Pure Invention

“This is a wonderful book, exuberant and joyful, full of love for Japan but a deep appreciation of the sorts of links that get left out of popular accounts – political economies, human-interest stories and technological determinism. We do not merely get to experience the Sony Walkman through the eyes of its designers and the company chairman who just wanted to listen to music in public, but also through the eyes of Steve Jobs, who is fascinated by its miniaturisation and utility, and the ears of William Gibson, who discovers a “strange grandeur” to Vancouver as he walks around his city with a new and personalised soundtrack.”

Over at All the Anime, I review Matt Alt’s Pure Invention, a book about the material culture and stories behind some of the inventions that changed our times: the Walkman, the Game Boy, the karaoke machine, and anime…

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