“Crammed with facts about sounds, composers, their histories, reminiscences and a whole lot more, Adinolfi has more than done his research, which , in such a odd, diverse, and obscure field of music, has to be applauded. . . . [A] very worthy edition to any bachelor pad. . . .” - Jonny Trunk, Record Collector
“Adinolfi contextualizes the 1950s exotica trend by placing it within a long history of Western musical exoticism. He ably documents instances of cultural appropriation, from seventeenth-century motifs of the Indies to Mozart’s search for musical expressions evocative of ‘that elusive Turkish flavor’ (37).” - Khalil Anthony Johnson Jr., American Quarterly
“Mondo Exotica is essential reading for those interested in twentieth-century American studies, popular musical culture, and twentieth-century visual culture. . . . Ultimately, this work is incredibly engaging and entertaining, equal parts mondo and exotic.” - Kim Cunningham, Visual Studies
“[I]nterviews with some of exotica’s prime movers and shakers, most notably [Martin] Denny, Piero Piccioni and Esquivel, provide additional insight and immediacy to this fascinating study.” - Ken Hollings, The Wire
"Part cult music and record colllectors' delight and part intriguing pop cultural study, Mondo Exotica is . . . a generally entertaining read that sheds some light on how larger cultural, social, and political trends are reflected in popular music." - Chris Heim, KMUW-FM
“Mondo Exotica is a cornucopia of data documenting lounge music and culture and their mid-1990s revival. Francesco Adinolfi has written a book that is as fun to read as the lounge lifestyle is fun to live!”—Otto Von Stroheim, DJ, founder of Tiki News, and organizer of the annual Tiki Oasis weekend event
“You want alternative culture? Here’s the real thing. Francesco Adinolfi looks beyond the camp value and discovers the exotic urges that drove a generation that was supposed to be respectable. This terrific book reminds you that some of the most unique records ever made can still be found at your local garage sale—and that it’s never too late to discover how to live.”—Brett Milano, author of The Sound of Our Town: A History of Boston Rock & Roll and Vinyl Junkies: Adventures in Record Collecting
Francesco Adinolfi is an Italian journalist and radio host. He oversees the production of “Ultrasuoni,” a weekly music supplement in Il Manifesto, one of Italy’s daily newspapers, and he hosts the radio show Popcorner, a mix of electro lounge, funk, and ultrabossa. Previously, he hosted Ultrasuoni Cocktail, a cult hit program on Rai Radio 2, Italy’s national station. The author of the book Suoni dal ghetto: La musica rap dalla strada alle hit-parade, he has written for magazines including Melody Maker, Sounds, and Record Mirror (Great Britain); Revoluciones Por Minuto (Spain), Music Express (Canada), Juke (Australia); and Crossbeat (Japan). Karen Pinkus is Professor of French, Italian, and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California. She is the author of The Montesi Scandal: The Death of Wilma Montesi and the Birth of the Paparazzi in Fellini’s Rome and Bodily Regimes: Italian Advertising under Fascism. Jason Vivrette is a graduate student in comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley.