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Loading Mercury With a Pitchfork: [Poems] (A touchstone book) [Paperback]

Richard Brautigan

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hey babe... 7 Aug 2002
By A Customer - Published on
I made the mistake of not stealing this book from my High School library years ago when I had the opportunity. I know that sounds bad, but this book is that good and I miss reading these brilliant gems.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars simple insightful sometimes surreal poetry 25 Sep 1999
By - Published on
my used copy of 'loading mercury with a pitchfork' has disappeared. i guess it has a short shelf life. i am therefore looking for another copy. the reasons being, brautigan's poetry is simple, insightful, and sometimes surreal. this is the kind of book you read when you're a little blue, and want to know you're not alone (that would be 'dive bombing the lower emotions', or when you're looking for a metaphysical challenge ('and you will go where crows go and you will know what crows know'), or when you don't have much time but you want to refresh your mind. brautigan, best known for 'trout fishing in america' is a 60's kind of hippie guy with a different perspective.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute gem 25 Nov 1999
By - Published on
"Loading Mercury With A Pitchfork" is the most insightful and interesting book of poetry that I have ever read. Having not been familiar with Brautigan, I was shocked when I picked this book of the school library shelf to find the poems not rhyming or even melodious in their length. What I found was a mix of short insightful, witty, intellegent, and sometimes bizarre sketches from a truly gifted writter. This is a book that can be enjoyed in any form by anyone.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slow-cooked, Fully Done 26 Nov 2011
By F. J. PRISCO - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
You'll notice every review here is five-star, suggesting that only die-hard fans bother coming here to share their enthusiasm. You'll also notice there aren't many, suggesting a very special interest. Both assumptions would be wrong.

Richard Brautigan is still best-known for his 1960s novels; the poetry books (though intriguing) were more uneven, less rewarding. So where does that leave a mid-70s poetry compilation?

As it happens, Richard wasn't running downhill; he was running away from the simplicity that dominated most of his 1960s work. This change diluted his novels -- he never really was a novelist -- but his poetry improved dramatically. But it was too late: in 1975, people weren't interested anymore. And so this has become the hard-to-find-and-never-reprinted gem it is today.

Read ROMMEL DRIVES ON INTO EGYPT, or THE PILL VS THE SPRINGHILL MINING DISASTER, and you appreciate Brautigan's perspective, but only about 50% of the results really justify themselves. MERCURY finds him more mature, less playful -- but still finding his mark.

He had always been wistful, often quickly turning away just as the real poignancy surfaced. In MERCURY, he does not turn away.

Hence the five-star review. For comparison, only CONFEDERATE GENERAL and TROUT FISHING merit equal rating. 4 stars for IN WATERMELON SUGAR. 3.5 for REVENGE OF THE LAWN [short stories] and ROMMEL and PILL, and THE ABORTION. 3 stars for the 1970s novels [WILLARD AND HIS BOWLING TROPHIES; THE HAWKLINE MONSTER], and 2.5 for the 1980s novels [TOKYO-MONTANA EXPRESS and SO THE WIND WON'T BLOW IT ALL AWAY].
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Observing 28 July 2000
By Bruce P. Barten - Published on
The picture on the cover of my copy shows that Richard Brautigan let his hair grow long. The title ought to make it obvious that this book is by someone who has seen the total collapse of concepts like integrity. The poems included in this book were written from 1971 to 1976, a bit after Richard Brautigan's popular triumphs. Page 41 is not quite the middle of this book, but it is where he confronts "The Necessity of Appearing in Your Own Face." The obvious thing about it is "you have to be there."
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