Colin MacInnes

Absolute Beginners

‘I swore by Elvis and all the saints that this last teenage year of mine was going to be a real rave. Yes, man, come whatever, this last year of the teenage dream I was out for kicks and fantasy’

London, 1958. A new phenomenon is causing a stir: the teenager.

In the smoky jazz clubs of Soho and the coffee bars of Notting Hill the young and the restless – the absolute beginners – are revolutionising youth culture and forging a new carefree lifestyle of sex, drugs and rock‘n’roll. Moving in the midst of this world of mods and rockers, Teddy gangs and trads., and snapping every scene with his trusty Rolleiflex, is MacInnes’ young photographer, whose unique wit and honest views remain the definitive account of London life in the 1950s and what it means to be a teenager.

In this twentieth century cult classic, MacInnes captures the spirit of a generation and creates the style bible for anyone interested in Mod culture, and the changing face of London in the era of the first race riots and the lead up to the swinging Sixties…
256 printed pages
Original publication



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    w8l21has quoted3 years ago
    nd cosy cottages, and roads made of mud, and agricultural numbe
    Andrey Kirillovhas quoted4 years ago
    Cool, this is London, not some hick city in the provinces! This is London, man, a capital, a great big city where every kind of race has lived ever since the Romans!’
    Andrey Kirillovhas quoted4 years ago
    Neither of them asked me why I’d come, or why I’d not been for an eternity, which in my book are two signs of civilised human beings – because, believe me, most hosts are bullies holding pistols at your head, but not this couple.
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