The big Canterbury Earthquake of 2010
Photographs by David Wethey, Text Ian Stuart
Harper Collins - $29.99
THE BIG QUAKE
Canterbury, September 4, 2010
Random House $34.99
Quake is landscape with an rrp of $29.99 while The Big Quake is portrait, the larger of the two, with an rrp of $34.99.
There are more than twice as many photos in Quake but they tend to be smaller so you often have six photos to a view on a double page spread whereas in The Big Quake one photo often covers one double page spread so they are more effective in portaying the devastation. The latter has eight maps and drawings compared with one in the former.
The former has 240 phtographs, great value at this price.
Both have Forewords by Mayor Bob Parker but The Big Quake has a much longer text, and spread through the book, than does Quake where the text is confined to the front and back of the book.
The Big Quake also includes a DVD of quake footage.
Author & Photographer:
Quake - Dave Wethey took the photos. He runs an inaging & photography consultancy in Christchurch and is a fromer chief photographer with The Press. Ian Stuart is currently the Auckland bureau chief of the NZ Press Association.
The Big Quake - Story and photographs by the staff of The Press.
I reckon if you live in Canterbury and have a personal involvement in the quake then you really should buy both books as a record of your traumatic experience. Those outside the area but with an interest in the subject should buy The Big Quake which I see as the more complete book and which I give 9 out of 10 whereas Quake I give 7 out of 10 even though it has double the number of photos.
I must though express my admiration of both publishers for producing two excellent books within a short space of time after the dramatic event.
Sales so far:
Have just checked with the two publishers who are a little coy about revealing exact sales figures but Harper Collins said a reprint is in hand and sales to date run to five figures.
Random House advise that The Press reported on Monday an unbelievable response to sale of The Big Quake resulted in their internal phone system going down that morning. The telephonists had up to 40 calls backed up and there were queues of folk down in customer service, waiting to get their hands on copies! The Press sold through their stock in two days and are taking half of Random House's next reprint. Random House's initial print run for The Press and the book trade was over 10,000 and they have just placed a reprint for 10,000+ copies.
After writing the above a Canterbury bookseller made the following comment to me: