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Ugly: The Aesthetics of Everything Hardcover – October 3, 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Bookforum

Stephen Bayley’s Ugly: The Aesthetics of Everything is a terrific history of white people’s thoughts on the beautiful and tacky. Bayley plumbs the shallowest depths of white culture of the last few hundred years, from high kitsch (snow-globe collections, the infamous Madonna Inn), to the compelling ugliness of plants, animals, disfigurement, and racism, to the reactionary pro-ugliness movements of punk and modernist architecture. —Choire Sicha --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Stephen Bayley's unconventional world-view will untie your mind from your behind...and give you a new appreciation for the fabulously hideous.--Simon Doonan" - Creative Ambassador for Barneys New York and author of The Asylum

Praise for Stephen Bayley:

"I don't know anybody with more interesting observations about style, taste, and contemporary design." --Tom Wolfe

"He has the knack of getting ahead of everybody with values that turn out to be permanent." --Clive James

"[John Ruskin was] the 19th century Stephen Bayley." --Nick Foulkes
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: The Overlook Press; 1 edition (October 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1468307169
  • ISBN-13: 978-1468307160
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 1.1 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #549,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book as much, if not more than Bayley's original masterpiece, Taste. It's important to note that this book is not an attempt to define ugliness, but to examine our relationship with ugliness throughout history. It's a fantastically well designed book, featuring full page photographic plates illustrating Bayley's witty and insightful points. The epic shade throwing found in Taste is still here, but tempered a bit. Is Bayley mellowing in his old age? I do wish that the author had been a little more declarative about what he actually believes and who he agrees with, but that ambiguity didn't diminish the amount it made me think and examine our culture through his lens.
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Format: Hardcover
I rather enjoyed this lively book, not least because it mentions I.H. 35, the highway that runs from Laredo, Texas to Duluth, Minnesota--and not entirely in an uncomplimentary fashion. The book has an attention-grabbing blend of old and new, with clever commentary.
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