Sunday, December 26, 2010

Quick Book Review: Lincoln in 3-D

Santa was kind enough to bring me a copy of Lincoln in 3-D by John J Richter, and though I admit I have not read its text yet, I have looked at the pictures and have to say this is a really cool book and a great idea for a different view (literally) of the Civil War.

Of course, most of the pictures are not of Lincoln, so perhaps it should have been called The Civil War in 3-D instead, but it is still really neat to see these pictures, using the 3-D glasses that are included with the book. Some of the pictures work better in 3-D than the others (the various portraits of individuals often are not as impressive as other pictures) but a few of them - including scenes of dead soldiers on a battlefield, a hospital scene with a table that seems to stretch to infinity and a few others - are absolutely incredible and make it feel like you can reach out and touch the object, or at lest put your fingers into the picture. (When you do, of course, your finger quickly hits the page and jolts you back into reality - or at least it did me.)

I also must admit that the two scenes of the dead bodies really stood out and created different feelings in me. It's not exactly "sadness" but perhaps just a better realization of what death looks like, or maybe simply a closer view of the tragic aspect of this war. I don't know how to explain it, but seeing those bodies in this format did make me pause on those pages for a few extra moments and think about what I was viewing.

I do wish the glasses were a bit bigger, or at least had longer ear-pieces, as I wear "normal" glasses and had to fit the 3-D pair under mine, but it just takes a little bit of effort and is certainly worth it.

I did hand the book to a relative to look through the pictures, but after she flipped through a few pages, it actually made her slightly queasy. I had no such issues at all, but I guess it might happen with some people.

I've already flipped through this book 2 or 3 times and I'm sure I'll do so much more often. I will read the book's text eventually, but this is a book to own for the pictures. They are just incredible to look at in 3-D. Even though I have seen many of these pictures probably dozens of time, seeing them like this is definitely a new and quite exciting experience.

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