King Ævil's Reviews > The Pinball Compendium: 1970-1981

The Pinball Compendium by Michael Shalhoub
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's review
Dec 24, 2007

it was ok
bookshelves: general-nonfiction, 2008
Read in January, 2008

Readers of a certain age will fondly remember the old mechanical pinball machines showcased in The Pinball Compendium: 1970-1981, from a long-lost Golden Age of Pinball before skill took a back seat to incomprehensible playfields and audio overstimulation. Unfortunately, that's about all that recommends this book. Collectors, and nobody else, will appreciate the unexplained technical terms and rambling stories from the life histories of various pinball game designers and manufacturers. Worse yet, the writing is awkward and highly repetitious. Facts that belong in tables are presented time after time with precisely the same wording. Granted, many of the games featured are extremely rare, and so it is unreasonable to expect professional photography. Nonetheless, the author should have been a bit more discerning in selecting game photos: one collector prominently represented in the book has yet to become acquainted with his camera's focus or exposure settings. The author, an Australian pinball fanatic and game hobbyist, has amassed a reasonably complete collection of games from the transitional era from purely electromechanical to solid-state, electronic games. However, even I noticed omissions of at least three notable pioneers of the solid-state era, circa 1980.

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