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Punk House: Interiors in Anarchy

3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  138 ratings  ·  30 reviews
The punk house may come in any number of forms. The most common type is often where a large group of like-minded punks cram into a house usually intended to accommodate two or three people, resulting in low rent and, thus, extended hours of leisure for the residents to pursue their true interests.
"Punk House" features anarchist warehouses, feminist collectives, tree house
...more
Hardcover, 269 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Harry N. Abrams
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 241)
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lola
Dec 11, 2007 lola rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: someone who has never even heard of punk houses/yuppies
The long version: Fuck this fucking book. There was an incredible opportunity here to talk about the activism of punk houses, how they're run, how to run one, chronicle past and present "alternative living collectives," mention/analyze significant ones such as fort thunder or something like c-squat, the content of who lives in these houses and why, etc. etc. Abby Banks seems to have politely declined and instead chose to make something real boring. There is very little text--no communication as ...more
Bruce
I requested this book from the public library and loved it so much, I might just buy a copy for my personal shelves. So many beautiful photos of punk habitats from across the country, it made me want to get in a van and go on tour, just so I could crash on some of their floors and meet some of their occupants. While I understand that the author wanted the photos to speak for themselves, I would've liked more commentary and back story on each of the abodes (even just a few anecdotal captions)...e ...more
Allisonv
Most of the bad reviews seem to be from people who are butthurt that their crew/house/free range dirtclod collective was not included. I guess I am just as guilty; I like it and MY crew is totally in it. There are some very fascinating, tender, and funny images included. I really love all of the kitchen photos. Overall, the photo quality is not so hot. I am not a photographer, and I could probably do better with my 1970s SLR. Also, what the hell did Thurston Moore have to do with this project? D ...more
S.I.O.B.H.A.N=
Jan 24, 2008 S.I.O.B.H.A.N= added it
Recommends it for: nobody ever
Recommended to S.I.O.B.H.A.N= by: my pissed off friends
Me swamps and princess went to some sellout neo-liberal, bookstore in berkeley to see if it was true that somebody would actually do this to our already challenged (sexist, politically despondent)community, I couldn't read any of the words mostly I just looked at the art that this person photographed (and didnt credit the artists)I got hella pissed and wait i STILL AM. If anyone knows a good reason why our filthy lives should be on the pages of some $30 coffee table book in some yuppie house let ...more
Bobby
I wasn't actually impressed by this coffee table photo book, and was particularly confused by the totally out of place introduction by Thurston Moore. Admittedly, I only gave it four stars cause I thought it was a novelty to see friends/acquantainces, houses I've been to, and flyers for shows I've played. I'm especially sentimental about the Farmhouse in Mississippi.
Sarah
not meant to be a political critique, just pictures of punk houses from around the country. you get what she says is there: documentation and some pretty awesome images. she's a photographer, this is a photography book. for anyone who has always been totally intrigued by the insides of other people's houses.
Ward
May 07, 2008 Ward rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: young punks, people considering a life trip
Recommended to Ward by: family books
Shelves: oh-great
A detailed analysis of contemporary experiments in living, examining origins and workings, is a vastly different project compared to a photographic road-trip inventory of American punk houses. This book is the later, and in its defense, makes you long for the former.
Dawn
This book inspires me. I love the aesthetic. It's pretty much all color illustrations of images of people's living spaces. The photos are visceral & gritty, which matches the content.
Milo Miller
The photographs are amazing. It's a very interesting look at interiors based on punk subculture. A lot of the spaces are super chaotic, messy, filthy, and alive.
Ciara
Nov 06, 2008 Ciara rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: punk house dwellers, punk photographers, the folk-punk-tolerant
Shelves: read-in-2007
i am not a visual person by any stretch of the imagination (i even dream in words more than images), but i really liked the phptographs in this book. maybe the only thing that really ttracts my attention visually is lots of bright, contrasting colors, & color-saturated photographs of unkempt punk houses fit the bill. i also had fun trying to figure out if i was looking at houses i have been in, houses of my friends, if i could see zines or tapes i recognized in the background. good times! i ...more
Robert Beveridge
Abby Banks, Punk House: Interiors in Anarchy (Abrams, 2007)

Ever since I began to be aware of them, I've had a very strong desire to live in a punk house. I'm long-married now and full of all those silly responsibilities, so it's probably not going to be happening any time soon, but the longing is still there. Thus, this was pretty much the perfect book for me, a photoessay covering a number of punk houses around the country. I mean, how cool is that?

