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Punk House: Interiors in Anarchy Hardcover – October 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 269 pages
  • Publisher: Abrams Image (October 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810993317
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810993310
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 1.2 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #339,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Abby Banks is an artist based in Brattleboro, VT. Abby traveled to over fifty punk houses across the nation in preparation for this book.

Thurston Moore is an artist, poet, and musician. He is a founding member of Sonic Youth, and the editor of a book Mixtape: The Art of Cassette Culture.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
This alone should suffice as reason to buy the book.
Andrew Jawitz
So few think to document their lives, thinking that they'll remember or that there will always be time to take pictures.
Scott Mylxine
Vivid scenes of both chaos and order a brilliant piece of work.
the mad nu

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Scott Mylxine on December 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I don't usually write reviews on Amazon, but I wanted to say something about this book.
I found Punk House to be one of the most beautiful, colorful depictions of punk life that I've seen outside of the zine world. Living in and visiting some of these houses, they certainly don't feel as vibrantly alive as Abby Banks' photography makes them appear. I was looking over one photo of dirty dishes with a vegan cookbook,mostly torn apart from overuse, and it made me fall in love with the punks again (not that I ever fell out of love, but like you would a lover who you see in a new light after years of relationship).
So much heart is captured in this book, and so much life. Fleeting life.
It says somewhere in these pages that 90% of the houses photographed are now gone. Maybe not the house itself, but the people inside and what made it a punk house in the first place-punks.
So few think to document their lives, thinking that they'll remember or that there will always be time to take pictures. Then, as the years go by, they find that they'd wished they'd at least had a few momentos of a time gone by. Abby Banks took the pictures for us and presented them in a tasteful manner, with permission of those featured, that captures an ongoing moment, a piece of our history, and a slice of life that is usually marginalized at best.
Punks don't need to see their pictures in print to know they matter. But it doesn't hurt sometimes. Hassled by the power structures that make our lives somewhat on the fringe, we need few reminders that much about our way of life is fleeting.
I lived in one of the houses featured in this book and had no fewer than 50 roommates over 8 years (not including a dozen or so dogs, 4 cats, mice (some as pets and some living in the walls).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Jawitz on November 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
You'll be hard pressed to find a real negative reaction to this book. Even supposed "critiques" such as the previous review admit that the content of the book is amazing. This alone should suffice as reason to buy the book. As to the allegations stated under the heading "What We Do Is Secret: For a Reason" I have every reason to believe that they are almost totally unfounded. Having known the author throughout the process of traveling and collecting photographs for the book, I can safely attest that she did everything under the sun to obtain permission from the subjects (a process that took months) and approached the topic with utmost sincerity.
A recent book tour (that took the author through many anarchist book stores,house shows, and food not bombs feedings) revealed how many people were not only satisfied with the work but also grateful that someone had taken the time and labor to document punk house culture in a tasteful and nonexploitive manner.
If this book has truly made a lot of people angry, I certainly haven't met them. Nor have I come across any "Beware of Corporate Zinester" bulletins. Perhaps its because most people who've read the book recognize it for what it is; an honest portrait of a unique cultural lifestyle. My guess is that these people have learned enough from 8 years of Karl Rove than to rely on unfounded accusations and "facts by implication".
Don't Believe the Hype!!! The book is the Real Deal!!!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Findlen on October 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I understand why D. RAYMOND and others feel that way. He's really hit the nail on the head with this one. I've wanted to speak out against this book for months now, but it wanted until after reading the review "THWARTED" that I found the courage to do so. I worked on this book with Abby and I have to say, now that she has been published, she has really changed. My first clue came when I went to visit her last autumn. I arrived at the train station and to my surprise, she wasn't on time to pick me up. "Nothing out of the ordinary there," I thought. "She's always late". I put my pack down, and busied myself by admiring a fully restored 1950 jet black Rolls Royce convertible in the parking lot. I don't know much about cars, so it didn't keep my attention long. The train whistle blew I turned to watch it roll out, and I found myself playfully kicking the ground as the sound of the mighty behemoth gradually faded down the rails.

"It is good to see you, my old friend," I heard someone say in a muffled voice. I looked around, but didn't see anyone nearby. All of the passengers had left the platform. Then suddenly the convertible's top began to slowly open, revealing the driver: a man with a top hat and a thick, well groomed handlebar mustache. I was confused, and to tell the truth, a bit scared, until I saw upon the dashboard, next to a tin of brilliantine and a box of Cuban cigars, a copy of PUNKHOUSE! I looked a little closer at the motorist. "Abby?" I exclaimed, now starting to recognize in this stranger a few familiar vestiges of the woman I once knew.

The eyes.

The jaw line.

It was her alright. With some hesitation I entered the passenger's side, and as I sat down Abby extended her left hand toward my chest with her pinky outstretched.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kyle Cassidy on January 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Some art is ephemeral and I find that sad. I suspect that Abby Banks does too. Punk House provides a window into a world that most people will never see in person -- in many ways as mysterious and remote as the Serengeti. Photography is all about access and Ms. Banks was able to get access to 42 homes across the country populated by a an insular and distinct group of people. Her photos are stark and beautiful, the layout simple and attractive -- and the result is all visual, as thick as a Sears catalog. The sad thing about Punk House is that most of these places probably won't exist next year -- it is an ephemeral culture. In photographing them, Ms. Banks has saved some bit of what they were in a style true to the subjects, with great care, and with obvious love. Punk House would have made an incredible zine but it would have been impossible to produce.
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