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Review of "The Cult Of Mac" - Book

by Rob LeFebvre, AAUG member
Reviewed 12/04

This book knocks me out. I've never been a huge fan of those "coffee table books," but I've gotta say that I'd put this one out on my coffee table, if I had one. From the front cover photo of the back of a shaved head, with the apple logo cut into it, to the amazingly designed chapter themes and photographs, this is one share-able book!

I've been a fan of the Macintosh since my first machine, back in 1994. I was a member of the EvangeList, which has a major part of a chapter devoted to it in this book. If you're a fan of Leander Kahney's writing for Wired, and a devotee (like me) of his Cult of Mac daily blog (weblog, for the uninitiated), you'll dig this book.

The design of the book is scrumptious. It has big glossy goodness in every page. The first page is a visual representation of the Mac start up chime, which is then followed by pages of the famous blue progress bar from Mac OS X 10.2, Jaguar. Each chapter shows a desktop, with a large window displaying the name of the chapter. The whole book is a tribute to the style of the mac interface, as well as the style and general cultishness of the mac community.

The book is divided into 5 sections: Macintosh Madness, Gatherings of the Clan, Incessant Tinkerers, Hoarders and Recyclers, and New Frontiers. Each one includes many smaller articles and essays on all things Macintosh and Apple. My favorite chapters include the one on the iPod, the chapter about old Macs and the collectors, and the chapter about Macs and the counterculture. Oh, yes, and the chapter about paper macintoshes. Get the book if you really want to know. :) I really enjoyed the long, essay style final chapter, entitled, "What Makes Mac Fans So Loyal?" The last is a moving piece, poetic and passionate, about why we all love our Macs so much, and the company that makes them.

This is a smash hit, if I've ever seen one. The writing is transparently wonderful, consistently easy to access, and kept me turning pages well past what I would have expected. The only small issue I had was some repetition in different parts of the book about the same thing. this is attributable to the fact that much of the Macintosh "content" is connected in many different ways.

Overall, this book is a knockout. It's artistic, concerns a subject near and dear to my heart, and was such a fun read that I'd recommend it to anyone. Buy it, share it, and put it on your coffee table!

cover shot
The Cult Of Mac
Leander Kahney
No Starch Press/OReilly

Beautiful layouts and fun information

Somewhat repetitive at times
1 - 5
5 moose