Saturday, March 5, 2011
Book Review: "The Magnificent 5" / R. Messenger
The Magnificent 5 and 250 Other Great Things About Portable Typewriters .. by Robert Messenger. One hundred pages; soft bound. Published 2011 by the Australian Typewriter Museum, Canberra.
Our friend Robert Messenger has been, over the last several years, perhaps the most prolific, public and active proponent of collecting and researching typewriters on the vast Australian continent. Robert has formed a collectors' association there and along with Mr. Richard Amery, another of our friends, has done more than anyone in many years to get collectors elsewhere to understand what the whole typewriter scene, as it were, was and continues to be in his homeland. A very accomplished author, Robert has a writing style that is like an open road on a sunny day when you've just been presented with a convertible coupe. You just have to go; and with Robert, you just start off and find yourself ever accelerating.
Robert is very clear in his introduction about what this little book (in size only) is and is not - and reading his statement of what it isn't makes you keep reading instead of going to get a drink and a snack to have handy for when you put the book down. Once you're on board with the concept, you take a wide, fun and sometimes very tangential but always focused look at typewriters and typewriting from every conceivable angle. In this way, this book is completely unique in the field of collectors' books written for typewriter enthusiasts.
I highly recommend this book. Available direct at $20A per copy from the publisher.
Australian Typewriter Museum
12 Gormanston Crescent, Deakin 2600, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia.