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An Unfortunate Woman: A Journey Hardcover – Apr 2000

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Hardcover, Apr 2000
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 110 pages
  • Publisher: St Martins Pr (April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312262434
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312262433
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 15.2 x 22.2 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 159,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 32 reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Rewards await the faithful Brautigan fan 27 April 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Whereas the first-time Brautigan reader would not want to start here, fans of the man will find both uplifting and sad insight running through this quirky memoir in which death hovers over Brautigan's every thought like an oddly comforting cloud. He makes little, if any, connection between death and himself (he would commit suicide shortly after writing the book), instead approaching it in his typical playful and quirky manner. The title character, unnamed, is referred to throughout as a suicide victim whose circumstances Brautigan would prefer to not know. For its bulk, the structure of the book remains uncertain to both the reader and the author -- until it becomes apparent that it's a journal of a few weeks in the man as much as his work. His rampant use of metaphors is toned down considerably, as are the open-ended quasi-Zen statements. Their absence leaves room for Brautigan to show his abilities as a compelling story-teller rather than magician. The story of his uneventful travels, however, and his insistence on letting events (and availability of notebook space) shape the story -- rather than his imagination -- is a far cry from the wizardry of "Willard" or "Watermelon Sugar." At the same time, it provides an insight to the author -- mention of his daughter is heartbreaking -- that none of his works has included, and for that his loyal readers will enjoy this work immensely. END
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Coda to a Career 19 Dec. 2000
By Lee Armstrong - Published on
Format: Hardcover
As the first book of Brautigan's to read, An Unfortunate Woman may not be the best place to start. But as a coda for his marvelous career, this is a book not to be missed. The importance of the book is not so much its subject or its undetectable plot, as for the facination of its musings and the unmistakable Brautigan style. I always feel refreshed by the simple sentence structures and child-like observations when I read his work. This book is no different. I found an elegant bittersweet feel to the way life slips away, how our best intentions are diverted by life, and how we seem to accomplish a portion of that which we intend. The sadness and lonliness that permeates the work is in counterpoint to the sense of wonder we get from Brautigan's style. Sadly, the posthumous publication of the work points to the real ending of the book. Richard Brautigan was unique as an author, one who will probably be underestimated in stature for a time, but one who touches our hearts as few others can and makes us set the world on its ear to see what's inside. If you've read other of Brautigan's work, don't fail to see how the story ends...
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
The Ghost Of Trout Fishing In America 9 Jun. 2000
By MARTIN AVERY - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Richard Brautigan's dark side is everywhere evident in this short novel about how marginalized he felt when a woman hanged herself while another was dying of cancer. This is not Brautigan's best, no matter what some of the other reviewers claim. It is best read as a companion piece to his daughter's memoir. Ianthe Brautigan wonders why her father committed suicide and explores a number of reasons. They are all here in the last book by Brautigan, written a couple of years before he shot himself. It's sad. America should take better care of its writers. There are hints, in this novel, of Brautigan at his best, and it makes you wish -- more than ever -- he was still in the land of the living, cranking out more Brautigan originals.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
You'll love it or hate it! 5 Aug. 2000
By M. T. Guzman - Published on
Format: Hardcover
In AN UNFORTUNATE WOMAN, Richard Brautigan, icon of the 60's, bids farewell to the world. Within two years of this book being written, the author is dead of an apparent suicide. Now years later, the book has published by his daughter Ianthe. For those who have enjoyed Brautigan's writing in the past, here is a gem to be relished. For those unfamiliar with his writing, it might be best avoided.
The story, a travelogue of a 47-year-old writer, revolves around the deaths of two women
friends, one by suicide and the other by cancer, of which the details of neither are revealed. Throughout the disjointed ramblings of the writer, run veins of wry humor, snippets of nature, travel, melancholy, regret, alcoholic stupor, lonliness, and the shadow of death. The dated journal is a running commentary on everything from the minutiae of day-to-day living to the meaning of life--all told in only the sardonic way that Richard Brautigan can tell it--with gems to be savored hidden within.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Thanks to Ianthe Brautigan for this book... 29 May 2000
By J. Stuart Lee - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The world has become more bearable with the publishing of An Unfortunate Woman.Old Brautigan is like a good friend, dependable, reliable and just good fun. An Unfortunate Woman is like breathing fresh oxygen into the fire of an old and dear friendship. This book is just plain fantastic; right from the get go. And it never lets up. It is Richard Brautigan at his clearest, wittiest and possibly most revealing. A true treasure. Thank god Brautigan had a child who saw this book as something to share with the world.
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