Most helpful critical review
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A fun glimpse for an outsider, but little more for anyone looking for their own piece of Bohemiana
on February 23, 2006
I think the fundamental problem with this book is the subject which is attempts to tackle. The nature of a Bohemian is something, by definition, that cannot be catalogued and neatly packaged, as this book tries to do. With that said, I belive it is a very amusing work for those on the outside wishing to get a look in. It is amusing, written with a sense of humor and light heartedness, and set up in an easily accessible way.
It is not a book to be taken too seriously, though. It, of course, simplifies things in a way that makes it almost formulaic. Cute new French name + A few books read + Dirty living quarters = Bohemian. For any Bohemian who takes this book too seriously, it is borderline offensive. But it's not written for Bohemians to complete a trial of self examination.
That having been said, it does have some redeeming qualities. The art is lovely, as many people have noted. The book is peppered with beautiful water colors, which are a great addition to the book. The reading list is fairly comprehensive, and solely on that I would recommend the book. The chapters on names and quotes were little more than interesting side bars, but they were interesting none the less. (Who knew that Cat Stevens real name was Steven Demetre Georgiou?)
All in all, for the right person who would not take this book terribly seriously, it's a fun read. But all in all, if you are seeking some kind of bohemian revolution, this is simply too mass marketted for a starting point.