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Publisher's Summary

For more than half a century, Ada Louise Huxtable's keen eye and vivid writing have reinforced to readers how important architecture is and why it continues to be both controversial and fascinating - making her one of the best-known critics in the world.

On Architecture collects the best of Huxtable's writing from the New York Times, New York Review of Books, Wall Street Journal, and her various books. In these selections, Huxtable examines the 20th century's most important architectural masters and projects, cataloging the seismic shifts in style, function, and fashion that have led to the dramatic new architecture of the 21st century.

©2008 Ada Louise Huxtable (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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Embarassing narration

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Ada Louise Huxtable was a perceptive, articulate and interesting observer of the built environment. While some of these essays have proven to be a bit dated, hearing her perspective over 50 years is fascinating. Then there is the narration. The narrator continually mispronounces names, is jerky in his pronunciation, seems to have little or no understanding of foreign words and is embarrassingly ignorant of even the basic terminology in architecture. I had to stop listening because his errors got too irritating to continue.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Disappointed

As an architect, the names and places are so indelibly ingrained into to our heads that hearing so many poorly pronounced names and places became a distraction. I found myself having to rewind a few seconds quite often because my head was attempting to decipher a name, and lost track of the rest of the sentence.
The narrator is clearly not familiar with the material, nor was the producer. Ultimately, it is a disservice to Huxtables work. I couldn't even get past the first 2 hrs of the book before giving up on it. Wish I'd have a mulligan on that Audible credit...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Juan
  • Florida
  • 09-03-17

Was she a total objectivist?

She seems to like Ayn Rand and to hate taxes.

Either way. I loved it. I learned a lot about architecture from it

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She would be aghast

What did you like best about On Architecture? What did you like least?

Huxtable's many decades long view of the New York, US and world architecture scene. Great insights that we can see evolving over the years. The organization of these essays could have been better; the dates keep jumping. Her sometimes scathing views are still relevant today.

What didn’t you like about T. David Rutherford’s performance?

There was not much to like about this performance. The rhythm and emphasis of the phrases were awkward and jerky. He mispronounces continually. Why didn't he bother to research the French origin words, instead of making it up, incorrectly? But the worst was his mashing of the names of the great architects that Huxtable refers to. Over and over. I've never heard a more ignorant performance.

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How Not To Pronounce Every Architect's Name

The essays are brilliant. The reader, however, mispronounces at least one word per paragraph--good old-fashioned English words that he apparently never heard in school and figured he didn't need to look up. It's occasionally amusing but usually distracting. And when it comes to the names of architects, or French terms used in design and architecture, it's appalling. Hearing Mies referred to as Mize again and again is like fingernails in a chalkboard. But the essays are so beautifully written, erudite, wise, brave.

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Timeline

Collection is not linear but jumps back and forth. Not fair she gets to eulogize the twin towers before we hear her scathing reviews from back in the sixties and seventies. Should have had a female narrator, and narrator uses American phonetics to pronounce foreign names?

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Architecture doesn't translate to Audio

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

This book is only for the architecture or history nerd (I am both). This audio book made it very clear to me, architectural space can be described but without a floor plan or elevation or even a concept of the building, it is very hard to listen to a review criticizing it. It is even harder to understand unless you know the details of the buildings talked about. It is also very dated material so don't expect a modern reinterpretation of an old building. On the other hand, if you know what the reviewer is talking about, the time frame of architectural history, and willing to accept a very opinionated art critic rambling on social issues of architecture of the 20th century, this is great!

Has On Architecture turned you off from other books in this genre?

a little. I want more audio books on architecture. While i drive or working i can be learning.... but architecture space is hard to understand from a simple narrative.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

There should be an updated editorial about each review when translated into audio... date and time of article for each building would be more helpful also. The titles of the chapters need to be listed a lot better... chapter 1-77 is not a way to list individual reviews. This is not a chronological story telling so no reason to listen in any order. Jump around if you know where to jump to.

Did On Architecture inspire you to do anything?

Write this review and warn others.

Any additional comments?

There needs to be more audio books on architecture!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful