|IClassic Cafes becomes a Waterstone's best-seller!|
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Bestseller: For several weeks now, 'Classic Cafes' has been nestling on the main lobby bestseller shelves of Waterstones' flagship store on Piccadilly.
Alongside this, news comes through that the first edition of the book is nearly sold out.
With remaining copies in short supply, be sure to get to the shops now to stock up on Xmas supplies...
Classic Cafes is the first ever study of the vintage UK working-man's Formica caff, an institution perilously close to vanishing without trace or acclaim.
Part sentimental journey, psychogeographic incursion and alternative architectural gazetteer, Classic Cafes is a shadow social history that shows how London's cultural ascendancy in the 1960s began life in the classic cafes of the 1950s.
Written by Adrian Maddox (with architectural photography by Phil Nicholls and Peter Anderson), pretty well all of the pictures and text are wholly exclusive to the book.
The best-selling book also features: an extensive gazetteer, filmography, bibliographic research sources, new interviews... and much, much more. Acclaimed by The Times, Telegraph, Guardian, Observer, Independent & Time Out. Click here for Author biog & Financial Times interview; click here for The Times feature on Classic Cafes.
"cultural studies of the
best kind... sumptuous... beautiful... breathtaking... well-judged...
deeply evocative... crisp... vibrant, loving... Cinematic...
a tribute of a quality the humble caff deserves... buy a copy
and head for your local to enjoy it."
elegiac, surprising, and beautifully illustrated... a wonderful
book... with a well-researched argument to make us look again
at the familiar and to revel in quotidian detail... Through detail
also comes something of the optimism, dynamism but also distinctly
English pragmatism of many post-war cafes firmly positioned in
the vanguard of Festival culture..."
"For Adrian Maddox...
the working man's caff is more a quick-fix pit stop, as he makes
clear in Classic Cafes, his study of mid-20th-century British
Diners. Food is "immaterial" to whether a cafe makes
the grade. Rather, it's the drab grot of cafes that Maddox loves
- the "smudged walls" and "scurvy curtains",
the melancholy and Pinter-esque ambience. Phil Nicholls's photographs,
which accompany Maddox's words, capture exactly that... the easy-wipe
surfaces, the Pyrex vinegar container, the squeezy bottles of
ketchup and brown sauce, the Formica tabletop, faux-leather banquettes
and gaudy tiles... Classic Cafes is motivated by nostalgia for
an era in which identikit coffee joints hadn't "brutally
Starbuck-ed" our high streets... "
"Architecture books are
usually either glossy, shallow, picture-book porn, or indigestibly
laden with cultural theory architectspeak. Some, though, get
it just right... If we are allowed one glossy picturebook, let
it be Classic Cafés, by Adrian Maddox... Once the Empire
was supported on the joy of crouching over a bacon butty and
a piping hot cuppa on sticky Formica, huddled out of the rain
behind steamed-up windows... Come revel in a fading world where
drabness is good and the bubble and squeak is even better."
"Adrian Maddox... sees
creeping homogeneity as a quiet tragedy. He has produced a thinking
person's coffee-table book, packed with atmospheric photographs...
Maddox makes the case for seeing the cafes of the 1950s and 1960s
as salons for a new, de-industrialised, post-imperial Britain...
as hallowed zones in which the dynamics and cross-currents of
city life could be tapped into."
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