The best thing about the book, by far, is that
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Harris
I felt that this coffee table photo book was an adequate, if a bit uninformative, collection of images attempting to illustrate the beauty and quirkiness of the "punk house." Including vibrant pictures of houses and people across the United States, urban and rural, from coast to coast, capturing the cool, the weird, and the downright grody. Interesting but not very informative, other reviewers have certainly covered the books shortcomings (a superficial, even exploitative look at the subculture ...more
Grumpus McGrouchy
I agree, this book brought back smells.
And, reminded me of that freezing ass garret I inhabited in Rochester. Or was it the sweltering ass garret in San Antonio? At any rate, every city has an 'Art House' or 'Punk House' as it's called here. usually a step away from demolition. P.S. It's just a book of pictures. Where is Pt. 2?
Mary
I wish that there was more to this book than nameless and faceless punks with dirty houses. I wish that there were pictures of some of the amazing dance parties at 19th street. Or of bike club. Or of the screen printing projects that would go on for 72 hours straight, only to be broken up by practicing breakdancing moves and more coffee. Or the amazing random acts of food and feeding. I wish that I could have submitted some of my pictures of the diary reading/burnings in the backyard, or the pic ...more
Noodle
They have this at the Purple House. I told Abby that we didn't want Hellarity in it unless she agreed to not use the image for commercial purposes aside from promoting the book and that some of the proceeds would go to charity (we discussed efforts to rebuild New Orleans)

Later she told me she decided to not use the pictures, but then when it came out a picture of a mural and art installation by Paula Ruiz was in the book. THe photo stated it was the Bat Cave which had been evicted many years bef
...more
Lupine
Torn on what I think of this..I think it's a sign that I am old. I could pretty much smell the cigarettes and skater surprise while leafing through the pages. No disrespect to those who live in these homes.... it's just my tastes have changed a lot as has the way I like my living space to feel and this is not it.

On one hand, I would have thought this really really cool about 20 years ago, and in fact, I have resided in similarly looking places, as have many of my friends. On the other hand, it s
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Dan Solomon
Really does a heck of a job showing the world of shitty punk houses to people.
Bethtub
Having been in many of the houses featured in the book, I felt it focused a lot on the grunge aspect and missed many key elements of alternative living that these houses offer. For example, at collective a go go it failed to depict the beautiful huge garden, the wood burning cook stove, the bike shop, the diy shower, the compost toilets, the library, art averywhere... smashing the state is only half the fun, the other is constructing different interactions and ways of living. The book seemed to ...more
Sherry
Punk houses, subcultures, counter-cultures, hobos, hippies, travelers, anarchists, crusty kids, and collectives would all seem to provide ample material for some intriguing conversation.

This collection of photographs, however, inspires little insight into the lives of the people living in the houses depicted.

There is also what seems to be some mad controversy over Abby Banks method of collecting material and documenting.

But, it's colorful and somewhat interesting.
Sarah Jane
I'm really excited to see this book! It's awesome seeing punks document what we've created. It brought a big smile to my face to see friends faces in this book as well as houses that I've stayed in. I think, for those who have never identified with punk and only have a mainstream idea of what it means, this is eye opening. My only regret is I wish there was something like this that came out every 5-10 years or so! There are so many amazing punk houses that would be awesome to capture.
Ronni
The problem with this book is that it doesn't show the things that make these houses the most magical. And the photography isn't anything special, either. But I still got some nostalgic pleasure when I saw it in the staff-picks area of the library, in part b/c I've spent time in some of the very houses Abby portrays and with some of the people who show up in her pictures. And, well, because, you know, nostalgia. It just is.
Jen
Sat on a floor of a bookstore recently and paged through the whole book. Interesting, but not enough text! I wanted more of the history of punk houses, more testimonials from the people who lived in these photographs. Being Olympia bred, I'm pretty familiar with this setup, but it just seemed like a "pretty" coffee table book.
Popcorn
Dozens of us could make a book like this, and it would look different each time. I understand the feeling that she has missed many important aspects of the culture, but you can't say it all in one book. I think it is lovely for what it is- one person's view of these complex and fascinating spaces.
Jamie B
My house was photographed, but not used for this book. I got this book because of my other friends' homes which were featured in this book, especially the Robot House [RIP]. my brain is shot, this is going to help me keep memories in my head of people and places i have known.
Kegan May
I look at this book as a photo collection of different punk houses. Being a punk means something different to everyone who uses the title. It is full of lovely images and is a very striking conversation starter.
Oneashley
Squat + music = punk house. Photographs of dirty fake punk rock homes all over the great ol' US of A. The shining saviour to this book: an introduction from Thurston Moore.
Maureen
What is this crap? I can't remember the last time I felt so grossed out.

HOARDERS

Justin
Nov 30, 2007 Justin rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: slacker interior decorators
amazing document of the stuff outcasts surround themselves with
Stacy
Ew. Dirty punks living in dirty houses.
Mack
A bad idea, poorly executed.
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