Blast Books publishes illustrated books on extraordinary cultural and historical subjects.
Our newest titles are Los Alamos Rolodex, Everything’s Coming Up Profits,
Around the Bay, and Hidden Treasure: The National Library of Medicine.


Thomas Bernhard - 3 Days

Thomas Bernhard: 3 Days

a revelatory illustrated portrait of the acclaimed Austrian writer

Over the course of three days in June 1970, seated on a white bench in a Hamburg park, Thomas Bernhard delivered a powerful monologue for Three Days (Drei Tage), filmmaker Ferry Radax’s commanding film portrait of the great Austrian writer. The author of ultimately some forty volumes of plays, fiction, poetry, and a memoir, and recipient of practically every important literary prize that the German-speaking world awards, Bernhard wrote with an exceptional genius and voice, placing him in the pantheon of Beckett, Swift, and Kafka.

Bernhard’s stature as a writer was clear by 1970, when experimental filmmaker Ferry Radax sought out Bernhard and obtained his agreement for an unconventional film portrait to be created over nine days. Bernhard, however, suddenly withdrew his cooperation and would agree only to a three-day shoot in which he would sit on a bench and say what was going through his mind. With characteristic frankness, irascibility, irritation, and acerbic humor—which together evince his great heart—in Three Days, Bernhard extemporaneously articulated his thoughts about his life and about his writing. Radax interwove the monologue with resonant visual techniques—blackouts, extreme distance, extreme close-up on his uncomfortable subject.

Published for the first time in English, and for the first time with imagery from the film and source material that spurred Bernhard’s thoughts, this publication of Bernhard’s poetic prose monologue, by turns raw, grave, absurd, tender, and deeply human, is combined with more than 160 stills from Radax’s film, allowing this unique portrait of Bernhard to be savored in book form.

Thomas Bernhard
Thomas Bernhard (1931–1989) is widely regarded as Austria’s greatest post–World War II writer. His best-known works include Frost; The Loser; Concrete; The Lime Works; Gargoyles; My Prizes; and his extensive memoir, Gathering Evidence, published originally in five separate volumes between 1975 and 1982.

Ferry Radax (b. 1932) is an Austrian filmmaker best known for his short experimental films, documentaries, and portrayals of writers and artists, including Bernhard, Konrad Bayer, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, and James Joyce. He is the recipient of two lifetime achievement awards in Austria, among others.

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"Los Alamos Rolodex 1967–1978 is the perfect complement to my rolodex of hell. Picture this: you’re building an atomic weapon; you know it’s going to be pretty complex; you’re probably going to need some help. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a rolodex with the appropriate names and phone numbers of the people who know what you need? Well, guess what? There is. Help yourself.
(This is really cool.)" —Errol Morris

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In 2012, the Center for Land Use Interpretation acquired a set of seven rolodexes from the dispersed collection of former Los Alamos National Laboratory employee Ed Grothus, who operated a salvage company of lab cast-offs known as The Black Hole.

Now part of the center’s Radioactive Archive, the rolodexes contain many thousands of business cards kept by some unknown office in the lab over the 1960s and 1970s—the peak of the arms race and its technological development. They are a physical record of everything from major military contractors to obscure high—and low-tech software and widget suppliers—many no longer extant, some, like Kodak and Xerox, evolved—all seeking or engaged in business with the Los Alamos nuclear industry.

The selection of 150 cards, presented in an oblong-bound book to simulate flipping through a rolodex, may be viewed as a snapshot of synergies between the business community and America's atomic might. On the one hand, they are a direct indexical connection from the recent past to the sources of building and operating the most sophisticated and powerful national defense technologies in the world. On the other hand, they are obsolete information, relics of a former usefulness. As a specific printed historical record—superbly reproduced in full color in this volume—they retain relevance for a potential understanding of the present; they are evocative evidence of the links that formed the secret technology of our nation.

History, Technology
Hardcover • 4.25" x 6.75" • 160 pages • 150 color illustrations
$17.95 • ISBN: 978-0-922233-45-8
Publication date: January 19, 2016


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Once upon a time, when American industry ruled the earth, business and Broadway had a baby. This mutant offspring, glimpsed only at conventions and sales meetings, was the industrial musical.

Through the rare souvenir record albums presented in Everything’s Coming Up Profits, an alternate show-biz universe emerges: a universe in which musical theater can be about selling silicone products or typewriters or insurance or bathtubs. Some of these improbable shows were hilariously lame. Some were pretty good. And some were flat-out fantastic.

