme parks taken from the perspective of Walt Disney's lifelong love of the railroad. It's an absolutely fascinating read. Do not be put off by the high price of this book. It's worth every penny. I've read numerous books on imagineering and the creation of the Disney theme parks, and this one ranks at the top of the list. You can order it directly from Michael Broggie here, or through Amazon via the link above or at the bottom of this post, where  you can choose to order from Michael Broggie as well. He'll sign it for you if you ask, and he ships quickly, and with great care.

Greasepaint and Gore: The Hammer Monsters of Roy Ashton is a book I'd been wanting to own for some time, and while I'm glad to have it now, I found myself wanting more. Ashton, a former opera singer and the possible model for "Q" in the James Bond novels, served as the make-up artist for essentially every Hammer horror movie beginning with "The Curse of Frankenstein." The book's biographical details are certainly interesting. Most of the book though is made up of quotes from people who worked with Ashton as well as photos of Ashton's make-up creations and an abundance of his preproduction drawings. I still felt like there could have been more of these and more behind the scenes photos. There was also not a lot of specifics into how most of the make-ups were created. This is an essential book for any Hammer fan, but could have had just a bit more substance to really make it a definitive work.

This was my second time reading Art & Physics: Parallel Visions in Space, Time, and Light  . The book, just like it says in the title parallels developments in art with what was going on in physics at the time of their development and vice versa. While some of Shlain's connections are tenuous at best, the book is always fascinating and certainly ambitious. If you have an interest in either side covered in this book then it's definitely a worthwhile read.


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