Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Spectacle” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.71  ·  Rating details ·  42 ratings  ·  4 reviews
'Spectacle' is a visual essay that celebrates the phenomenon and history of public performance worldwide. Colour and archival photographs document 19 events, among them the Olympic Games, the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, and the Burning Man festival in the Nevada Desert.
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 15th 2006 by Phaidon Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Spectacle, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Spectacle

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  42 ratings  ·  4 reviews

Sort order
Mar 20, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010
Spectacle is a survey of Baroque maximalism in modern times, covering events and places which are big, bold, or brief: Burning Man, Las Vegas, NASCAR, the Running of the Bulls, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and more.

I definitely enjoyed the book, but its depth and focus were mildly unnerving: it was not quite a travelogue, not quite a full study of these grandiose events, and not emotional or detailed enough to be really engaging. The photography, layout, and pace of the book (designed by
May 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
David Rockwell has captured far-flung and fleeting human spectacles for us to marvel at. All the spectacles in his book are planned: intentionally created and experienced by willing participants, usually for pleasure.

On the other hand, spectacles that arise from tragedy are different — we call them memorials. They are created organically, driven by the creativity of collective bystanders randomly brought together by disaster. Each individual is so inexplicably moved by the emotions and meaning o
Nov 22, 2011 rated it did not like it
Disappointing. Full of boring interviews, poor quality photos, and a collection of mostly yawn-worthy spectacles, including Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, NASCAR, Burning Man, Olympics, Fireworks. The book does nothing to make a reader/viewer feel like they are actually a part of any of these events. Really not worth even checking out of the library.
Doug Matthews
Feb 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Beautiful photography and some interesting interviews and commentary. It's a good coffee table book. However, it lacks depth of understanding as to why humans enjoy spectacle. It also concentrates only on the 20th century.
rated it liked it
Nov 20, 2010
Michael Draznin
rated it liked it
Mar 22, 2008
rated it really liked it
May 24, 2010
rated it liked it
Jun 12, 2013
Kingshuk Mukherjee
rated it really liked it
Jun 08, 2014
rated it really liked it
Sep 23, 2008
Ray McMullen
rated it really liked it
Jun 01, 2013
Douglas Pearce
rated it really liked it
Jan 04, 2008
Erika Rand
rated it liked it
Sep 30, 2013
rated it liked it
Apr 07, 2011
rated it really liked it
May 19, 2015
Damian Borchok
rated it really liked it
Jan 26, 2017
rated it liked it
Jul 20, 2011
rated it really liked it
Sep 24, 2014
rated it liked it
Jun 15, 2013
rated it liked it
Mar 30, 2010
rated it liked it
Mar 24, 2013
Liliana Amundaraín
rated it liked it
Sep 19, 2011
rated it really liked it
Jun 09, 2012
Jan Erik Raanes
rated it really liked it
Dec 27, 2009
rated it it was amazing
Nov 26, 2014
Ben Dockter
rated it really liked it
Nov 15, 2018
rated it really liked it
Apr 01, 2008
rated it liked it
Jul 14, 2012
Zach Nies
rated it liked it
Feb 11, 2016
rated it really liked it
Jan 14, 2018
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »