Monday, 4 October 2010

Desolation

The book is a look at early-'70s Britain, economically wrecked, incompetently run (the government of the day declared no fewer than five states of emergency over a four-year period) and terrorist-plagued. Some living there now might wonder what has changed. But what gets me here is the cover. It's like something out of Cormac McCarthy's The Road.




The photo is the work of John Bulmer, and it's of a Manchester street in the early 1970s.



See more of Bulmer's work here. I don't yet know the book's designer, but they're very clever indeed.

UPDATE: The designer is the excellent Jim Stoddart.

7 comments:

Levi Stahl said...

That's amazing. I have always heard about how bleak things were in the 1970s in Britain, but I would never have guessed you could sum it up so clearly in a single image. That's a hell of a design.

Sadly, I would bet there are at least a couple of corners here in Chicago where you could take a similar photo today.

JRSM said...

There are some amazing Chicago photos in Camilo Jose Vergara's 'American Ruins'. Quite beautiful, too.

Ian Shimkoviak said...

did they do some photoshop work to those kids on the little bike? Looks different between the original photo and the cover...

Great shot indeed...

Matthew Adams said...

I can't stop thinking "Shaun of the dead". That might be because I have not read or seen The Road.

Craig D. said...

Simple but effective. I don't know what the temperature was outside when that photo was taken, but the photo itself feels cold as hell.

JRSM said...

Ian: You're right--they must be two different photos, as the angle of the pub is slightly different too.

Bob Fingerman said...

That's a very striking photograph and book cover.