With 335 photos, this large size paperback is one of the better books you'll find of Weegee's work. Divided into eighteen photographic chapters (with one image per page) it really is an impressive selection, especially as it covers his output from 1935 to 1960.
The chapter on crime has the largest selection (thirty-one) with the predictable dead and bloodied bodies surrounded by police and public. Weegee claimed he (and several Speed Graphic cameras) covered hundreds of murders for the New York tabloids, he knew that that the only thing that mattered to the 'tabs' were the headlines and photos, the story could fill any space that was left. The other chapters cover ordinary New Yorkers in mostly nighttime settings.
The perfect complement to this book is Miles Barth's 'Weegee's World' (ISBN 0821226495) which admittedly does have many of the same photos but also has three long essays about this unique photographer. I have another book about Weegee, a very poor reproduction of his 1945 title 'Naked City' (ISBN 0306812045) and again most of the photos are in the New York book.
on 29 January 2010
A well produced book about an inch thick. starts with an interesting introduction then on to the pictures. If you want nice safe colour pictures of New York this is the wrong book for you. The pictures are hardly artistic, they are hard, sometimes amusing but real life in the raw.
I like them because they are the sort of pictures you will not see in coffee table books, they will have been shown in a local newspaper the following day then not seen again. It is great that they are still available.
Should you buy it?, Well I guess if you have got this far then it is probably your sort of book. Good value for money.