- Hardcover: 176 pages
- Publisher: Prospect Park Books (October 3, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1945551194
- ISBN-13: 978-1945551192
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 41 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Addicted to Americana: Celebrating Classic & Kitschy American Life & Style Hardcover – October 3, 2017
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― Bleep Mag
“One of the most colorful and well-designed books out there…Highly recommended.”
― Route 66 News
“A great way to soak in good ol’ fashion kitsch…any Disney fan who loves the classic nostalgia of the early days of Disneyland will slip quite easily into this awesome new book.”
― Mouse Info
“The assortment of fun in this book will have you flipping through the pages for hours!! It won’t take long and you will be planning an assortment of family vacations surrounding all of the fun places in this great country of ours…This book brings the places to life in beautiful color.”
― Lynchburg Mama
“I looked at the cover and I knew I was in for a great read before I opened the book. It was love at first sight!”
― Linda Matlow
About the Author
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One thing I found interesting is that in earlier books, Charles appears one time. In this book, he appears 66 times. Maybe the next book will be "Addicted to Charles".
However, as great as it is, I agree with some of the reviewers complaining about Phoenix. Some complain about him being in the photos too much. Actually, that's not the issue. It's just that he mugs way too much for the camera in ways that come across as forced. I know what he was going for (like a character out of a corny 1940s or 1950s vintage ad), but the mugging is so over the top that he comes across as the classic suburban dad who thinks he's so funny with his bathroom reader jokes when he's the corniest thing around. I think what is especially turning people off is that he kept replicating that famous Home Alone poster of Macauley Culkin holding his cheeks in surprise. The first time he did this was kind of cute but by the tenth time, I just cringe in embarrassment and thought, "Gosh, what a goofball."
Some of the text and photos also came across as a bit self-aggrandizing. I got the sense that he thinks he's a much bigger deal than he thinks he is, like he's reached Bill Nye or Steve Irwin status of cult figure. (He hasn't.) He also name dropped Paul Reubens, which I felt was a little tacky and inappropriate, given the circumstance. (It seemed as if Reubens was either in a bad mood that day or just wasn't enthusiastic about a destination the both of them went to together.)
These quibbles aside, I think it's minor compared to what a treasure trove this book is. Ever since a Populuxe-style establishment near my house got torn down, I've been looking hill and dale for the perfect book that captures all the architecture and pop culture artifacts of the jet set era, and I think that Phoenix pretty much nailed it with his approach. Not that other books on the subject are bad but that I just wanted a coffee book that crammed in as many examples of this style as possible without too much dry, academic text, and this one hit the sweet spot. I think I even like this better than Americana the Beautiful, even though that one was technically better. This book has more architecture and road signs, which is what I was desperately looking for.
So, I can't recommend Addicted to Americana enough, and I can't wait to see more from the author. If I had any suggestions for him it would be that in the future, if he does any more travelogues, to maybe hire a better photographer who can pose him in a way that captures his fun-loving persona, but not go so over the top with it to where everyone's groaning and rolling their eyes like they do at the corny comic who uses a spinning tie and rubber chicken as part of his act.