The book arrived via postage from www.wieland-verlag.de in a nice and sturdy package. It comes with a hardcover that is neatly bound. The paper is sturdy and offers some lovely matte design graphics and will withstand even multiple reads. The foreword and the register give a good overview of the contents. Each chapter concludes with a sensible summary of contents.
The book is directed to an audience with no broader knowledge of the topic. All the topics are explained very coherently and with an easy, yet eloquent style of writing in a very comprehensible manner. This is complemented with diagrams and sketches of knife typology. Special tools like saddler´s knives, knives for bookbinding and leatherworking tools are treated separately and with a very good and detailed background knowledge. there are also very informative chapters about the culture of wet shaving and Japanese and Chinese knife culture.
Tactical and combat knives are treated with separately but, refreshingly, without the romantics that so often obscures the view upon their reality. At the end of the book there´s a very knowedgeable glossary of knife terminology and a steel chart with just about every steel variety on the planet. Even this chart would render this book worth buying! Also there are chapters on care and maintenance of knives and their use.
The book is also written with a passion for the topic and full of remarks that make the read all the more enjoyable for a not-so-dead-serious approach. I especially liked the chapter on Japanese kitchen knives that provided even me as an absolute knife-nut with new information. The pictures are of the best quality imagineable and depict knives with a history, not just the latest paraphernalia. To me this is a refreshing and inspiring approach.
I can recommend this book to my German readers most warmly, but even if you´re not a native speaker, there are still enough diagrams and pictures as well as the steel chart that might make it a worthy buy. Get it at www.wieland-verlag.de. ;-)
For my German readers (The book is in German), here´s a German version of my review: