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Sombrero Fallout ("Rebel Inc." Classics) Paperback – 2 Jun 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Rebel inc.; New edition edition (2 Jun. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841951374
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841951379
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.7 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,944,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Brautigan's comic touch is predictably unerring and the hilarious narrative development is studded with wry surreal gags" (New Statesman)

"As always with Mr Brautigan, the more preposterous the situation, the funnier the book" (Sunday Telegraph)

"A born writer . . . he can't be dull" (Sunday Times)

"His style and wit transmit so much energy that energy itself becomes the message. Only a hedonist could cram so much life onto a single page" (Newsweek)

"Delicate, fantastic and very funny . . . A highly individual style, a fertile, active inventiveness . . . It's cool, joyous, lucid and pleasant to read"

"Defies reality with complete success an original and charming view of the world"

"If you like a little eccentricity and humour in your fiction, this novel of tiny punchy chapters is a revelation" (Bath Life) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

Reissued to mark the 30th Anniversary of Brautigan's death. Introduced by Jarvis Cocker --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 May 2001
Format: Paperback
Sombrero Fallout is a truly origional book. The story starts with an author who is devastated at having just been dumped by his beautiful Japanese girlfriend. He tries to write a story about a Sombrero that falls out of the sky but he is too sad and begins crying and throws the crumpled piece of paper into his bin. However, the story about the sombrero decides to go on without him in his wastepaper basket while he pines away for his ex. As we read this book we are told by Brautigan not only about the author and his despair for his lost love, but about the story of the sombrero falling out of the sky and the havoc it brings. These two stories occur simultaneously in alternating chapters, which in pure Brautigan style, are only a few pages long each.
This book is funny (how often does a sombrero fall out of the sky and wreak havoc where you live?), sad, and at times disturbing. It is also very truthful. Anyone who has ever had their heart broken will relate to the author who becomes obsessed with his Japanese ex and desperately searches his house for a strand of her hair, that finding something left of her in his life becomes the most impoortant thing in the world to him.
This book is written in Brautigan's unique style. Short sentences, a sequence of words that roll of the tongue in the most beautiful way.
Anyone who has read Brautigan will love this book and anyone who hasn't, should.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By RachelWalker TOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback
Much as Jarvis Cocker probably does, (based on his introduction), I judge a bookshop on whether it stocks any Brautigan or not. If it doesn't, shame on them. If it does, I'll spend a little longer; after all, if they stock Brautigan, what else might they stock of an similar ilk that I don't know about...

Brautigan is the funniest, most irreverent , most eclectic writer I've ever come across. He writes free-wheeling joyful little stories with a bittersweet strain. They're mad, zany, fun. They strike off on tangents, make fun of a life, people, language. They breathe their philosophy (whatever that is) on every page.

Sombrero Fallout is particularly good (not quite my favourite, that's The Abortion). It tells the story of an American humourist writer with no sense of humour, his sleeping Japanese ex-girlfriend, and a story he begins but abandons and throws in the bin. This story, however, takes on a life of its own and creates itself from the wastepaper basket it finds itself in.

Beneath the wackiness, beneath the humour, beneath the stretched-credulity and deadpan humour, Brautigan's lessons are wise ones, and his strories are shot through with seams of sadness that are their only uniting theme. I would have loved to know this chap. I recommend everything he wrote.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By helen reader on 26 April 2011
Format: Hardcover
I can't recommend this book more, it is fantantic, sureal, and just wonderful. As a massive reader (I'm 42 and have been reading 60-200 books per year of all genres except the horrible sci fi)- so to say this is my undisputed number 1 is saying a lot. If you even like a tiny bit of plot, surealism or just fantastic read - then buy this and treasure it as mine is falling apart!

PS - if anyone else is interested my other favorites are War and Peace (brilliant), 100 years of solitude, the laughing policeman (best detective ever written), the bell jar (best coming of age book)and also love more recent novels such as escape from amsterdam; Indridson's morbid icelandic series; ...
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By k.lawson@rfc.ucl.ac.uk on 10 April 2001
Format: Paperback
An American humorist who doesn't have a sense of humour, just heartache and lament for a lost love. A simple story about an unusual event - a unidentified fallen sombrero - that becomes unleashed into chaos. These two parallel stories hold you entranced from the first page (the only time they ever actually meet). His prose often runs like poetry. His characters are so endearing, in all their neurotic splendour, and I can't help but think that his hero has an autobiographical edge . I truly love this book and have done since I first read it ten years ago. I'm delighted it has been re-published - no more trawling through flea markets in a vain hope of chancing an old copy - and I highly recommend it to anyone with an appreciation of absurd with soul. This is one that you'll want to share with others ... and own forever.
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By Erin Britton on 14 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback
A sombrero falls out of the sky. The sombrero is not from Mexico but it does have an owner, although that owner is far away. The sombrero falls from nowhere, for no apparent reason. The sombrero is cold and its arrival will have a tremendous impact on the three men who saw it land and on society in general. The three men are the Mayor, the Mayor's cousin and an unemployed man. For two of these three, the opportunity to pick up the cold sombrero will appear life-changing.

All of this sombrero related action is taking place in a dustbin in the apartment of a well-known American humourist (with every bookshop carrying at least one of his titles). The American humourist is feeling very depressed. And hungry. His beautiful Japanese girlfriend has left him. There are absolutely no hamburgers, tins of tuna, eggs or avocados in the apartment. To distract himself, the American humourist sits at his typewriter and begins to write a story. It is the story of a sombrero that falls out of the sky. Not knowing where this story is heading, the American humourist takes the paper from his typewriter and throws it away. And cries.

Sombrero Fallout was written during the time when Richard Brautigan's work was experiencing a downturn in popularity. Depressed that his novels were no longer selling in any great numbers, Brautigan was to commit suicide in 1984 and the seeds of his depression can be seen in the tortured (or should that be torturing?) imagination of the American humourist. Despite his success and apparently current popularity, the American humourist is plagued with self-doubt and, obsessed with what and who his ex-girlfriend might be doing without him, is unable to complete any new work.
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