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Tuesday, 24 September 2013


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It's brilliant! At times whimsical and serious, there were many photos here that just made me smile. I also just love how he sees - I know these shots aren't set up, but each of them look so well crafted. I remember putting the book down after a couple of chapters and had to come back to it later, because it was getting all a bit too much (I was connecting with so many photos after a while I couldn't believe the kind of photos I was seeing). Pinch yourself: it's our world alright, but he makes it looks that much more special.

I got my order through Amazon UK and it arrived 10 days after the stock arrived (albeit a little damaged, the boxing wasn't great), so I'm just glad that I have a copy.



p.s. As an afternote, a friend of mine told me to bring the book to a gallery opening to meet him in person and to get it signed ... I'll keep you updated if I'm successful!

I got my copy from Amazon UKa few weeks back. Well worth the wait. The production is stunning. Quite the best photo book I have ever purchased. Many thanks for the heads up.

Paul Mc Cann

Got this last week:
Hello from Amazon.ca.
We're sorry to report we won't be able to obtain the following item from your order:
Finn Thrane, Pentti Sammallahti "Here Far Away"
Although we'd expected to be able to send this item to you, we've since found it's not available from any of our sources at this time. We realize this is disappointing news to receive, and we apologize for any inconvenience we've caused you.

We must apologize also for the length of time it's taken us to reach this conclusion. Until recently, we'd still hoped to obtain this item for you.

We've cancelled this item from your order.

Your order is now closed.

Yes, I received my cancellation from a June order last Friday. I did immediately order through The Book Depository, with my fingers crossed and hopes high however.

Hi Mike,

I had ordered copy from Amazon in June and had the order cancelled after waiting two months. When I wrote Amazon to complain, I received a ten dollar credit on my account as compensation for the wait and eventual disappointment. I re-ordered it from The Book Depository and received my copy yesterday. I hope others will have similar success following this route, especially if US sellers are not going to get copies.

I haven't had time yet to do more than glance through it and am looking forward to having a chance to explore it more thoughtfully. As always, I appreciate your recommendations and thank you especially for endorsing this collection so enthusiastically.

Bob Lietz

Hi Mike,
I'm from France and I ordered the book the minute after I read your last recommandation post. I recieved it two weeks later from Amazon UK. I don't have special knowledge about printings and art books, but i found it a really beautiful book and i discover a great photographer here thanks to your advices. Thank you.

I was fortunate to obtain a copy from the first printing. It is rich with images: both in quantity but more importantly, for me, in quality! I was also fortunate enough to see a small portion of the artists prints at a show in New Mexico a few years back; that was my introduction to him. So when the book was announced I jumped on the opportunity. I keep going back to his images; they are strikingly beautiful and haunting.

Why is this particular book so immensely popular?

BTW I actually had two Amazon orders; one was cancelled last week and one is still pending.

I received my order from The Book Depository after being dumped by Amazon. I'm am blown away by the images. One of the few times that I spent more than a few seconds on each photograph in a book. I've had the book for a week and not half way through it. A testament to how deeply the images resonated with me.

Luckily I´ve got two copies, one as a gift and one for me, and I think the book is extraordinarily good. The print quality is fine and I like the sublime and contemplative style of Pentti Sammallahti much more than for example the pathetic one of Salgado. Some of the images however are rather small, although there would be enough space around them for a bigger size. Of course this is complaining on a very high level.

Dewi Lewis is not an amateur publisher. But they sure as hell do an excellent imitation of a basement operation. (No insult intended to the prospective TOP Books.) No book publisher today can afford to shun large sales.

On September 18 I decided that I was giving up on Amazon (ca) and ordered the book from The Book Depository; if I ended up with two books I would give one away as a gift. Not a minute after I had placed my order an email from amazon.ca arrived, cancelling my order with them. TBD confirmed that my order is on its way, and I'm excited! Thanks for keeping us up to date on the situation.

I am anxiously awaiting my copy from Book Depository. I had ordered it from Amazon several months ago and they were kind enough to cancel my order without even bothering to send me an email or other explanation - it just disappeared from my orders page.

I had no problem with buying the first edition from amazon a few months ago. As the english version was unavailable, I found german ('hier weit entfernt') version on amazon.de. I miss the text of course, but the pictures are what I am really after. Just sharing the tip.

