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Elgin Park: An Ideal American Town Hardcover – May 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Prestel (May 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3791345486
  • ISBN-13: 978-3791345482
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 8.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #357,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

The imagined city of Elgin Park, a magically realistic evocation of a midcentury American town, has captured the hearts of millions of web visitors and now appears in book form. You won't find the town of Elgin Park on a map, but you will find it all over the web and in the media. Called an Internet phenomenon by the New York Times, Michael Paul Smith's Flickr site has received over 20 million hits since he first posted his convincing yet dreamlike photographs of an imaginary town, inspired by the small Pennsylvania one he grew up in.

About the Author

Michael Paul Smith was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His model-making skills are the accumulation of numerous jobs he has had, including textbook illustrator, wallpaper hanger, housepainter, and architectural model maker. He lives in New England. Gail K. Ellison teaches at the University of Florida College of Medicine, works as Writer-in-Residence with the Shands Arts in Medicine program, and offers workshops for caregivers and students.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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A totally delightful book.
Steven E. Frenkel
His ability to take nothing and create it in a picture rivals the talents of those we call the masters that have placed their views on canvas....Great stuff!!!!
David K.Angeloni
Great photos from a very creative photographer.
Laurie Mcmonigle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Steven E. Frenkel on May 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Elgin Park is a special volume dedicated to the nostalgia many of us have for a period in America that is fading away at a rapid pace. Michael Paul Smith has constructed an imaginary small town and photographed his fantastic model car collection within its framework. This is an exceptional tour de force. The photos are almost impossible to tell from those of actual full-sized cars and structures. Anyone who loves cars, mid-century Americana, architectural models, great photography and craftsmanship, will love this volume.

The introductory text is lively and tells the story of this unique man, without being at all tedious. A totally delightful book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By lonewolf on June 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Michael Paul Smith is a genius!! His photos bring back the "good old days" - which we sorely need during these times of mega stress. I actually remember when we didn't lock our doors, or our cars! Imagine that. His artistic talents show in every picture he takes .... very brilliant. Not only are the pictures awesome, he hand crafts all the buildings and their interiors. Another hidden talent. So, do yourself a favor and purchase a "piece of the past".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul Maddams on May 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been admiring Michael Paul Smiths work on Flicker for over 2 years. We have become friends through photos and his work has been nothing short of amazing. His modeling abilities and the feel of realism is fantastic. Michael has such attention to detail that looking at his photos you will have to decide if it is real or not. His make believe town of Elgin Park is just the place you wish you could live, friendly open, quiet and so inviting you wish you could step into the pictures. Just one little catch to it all, and I do mean little. If you love the great memories of days of old this is the book for you. Don't miss out on this great trip down memory lane.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Royster on September 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was hoping for more of a "behind the scenes" or "making of" book, rather than merely a picture book. The opening essay hints at some of the challenges in creating these amazing images, and I was hoping that at least some of the photos would be accompanied by the artist's insights/experiences/successes/failures with particular layouts. Unfortunately, there's nothing of the kind. Be sure to use the "Look Inside" feature, because what you see is what you get. I either failed to "look inside" or the feature wasn't available yet when I purchased the book, so I suppose my disappointment is my own fault.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great photos from a very creative photographer. I would recommend Google searching for the article about the book because it shows more of the "behind the scenes" of how he set up the shots that I wish had been included in the boik.
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By Terry on June 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a must have for anyone how loves old cars and or collects Diecast cars! Michael is truly a Master at his craft!
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By Gabriel Stern on April 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This well printed book is full of outstanding photographic compositions recreating a bygone era of charm and good design, filling your heart with sweet nostalgia.
The photographer is superb and so are the micro-worlds he creates.
The converging talents of an exquisite craftsman and talented photographer.
If you are a scale modeler, a photographer of just like the golden decades of the 40s and 50s, this is for you.
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