on 20 December 2012
A fantastic piece of work - breathtaking in its scope, exhaustive in its research and beautiful in its prose. Hjortsberg has done the writer a great service in bringing his life to a wider audience. Brautigan is the real unsung hero of the Beat movement - greater than Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti (who were both so cruel to Brautigan). A moving, humane portrayal of a creative spirit in an unsupportive environment floundering yet creating wonderful works of art as he struggles. Worth every penny - an outstanding book!
on 5 June 2013
This is a weighty tome indeed, and clearly the author has spent many months, even years, writing it. There's little you could ask more of it; it tells you more about this fascinating, flawed genius than any other biography I've read has told about its subject. Terrific! My one quibble is that the author - a friend of Brautigan's - sometimes appears in the third person, sometimes as narrator, which is rather confusing. Or are there two people involved? A bit odd, but nevertheless this is just about the best biography I've read of anyone. Period.
on 25 March 2014
This book is much too long. Somewhere in all this endless chronicling of detail is an interesting study of a fascinating era. Unfortunately it is lost in an ocean of tedious and repetitive padding, an obsessive exercise in the dubious art of leaving nothing out. So we get page after page of then-he-got-a-rejection-so-he-sent-it-to-blah-and-blah-didn't-like-so-he-sent-it-to ... and on and on. This, along with an apparent desire exhaustively catalogue every last little detail of Brautigan's several million boring drinking escapades, and the inexplicable urge to give biographical and geneological information on just about every single passing character, no matter how periphery, makes for avery boring read.