Tubes Reviews

A running list of favorite reviews of “Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet,” aka (in the UK) “Tubes: Behind the Scenes at the Internet.”

“[This] quixotic and winning book is an attempt to comprehend the physical realities of the Internet, to describe how this seemingly intangible thing is actually constructed…Valuable, comic…[Blum has] a knack for bundling packets of data into memorable observations. What makes Tubes more than an unusual sort of travel book, is [Blum’s] sense of moral curiosity.” – Dwight Garner, The New York Times

“Ingeniously beguiling. . . . Blum is a smart, imaginative, evocative writer who embraces the task of making his readers feel the wonder represented by these unprepossessing objects.”  - Laura Miller, Salon

“An engaging reminder that, cyber-Utopianism aside, the internet is as much a thing of flesh and steel as any industrial-age lumber mill or factory. It is also an excellent introduction to the nuts and bolts of how exactly it all works.”  - The Economist

“Engaging. . . . Full of memorable images that make the internet’s complex architecture easier to comprehend. . . . Blum leaves readers pondering questions that would not have occurred to them before and better informed about an innovation most of us take for granted.”  - Iain Morris, The Guardian

“The year’s most original and stimulating ‘travel’ book … utterly engrossing … really does make the world more legible … even the most geek-wary of readers will enjoy.” – Boyd Tonkin, Independent (Book of the Week)

“Tubes is a great, playful, wondrous read—particularly for someone like me who self-identifies as a ‘wanderlust geek‘—for those of us that aren’t network engineers.” - Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica

“Makes hard-to-grasp concepts easy to understand, even obvious. The history, in particular, is one of the best and most memorable I have ever read.” - New Scientist

“Fascinating and unique. . . . [A] captivating behind-the-scenes tour of how (and where) the Internet works. . . . [Blum] has a gift for breathing life into his subjects.”  - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Tubes is an absorbing tale of this new technology, as well as a wonderful account of the Internet’s growth and the people who made it possible.” – Sid Perkins, Science News

“Tubes is far more than a technical anatomy, revealing instead the broader implications of this seemingly ubiquitous parallel world that two billion of us inhabit, in one form or another, on any given day.” – Brain Pickings