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ATPM 12.02
February 2006





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Book Review

by Tom Bridge,

Cult of iPod


Author: Leander Kahney

Publisher: No Starch Press

Price: $25

Trial: Chapter 5

Leander Kahney is famous in the Mac community for following the “Cult of Mac,” which he defines in the book of the same name as the devoted following of the Mac itself. He follows people who name their children after Mac models, who stage weddings at Macworld Expo, and the ever expanding Newton museum. He turned his discoveries into two books, one based on the Cult of the Mac, and now this new effort on the Cult of the iPod.


There’s a lot to discuss with the iPod; it’s one of the seminal inventions of the early 21st century, with wide-reaching market impact. Instead of talking about the history and the development of the iPod or the fervor associated with the adoption of the iPod, though, the book is almost entirely focused on disconnected vignettes about people who have iPods and do somewhat interesting things with them.

If you were expecting a book with narrative voice, or a consistent approach to examining the effect of the iPod on culture, you’re going to be sorely disappointed, I’m afraid. Kahney’s rambling collection of odd vignettes serves only to profit off the idea that the group of iPod owners are a nigh-religious cult who focus all their lives on the iPod itself.

The only true benefit to the book is its beautiful layout. The pages are strikingly well rendered, featuring some very unique graphics, representations of iPods in strange surroundings, and photos of many of the iPod users in the book. It’s good coffee table reading, but I certainly wouldn’t recommend buying this book.

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