New York: Life is Good & Good For You In New York! Trance Witness Revels. Photographs by William Klein. First British edition. Quarto. Black clothbound with gilded lettering. Dust jacket. Attached to the head with a short braided string (as issued) is the scarce caption booklist with which this book was originally issued. Numerous full-page gravure reproductions. London, Photography Magazine, 1956.
"Improvising, thriving on accident and surprise, Klein turned out raw, kinetic, and utterly original photographs--each one a gut reaction to the energy of the urban street...Between [its] covers, rules were being broken. No two pages were alike: full-bleed images were followed by white-bordered pictures set on black pages; a stack of small photos was set next to a shot so big it straddled the gutter; one spread looked like a scrapbook, another like a checkerboard. A long, narrow insert that looked like a supermarket handout contained rambling captions peppered with bra ads, tabloid headlines, a Mad magazine cover, a can of spaghetti. It was cheesy, delirious, pure Pop art. Klein went on to make similarly splashy books on Rome (1958-59), Tokyo (1964), and Moscow (1964), as well as the inevitable films, but New York remains matchless, a time bomb that's never been defused." Vince Aletti, from The Book of 101 Books
A beautiful, Fine copy with several small stains on top edge of text block, the boards' corners are straight, not bumped; the pages are crisp; the gilt "New York" that is printed on the front board and spine is unusally fresh. The Very Good dust jacket has significant edge wear and chipping especially along upper corners, base, and crown of spine; there are several closed tears (some tape-repaired) of half-inch to one inch. Insert has some yellowing and creasing along bottom corners.