"So, to those of you who've been lucky enough to get your hands on a copy: what do you think?"

I've had been keeping a pre-order going on Amazon.com .co.uk and .de ever since the glowing reviews of the first batch. And with an eye on the false alarms we've seen in the mean time. As soon as shipping was confirmed on the uk order, I canceled the others. It's been worth the wait though. Such beautiful and inspirational photography. And as a bonus it's also wonderful as a book: it's not just a best-of collection, you can tell lots of effort and love went into this one.

I got the "order cancelled" message from Amazon this morning. I just re-ordered it through Amazon from the Book Depository. My original order is no longer available on Amazon to review, but I think I had ordered mine before you started talking about the new edition here. I saw a copy at a gallery in NYC and knew I had to have one. The gallery had them for sale for several hundred dollars each. I'm hoping I actually get one this time. It is a wonderful book. They are saying it will ship this week.

Got mine a couple of weeks ago from Wordery in the UK. £30 inc. postage (I notice their price has gone up since).

What do I think? - hmmm... I think the jury is still out. What's with all the dogs anyway?

Mine might be available soon if a third look doesn't change my mind. Maybe it's just not me. Beautifully produced though.

After all the hype I was interested in this book. I finally got a chance to handle it at the photographers gallery in London yesterday. Honestly, I was disappointed. To my eye the pages look over-inked and consequently the images, which are very good, suffer from an all over muddiness that makes it hard to read them.

Thanks Mike I switched to TBD and they have it discounted by 17% doesn't make sense if there is a shortage?

My long-standing order with Amazon was cancelled a few weeks ago. I ordered a copy from an Amazon affiliate, The Book Company, and received it after about a week. At the time, they indicated having only two copies. I do like the photography, and I was struck that nearly every photograph has a living animal in the composition. The B&W is superb.

My Amazon order was in limbo and ultimately canceled. I just ordered from TBD and look forward to seeing the book. I've been in a photographic slump lately, so I hope the book re-kindles the flame for me.

I obtained my copy from The Book Depository a week ago. Absolutely stunning book. I showed it to a few friends, eight of whom IMMEDIATELY ordered a copy.

This book is a rare gem. It was worth the hassle and wait in obtaining it.

Mike, it's a wonderful book. Dewi Lewis are to be commended on many aspects of the publication: the ambition, the scale, the pacing, the tonality of the photos. It's maybe not as uniformly impeccable as a Steidl, but I'm not sure this would be within Steidl's palate of adventurousness.

As for Pentti Sammallahti? He is now, for me, amongst other things, my favourite exponent of the panoramic format, and a paragon of the usage of animals in the photographic frame.

I ordered through The Book Depository with reservations. In my experience, their packing is not up to the task of protecting big heavy photography books. The packing carton is too thin. This means that if the package is dropped on a corner (and apparantly, my handlers prefer to drop my packages before delivery), the extreme corner of the book will be slightly wrinkled. That has happened before, and that's what happened with this book as well. But now I read your post I'm happy that I got my book at all. I can live with a slightly wrinkled corner, when the images and the presentation are as marvelous as they are.

I am leisurely browsing through my copy of "Here, Far Away" received from the Book Depository (after receiving my cancellation notice from Amazon US).
I am enjoying the book immensely, especially the photos where the unexpected is happening (A dog carrying a purse for example). Just another reminder to carry my camera where ever I go.
I find I take more pictures in the winter (I live in Northern Vermont) so I connect with the scenes that art depicted in the book. It makes me wish that winter would get here sooner rather than later!
Thanks for the recommendation.

I have a copy coming from The Book Depository but it is not in hand yet. I'll let you know after I get it. Have you seen "Small Island, Big Picture" by Alexandra de Steiguer. I recommend it highly.

I just tried to order from The Book Depository. They are out of stock.

I ordered mine months ago and received it from Amazon uk last week. It is wonderful. Magical. Like one of the very best childres books it is as though he has created his own world. Thanks for the recommendation.

Just checked the Book Depository at Mike's link and the web site reports insufficient stock. Tuesday 1712 Eastern

Got my copy from Amazon UK. It's as good as all the previous comments say and from personal perspective, made me rethink the matte prints. Thanks for the recommendation!

