Julie (Bennington VT)
Gonzo Hemingway + Audubon: A portrayal of the deserts inside and outside
Bowden writes in a spare style, perhaps reflecting the time he spent as a newspaper reporter for the Tucson Citizen. In several pieces he skips place or personal names altogether--in a life as painful as the one he describes, with nary a dysfunction left out of his childhood and later life, this might be essential to survival. Abandonment, alcoholism, drug abuse, gun play, whoring...this isn't a book to recommend to just anyone.
Yet, it's not despairing--he cares greatly for the natural world around him, and his awe-filled observations of animal behavior and biology are fascinating. It's a little too much William S. Burroughs, and not enough Bruce Chatwin for my taste, but the writing is vivid and compelling.
Phoenix - Eclectic, AL (Eclectic AL)
Some of the Dead are Still Breathing
Bowden invites the reader to view his personal nightmares. As he guides us though these moments in time, we choose between reality or illusion brought on by his drug du'jour.
To Quote Bowden: " I am convinced all of my moments of risk were self-created in order to escape the deathly feeling everyday life gives me."
He is still searching for a future without so many obstacles. This book does make you think. It is an unusual read.
Gwendolyn (Houston TX)
An ecologically sensitive Hunter S. Thompson
This is a collection of journalistic musings about the troubled state of the world and humanity's (mainly negative) impact on it. Bowden is a study in contraries. He lives in the world of drugs, whores, crime, and seedy motel rooms, but at the same time, he carefully observes the habits of a pair of cardinals living in his yard and worries about elephants in captivity. Bowden is an ecologically sensitive Hunter S. Thompson.
Readers who like structured essays or stories with direction will be frustrated by Bowden's free-flowing, seemingly random style. Those who embrace free association and haphazard thought experiments are likely to find Bowden to be a charming, if eclectic, tour guide to today's complex world.
Katherine (Albuquerque NM)
Looking for a New Type of Reading Experience?
You have to be ready for the non-linear structure of this book. I enjoyed some parts of this book very much and found myself reading them aloud to my family while other parts I just wanted to skip over. This book is like being inside the author's head and hearing his entire thought process - some fascinating, some weird, and some disturbing. If you're ready to try something different give this a try. Recommended for people who enjoy Haruki Murakami and Edward Abbey.
Mary (Hilton Head Island SC)
Some of The Dead Are Still Breathing
The back cover of this work says that it is a "seminal book". The word pictures were beautiful and the author had a talent for writing. What he could not do is help the reader to understand what he was writing about! At first, I thought it was apocalyptic, then random essays. At last I concluded the book was a series of random jottings captured during a drug induced high. Not worth the small amount of time spent trying to determine what was "seminal".