by Susan Segal
Segal, a commercial photographer in Los Angeles, says she had a dream that told her to make a book out of pictures of flamingos, artificial flamingos, statues of flamingos, things named flamingo and, generally, items of the flamingo ilk. Let’s say two things about this: (1) good for her, and (2) it’s just as well that she didn’t have a dream about weasels or mosquitoes.
As it is, this is a nice tidbit of a book. Segal includes pictures of everything from the woman in the Bahamas who is in charge of her country’s flamingos—its national bird—to the executive producer of the 1981-82 TV series Flamingo Road. An introduction by a National Audubon Society executive, Alexander Sprunt IV, compactly provides facts about real-life flamingos; they have been on earth for 50 million years, for one thing.
While Segal includes shots of two members of the ’60s singing group the Flamingos and ’40s singer Herb Jeffries, whose big hit song was “Flamingo,” she leaves out Matt Dillon and the rest of the 1984 film The Flamingo Kid. That’s probably just as well. A truly comprehensive book of flamingomania might have lapsed into the area of wretched excess. This one is just fun. (Ten Speed Press, $10.95; $8.95, paper)