This book is good for people who are starting to get interested in the body art community. The first section explains why people get involved and why it is done. Followed by a summary and explanations of tattoo meanings and places that can be pierced. This book does not include any information on "extreme" piercings. a very very limited picture galary with some low quality sketches. A page about healing times, and the end is a complete list of tattoo and piercing parlours around the world. This will vary in time and does not seem to cover the asian-pacific region. Once again good for getting people started.
Well written, everything is a very positive way.
"The Body Art Book" is billed as a "complete, illustrated guide," which it isn't. It highlights many topics, but none in depth. There are eight pages of color photos, and some black and white illustrations. However, for every thing I found wrong with this book, there was an equal and opposite reaction. For example:
Regarding latex gloves: "Every piercer MUST wear latex gloves when touching sterilized tools or jewelry." Should this read "Every BODY ARTIST?" (After all, NOT only piercers should be gloved!) Furthermore, what about artists or clients with latex allergies? However, pointing out that gloves should be changed if the [artist] picks up the phone was very important.
Regarding piercing guns: not enough emphasis, in my opinion, placed on the fact that professional piercers never use guns. However, the author DOES mention it, which is information that a lot of people don't know.
There were a few snide comments about people who get body modifications to be cool. While that wouldn't be my motivation, if I were the author I might have said something more to the effect of One's body is sacred, so one might want to take that into consideration before making permanent changes for the sake of fashion (in other words, perhaps less condescending).
I'm also not crazy about the layout of the book. Piercing and tattoo information is separated within chapters, instead of being in separate chapters. Also, I don't know why henna and scarification were in the same chapter!
The author seems to have fleshed out an outline, but doesn't seem to have gone much further. It's a shame, because there is a ton of information on the Internet that would have given a great deal of substance to this book.
There IS some incredibly valuable information in this book -- information that many people wouldn't have without doing some research AND information with which most people are not armed before walking into a studio.
(This book was a Wishlist purchase.)