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In Search of Tiki Hardcover – 29 Sep 2000

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Taschen GmbH; 01 edition (29 Sept. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 382286417X
  • ISBN-13: 978-3822864173
  • Product Dimensions: 22.2 x 2.9 x 25.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,291,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
An absolute steal at this price for such a big book (about 10"x9").
Everything you ever wanted to know about the 50's American obsession with South Seas paraphernalia and exotica. Don't buy it if you're after an actual anthropological study of Polynesian culture; this is kitsch pop culture at it's best/worst (delete as applicable). Discover lost treasures such as the Tiki Hibachi canape warmer (including asbestos table pad). Unearth the sophisticated forgotten delights of Tiki bowling lanes. And revive the long lost art of Tiki cocktail mixing whilst gazing at a topless Polynesian princess.
Packed with photos and illustrations; this book has it all. Thanks to this mighty book I was inspired to carve my very own Easter Island head. From a breeze block. Genuine class.
One for fans of low-brow art and culture or, if you think you're a bit above all that, a postmodern assault on taste.
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Format: Hardcover
The Book of Tiki has been in the pipeline for many years, and it's taken the German publishing giant Taschen to have the foresight to publish it. The book itself is amazing. Sven Kirsten has accumulated many photographs, menus, mugs, pictures, etc., leading to a sumptiously illustrated book that's a pleasure just to leaf through at random. It manages to give an excellent account of the rise and fall of the Tiki fashion in the US, while filling us in on the movers and shakers in Tikiland. All in all, this definitive book is well worth the wait!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars 46 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A much needed effort 12 Oct. 2000
By Peter_R - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Tiki worshipers -- we are not alone! Our friends at LuxuriaMusic.com live and breath Tiki, and the Millionaire has kindly written a thoughtful review on "The Book of Tiki." A notable excerpt from this is:
"Possibly the most difficult aspect of reviewing this comprehensive study of Polynesian pop is that it stands alone, unassailable. It's difficult to apply any critical distance to a work like this, and it's not that nothing else approaches its thoroughness or insight: the fact is that there is simply nothing else of the sort available. Whatsoever. Anywhere. Kirsten has literally "written the book" on a phase of pop culture that once encompassed architecture,interior design, clothing, music, food, entertainment and much more, yet passed from a ubiquitous vogue to decay and disregard without ever having enjoyed critical respect or even any substantial recognition.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars it's tiki-tastic! 3 Jan. 2001
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
What a fabulous book! The definitive book on tiki culture! I can't imagine that anyelse could ever surpass the excellent work done by Sven Kirsten. This book is truly a joy. I'll often rush through a new book but I took my time with this beauty. Entertaining, absorbing and stylish, it's just as much fun to merely look at as it is to read it. Each page is an adventure. I was impressed by the scope of the book - it deals with not just restaurants but with motels, apartment buildings, home entertaining, etc. Sven Kirsten also profiles the major innovators and originators of tiki culture. The best part is that the book is presented (tongue in cheek) as a guide to the urban archaeologist, interested in uncovering the remmnants and traces of the now-extinct tiki culture.
A must-have book!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and educational 1 Nov. 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
It does not happen often that a new facet of American pop culture that has not been recognized before gets discovered. With his Book of Tiki Sven Kirsten succeeds in establishing a style that has been overlooked by art critics and historians alike. Through an amazing amount of visuals Kirsten proves how Tiki in it's heyday influenced every walk of American life, from architecture, design and graphics to food and drink.
In addition to the rich imagery (which affords the viewer an almost physical experience of the phenomenon) Kirsten's writing traces back the origins of the style to the Western fascination with Polynesia and, without becoming too analytical and dry, enlightens the reader on the motives for this escapism.
The chronicler's ironic enthusiasm for his subject saves him from becoming judgmental and falling for easy, politically correct conclusions.
We are guided through the history of Polynesia as an eternal metaphor for an earthly Eden up to the point where Americans fell in love with this vision.
Here Kirsten conveys how the post-war need for more moral freedom coincided with the tales of Pacific war theater veterans and the 50s idealization of Hawaii as a dream vacation destination.
In taking the guise of an urban archeologist who (as is done in classic archeology) discovers a lost culture through it's objects and artifacts, Kirsten accomplishes to throw light on a fascinating chapter of American pop that has so far lingered in obscurity.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tiki is back...where it belongs! 5 Oct. 2000
By Doug - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I just glanced through this book at a local bookstore and was in heaven. It's priced much lower here on Amazon, so buying it on-line is the way to go. Actually, I was a bit envious as this is the definitive book I would write on Tiki culture if I could. The history, factors, collectibles and magic of Tiki are covered in tremendous detail. Amazing illustrations, photos, trivia, historical notes and more await all fans of Tiki culture. I would say that Kirsten's book delves further into Tiki culture than any book this Tiki collector has ever seen. Simply a must buy for anyone who loves Tiki culture, or anyone looking to discover the magic of this "lost" time. I'm buying 2 copies--one for my friend and one for me.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Research! 6 Feb. 2001
By Derek Nelson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I got a big kick out of this book--the author's dedication and perseverance amazes me (and I have done a lot of research of my own into various obscure topics, so I know what it takes). Terrific illustrations and a nice, funky layout. Anyone interested in oddball Americana, particularly the cartoonish weirdness that occurs when we apply our marketing skills to mysterious foreign cultures, ought to hustle out and buy this book. I'm not sure what language it was written in, because the text contains some odd usages, a few minor editorial problems (two chapters with the same number, in my book) and a handful of skewed captions. But none of these things bothered me much, because it was so much fun to look at. I love the concept of "urban archeology," although in the case of Tiki bars, it seems that the bulldozer and wrecking ball are providing too many final solutions. The book does make me wonder where my nearest Tiki relic might be. Maybe I'll join the hunt.
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