Death & The Dolce Vita

Death-And-The-Dolce-Vita Lambretta Cover Book

Here’s a great cover for your nightstand. And it’s on sale for $5.98 at Daedalus Books (one of my favorite online bookstores). Don’t worry – it’s in English. Just wanted to show you the biggest cover pic I could find. It even sounds like a juicy read:

“In April 1953, attractive, 21-year-old Wilma Montesi went missing from her family home in Rome; when her body was found washed up on a neglected beach, the incident was attributed to either suicide or an accident. But as the author of Glamour shows in this history, as the police tried to close the case, darker rumors suggested that the death of this quiet, conservative girl was linked to a drug-fuelled orgy, involving some of the richest and most powerful men in Italy. By the 1950s, post–Mussolini Italy was in the process of successfully reinventing itself, but Montesi’s death exposed a darker side of Roman life—a life of corruption, cover-ups and carnal pleasures.”

Read a book review from The Telegraph (UK)

Order book at Daedalus Books.

A real kickstarter!

The Scooter Diaries Ronald Bowman

I came across a Kickstarter campaign on the blog “Mod Scene Weekly” and I want to see this book get made! They have less than two days to meet their goal.

What’s it about? It’s “an epic adventure romance through Latin America on a scooter during a time when such a journey was virtually unheard of.” And I gotta say the romance part sounds great! But just the fantastic photos alone would make this book worth it.

Visit here to learn more and watch the terrific book trailer. And then lay down some dough!

Tank Girl is a scooter girl.

Tank Girl Vespa Scooter Bad Wind Rising Poster Magazine 2

I have always had a fondness for “Tank Girl” although I don’t think I’ve ever sat down and read an entire comicbook. I’ve just seen frames from the books and of course the Lori Petty movie which people seem to love or loathe. I loved it because at the time it was really freakin’ rare to see women kick ass. I do remember that the target roundel showed up here and there but I didn’t even know what that was about at the time. I just thought she was making herself a target which fit in with her M.O. perfectly. I also didn’t think of her riding a scooter. A yak-like animal and well, a tank. So I was very happy to come across these images and things all started clicking into place. It is a British comic after all.

The poster magazine up top is available for £6.99 at this site.

The other cover can be considered a bit of Rare Swag but the tenacious among you will no doubt find it.

And for a little mid 90s nostalgia, watch the Tank Girl trailer here.

Tank Girl Trailer 1994

Scooters of the Apocalypse!

Scooters of the Apocalypse El Crappo Comics Comicbook

Here’s Amazon’s description which really can’t be improved upon:

“El Crappo Comics (New Zealand) is proud to present “Scooters of the Apocalypse”. Quite possibly the first book ever to combine Homer’s “Odyssey”, the “Revelation” and classic scooters in comic book form. If you’re one of those people who find James Joyce’s “Ulysses” too long and lacking in pictures “Scooters of the Apocalypse” is the book for you – it’s much shorter, got more pictures and has scooters!”

It’s just $9 at Amazon. Would anyone be interested in doing a book report for ScooterSwag?

Scooters of the Apocalypse

Deadenders Book

One of ScooterSwag’s very first posts was about this comicbook series. And just this year they released to entire collection in a book form.

From Amazon:

“In this stylized book of mystery and science fiction, a drug-dealing car thief must discover the secret behind his visions in order to save the world. Twenty years after the devastating Cataclysm, society has been separated into sectors in which the rich are able to enjoy machine-generated weather and sunlight while the poor are forced to live an eternally dank and dark existence. Banished to the dismal Sector 5, the angst-ridden Beezer discovers that the corrupt city police are hunting him because of his experiential visions of a pre-apocalyptic world. Now Earth’s reluctant savior must learn his true origin and the meaning of his visions before he is captured and killed.
This trade reprints critically acclaimed writer Ed Brubaker’s DEADENDERS issues 1-16 as well as Vertigo Winter’s Edge #3!

Thanks to Paul from Sportique Scooters in Colorado for reminding me of this great series!

Deadenders Book

The Appian Way.

From Amazon:
The Roman poet Statius called the via Appia “the Queen of Roads,” and for nearly a thousand years that description held true, as countless travelers trod its path from the center of Rome to the heel of Italy. Today, the road is all but gone, destroyed by time, neglect, and the incursions of modernity; to travel the Appian Way today is to be a seeker, and to walk in the footsteps of ghosts.

Our guide to those ghosts — and the layers of history they represent — is Robert A. Kaster. In The Appian Way, he brings a lifetime of studying Roman literature and history to his adventures along the ancient highway. A footsore Roman soldier pushing the imperial power south; craftsmen and farmers bringing their goods to the towns that lined the road; pious pilgrims headed to Jerusalem, using stage-by-stage directions we can still follow—all come to life once more as Kaster walks (and drives—and suffers car trouble) on what’s left of the Appian Way. Other voices help him tell the story: Cicero, Goethe, Hawthorne, Dickens, James, and even Monty Python offer commentary, insight, and curmudgeonly grumbles, their voices blending like the ages of the road to create a telescopic, perhaps kaleidoscopic, view of present and past.”

$17 at Amazon. And it’s also available on Kindle.

The Appian Way: Ghost Road, Queen of Roads

Fleeing Fleeting Rome …

Gotta love a travel book with a mint Lambretta Starstream on it.

From Amazon:
“Only a renaissance man could have described this glorious city in its heyday. And only Carlo Levi, writer, painter, politician and one of the last century’s most celebrated talents, could depict Rome at the height of its optimism and vitality after World War II. In Fleeting Rome, the era of post war ‘La Dolce Vita’ is brought magnificently to life in the daily bustle of Rome’s street traders, housewives and students at work and play, the colourful festivities of Ferragosto and San Giovanni, the little theatre of Pulcinella al Pincio; all vibrant sights and sounds of this ancient, yet vital city.”

Published in 2005, it’s available for $15.95.

Thanks to Poliana for this find!

It’s a mad mad mad mod world!

I really love this book. It’s like a mash-up of Richard Scarry books with some mod sensibility. It’s very witty with something to puzzle over on every page. And yes, a scooter plays a prominent role.

Here’s the description from Amazon:
“In a distinctive oversize package and illustrated with Joëlle Jolivet’s signature retro, eye-catching style, Oops! follows a family through the streets of Paris as they try to get to the airport for their vacation. Back at their apartment, their house-sitting aunt slips on some soap, setting off a chain reaction of events that create some extreme roadblocks for the family’s trip. A movie shoot, a parade, policemen, rampaging bears, aliens, and much more collide in this remarkable new picture book adventure. The book includes a gatefold page at the end that explains in detail the train of chaos on the previous pages.”

This Week’s Rare Bit O’Swag: "I See About My Outfit" Paperbacks

We’ve posted about “I See By My Outfit” by Peter Beagle before. It’s about two beatniks who go cross country on Heinkels and it’s a great read. It’s easy to find a reprint but not so easy to find the more vintage paperback copies with the scooters on the cover art. Here are two of the better examples.