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The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design Hardcover – 30 October 2020

4.8 out of 5 stars 2,301 ratings

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Product description

Review

The ideal companion for city buffs, who'll come away seeing the streets in an entirely different light. - Kirkus

Here is a field guide, a boon, a bible, for the urban curious. Your city's secret anatomy laid bare -- a hundred things you look at but don't see, see but don't know. Each entry is a compact, surprising story, a thought piece, an invitation to marvel. Together, they are almost transformative. To know why things are as they are adds a satisfying richness to daily existence. This book is terrific, just terrific. - Mary Roach, author of Stiff and Grunt

I can hear Roman's dulcet tones as I read through this book. It's absolutely fascinating to get an in depth look at the city through their eyes, my walks will never be the same again. 100% brilliant. - Roma Agrawal, author of Built: The Hidden Stories Behind Our Structures

We usually define cities in terms of their bigness, so it's easy to forget that our daily experience of any city is made up of countless tiny, intimate encounters. Just as Jane Jacobs did fifty years ago, Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt provide a new way of seeing urban life, finding secrets and surprises behind every sewer grate, storefront, and street sign. - Michael Bierut, design critic and author of How to Use Graphic Design to Sell Things, Explain Things, Make Things Look Better, Make People Laugh, Make People Cry, and (Every Once in a While) Change the World

Conversational, bite-size entries [and] beautiful tricolor illustrations . . . A field guide for anywhere. - Booklist

The 99% Invisible City brings into view the fascinating but often unnoticed worlds we walk and drive through every day, and to read it is to feel newly alive and aware of your place in the world. This book made me laugh, and it made me cry, and it reminded me to always read the plaque.' - John Green, bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All The Way Down

[A] diverse and enlightening book . . . The 99% Invisible City is altogether fresh and imaginative when it comes to thinking about urban spaces. - The New York Times Book Review

'The Invisible City is not a book, but a pair of magic glasses that transform the mundane city around you into a vibrant museum of human ingenuity.' - Justin McElroy, podcaster and New York Times bestselling author of The Adventure Zone

Book Description

An alternative guide to the hidden everyday objects in a city, from the hugely successful podcast 99% Invisible

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Hodder & Stoughton; 1st edition (30 October 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1529355273
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1529355277
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 18.6 x 3 x 23 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 2,301 ratings

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
2,301 global ratings
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Top reviews from Australia

Reviewed in Australia on 16 January 2021
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Reviewed in Australia on 17 February 2021
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Reviewed in Australia on 5 December 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

Robby Green
3.0 out of 5 stars There are NO pictures, just some vague illustrations.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 October 2020
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3.0 out of 5 stars There are NO pictures, just some vague illustrations.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 October 2020
Good book, the content is interesting and informative. The illustrations are just ok. I feel as if I really want to see the things being described, the way I do when I listen to the podcast and the illustrations are just vague sketches with no real detail. I believe the book has missed the opportunity to give listeners what they would ultimately like, a photograph of what is being described. I would have loved to have a book with less words and more pictures, diagrams and arrows with captions.
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22 people found this helpful
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Rhys
3.0 out of 5 stars Terrible Ebook, OK Book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 October 2020
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10 people found this helpful
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Retro Scendence
4.0 out of 5 stars Kindle version difficult to read, or maybe user error?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 October 2020
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4.0 out of 5 stars Kindle version difficult to read, or maybe user error?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 October 2020
The text in the Kindle version is light grey making it hard to read. I have checked the settings on my device and compared to other books and it only seems to be an issue with this book. You can see the 'book progress' text in the picture is the normal blackness in contrast to the lighter body text.

I will be happy to amend or remove this review if it's a case of user error.

I'm a big fan of the podcast and I'm sure the book will be fantastic once I am able to read it.
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10 people found this helpful
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Yet Another Alias
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book, from the king of the beautiful nerds. Buy it. NOW.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 November 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book, from the king of the beautiful nerds. Buy it. NOW.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 November 2020
If you're listened to the 99% Invisible podcast, then you already know what you're getting. If you haven't, then you really, really ought to.

Physically, the book is absolutely gorgeous to look at and to hold. Roman has, of course, a keen eye for design - and it shows in every aspect. The paper, the layout, the illustrations... everything. It's truly exquisite work.

The content is fascinating. So many things that are "that way for a reason" that you probably never thought - or even noticed. (Unless, of course, you're a 99pi listener - we DO think about these things)

Buy it. Buy it now. And buy copies for everyone you love.

And remember.... #AlwaysReadThePlaque

(Footnote: my photos show the book along with the challenge coin that was available to those that pre-ordered)
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One person found this helpful
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G. Crook
5.0 out of 5 stars Prepare to have your eyes opened to the wonder that surrounds us all.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 26 October 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Prepare to have your eyes opened to the wonder that surrounds us all.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 26 October 2020
I’d normally sing a books praises, once I’d reached the end. There’s no need with The 99% Invisible City, it’s clear right from the start that it’s a bit special.

I’m barely 20 pages in before falling in love. The gorgeous illustrations, the perfectly crafted stories of hidden details all around us. Even the size and weight of it had a reassuring presence.

If you know and love the 99% Invisible Podcast this is a must and if you don’t, this is a wonderful introduction.
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2 people found this helpful
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