John Hinde (see subtitle) was a commercial photographer who specialized in color images for postcards. The Butlin of the subtitle was Billy Butlin, who had a chain of "holiday centres" in Britain that were intended to provide "the jollity and comradeship of a camping holiday, plus all the amenities of a first-class hotel" to ordinary British families. (The book's title--a line of Shakespeare's--was Butlin's business slogan.) Elmar Ludwig, Edmund Nagele, and David Noble were photographers whom Hinde assigned to capture the function rooms, playgrounds, and concessions of Butlin's centers in use by actual customers. Here, 55 of the resulting brilliant, evenly lighted frames are mounted on footwide pages, and their artistic and historical merits are maximized. They show the leisure of mainstream Britons in the centers' heyday, the "swinging" '60s and '70s, resplendently; and their technical brio is the prime topic of Martin Parr's introduction and the three photographers' appended testimonies. Anglophiles and photography buffs should rejoice in the book, but the crowded-room fascination of the pictures should enthrall plenty of nonspecialists, too. Ray OlsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"Stunningly up-to-the-minute large-format photographs filled with fond ironies...The post card photographers capture the sort of bright, color-saturated period detail you might expect...by turns achingly sincere and unwittingly goofy."
The New Yorker (May 19,2003)
"Just look at the candy-bright hues in John Hinde's delicious collection of vintage postcards of Butlin's...best of all is the romance of the ballroom pictures. Are you dancing? We are."
'Hot Books' Elle
"Long viewed only as a master of kitsch Hinde is now recognised, albeit posthumously, as a peerless social documentarian. Dazzling in their their colour intensity and strange clarity.... Visionary, Wonderful."
Sean O'Hagan, The Observer, London
"Extraordinary...the combination of aesthetics and promotion produced something that bypasses documentary and approaches an arresting British surrealism."
David Jays, Financial Times
"These phenomenal photographs...a cacophony of colour...Despite and because of their artifice, John Hinde's picture postcards are endlessly fascinating, exposing social trends, sartorial aberrations and a particular photographic vision. A delightful book."
The Art Book (June 2003)
"Wonderfully stylized...Check the prodigious use of Adidas three-stripe! Marvel at the tiki dicor blow-out at Butlin's Skegness Beachcomber bar! Remark on just how weird pre-Thatcherite Britain really was!"
"Enchanting and surreal"