Hi Mike

Got mine from Amazon. The front cover image bonded to the cover on this copy was misaligned so I've had to resist the urge to tear open the shrink wrap and arange to send it back. I've just ordered it from The Book Depository instead. Am I being picky ? Damn right. ;-)

Well, actually feeling a bit ashamed... because my copy of the book has been just happily autographed by its author...
We have a small exhibits of Pentti Sammallahti photographs here in Villeurbanne (Lyon, France) and today was the "vernissage": I guess that about 40 copies of the french edition of the book were sold out in a few hours... and many people bought the book just out of a first reaction to the beauty of the pictures they can see exposed on the walls.
I own a *german* copy of the book (1st edition: I can certify that the 2nd edition ,that I saw today, looks absolutely identical) that I bought exactly because all the others were disappeared from the shelves. There is not so much text in the book and the most of it could be found in English on the net (yes: I can't understand a single word of German).
I've also amused myself comparing the book reproductions with the originals exposed (many of the originals are *smaller* than they appear on the book!): the book leaves nothing of the usual disappointment I feel looking at book pages after having seen the original photographs.
Oh, and Pentti is as handsome and inspiring (and talking with him is as rewarding) as you would say the author is looking at his photographs.

I managed to order a copy from the first print run and it is indeed a beautiful book. The pictures have a wonderful sense of beauty combined, on occasion with an understated sense of humour, I recently visited the photographers gallery in London who sell his prints. They cost far more than I can afford but the print guy still took his time with me and let me look through what they had in stock. The prints they had for sale are about if not the same size as the images in the book and what struck me was the care put into the book was such that what you get is not that far way from the prints themselves. It made me appreciate the book much more

Just checked The Book Dipository website
"currently out of stock" and not known when it will be available again...


I got my copy from the Book Despository a few days ago. Beautifully printed. Beautifully bound. Beautiful photos.

My saga is similar to a lot of other TOP folks--missed the first press at Amazon by the skin of my teeth, tried half a dozen online places without luck, preordered the second edition from Amazon in June, got cancelled, ordered from the Book Depository.

Unfortunately, my saga doesn't end there. My copy was seriously damaged--several pages were run through the press with nasty wrinkles.

Th Book Depository has given me a full refund (not sure if they want the old one back--doesn't sound like it, but I should really check), and I've reordered it. Hopefully the new one will be good.

And the Book Depository is showing


Currently unavailable.

We can notify you when this item is back in stock and you don't have to register

It's like deja vu all over again. Bummer.

I got mine via Amazon UK two weeks ago - good thing I didn't wait!

I cracked it open - carefully, gradually, to open it up so the binding has a chance to settle - and came to a dead stop at the first image in the book. I'm not the type of guy to react to photographs like that too often. It was almost worth the admission alone.

I'll need a lot of time to go through the rest of the book.

Mike, I still have an order outstanding with Amazon that is telling me they will ship on October 11? I assume from your post mine will get cancelled as well?

[Albert, I just don't know. I'm sorry. I've had trouble getting reliable information about this title from Amazon. I would definitely leave the order in place and see what happens. --Mike]

I received my copy from The Book Depository in perfect condition a few weeks ago.

The book oozes quality, from the cloth cover, tight binding and thick paper stock to the photo reproductions themselves, which have nice gradations of tone and are beautifully presented within plenty of white space. The photos transport you to distant villages with marvellous old wooden architecture and whimsical collections of people and dogs, and invite contemplation of what it would be like to be there. Many photographs are panoramics that appear to have been shot with a revolving lens camera. Sammallahti has mastered its idiosyncrasies. Wow, they're beautiful. Minor complaints: (a) The many panoramic photos demand a larger page size, because you end up craning over into the book to make out the details visible in the photos; and, (b) I wish the captions were below each photo rather than listed in the back pages, requiring you to keep a thumb there.

Lucky me.

Amazon is still showing my order as "Not Yet Shipped." No notice of cancellation, and now the book is out of stock at The Book Depository.

I can still order from Amazon UK, but at a 75% premium over the domestic price.

So thanks for nothing, Amazon. Remind me again about your commitment to great customer service.


The copy I got was bought through Amazon UK, but from a 'subcontractor' called Speedyhen Ltd. It was 15 euro's cheaper, was delivered quickly and very well packed (Amazon tends to just put books in an oversized box which damages the corners).
All the praise heaped upon the book is justified, but I have one point of criticism.
For me, knowing when and where the photo was taken, makes the story it tells richer and more rewarding. Unfortunately, this information is not on the same page as the photo, but is collected in the back of the book...

