Masters of Deception

I picked up this book quite some time ago while randomly browsing in Waterstone’s, and it’s just bubbled to the top of my reading pile[1]. Having read it, I have two thoughts:

  1. I shouldn’t have left it so long
  2. It’s far too cheap

No, seriously. This book contains an insanely wonderful collection of artworks falling under the general heading of “optical illusions”. There are the usual suspects such as every geek’s favourite M C Escher, Dali and more. But there are also less well-known artists whose work is well worth examining, such as John Pugh’s quite amazingly brilliant tromp l’oeil murals.

And anyone who’s spent any time at all on the interwebs will have seen a lot of the images in this book, which are generally reproduced without any reference to their creators, so this is an ideal opportunity to learn about the people who made your favourite optical illusions.

This book gets my highest level of serious recommendation. Great stuff. Oh, and it’s got a foreword by the supremely wonderful Douglas Hofstadter, which is a Very Good Thing indeed.

[1] A thing which I will never defeat, I’m sure. People keep writing new books, you know…