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7 Reviews
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and Magnificent Collection!
This is a necessary addition to all Serge Gainsbourg and/or Jane Birkin fans' collections. This is a unique collection of photographs (most of which have never been released to the public) and unique recollections of Serge and Jane by somebody that was as close to them as anybody could have been.

First, what is included?

1. The book - 176 pages -...
Published 13 months ago by Clouseau

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3.0 out of 5 stars it was nicely done however for what it is but I returned ...
I would rather that they had done a book just featuring Jane and why anyone would want a family album with someone else's kids photos in it is beyond me, it was nicely done however for what it is but I returned mine.
Published 5 months ago by Katrina Woiten


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and Magnificent Collection!, November 23, 2013
By 
Clouseau (St. Louis, MO United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jane & Serge: A Family Album (Hardcover)
This is a necessary addition to all Serge Gainsbourg and/or Jane Birkin fans' collections. This is a unique collection of photographs (most of which have never been released to the public) and unique recollections of Serge and Jane by somebody that was as close to them as anybody could have been.

First, what is included?

1. The book - 176 pages - and not a single word on any page excepting for the title, author, copyright info, and the following: "This album contains, in chronological order, 160 photographs taken between 1963 and 1979 by Andrew Birkin of his sister Jane Birkin, Serge Gainsbourg, and their relatives."

2. A 64 page, 5.5" x 8.5" booklet printed on cheap off-white paper with "Prefaces" by the editor and Jane Birkin; 13 pages of big and charming black and white photos of Jane & brother Andrew (and others) from their childhood; "Jane & Serge" by Andrew Birkin - which consists of 21 pages of Birkin's recollections of growing up with Jane, and of her life with Serge; and finally - a guide that contains brief captions for all of the pictures that appeared in the 176 page book. All text is in English.

3. A folded 36" x 25.5." poster covered with photos that are in the 176 page book.

4. Five 6"x4" nice glossy photos (all of which are also in the 176 page book).

5. A 16 page 8"x6.75" glossy "contact sheet" booklet that contains strips of black & white developed negatives - all of which are very small, most of which are not in the 176 page book. The photos are only on the odd numbered pages of the booklet - the even numbered pages just have a month and a date handwritten on an otherwise blank page.

6. An embroidered blue patch that says "Jane & Serge" (same logo as book cover) roughly 5"x5"; and finally

7. A 7.5"x8" "Sticker Sheet" containing stickers of the aforementioned book logo and of the "Years" drawings that appear in the book to separate individual years of the photos (e.g., 1969, 1970, drawn in peculiar ways).

I have some complaints about this collection which I'll detail below, but it still deserves 5 stars - for two reasons: First and foremost - the photos in the 176 page book; and to a lesser extent (but still great) - Andrew Birkin's 21 page "Essay" that appears in the cheap looking 64 page booklet. First, the photos. These are unlike any photos I've ever seen of Serge or Jane. Looking through the booklet made me realize that most if not every picture I'd seen of Serge or Jane - they were posing for a photo shoot. Or they were performing. Or they were being interviewed. They were all taken either intentionally for public consumption or under circumstances where they knew they were being viewed by the public. The photographs in THIS book are simply not the same. They're family photographs - taken by Jane's brother Andrew (1 year older than Jane). They're photos of Serge and Jane horsing around, goofing off with daughters Kate or Charlotte, enjoying a holiday meal . . . the kinds of photographs that are in all of our photo albums. Real life photos - not photos designed to promote a particular image. To make matters better, photography was a part of Andrew's professional life - and he was clearly a talented photographer. Family photos of Serge and Jane taken by a pro and a part of the family - somebody both Serge and Jane were extremely comfortable with and who could therefore capture them both under circumstances they could really be themselves. Absolutely fantastic!

Second - Andrew Birkin's 21 page "Essay." Andrew has an entertaining writing style - but the beauty of this essay isn't in its prose - but in its revelation of details that help us to understand both Serge and Jane. Stories I've never read or heard before - invaluable observations that, like the photos, only a very close friend or family member could make and convey.

Now for my complaints - I wish they would have included all of the information from the 64 page cheap looking booklet into the 176 page book. In order for you to learn about the photographs in the big book - you have to have the little 64 page booklet in hand also. Why didn't they just include these captions in the book?!?! It's terribly annoying to have to go back and forth between the photographs in the book and the details about the photographs in the booklet. The booklet's guide contains very tiny (.5" x .75") black and white reproductions of the photographs in the booklet to help keep track of which captions go with which pictures, but it's a pain to have to go back and forth. It's not like they didn't have enough room to put the captions on the same pages. This leads into my second main complaint: Each page in the 176 page book is about 8.25" x 10". Each page contains a single 6" x 4" photograph. In other words, lots of blank space on every page. Why couldn't they have enlarged the pictures? I guess they wanted to make it look like a photo album - and photos are often 6" x 4". But lots of people include "captions" in their photo albums . . .

The other tidbits . . . the poster, the stickers, the embroidered patch, the five glossy photos, the "contact sheet" booklet . . . they're all lovely collectibles. But they're trivial compared to the photos in the 176 page book and the info included in the 64 page booklet.

So while this isn't what I would consider "perfect," the pros of this collection far, far, far outweigh the cons -this is a "necessary" collection to have if you're a fan.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice, January 1, 2014
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This review is from: Jane & Serge: A Family Album (Hardcover)
The book has nice pictures and adorable drawings of the year they were taken before each decade. All of the books come with separate photos and little goodies. I think this would be a great gift! There are lots of funny photos of Serge inside which was nice, the only thing I wish were there were more photos of Jane's outfits. Overall though, really cute!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE JANE. I LOVE SERGE. I LOVE THIS BOOK!, December 20, 2013
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This review is from: Jane & Serge: A Family Album (Hardcover)
This is a beautifully put together book which includes almost to real-life family snapshots with great personal insight into the marriage and family life of Jane and Serge. What's even more adorable is that you get to see cute photos of a tomboy looking Charlotte and Pictures of Andrew and Jane's father. This feels like a real home photo picture book well worth the money.
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5.0 out of 5 stars jane & Serge, February 14, 2014
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This review is from: Jane & Serge: A Family Album (Hardcover)
a heartfelt intimated profile that is beautifully printed and designed!
i recommend everyone to see it. especially on Valentines day!
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3.0 out of 5 stars it was nicely done however for what it is but I returned ..., July 16, 2014
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This review is from: Jane & Serge: A Family Album (Hardcover)
I would rather that they had done a book just featuring Jane and why anyone would want a family album with someone else's kids photos in it is beyond me, it was nicely done however for what it is but I returned mine.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, November 19, 2014
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This review is from: Jane & Serge: A Family Album (Hardcover)
the way book is done is fantastic. its a photo album of Jane and Serge full of inspiring images.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disapointement, February 5, 2014
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This review is from: Jane & Serge: A Family Album (Hardcover)
I expected that "Jane & Serge" could have some pictures I find easily in Youtube and in internet, in general. I became really disapointed in relation to the pictures of the book. But this is common to happen when I buy books by internet. Never mind...
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Jane & Serge: A Family Album
Jane & Serge: A Family Album by Andrew Birkin (Hardcover - December 15, 2013)
$59.99 $40.44
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