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Kurosawa: Webster’s Timeline History (Book)

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    Vili Maunula

    Is anyone familiar with a book called Kurosawa: Webster’s Timeline History, 1910 – 2007? Despite its 2008 publication date, I had never heard of it until today. The page count appears to be 232 pages, based on Amazon.

    It does appear to be a part of a series, though.

    The book has no ISBN, which combined with the fact that it’s published by ICON Group International suggests that it is an auto-generated print-on-demand book. My wild guess, based on the title, is that it contains a list of dates and events. But for 232 pages?

    I’m going to order it. But since it’ll take the book a couple of weeks to reach me, I was wondering if anyone might be able to shed light on what it actually is that I’m ordering?


    Vili Maunula

    I’m still waiting for the timeline book, which I ordered from the UK together with Remaking Kurosawa. Now that it turns out that the latter will only be released by the end of June, it’ll still take a while before I can write my review.

    But I was contacted by Chris from the Ripperologist magazine, and he told me that their assessment of the book Jack The Ripper: Webster’s Timeline History, 1838-2007 is that it is “almost worthless as a guide”, basically a collection of dates. It confirms my suspicion that this is an auto-generated book, probably put together with the help of automated data mining.

    It remains to be seen whether the Kurosawa timeline is equally worthless. The major difference there is that while the Jack the Ripper book is 28 pages, the Kurosawa one is listed as containing 232. I guess that means more dates and bibliographical references.

    One thing is for sure, however — this book has nothing to do with Merriam-Webster, the American company famous for its reference books, including their dictionaries. The timeline book’s publisher, ICON Group, seems to be using the name knowing that it will make the product more appealing. In fact, they go as far as to declare that “Proceeds from this book are used to expand the content and coverage of Webster’s Online Dictionary (www.websters-online-dictionary.org)”. This dictionary, of course, has nothing to do with Merriam-Webster.

    Apparently, Merriam-Webster is unable to do anything about this, or prevent other companies using the Webster name, as it is not copyrighted.

    But I’ll let you know what the book is like once I finally receive it.

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