Sunday, 19 September 2010

Waterways Past and Present - book review

Waterways Past and Present
By Derek Pratt
September 2010

Belle picked up a remaindered copy of this coffee table book on our journey down the Thames, I think it was "Nauticalia" at Shepperton, a place full of odd boaty nick nacks.

Derek's books are full of ying and yang as far as I am concerned. I love his photography but find it hard to engage with his written style so I thanked Belle graciously (not that you can go far wrong for a fiver!) and dipped in with some trepidation.

I shouldn't have worried as this is Derek at his best, a book dripping with photos old and new and just a minimal amount of text to explain the views. It's an eclectic mix of photos taken over his 40 years on and around the water, leaping from the 1970's to contemporary images and every year in between.

The structure is whimsical too, sometimes focusing on a particular canal, region or theme like aqueducts. This makes it an ideal book to dip in and out of - you know - the sort of book that lives in the loo to fill those odd five minutes when there is nothing better to do.

What can I say? I love it - its a great collection of images from across the inland waterways all pulled together with great love and affection.

Great value for £5.00 but maybe not the £19.99 quoted on the dust jacket.

ISBN  0-7136-7634-5

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