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My Prescription for Anti-Depressive Living Hardcover – November 8, 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“In My Prescriptive for Anti-Depressive Living, Adler—best known for his curvy, whimsical pottery—invites us all to get happy.” (Home)

“A joyous celebration of [Adler’s] success and style.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

“A refreshing change from traditional home looks. Adler infuses the book with his signature sense of “happy chic” style.” (Orlando Sentinel)

About the Author

Jonathan Adler was born and raised in New Jersey.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Design (November 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060820535
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060820534
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 1.1 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #387,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
So while I was sitting on the couch yesterday, sick as a dog, I noticed my partner's new Jonathan Adler design book. The cover features Jonathan perched awkwardly on a couch, surrounded by his whimsical pottery and the typical Hollywood Regency-inspired design motifs one sees repeated in design magazines these days. Juxtaposed with his his super-cool pottery designs, the cover comes across as forced, tacky, and aimed at selling the maximum number of copies to the maximum number of people. Had I not been sick and had the book not been within arm's length, I never would have cracked it open.

Strangely enough, it turned out to be one of the more entertaining and inspirational things I have read in a very long time.

Jonathan begins his tome by stating: "This book is about how design can change your life." In the proceeding pages, Adler lays out his design philosophies in the wittiest manner imaginable, often using text and color alone to outline his anti-formal aesthetic. An example of this is the section titled My Prescription For Maximalist Merriment. Striking out boldly against the confines and conformity of minimalism, Tip #5 reads:

"Get rid of all your boring, tiresome friends. Make friends with cabaret stars, exotic dancers, and down-on-their-luck royality instead."

The book, in this way, deconstructs design as conformist modality and reconstructs it, Star Trek transporter beam style, in a totally different, purely subjective form altogether. Adler rages, in his whimsical and wacky way, against the the urge to create cold spaces defined by exterior influences. He instead asks, nay begs, the designer-to-be to recharge one's inactive design batteries by channelling the phantasmagorical landscape of the child's mind. His recollection of a Mrs.
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Format: Hardcover
There are a very large number of house design books. Compared with this one, they are all very dull. Johathan Adler writes (and decorates) with a abandonment of traditional values that's borderline nuts. The hell of it is that he pulls it off. For instance, point one of his manifesto says: 'I believe that when it comes to home decorating, the wife is always right (unless the husband is gay). Well, I've ceratinly learned (through painful experience) that the best answer to any decorating question is 'Yes, dear.'

Jonathan's design ideas are nothing if not innovative. I don't quite know what to call them. Here's a pop-art painting, here's some highly tectured fabric. Colors are bright, walls are white, unless, of course, they're bright red or wood paneling or something else. Put them all together, and you wind up with a suprising look for a house, a restaurant or something else.

My favorite of his prescriptions for anti-depressive living is: 'Obey every command in this book. Or Don't. I want you to do whatever makes you happy."

Great Fun.
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Format: Hardcover
I've been collecting many interior-decorating books in the past several years, and this was the last one I bought for my collection.

In short what is different about this book is that the message of the author is not "how to create a good looking space" but one about "how to create a space that f-e-e-l-s good."

Personally, I live with a huge load of STUFF - and this book in nowhere describes how to solve the problem of "storing stuff".

But the book title lives up to its promise - "My Prescription for Anti-Descriptive Living" and I am a satisfied customer.

The added bonus is the generous inclusion of his personal history - I think it is very brave and courageous to share so much of personal stuff here. He shares about his experience at school as a ceramic art student, and how his teacher discouraged him, and how he finally overcame this discouragement, and became a ceramic artist ANYWAY and that his business is doing well. Dunno. I think what I'm trying to say is how much I love the "attitude" that is obvious and contagious from the book.

I think the photograhed interiors are highly eclectic and whimsical, full of humour, wit, and charm.

But do be aware, this is not a book on "pragmatics of interior decorating".
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a real surprise. So often design books seem deadly serious and make you feel like you've got to follow a strict set of rules. But here's a major designer who actually believes that home design should be fun and make you happy. The book is filled with great decorating ideas that are chic, irreverent, and often drop-dead gorgeous. It's also funny, self-deprecating and has tons of stunning pictures that will get your creative juices flowing. I really loved this book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had been aware of this book for a while but felt no inclination to buy it. It looked, well, silly. Then I read the many glowing reviews. OK. I took a chance.

I am glad I did. This is a wonderful book.

Above all, the images are stunning, and the Adler's work is clever, beautiful, and highly inventive.

While a quick read, I laughed out loud on several occasions and how often does that happen while reading a book on interior design? ("We're very nelly, but we are not THAT nelly - page 34.) More importantly, the amusing comments are also, often, brilliant observations and advice. I do not think I have ever read a book on interior design with so much useful advice, and this was a highly unexpected dividend.

While reading the book however, I grew a little uneasy. Adler would have us believe that everything in the book came together oh-so-casually. You know, run off to the local thrift stores, snap up a 1950s sofa, a Hollywood-Regency chair or two, some pop-art bolts of fabric, a Sputnik chandelier, and then toss everything in your 1964 Cadillac convertible, drive home, and effortlessly arrange everything while drinking champagne and listening to the Hi-Fi.

My uneasy feeling developed because I suspect that Adler's work is, in fact, the result of painstaking consideration, a particular skill at ferreting out beauty among the flotsam, and no small amount of rare talent coupled with a unique vision.

Examples:

PAGE 8/9: The linens have been laboriously ironed. Yes, this is for a photo shoot but SOMEONE had to do the hard work. The upholstered headboard and drapes look beautifully, exquisitely made. The white carpet does not seem to have a spot on it.
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