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Lost Worlds [Hardcover]

John Howe
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 10 2009

From the world of Aratta and Mohenjo-Daro to Atlantis and Camelot, this visually stunning book is a window with a view that takes readers on an historical, archaeological, and mythological journey through lost worlds, those abandoned in time, buried and forgotten, and the ones that live in the imagination. Attempting to put the most plausible pieces of history together, John Howe, concept artist for The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, begins the journey that will move readers to explore these lost worlds even further.


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Review

Booklist
Bringing his experience as a concept artist for the filmed Lord of the Rings (Gandalf—er, Ian McKellan even provides an introduction) to bear, [Howe] depicts each featured locale at its height with handsome, dramatic painted tableaux and expert pencil sketches. Like Dugald Steer’s Explorer: A Daring Guide for Young Adventurers (2007), this will be just the ticket for armchair travel.
 
School Library Journal
Howe presents documented fact, accepted theory, and traditional story, distinguishing among them.
The text is supported by  well-chosen photos of artifacts and reproductions of art, and of course, Howe's sumptuous, panoramic paintings.
 
Library Media Connection
A beautiful blend of fact and fantasy... A great tool to teach descriptive writing or to study lost worlds.
 
San Antonio Book Review
[Howe's] immense talent draws readers in and keeps them spellbound. Beautful, clever, and sure to be the source of many idle daydreams to come.
 
Bookworming in the 21st Century
This book is spectacular. The illustrations are out of this world and the background behind each of the lost worlds is eye-opening. Visually stunning. If you love to learn about a combination of history and fantasy, you will enjoy this book immensely.
Boys Read
Rich and stunning illustrations take you on a historical, archaeological, and mythological journey to far off lands abandoned in time. You'll find yourself flipping through these worlds over and over.
 
 

About the Author

John Howe is best known for his work based on JRR Tolkien’s worlds. He was one of two lead artists working on The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. This is his first book for children.


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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars reviewing Lost Worlds by John Howe Feb. 27 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is a strong and well-balanced example of Howe's wonderful draughtmanship, supported by images of ancient cities and recognizable features from the past. The text is evocative, light, and the paintings, eye-stopping, as you would expect from Howe. I'm expecially fond of Howe's scketches and, if you are too, you will be inspiredby the examples you will find in this book. I read it from cover to cover in two nights and will it revisited many times again. A shining and modest example of John Howe's world, which finds itself at home with other Howe masterpieces such as Forging Dragons and Myth and Magic
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lands lost and imagined May 16 2010
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
John Howe is a maker of magical worlds -- anybody who's seen his "Lord of the Rings" art knows that he's a master of elegantly detailed pictures, glowing with vibrant colors. But "Lost Worlds" is not just an art book, but a moderately exploration of "lost" places... some of which have been lost to time, and some of which technically never existed except in people's minds. And yes, the art is gorgeous.

Some of these lost "worlds" did once actually exist as ancient cities and countries throughout history -- Babylon, Thebes, Troy, Timbuktu, the giant statues of Rapa Nui, Mohenjo Daro, Teotihuacan, Persepolis, the ancient site of Cahokia, Pompeii, Knossos, and perhaps the Garden of Eden (it's a bit hard to prove the specific existence of someplace with no buildings).

Then there are the ones that are all about the imagination --the realms of the gods known as Asgard and Olympus, Camelot and Avalon, the sunken city of Atlantis, Ultima Thule, the seven cities of Cibola, Shambhala, Uluru, the mythical kingdom of Prester John, the realm of Faerie, and the whole legend about a Hollow Earth. I'm not sure why Ker-Ys isn't included in the mythical funfest.

Some of these "lost worlds" were real (or our information of them is commonly based on something real), some of them may have been mistily attached to something real, and some are pure flights of fancy. But they do all have something in common -- John Howe explores their backstory, with archeological photographs and explorations, and historical records (such as a papal letter to King Prester John... which is a bit confusing since nobody can find his kingdom).

None of it is terribly in-depth -- usually the text stretches no further than two and a half pages, and it seems aimed at younger readers sometimes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but more for kids Dec 1 2009
By Parka HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Length: 0:21 Mins
John is one of the two lead artists who worked on The Lord of the Rings film. In his latest book Lost Worlds he explores places, mythical or not, that have fascinated people. Some of the places include Eden, Babylon, Troy, Pompeii, Asgard and more -- 24 in total.

The hardcover has a circular cutout holding a magnifying plastic -- glass would probably break if not handled properly -- peeping into a burning Atlantis. Pretty cool idea.

This is a children book -- says 3+ on the back cover -- or a book you would read to children. It's sort of like a National Geographic magazine covering archaeological stories, except there are more stories on mythology. The writeup isn't that technical and stories are not really long either. The art is not some major new creation but a re-interpretation of the places -- think National Geography style art.

