Wild on Books - Book Reviews



In the Beginning: The Art of Genesis

Chuck Fischer













Little, Brown and Company

Release Date:
October 8, 2008

Coffee-Table Book


Bookmark Rating:

Reviewed by
G. Greenleaf

Review Posted:
December 2008

  IN THE BEGINNING: THE ART OF GENESIS is a new book by Chuck Fischer.  Showcasing some of the early iconic events that literally shaped our world, the artist takes these lively episodes and brings them forth from the pages—literally—in pop-up book style.   

Through his art, Fischer chronologically relates these sagas that even the most-lapsed Sunday school attendee knows: the formation of the world, water and sky, the accounts of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah and the Great Flood and more.   

Opening to the story of Creation, seven circular scenes come forth from the page, one for each day of God’s labor. Beyond these elaborate depictions, each individual orb has a pull-tab that reveals the Scripture for which it pertains. Fischer’s art and collaboration with master paper engineer Bruce Foster reaches new heights with an interpretation of the Tower of Babel that extends an impressive 24 inches off the page. (A pop-up record?) 

Accompanying the pop-up illustrations, Fischer’s art style changes as it relates various tales: the Creation is represented with simple, medieval art, the Byzantine style of the Roman era uses mosaics to recount Adam and Eve’s saga while Joseph’s story of being sold into slavery in Egypt is portrayed via the art of the Pharaohs. 

Attached to pages are tiny narrative booklets that not only offer representations of classic art by such luminaries as Michelangelo but also proffer explanations and interpretations for such events that have vexed mankind for centuries (Just what was the fruit that Adam and Eve consumed from the Tree of Life? Why did God destroy the Tower or Babel?)  

Most people may consider pop-up books generally considered for children. In the Beginning, however, is for the adult who can appreciate the timeless themes (good versus evil, redemption, etc.) and artwork contained therein that would be frankly lost to kiddies.  

The book itself requires respectful handling. If the mini-book tabs aren’t put back in place upon turning a page, the inserts could be bent or crushed and the lavish 3-D creations damaged—if left to the unaware or inconsiderate child. I’d only recommend a child viewing the book with adult supervision.      

Author of several other pop-up books including THE WHITE HOUSE, GREAT AMERICAN HOUSES AND GARDENS and CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD, Fischer seems to produce unique books that seem better suited to the discriminating bibliophile’s coffee table rather than to be relegated and forgotten on their bookshelf.    

In all, IN THE BEGINNING: THE ART OF GENESIS offers a minimal overview of the Old Testament’s first book portrayed with the ornate artwork that it richly deserves.


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