Best, Nick

My copy (on back order since 5 January) arrived a while ago from Amazon UK. The book is excellent in every way, though it can get a little annoying having to look at the back for captions - the advantage of this is a 'cleaner' look to each page. The packing from Amazon was poor - loose in a large box with just a crumpled piece of brown paper on top. The book itself (which is large & heavy) was free to slide around inside and was entirely unpadded on the underside. I checked this morning (9.00am Wed. UK time) & Amazon UK still shows copies available, as do several of their resellers. Postage rates for Europe/US/Rest of the world indicate your readers unable to buy in the US etc may find a copy via Amazon UK.

Just ordered from The Book Depository for 46.38 Euro with a 10% discount. 15 minutes later when I check the price was 42.91 with a 12% discount. Strange! Seems like a lottery.
Hopefully I will receive my copy undamaged

I received my copy from Amazon.uk, but at the time it was available from Amazon.de as well. It is a great book and some of the subjects e.g. his skies show that even common subjects can look very interesting if you have the photographer's eye.

Thank You Kevin Purcell!

At a sleepless 5 AM Wednesday I clicked on your Book Depository link (a few letters above) and they took my order. I should have confirmation shortly. After my third cancellation with Amazon I was on the verge of giving up.
Looking at email - great! Just received confirmation of order from TBD - thank you again.
Cheers !

Yesterday (Tues, 24 Sep) The Book Depository was out of stock. I signed up for their notification service to be alerted when (if) it would again be available. Much to my surprise I received notification this morning and just completed my transaction. Free worldwide shipping, too! I'm very pleased.


It's a work of beauty. The reproduction of the photographs, on a matt paper, is certainly unique for photo books in my experience, but I think suits the work. Some of the images stop you in your tracks while leafing through, although I will note that most of those are towards the front of the book.

Makes me wonder why I didn't jump on this first time around. (The running capitalist pig dog in me wishes I'd bought a second copy just to resell at profit later.)

I just checked amazon.de, there are still 70 odd German copies available, as well as some English, French, Italian and Spanish ones. It is a lovely book, well worth having. And ordering books from Europe should not be more cumbersome for North Americans than ordering prints from the US for Europeans (hint, hint)

I gave up months ago after at least one false alarm from Books Depository that it was back in stock months after my initial cancelled order. Even after that they were supposed to notify me when/if it came back in stock, but I have never heard anything. Amazon Japan cancelled an earlier order too.

I am sure the book is worth the price and the photos looked wonderful from what I have seen on the Internet. However, I am not going to play games trying to buy one. It's almost as if the publisher is trying to make it a scarce, hard to find item.

Clarification regarding Christoph's remark and the update to the original post: as of now, the German edition is not in stock at Amazon.de but listed as shipping within 5 to 9 days; 74 is the number of merchant's offering a new copy via marketplace.

However, as Christoph also wrote, Amazon.de has the original English version, too, and that one is in stock ("auf Lager"). Just search for "here far away" from the front page, or for the book's ISBN, 1907893261.

I don't wish to deprive Mike of his rightful share for publicizing this lovely book, but if neither Amazon nor their UK subsidiary TBD have it, then it might be worth trying beyondwords.co.uk, who sent me a well-packed copy.
I would check with Neil McIlwraith by email: [email protected], or phone (+44 1620 895985, UK office hours, UTC+1, right now) that they do really do have it before placing your order.
Disclaimer: my only connection is as a satisfied customer.

I got the notice today that my copy has shipped from TBD. And, when I wrote to Amazon to complain about their keeping my order open for months, then cancelling it, they immediately responded with an apology and a credit to my account.

It's a glorious book. The "cooler" pictures remind me of the ECM album-cover aesthetic (which works for me) while the others radiate humanity, or its canine counterpart.

What is needed now is for someone to produce a James Ravilious book to this kind of standard.

I have an order w/Amazon (for several weeks now) that's expected to ship between Oct 22 and some time in December. So I figured I'd try the Book Depository (assuming my Amazon order will be cancelled sooner or later). I had it in my cart for 24 hours or so, only to find it had sold out by the time I went to check out. Just for the heck of it, I checked again today, and Book Depository let me place an order.

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