Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Review of LEGO: A Love Story by Jonathan Bender

Sorry to those of you who read us through RSS or other syndication tools - this is a lightly edited version of the post that originally appeared on September 7th. We're unable to force it to not reappear in the feeds.

LEGO: A Love Story by Jonathan Bender. Wiley; 296 pages; $24.95 or £16.99.

LEGO: A Love Story
Jonathan Bender is a freelance journalist that lives in Kansas City, he has written for the Huffington Post... and he builds with LEGO bricks. LEGO: A Love Story tells the tale of Jonathan Bender’s initiation into the world of the American AFOL (Adult-Fan-Of-LEGO). From sitting down with a pile of random LEGO bricks and wondering what to build, questioning your building skills, getting your family members into the world of LEGO, attending a LEGO show and convention for the first time; this book covers all of the LEGO community "bases".

LEGO: A Love Story could be considered the first memoir about the LEGO hobby. Never before has the world of the AFOL been documented in this fashion; AFOLs have podcasts, video blogs, magazines, blogs, and online journals, but no full length books. LEGO is a visual medium by nature, bricks come in odd colors and shapes and creations can often defy even the wildest imaginations. So writing a book about the intricacies of LEGO creations and their construction processes without the aid of photographs would be an exercise in futility. LEGO: A Love Story is not about building LEGO creations, but about really building with LEGO, building upon one's character.

A creative work wouldn't be creative if it was everything to everyone, and LEGO: A Love Story does fall short in some areas. The author tends to over describe peoples appearance; their hair color, height, accent, dress, and other peculiarities. Reading the book you are confronted with a plethora of names, places, and numbers. Navigating through all of this can sometimes entail re-reading passages to fully comprehend them; this turns into a nuisance quickly.

Despite the book's short comings LEGO: A Love Story is a great read for any serious LEGO builder trying to get an idea of what the "LEGO community" is like. Whether you’re someone who has just rediscovered your childhood love of LEGO bricks, or someone who has been building with LEGO bricks as an adult for years; LEGO: A Love Story will open your eyes to what can be achieved with a pile of plastic bricks: anything.

LMOTD was provided a review copy of this book. This is Matthew's review, Dan's review will be up as soon as possible.

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