Get ready for eye-popping album covers... rhymes for words like invoice and compressor... war stories from the people who were there... it’s a surprising slice of Americana that will make you laugh, make you shake your head in wonderment, and make you want to get out there and sell something.

Hardcover, 252 pages, 91/2 x 91/2 in.,
425 color illustrations


Visit the companion website industrialmusicals.com
streaming audio of the songs and more.

Follow Industrial Musicals on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/industrialmusicals

Wall Street Journal
Chicago Sun-Times
The New York Times
PRN
Record Collector
Dangerous Minds
studio360-logo
Mental Floss
buzzfeed
Boing Boing
WNYC

“A wildly entertaining, gorgeous tribute to a world we never knew existed. Anyone interested in American history, music, or culture should buy this book by the fistful.”
— Dave Letterman

"The world of industrial musicals is magical, weird, and funny. Mssrs. Young and Murphy escort you into that world with panache and not nearly enough guilt. Like Steve, I amassed a collection of these records—souvenirs of the days when corporations were rich enough to care about the morale of their employees—and like him, I thought I was 'the only one.' Now these idiots have spent serious time and energy producing a freaking book on the subject. Humor them. Buy this book and
let it change your life."
— Harry Shearer

"As a veteran of many an industrial, I can attest that EVERYTHING’S COMING UP PROFITS is accurate as well as fascinating and hysterical. If I had friends, I'd tell them about it."
— Martin Short

"All Singing! All Dancing! All Selling! This delightful history reveals the corny glories of corporate America's fling with motivational musicals, and its vintage graphics are like a peek at an alternate world where the hit songs
were about Ford tractors."
— James Lileks, author
The Gallery of Regrettable Food

"Young and Murphy map us to a nether-universe Brill Building located at the intersection of Madison Avenue and Tin Pan Alley. The songcraft is stupefyingly absurd, but thanks to this book a lot of product music has outlived the products."
— Irwin Chusid, WFMU Radio,
author Songs in the Key of Z


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http://www.berkeleyside.com/2013/09/05/whats-that-san-francisco-bay-as-seen-from-the-air/

Around the Bay is the second book in our series by the Center for Land Use Interpretation, which “has been putting together quietly impressive and obsessively detailed exhibitions, publications and field trips for nearly two decades” (Los Angeles Times). Through CLUI's revelatory, original aerial photography and unique look at human interaction with the earth's surface, Around the Bay explores the connective shoreline tissue of the San Francisco Bay Area, every inch of which today is the product of human activity, by either intent or incident.

Hardcover, 152 pages, 6 x 9 in.,
73 color illustrations and a fold-out map



"Everybody likes or finds some places interesting,
but CLUI makes every place interesting."
— Lucy R. Lippard, art historian/critic,
author of The Lure of the Local

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Hidden Treasure, a spectacular book with 450 images, celebrating the 175th anniversary of the National Library of Medicine, the world's largest medical library.

"My fantasy holiday is a week spent locked in the archives of the National Library of Medicine, so you can imagine how excited I am about this book. It's an incomparable treasure trove. I hugged it to my chest like a four-year-old with a new pair of shoes."
— Mary Roach, author of Stiff and Packing for Mars

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"mesmerizing..."


"...a visually voluptuous volume...always amazing in its splendor."


"Amazing images from the archives at the National Library of Medicine..."
Boing Boing

"exquisite..."


"a compendium of the greatest graphic as well as historical and human interest...revelatory..."

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Eighteenth-century French anatomist Honoré Fragonard's Écorchés—preserved dissected animal and human cadavers—are extraordinary works of virtuosic skill that have survived nearly two hundred and fifty years in the Fragonard Museum in Alfort, on the outskirts of Paris. They are the real and very rare18th-century precursor to BodyWorlds and other modern-day anatomical specimen exhibitions.

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Mütter Museum Historic Medical Photographs was the #1 most popular pictorial attraction on Newsweeek.com for 2008

See A Century of Medical Oddities
Newsweek.com

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"Mad Men meets Flash Gordon."
The New York Times

"A doozy."
Boing Boing

"Stunning."


See author Megan Prelinger
on CBS-TV


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"This is the most extraordinary book I have ever seen—the perfect coffee table book for all the households where I'd most like to be invited for coffee."
Mary Roach

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Listen to Dissection co-author John Warner on NPR's All Things Considered
Listen to Dissection co-author John Warner on NPR's All Things Considered