Reviewer: N Z Crown Mines
Title: Rails Across Europe: Eastern And Southern Europe
Rails Across Europe: Northern And Western Europe
Author: David Cable
Total No. of Pages: (Rails Across Europe: Eastern And Southern Europe): 258
(Rails Across Europe: Northern And Western Europe): 245
Colour Pages: (Rails Across Europe: Eastern and Southern Europe):248
(Rails Across Europe: Northern And Western Europe): 236
Rating Scale (1: very poor, 10: excellent): Photographs: 8; The overall volumes: 4.
Although these are separate titles, the author notes that they are in fact ‘sister’ volumes; it is on that basis that this reviewer has chosen to deal with them as a single entity.
These works are hard-covered examples of the ‘Enthusiasts’ picture books’ genre and contain colour images of locomotives (both with and without attached trains), in a wide variety of locations across the European continent. The author very-evidently loves both his subject and photography, and has travelled widely in pursuit of his subject material. |It should be noted however that although the majority of the images are his own, contributions from other photographers also appear, a fact acknowledged by the author. The quality of the images is such, that if a reader is seeking a pair of books showing only contemporary ‘European’ trains, there would be few to rival what these works contain. It should however be noted that the section on the United Kingdom is not large, the author stating that this railway system will be the subject of a separate volume in its own right.
However, although the images are of excellent quality, this reviewer believes that these works are seriously let down in other areas. Because the volumes are arranged by country, this reviewer expected to find, at minimum, a map of Europe indicating international boundaries, borders ad railway networks. He found none. Regional maps (to assist the reader in locating the sites where the images were photographed\) were also absent. There are no maps within these volumes, and unless the reader is familiar with the continent/region/ district, the locations and captions are virtually meaningless. Each volume contains an Introduction, Notes on railways of each country [sic], and nothing else. There is no Index, Table of Contents, or Glossary. There is no way of identifying or locating the various locomotives (or even the sections for individual countries) within the volumes. No key is provided for the numerous abbreviations that appear within these volumes, making them of little value.
In precis, the images within this work are beautiful, the photography superb, and if that is what the purchaser is seeking, they will be well-satisfied. If however, a buyer is seeking some sort of ‘authoritative’ work (if only for random ‘dipping-type’ searching) then this work may not be what they require.
The inclusion of the absent additional items (Maps, Abbreviation Key etc.) could have made this work so much more; its potential may have been compromised by their absence.
On a rating scale of 1-10 where 1: very poor, 10: excellent, I would give the photographs an 8, the overall volumes, 4.
nzcrownmines is also available for book reviewing Contact nzcrownmines@