For Engineers Only...Maybe
This review was originally written on February 26, 2013 and posted on Amazon. You can visit Amazon.com and read the original post here.
A book review by John O'Farrell: I had to force myself to finish reading this book.
Without providing the reader with any sense of how all the pieces of the physical internet fit and work together, the author seems more focused on providing highly repetitive details common to each location he visits coupled by descriptions of his internet usage in each hotel room he stays in. The book suffers greatly from the complete absence of diagrams and pictures.
A significant reduction in word count, there was a lot of superfluous information, and the inclusion of simple diagrams could have turned this book from a chore to read, to a useful and educational reference.
The absence of diagrams is an interesting omission as I am sure that Mr. Blum had many diagrams drawn for him as engineers explained how their facility worked and how it fit into the physicality of the internet.
Despite reading some of the very early reviews that warned Tubes was only likely to be only enjoyed by engineers as a "walk down memory lane", I was still excited to read this book. While a laymen, I am not a complete neophyte the workings of the internet. I have worked in the digital space as a marketer for many years including work at an Internet Service Provider and a Domain Name Registrar and regularly worked closely with engineering teams; often fascinated with the technical aspects of the internet working with these teams exposed me too. So you can see why I thought reading a book on the physical aspects of the internet would be an interesting read.
My thoughts after reading this book: I felt less informed that when I started it.