Book Reviews

Book Reviews

Alternative Movie Posters: Film Art from the Underground
Matthew Chojnacki
Schiffer Publishing
Street: 10.28.13

“Film posters aren’t quite what they use to be,” Matthew Chojnacki says it all in the book’s introduction. Film posters, at one time, were the primary source for promotion. They had to be original. They had to be eye-catching. Over the last 20 years, however, that has changed. Whether it’s due to the Internet, or other avenues of promotion, movie posters as of late aren’t so much of an art as they are heavily Photoshopped, airbrushed celebrity headshots. Chojnacki took it upon himself to create an awesome coffee table book comprised of hundreds of interpretations from contemporary independent artists. This 207-page hardcover book features over 100 artists (most of whom contribute multiple prints), each with their own unique style. The film selection is just as impressive as the art, with a nice mixture of cult movies and Hollywood blockbusters. The minimalistic interpretations of classics like Wizard of Oz and Zombieland fit perfectly alongside the cartoony Teen Wolf and Evil Dead posters, as well as the comic-book style Anchorman piece. Alternative Movie Posters: Film Art from the Underground is the first book to document these visionary designers and is a must-have for any film buff and/or fan of contemporary art. –Nate Abbott

The Mountain: My Time on Everest
Ed Viesturs w/ David Roberts
Simon & Schuster
Street: 10.08.13

The high places of the world attract characters from various walks of life. Ed Viesturs happened to be a veterinarian with a penchant for climbing. By 2009, he had been on Mount Everest 11 times and reached the summit on seven of those occasions. In his latest memoir, The Mountain, Viesturs recounts Everest’s fabled past and the characters who succumb to “the irresistible lure of the world’s highest peak.” The book brilliantly chronicles expeditions to Everest since it was first deemed the planet’s tallest summit. From the Brits to the Japanese, to harrowing ascents by American and French climbers, the book illustrates the triumphs and tragedies that have taken place on the mountain. Co-author David Roberts does a terrific job of segueing from historical accounts to some of Viesturs’ more intriguing expeditions. Borrowing from journal entries made by Viesturs, the stories of his trips to Everest and other 8,000-meter (~26,000 feet) peaks come to life in stunning detail. A colorful collection of photos adds to the realism. The book also shows the intensity with which Viesturs has pursued a life in the mountains and how he continues to come home safe. This is a must-read for any adventure enthusiast. –Sean Zimmerman-Wall

Under Your Skin
Sabine Durrant
Emily Bestler Books/Atria Books
Street: 01.01.13

During an early morning run, TV news anchor Gaby Mortimer stumbles across the corpse of a young woman in the park near her home. The book takes on the perspective of Gaby’s thoughts, detailing her experience, as the police seem to focus increasingly on the idea that she is the killer. From the moment I began reading, I only put the book down when I unwillingly passed out mid-sentence. From the psychology of her failing marriage to the intense anxiety following such a disturbing discovery, not one thought is missed. This provides a remarkable look into the mind of the character, making the story seem so real that, a few times, I was too terrified to walk around my house in the dark. A proper collage of constant metaphors, combined with the unique angle of Durrant’s writing, creates a story unlike any other I have read. This is supported by the fact that Durrant is a journalist. Snatch a copy as soon as the opportunity arises. This novel will seamlessly complement the imminent freeze over and abundance of blankets Salt Lake City winters bring. –LeAundra Jeffs