This book is recommended to parents with kids, obviously. I didn't realise this is a children book when I bought it. It's not a bad purchase but I'm not the target reader. It's still quite interesting to read.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but more for kids Dec 1 2009
By Parka - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
John is one of the two lead artists who worked on The Lord of the Rings film. In his latest book Lost Worlds he explores places, mythical or not, that have fascinated people. Some of the places include Eden, Babylon, Troy, Pompeii, Asgard and more -- 24 in total.

The hardcover has a circular cutout holding a magnifying plastic -- glass would probably break if not handled properly -- peeping into a burning Atlantis. Pretty cool idea.

This is a children book -- says 3+ on the back cover - or a book you would read to children. It's sort of like a National Geographic magazine covering archaeological stories, except there are more stories on mythology. The writeup isn't that technical and stories are not really long either. The art is not some major new creation but a re-interpretation of the places -- think National Geography style art.

This book is recommended to parents with kids, obviously. I didn't realise this is a children book when I bought it. It's not a bad purchase but I'm not the target reader. It's still quite interesting to read.

(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for what it is Nov. 14 2009
By Calibandar - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Just got a copy of this lovely hardcover art book with full colour paintings and text by John Howe. Very beautifully made, some interesting locations chosen, ranging from Camelot, Avalon, Asgard and the land of Faerie as Howe imagines it, to ancient Troy, MT. Olympus, Babylon, Knossos etc. Nothing to criticize really, for what it is it's lovely.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All ages will find this a powerful presentation Feb. 23 2010
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
LOST WORLDS is a gorgeous illustrated presentation covering a range of lost worlds of myth and legend, from Atlantis and Troy to Avalon and more. Tolkien illustrator John Howe's visions offer 24 worlds blending lovely full-page drawings with historic and mythic descriptions on facing pages. All ages will find this a powerful presentation.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lands lost and imagined Dec 12 2009
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
John Howe is a maker of magical worlds -- anybody who's seen his "Lord of the Rings" art knows that he's a master of elegantly detailed pictures, glowing with vibrant colors. But "Lost Worlds" is not just an art book, but a moderately exploration of "lost" places... some of which have been lost to time, and some of which technically never existed except in people's minds. And yes, the art is gorgeous.

Some of these lost "worlds" did once actually exist as ancient cities and countries throughout history -- Babylon, Thebes, Troy, Timbuktu, the giant statues of Rapa Nui, Mohenjo Daro, Teotihuacan, Persepolis, the ancient site of Cahokia, Pompeii, Knossos, and perhaps the Garden of Eden (it's a bit hard to prove the specific existence of someplace with no buildings).

Then there are the ones that are all about the imagination --the realms of the gods known as Asgard and Olympus, Camelot and Avalon, the sunken city of Atlantis, Ultima Thule, the seven cities of Cibola, Shambhala, Uluru, the mythical kingdom of Prester John, the realm of Faerie, and the whole legend about a Hollow Earth. I'm not sure why Ker-Ys isn't included in the mythical funfest.

Some of these "lost worlds" were real (or our information of them is commonly based on something real), some of them may have been mistily attached to something real, and some are pure flights of fancy. But they do all have something in common -- John Howe explores their backstory, with archeological photographs and explorations, and historical records (such as a papal letter to King Prester John... which is a bit confusing since nobody can find his kingdom).

None of it is terribly in-depth -- usually the text stretches no further than two and a half pages, and it seems aimed at younger readers sometimes. But it is highly informative and full of intriguing, and Howe seems to have done plenty of research. And his focus has a wide range, from Australia to southern Asia, the South Pacific to Egypt, the Americas to ancient Britain, Greece, and Rome. It also has a nice little foreword by Sir Ian McKellen, describing the sensations of reading this book (and reminding us, "Not that John is some conjurer of cheap tricks").

And since it's John Howe, it has artwork -- rosy-hued skies, great grey-blue tsunamis and rivers, shadowy bull-monsters, warm-hued stone walls and obelisks, the bloody eruptions of fire and volcanoes, horn-headed sea serpents swimming near a misty shore, murky floating wall art, shimmering white castles, twisted trees and a "North Pole hole" that illuminates the the vast darkness of space.

"Lost Worlds" is a very lovely art book that also explores the origins, legends and history of all these various places -- whether they're imagined, or just lost. I mean, really lost. And the artwork simply sweeps you away.
4.0 out of 5 stars only read the Mohenjo-Daro pages... Feb. 21 2014
By Heather J. Keimig - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I used this when studying the Mohenjo-Daro and Harrapan peoples, so didn't look further to examine other pages. What we read, we liked.

I will certainly say that I LOVED the illustrations! ...but then that's what Mr. Howe gets paid the big bucks to do, right?!

A beautiful book.
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