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Comment: Very Good softcover copy; pages clean and free of marks; binding firm; covers clean and intact.
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Godlike Paperback – July 1, 2005

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Poet and punk pioneer Hell's lyrically melancholy second novel (after Go Now), set primarily in the East Village circa 1972, honors decadence and dissolution and celebrates art and angst in a compelling if unsettling story of 27-year-old married poet Paul Vaughn's ("I'm not really a faggot. I just have a queer streak") transcendent affair with a 16-year-old. Would-be poet Randall Terence Wode ("T") is "a rampaging adolescent" whose "bony boy's buttocks" become, for a brief time, the center of Vaughn's physical desire, and whose brash spirit is, for 30 years, the core of Vaughn's emotional universe. The novel's wrenching account of a memorable love, peppered with poems (some original, others by James Schuyler, Ron Padgett and others), skips between the months of the older poet's affair with the cocky young Kentucky runaway and, decades later, the month of Vaughn's most recent institutionalization for psychiatric observation. But Hell's prose, alternately explosive and tender but always charged with rewarding humanity, ably propels the story. By no means a mainstream effort, this gritty novel will find readers in the demimonde of poets and people who read them, and among those who appreciate how artistry and sexuality can fuel each other. (July)
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Review

"Vile, scabrous, unforgivable, and deserving of the widest possible audience."
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Product Details

  • Series: Little House on the Bowery
  • Paperback: 141 pages
  • Publisher: Akashic Books; First Thus edition (July 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1888451777
  • ISBN-13: 978-1888451771
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,209,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Clifford on October 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
Richard Hell's second novel is essentially a re-telling of the Verlaine-Rimbaud story, set in New York in the early nineteen seventies. It is not however a rehash by a writer obsessed with some romantic notion of poetry past, but hard sober look at the amazing outcasts who are the ones who create poetry at any time in history. Dark, brooding, and often beautiful, this book truly manages to convey the struggle and madness that afflict all artists who literally give themselves to their craft. While not a perfect book (Hell from time to time overreaches with his prose), GODLIKE is a fascinating volume that deserves to be in the library of anyone truly interested in what it means to be an artist in our times. If you think that mainstream American literature is garbage but are also tired of the post-Bukowskian rehash that is most underground writing these days, GODLIKE might just be what you're looking for ...
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Format: Paperback
"Hell is guerrilla=sex mutant by the era respiration-byte of a chemical=anthropoid." - Kenji Siratori, author Blood Electric
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Format: Paperback
Richard Hell continues to startle, shock, and energize the art world with his juicy creative spins, traits which initiated the Punk music era in the 1970s and have continued to challenge stagnations in music, poetry and literature with his naughty and knotty publications.

GODLIKE is Hell's homage to similar minds of the 19th century. Written as a memoir + essay from his hospital bed in 1997, his narrator (who sounds very like Hell himself) is the old poet Paul Vaughn writing about his obsessive love affair with a young lad, fellow poet "T." (Randell Terence Wode), a lad who migrated from the sticks of Kentucky to the wilds of beatnik New York and began a torrid sexual liaison with Paul, a bizarre symbiotic tryst that carried them across the Eastern seaboard in a drug and alcohol induced stupor. And if the story sounds familiar then that is part of Hell's success. The story updates and parallels the infamous gay relation ship between poet Paul Verlaine and the disturbingly brilliant youth Arthur Rimbaud, two of France's most influential poets who changed their medium dramatically.

Others have used the Verlaine/Rimbaud biography to fine ends in film ('Total Eclipse' with Leonardo DiCaprio as Rimbaud and David Twelis as the older Verlaine) and in contemporary opera ('Season in Hell' by Harold Blumenfeld), but her Richard Hell not only pays homage to these great poets, he gives them contemporary words and poems and adventures that result in the most viscerally accurate vision of that duos' influence on poetry.

Hell writes pithy, tart, smarmy prose, describing the physical meanderings of sexual liaisons while keeping his eye clearly focused on the poetic geneses those encounters initiated. While not all of the short novel is successful (there is a portion when Paul and T.
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