The Dream Catalog: A revolutionary, new, illustrated...

Editor's Choice

September 01, 2002|By Michael Pakenham

The Dream Catalog: A revolutionary, new, illustrated directory of the most beautiful, stylish and amazing objects available on the Internet (Cassell Academic, distributed by Sterling, 496 pages, $24.95).

"The Dream Catalog is not strictly a consumer guide," editor Raphaele Vidaling writes in a brief introduction, "but rather a catalog of temptation that flirts with the readers' imagination and their wish lists." And so it is -- there are no prices, the only access to products illustrated are through their Web sites, which is precisely how this gigantic confection of material fantasies was put together. The team that built the book visited 50,000 Web sites, and record here citations of nearly 3,000 of them. Principally a book of marvelous illustrations, each with a brief but informative caption and the Web site, this volume will tempt you with designs and products reaching from a treehouse to a hang glider, from scooters to robots. Whether you ever buy a single thing on the Web seems to me to have very little to do with the joys of this book, an immense compendium of eye candy.

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