Hubert's Freaks by Gregory Gibson
The Rare-Book Dealer, the Times Square Talker, and the Lost Photos of Diane Arbus

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Synopsis

From the moment Bob Langmuir, a down-and-out rare book dealer, spies some intriguing photographs in the archive of a midcentury Times Square freak show, he knows he's on to something. It turns out he's made the find of a lifetime--never-before-seen prints by the legendary Diane Arbus. Furthermore, he begins to suspect that what he's found may add a pivotal chapter to what is now known about Arbus as well as about the "old weird America," in Greil Marcus's phrase, that Hubert's inhabited.

Bob's ensuing adventure--a roller-coaster ride filled with bizarre characters and coincidences--takes him from the fringes of the rare book business to Sotheby's, and from the exhibits of a run-down Times Square freak show to the curator's office of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Will the photos be authenticated? How will Arbus's notoriously protective daughter react? Most importantly, can Bob, who always manages to screw up his most promising deals, finally make just one big score?
 

About Gregory Gibson

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Gregory Gibson has been an antiquarian book dealer since 1976. He has published three non-fiction books and writes an influential weekly blog on the book trade called "Bookman's Log." He has homes in Gloucester, Massachusetts, Cork City, Ireland, and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, but in his imagination he inhabits an undiscovered Raymond Chandler novel somehow set in Manhattan in the 1960s.
 
Published April 15, 2009 by Mariner Books. 288 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Hubert's Freaks

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Apr 01 2008 | Read Full Review of Hubert's Freaks: The Rare-Boo...

Kirkus Reviews

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Langmuir determined that the photos were the work of Diane Arbus, who had been introduced by Lucas to many of her subjects, including diminutive Andy Potato Chips, tattooed Jack Dracula and Congo the Jungle Creep.

| Read Full Review of Hubert's Freaks: The Rare-Boo...

Publishers Weekly

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“His toil in Hubert's vineyard,” Gibson writes of Langmuir, “amounted to no more or less than the continuing archaeology of the old, weird America.” Gibson's laser focus on Langmuir's shifting state of mind as he struggles to master his personal demons and navigate the pitfalls of his own obsessi...

Jan 14 2008 | Read Full Review of Hubert's Freaks: The Rare-Boo...

Review (Barnes & Noble)

Such is the conclusion of Gregory Gibson's account of collector Bob Langmuir's picaresque pursuit of a trove of lost photographs by Diane Arbus.

Sep 15 2008 | Read Full Review of Hubert's Freaks: The Rare-Boo...

Booked Solid

This review is about two photography books—one book of photos, the other book about some photos.

Dec 10 2011 | Read Full Review of Hubert's Freaks: The Rare-Boo...

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