This is a beautiful book. I think it is misleading to call it a novel, it is something closer to an art book or a coffee table book: a beauteous, lusciously portrayed collection of ideas. Given that most of my familiarity with culture as an academic concept comes from reading cycling zines by a Doctor of Cultural Studies, I had a lot to learn from this book. Chapter by chapter, page by page, I soaked up Hughes’ ideas and illustrations, each one folding itself neatly in to my awareness.
Hughes explores what culture is, how it is shaped, and how it shapes us. He looks at its constituent parts, at ideas, at -isms, at symbols. Of particular interest to me, he looks at what it takes to change society, or, as he puts it, to change culture, presenting some intriguing ideas about what it takes to transform civilisation. This book is really easy to read, and really informative and I wager even somebody with more familiarity with the subject matter than I would still benefit from, or at least enjoy, reading this.