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Oh, What a Blow That Phantom Gave Me!

Carpenter, Edmund
Publisher:  Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York, USA
Year Published:  1973   First Published:  1972
Pages:  192pp   ISBN:  0-03-006881-9

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Oh What a Blow That Phantom Gave Me is a book about how media have taken over our lives, managing to "conquer all cultures" whether they are primitive or modern. The book is divided into three main sections, "Worlds Within," "Media Log," and "The World Turned Upside Down," each of which is further divided into several short chapters interspersed with photographs. Carpenter's account is different from other conventional books which cover the same topic because it consists mainly of interesting examples of the effects of media. There is an account of a man who was silenced by his friends when he tried reading his poetry aloud at parties but, everyone listened when he played recordings of the same poem and there are accounts of robbers/snipers who put their weapons down (while committing crimes) in order to answer the phone not even knowing who was calling. The book is full of fascinating facts and observations from all over the world and "moving in and out of the different media, mixing the past and the present, the primitive and the modern, Edmund Carpenter proves his point to stunning effect."

The author is an anthropologist, film maker, teacher and writer who has lived in many different cultures and has worked in many media.

[Abstract by Nabeeha Chaudhary]

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