Frew, Timothy, editor, Alaska - Portrait of a State. Graphic Arts Center. Hardbound. 112 pages, 100 color photographs. $14.95.
Just when you think every coffee table on Earth is layered with handsome books of scenic pictures of Alaska, not to mention the closet floors and perhaps the dining room, another one comes along.
As such things go, this is a nice one. Various photographers have given their best shots, so to speak, and certainly there are some spectular views of mountains, rivers, forests, bears, deer, seals, etc. (I especially liked the coy porcupine peeering out of a tree). The ice photos left me a bit cold, but then Iím writing this during an early freeze.
Even more interesting is the question of the market for this kind of book. For tourists wanting to take something home? For would-be photographers visiting Alaska and becoming either completely enthused or totally discouraged, according to their temperaments? For new Alaskans wanting to answer the questions from family and friends as to exactly why theyíre remaining in this remote area?
If thereís a criticism, itís that the captions are superficial, but then, this is not the sort of book that emphasizes the text. The publisher is noted for fine color reproduction and this is a good example. The tall and oblong format shows these off to good effect. Given the modest price, buy a copy or two for whatever reason.