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Ken Adam book - first impressions

Dr Kane

Alphans
'Ken Adam Designs the Movies: James Bond and Beyond'. By Ken Adam & Christopher Frayling. Published by Thames & Hudson, 2008.

This is a hefty, landscape-format hardcover and this presentation does the subject justice. The book covers Mr Adam's 007 set designs, of course, but also 'Dr Strangelove', 'Star Trek: The Motion Picture' and many others.

It's mostly pictures - presumably the whole point of the book, since Adam worked in a visual medium. It's certainly a feast for the eyes, since the quality of image reproduction is very high. For example, the contact sheet of 'Dr No' stills is pin-sharp and the fold-out of the War Room set is superb.

I really enjoyed my first foray into this book. Having said that, I'd say this is a book for film buffs or students of design, rather than a modeller's reference. There are no multiple close-ups of hardware here. Many of the illustrations are Adam's own sketches - these are undoubtedly fascinating in chronicling the evolution of his designs, but probably not useful to kitbashers.

In many ways it reminded me of the recent Mike Trim book, but thicker and with substantially less text. Overall I rate the book highly, with the caveat you should seek out an additional 'making of ' source for each film that relates how these designs were given physical form.

Note: I borrowed this book from a local library because I suspect it retails at around $80 Aust.
 

Jim Lewis

Alphans
It is a very nice book indeed. I have been fortunate to hear Ken talk on a number of occasions over the years and wondered why a book had never been done before to this level and at last it has. He always mentions designs he still has and ideas he could use or never did and stuff. Highly recommend it to fans of all of his design work. For me it is the nicest of those available on his work but all are worth checking out if you get the chance.
 
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