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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 5 November 2005
A very reasonably priced introduction to the work of this great photojournalist. Because his work depicts the rawness of New York life and primarily for tabloid papers I always thought the critical establishment regarded Weegee as a sideline contributor to American art photography but this book with fifty-five of his, perhaps best known, photos clearly puts him in the mainstream.

In the mid-forties after he went to Hollywood and basically stopped taking the gritty news photos he's famous for I thought his creativity declined, especially in the early fifties when Weegee played about with photo distortions (fortunately only one of these images is in the book) which seem not much more than an art student playing about.

Author Kerry Purcell writes a short introduction and the photos follow, one to a page with good captions and if you warm to these images check out 'Weegee's New York' (ISBN 3823854712) a sumptuous large size 335 page paperback. The definitive biography is by Miles Barth, 'Weegee's World' (ISBN 0821226495) again a beautifully produced book with more than 250 photos and three essays. These three books are a celebration of a great news photographer who knew what his readers wanted to see.
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on 29 November 2004
An Austrian immigrant who arrived in New York aged ten, Usher Fellig would soon have his name changed to Arthur - it was easier for the locals to pronounce. His teenage years were spent in the run-down tenements, packed with a cosmopolitan mix of European immigrants and Jews fleeing the pogroms. He understood poverty, he understood the underworld and the nature of a community in which people went to prison, committed crime, and died violently.
And he learned to photograph it. Perhaps there was no pretence at art here. He began as a lower form of life than today's paparazzi - producing pictures for the tabloid press, sensational images which would earn him a buck or two. It meant working all hours, being awake and alert day and night to capture the scene, actively scouring the streets for signs of something an editor would publish.
And they called him Weegee after the board because he had a psychic ability to be there almost before the story happened, to capture the image fresh, at flash bulb speed. He captured life, he captured death, he captured poverty and emotion, privation, struggle, and resilience.
And now, a half century on from his heyday, the sensational images have attained a new dimension, a social documentary, a chronicle of life in New York ... real life, as it was lived in the streets and bars and workplaces.
This is a fascinating, evocative, sometimes disturbing, sometimes amusing, but always spontaneous collection of photos. Given his trade, there is a remarkable honesty about these black and whites, a sense that Weegee is capturing reality. There are no posed models ... but there are plenty of posed questions - you look at many of these pictures and wonder, what happened next? It's the narrative quality, the sense that you've eavesdropped on someone's story, which gives these pictures their intimacy.
A startling, historic collection. If you're a keen photographer, or not, these images will inspire you to take pictures ... or at least to look at the world around you and imagine its images differently. It's not a book to simply look at, it's a collection of photographs which will stimulate your creative side. And excellent value too!
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VINE VOICEon 7 March 2009
An amazing book packed full of photograps of the Big Apple and its less than celebratory core. Mr. Fellig has shown a side to New York that I never thought about before - children sleeping on fire escapes, victims of car crashes,the incredible Coney Island beach packed out(the cover shot), gangsters as victims of turf war and being taken to chockey.

Weegee, almost vampirically, started to work mainly as the sun went down, scanning the police channels on the radio and following ambulances. So here is a sample of his wares. Not for the squeamish!!!!
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VINE VOICEon 15 April 2009
I've been a fan of Weegee since I first saw an article in "Camera & Creative Photography", back in the late 70's, and this brings back a lot of memories, with so many of his iconic images. The crime scenes are fascinating, and his infra red images of New York nightlife capture the period amazingly. Technically, Weegee was not great, but his eye, and his imagination show his genius. I wish I had his balls!
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on 2 July 2014
Very odd set of photos, fascinating look at early new york.
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on 1 March 2010
An interesting book, but I have to say smaller than I was expecting

It does cover a lot of his "ambulance chasing" years of photography, but a very good collection of his work none the less
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