Alan Moore at his Mooriest: inscrutable yet compelling.

UNEARTHING

A comic-book legend and an acclaimed photographer team up to present a visceral biographical sketch of author and occultist Steve Moore.

Alan Moore (Voice of the Fire, 2009, etc.), whose brilliant oeuvre includes WatchmenFrom Hell, and V for Vendetta, has always had a penchant for using the visual medium of graphic literature in unique and innovative ways, a tradition he continues with the aid of esteemed photographer Jenkins in this bizarre but oddly engrossing biography/historical vignette, which originally appeared as solely text in Iain Sinclair’s anthology London: City of Disappearances (2008). A longtime friend (and sometimes mentor) of Alan Moore’s, Steve Moore (no relation) has lived his entire life in the same London house in which he was born, and it is through the lens of his life that Alan Moore presents the history of the neighborhood, Shooter’s Hill. From a Julius Caesar sortie in 55 B.C. to the bandit hordes of the 17th century to the cascade of Nazi bombs during World War II, Alan Moore juxtaposes the area’s history with Steve Moore’s development, from his awkward youth to his discovery of the I Ching to his various scholarly and authorial endeavors, which included forays into the U.K. comic-book scene and a fascination with the occult. Accompanying the narrative, which traverses freely between factual reality and bursts of mystical rhetoric and trippy dreamscapes, is a series of images that range from poignant (the grim, sepia-toned picture of Luftwaffe planes in the London sky) to bizarre (the bloody, severed head of a pig). Alan Moore has always walked a fine line between creating brilliant stories that expand the boundaries of his chosen medium to draw in an audience far larger than comic-book aficionados and presenting head-scratching mind screws that might be better appreciated in an altered state of reality. This is more an example of the latter.

Alan Moore at his Mooriest: inscrutable yet compelling.

Pub Date: Dec. 12, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-60309-150-3

Page Count: 184

Publisher: Top Shelf Productions

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A zesty, energetic history, not only of a building, but of more than a century of American culture.

INSIDE THE DREAM PALACE

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF NEW YORK'S LEGENDARY CHELSEA HOTEL

A revealing biography of the fabled Manhattan hotel, in which generations of artists and writers found a haven.

Turn-of-the century New York did not lack either hotels or apartment buildings, writes Tippins (February House: The Story of W. H. Auden, Carson McCullers, Jane and Paul Bowles, Benjamin Britten, and Gypsy Rose Lee, Under One Roof In Wartime America, 2005). But the Chelsea Hotel, from its very inception, was different. Architect Philip Hubert intended the elegantly designed Chelsea Association Building to reflect the utopian ideals of Charles Fourier, offering every amenity conducive to cooperative living: public spaces and gardens, a dining room, artists’ studios, and 80 apartments suitable for an economically diverse population of single workers, young couples, small families and wealthy residents who otherwise might choose to live in a private brownstone. Hubert especially wanted to attract creative types and made sure the building’s walls were extra thick so that each apartment was quiet enough for concentration. William Dean Howells, Edgar Lee Masters and artist John Sloan were early residents. Their friends (Mark Twain, for one) greeted one another in eight-foot-wide hallways intended for conversations. In its early years, the Chelsea quickly became legendary. By the 1930s, though, financial straits resulted in a “down-at-heel, bohemian atmosphere.” Later, with hard-drinking residents like Dylan Thomas and Brendan Behan, the ambience could be raucous. Arthur Miller scorned his free-wheeling, drug-taking, boozy neighbors, admitting, though, that the “great advantage” to living there “was that no one gave a damn what anyone else chose to do sexually.” No one passed judgment on creativity, either. But the art was not what made the Chelsea famous; its residents did. Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol, Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen, Robert Mapplethorpe, Phil Ochs and Sid Vicious are only a few of the figures populating this entertaining book.

A zesty, energetic history, not only of a building, but of more than a century of American culture.

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-618-72634-9

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A wondrous mix of races, ages, genders, and social classes, and on virtually every page is a surprise.

HUMANS OF NEW YORK

STORIES

Photographer and author Stanton returns with a companion volume to Humans of New York (2013), this one with similarly affecting photographs of New Yorkers but also with some tales from his subjects’ mouths.

Readers of the first volume—and followers of the related site on Facebook and elsewhere—will feel immediately at home. The author has continued to photograph the human zoo: folks out in the streets and in the parks, in moods ranging from parade-happy to deep despair. He includes one running feature—“Today in Microfashion,” which shows images of little children dressed up in various arresting ways. He also provides some juxtapositions, images and/or stories that are related somehow. These range from surprising to forced to barely tolerable. One shows a man with a cat on his head and a woman with a large flowered headpiece, another a construction worker proud of his body and, on the facing page, a man in a wheelchair. The emotions course along the entire continuum of human passion: love, broken love, elation, depression, playfulness, argumentativeness, madness, arrogance, humility, pride, frustration, and confusion. We see varieties of the human costume, as well, from formalwear to homeless-wear. A few celebrities appear, President Barack Obama among them. The “stories” range from single-sentence comments and quips and complaints to more lengthy tales (none longer than a couple of pages). People talk about abusive parents, exes, struggles to succeed, addiction and recovery, dramatic failures, and lifelong happiness. Some deliver minirants (a neuroscientist is especially curmudgeonly), and the children often provide the most (often unintended) humor. One little boy with a fishing pole talks about a monster fish. Toward the end, the images seem to lead us toward hope. But then…a final photograph turns the light out once again.

A wondrous mix of races, ages, genders, and social classes, and on virtually every page is a surprise.

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-05890-4

Page Count: 432

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

more