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Some of the Dead Are Still Breathing
I had not heard of this author before, and I usually don't read a lot of nonfiction, and I have to say this book probably will not encourage me to read more in the way of nonfiction. You could compare these "essays" to short stories, I guess, except they are really more rambling ruminations by the author. Kinda depressing and not my style.
Mrs. John (Diane)
A Wonderful Unorthodox Story
Charles Bowden's writing takes the reader into uncharted territory on a psychogenic gurney ride. The reader/patient finds himself /herself continuously given varied life analysis. Is it life or is it to be death? I especially enjoyed "snaketime". Thinking that I have acquired a new way of thinking about the world because of it while gaining a fabulous new understanding of "the beasts" he so poetically describes.
Journalist Charles Bowden has written a book that is both lyrical and poetic. At the same time, the style of writing will not connect with a lot of people. The author is looking toward the future when plant life dies out, the earth warms, etc. Here is the rather pessimistic voice of an environmentalist. This is not a book I would normally read and for me it was a poor book. At the same time, others may be able to connect with the language and style better than I. That is why I give it a "3".
Some of the Dead Are Still Breathing
While the author evoked some stunning images, the disconnectedness and lack of any cohesion prevented me from appreciating it. Rather than "streams of consciousness" I would describe most of the book as "streams of unconsciousness."
Exceptional...pass it on
Personally, once I begin reading a book, I finish it, but this one was one of the most arduous.
Bowdon's style is his strength, if you are ready for a ride through divergent landscapes in order to find continuity. The stark contrasts Bowdon draws may seem unsettling to some, yet they serve to illustrate the breadth of our existence and how difficult it is to understand it all. A really, really good book.
some of the dead are still breathing
Charles Bowden is an artist. He creates music on the page through his words. There is truth in this book,and not everybody will like it,because truth is not always goodness and light. Sometimes it's as dark as a moonless night. I myself loved this book. It's hard to explain. So is the truth! As the author himself states, "I cannot seem to feel alive unless I am alert and I cannot feel alert unless I push past the point where I have control". Truth again! If you've been there you know what he means.
Remarkable, beautiful, disturbing
Read the book,then pass it on to a friend or a stranger! The author again, "We have to explain everything. We cannot simply be." Myself,I'm going to try and find a little "free time" a little "snaketime".
Like the author, I am fascinated by the beings we share this planet with, and despairing at how we are destroying those beings and this planet. When reading the beautifully-written bits that resonate with me, I feel myself ringing like a swiftly-struck gong.
Gonzo Hemingway + Audubon: A portrayal of the deserts inside and outside
But he also writes about women/drugs/murder/destruction in ways I do not relate to, and those bits I find myself skipping over, or reading as quickly as possible just to be done with them.
Overall I find it a breathtaking, non-linear, not always enjoyable and yet truly remarkable read.
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.