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Television: Book summary and reviews of Television by David Thomson

Television

A Biography

by David Thomson

Television by David Thomson X
Television by David Thomson
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Book Summary

"The invention, or the quaint piece of furniture, wandered into our lives in the 1940s, as a primitive plaything, a clever if awkward addition to the household. It was expensive, unreliable and a bit of an invalid." - Television, A Biography

In just a few years, what used to be an immobile piece of living room furniture, which one had to sit in front of at appointed times in order to watch sponsored programming on a finite number of channels, morphed into a glowing cloud of screens with access to a near-endless supply of content available when and how viewers want it. With this phenomenon now a common cultural theme, a writer of David Thomson's stature delivering a critical history, or "biography" of the six-decade television era, will be a significant event which could not be more timely. With Television, the critic and film historian who wrote what Sight and Sound's readers called "the most important film book of the last 50 years" has finally turned his unique powers of observation to the medium that has swallowed film whole.

Over twenty-two thematically organized chapters, Thomson brings his provocatively insightful and unique voice to the life of what was television. David Thomson surveying a Boschian landscape, illuminated by that singular glow - always "on" - and peopled by everyone from Donna Reed to Dennis Potter, will be the first complete history of the defining medium of our time.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. It's a love letter and a warning, beautifully written and deeply disquieting. A bracing, essential engagement with the ramifications of our lives before the small screen." - Kirkus

"Casual readers should enjoy this brisk read, but anyone expecting a comprehensive consideration of the medium will have to look elsewhere." - Publishers Weekly

"Thomson's discussion of a "crowded medium" can feel haphazard at times, and frequent references to current political figures seem tacked on in an otherwise readable examination of this pervasive medium over the past 60 years." - Library Journal

This information about Television was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

David Thomson

David Thomson is a film critic and frequent contributor to the New York Times, the Guardian, and more. He is the author of The Biographical Dictionary of Film, now in its sixth edition, and Moments that Made the Movies.

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