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5.0 out of 5 stars If brevity is the soul of wit, this is a soulful masterpiece. Plus reasonably short paen to and info-graphy of Taylor Mead, 11 Mar. 2010
This review is from: Taylor Mead, a Simple Country Girl (Bowery Poetry) (Paperback)
Taylor Mead's writings are completely unique and to me, they are wonderful and brilliant. "A Simple Country Girl" is a perfect book to read at home, in bed, in the bathtub, on the toilet, in a park, or take with you on a bus, cab, train, or to a Doctor's waiting room. There is one piece of writing per page, ranging from brief to very brief. Yet in his brevity Mead speaks volumes, volumes that impact me more each time I read them. Most of what he writes makes me smile or laugh out loud, other things are more serious and have a bite to them. Any fragile soul offended by such things as free speech, swear words, or topics such as sex might want to pass on Meads' works, as these things do pop up from time to time.

This is his latest book, his first since 1986's "Son of Andy Warhol". Prior to that book was "On Amphetamine and in Europe" from 1968. If you get the sense that Mead doesn't flood the market with 'product', you'd be correct. I own and love "A Simple Country Girl", as well as the two aforementioned books. With the exception of parts of "On Amphetamine...", the other two books I own by Mead completely forsake plot and narrative in favor of poetry, statements, stream of consciouness writings, random notes, etc.

So if you're looking for Tom Clancey - or for that matter even for Burroughs or Ginsberg - look elsewhere. If you long for something totally, completely unique and - dare I say it? - often charming, you've found it. And you'd better get it now, because Taylor's books unfortunately don't seem to stay in print very long, and forget about reissues. It's a sad situation and the only people who benefit are used book sellers who sell Mead's out of print collector's items for $100 and up - if you can find them at all, that is.

I think the Amazon description lists this as Mead's fourth book, but from what I can tell it's at least the fifth, if not the seventh. Prior to the above mentioned three books, I've read that 1961 saw the release of "Excerpts From the Anonymous Diary of a New York Youth" (and seen the cover reproduced in another book), followed in 1962 by "Second Excerpts From the Anonymous Diary of New York Youth". "On Amphetamine and in Europe" and "Son of Andy Warhol" were titled volumes 3 and 4, respectively. A search savvy friend of mine turned up mentions of two other writings by Mead, "Impressions: France Mexico USA" 1969, and "Poems For Marilyn", 1962. Three books in two years - a prolific time for Taylor! I only wish he'd kept up the pace somewhat so that Mead addicts such as myself had more to read and reread.

And maybe rereading is a key; for me definitely. My first exposure to Taylor's writings left me thinking: 'What?' 'But this isn't...' 'Or is it? What is it?' 'He can't - but he has' and other such erudite musings.

Aside from being a writer, Taylor has appeared in more underground or independent films and plays than probably any other actor, beginning in Ron Rice's 1960 film "The Flower Thief", and Rice's 1963 "The Atom Man Meets the Queen of Sheba", (which Mead himself restored, preserved and edited in the early 1980s), Robert Downey Sr.'s "Babo 73", appeared in 11 Andy Warhol films from 1963 to 1968, and about 50-100 films later, turned up in Jim Jarmusch's 2003 "Coffee and Cigarettes" - the dvd of which has a 5 minute Mead interview as an extra. He won a obie award for his performance in "The General Returns From One Place to Another", a play by Frank O'Hara.

Taylor Mead is definitely a rennaisance man, and to quote a piece from his "A Simple Country Girl": 'I Am a National Treasure / If there were such a thing'. And to that I say that there is such a thing, Taylor Mead is one, and it's just too bad that he lives in a country that doesn't recognize, honor, and support such Treasures.
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Taylor Mead, a Simple Country Girl (Bowery Poetry)
Taylor Mead, a Simple Country Girl (Bowery Poetry) by Taylor Mead (Paperback - 1 Jan. 2005)
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