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Tubes : Behind the Scenes at the Internet

3.48 (2,691 ratings by Goodreads)
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Tubes: Behind the Scenes at the Internet by Andrew Blum is...

'Utterly engrossing. The year's most original and stimulating 'travel' book. Even the most geek-wary of readers will enjoy' Independent

'Entertaining and illuminating. Excels at rooting the Internet in real-world locations. Full of memorable images that make its complex architecture easier to comprehend' Observer

The Internet. Home to the most important and intimate aspects of our lives. Our careers, our relationships, our selves, all of them are out there - online. So ... where is that exactly? And who's in charge again? And what if it breaks?

In Tubes Andrew Blum takes us on a gripping backstage tour of the real but hidden world of the Internet, introducing us to the remarkable clan of insiders and eccentrics who own, design and run it everyday. He uncovers the secret data warehouses where our online selves are stored, peels back the wires that transport us across the globe, reveals its mammoth hubs and surprising alley-ways, explaining what the Internet actually is, where it is, how it got there - and, yes, what happens when it breaks.

'An engaging reminder that, cyber-Utopianism aside, the Internet is as much a thing of flesh and steel as any industrial-age lumber mill or factory. An excellent introduction to the nuts and bolts of how exactly it all works and a timely antidote to oft-repeated abstractions about "cyberspace" or "cloud computing" Economist

'Makes hard-to-grasp concepts easy to understand, even obvious. The history, in particular, is one of the best and most memorable I have ever read' New Scientist

'A Quixotic and winning book with a knack for bundling packets of data into memorable observations. This valuable book leaves you with its share of unsettling visions, but there are comic ones too' The New York Times

'For a full understanding of the Internet on every level, this book is a must-read' Techzone

'A great, playful, wondrous read' ArsTechnica

'Blum is perhaps the millennial generation's John McPhee, chronicling an arcane journey of deep relevance to everyday life. For non-techies, the book is a very accessible revelation' Forbes

'All too awesome to behold. Andrew Blum's fascinating book demystifies the earthly geography of this most ethereal terra incognita' Joshua Foer, author of Moonwalking with Einstein

'Compelling and profound. You will never open an e-mail in quite the same way again' Tom Vanderbilt, author of Traffic

'One of our best writers. A compelling story of an altogether new realm where the virtual world meets the physical' Paul Goldberger, New Yorker

'The Internet really IS a series of tubes! Who knew?' David Pogue, The New York Times

Andrew Blum writes about architecture, infrastructure and technology for many publications, including the New Yorker, The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, Slate and Popular Science. He is a correspondent for Wired, a contributing editor to Metropolis and lives in his hometown of New York City.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 26mm | 280g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • ill
  • 014104909X
  • 9780141049090
  • 320,620

Review Text

Utterly engrossing. The year's most original and stimulating 'travel' book. Even the most geek-wary of readers will enjoy Independent, Book of the Week
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Review quote

Utterly engrossing. The year's most original and stimulating 'travel' book. Even the most geek-wary of readers will enjoy * Independent, Book of the Week * Entertaining and illuminating. Excels at rooting the Internet in real-world locations. Full of memorable images that make its complex architecture easier to comprehend * Observer * An engaging reminder that, cyber-Utopianism aside, the Internet is as much a thing of flesh and steel as any industrial-age lumber mill or factory ... An excellent introduction to the nuts and bolts of how exactly it all works and a timely antidote to oft-repeated abstractions about "cyberspace" or "cloud computing" * Economist * Makes hard-to-grasp concepts easy to understand, even obvious. The history, in particular, is one of the best and most memorable I have ever read * New Scientist * A Quixotic and winning book with a knack for bundling packets of data into memorable observations. This valuable book leaves you with its share of unsettling visions, but there are comic ones too * The New York Times * For a full understanding of the Internet on every level, this book is a must-read * Techzone * A great, playful, wondrous read * ArsTechnica * Blum is perhaps the millennial generation's John McPhee, chronicling an arcane journey of deep relevance to everyday life. For non-techies, the book is a very accessible revelation * Forbes * All too awesome to behold. Andrew Blum's fascinating book demystifies the earthly geography of this most ethereal terra incognita -- Joshua Foer, author of Moonwalking with Einstein A brilliantly smart idea executed with investigative skill and flair. Readers will never send an email so carelessly again. * Independent Books of the Year * Compelling and profound. You will never open an e-mail in quite the same way again -- Tom Vanderbilt, author of the New York Times bestseller Traffic One of our best writers. A compelling story of an altogether new realm where the virtual world meets the physical -- Paul Goldberger, Pulitzer Prize-winning New Yorker critic The Internet really IS a series of tubes! Who knew? * David Pogue, Technology Editor of The New York Times * At once funny, prosaic, sinister and wise, Blum's tale is a beautifully written account of the true human cost of all our remote connectivity -- Bella Bathurst, author of The Lighthouse Stevensons With infectious wonder, Andrew Blum introduces us to the Internet's geeky wizards and takes us on an amiably guided tour of the world they've created ... the Internet that Blum's beautifully lucid prose makes real turns out to be if anything a more marvelous place than the cloudy dreamland we'd imagined -- Donovan Hohn, author of Moby Duck An illuminating journey of discovery * Sunday Express * Total immersive reading * The Wharf *
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About Andrew Blum

Andrew Blum writes about architecture, infrastructure and technology for many publications, including the New Yorker, The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, Slate and Popular Science. He is a correspondent for Wired, a contributing editor to Metropolis and lives in his hometown of New York City.
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Rating details

2,691 ratings
3.48 out of 5 stars
5 17% (451)
4 33% (880)
3 36% (972)
2 12% (312)
1 3% (76)
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