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How the Losers Love What's Lost Paperback – April 10, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“...one of the most empathetic, structurally-polished, and fully-realized collections of contemporary poetry in recent memory...These poems are a body of narratives, and their connective tissue is loss. Frank honors these losses with reverent attentiveness...The losers we discover here are given voices whose timbre, content, and strength redeem their individual losses. And while the stories divulged within this impressive book are what display how the losers love what’s lost, Frank’s mastery of language and his attention to empathy give those losers authority and grace.”—Raul Alvarez, Los Angeles Review

Review

“…one of the best young poets I’ve come across in many years.” (Alan Shapiro, judge)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Four Way (April 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935536206
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935536208
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.1 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,843,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
How does the chorus to the classic Tom Petty song go? "Even the losers get lucky sometimes?" Well, not in Patrick Ryan Frank's How the Losers Love What's Lost. Each of the poems in this collection presents us with a character plagued with loneliness, awkwardness, or just plain bad fortune. Here we find the internal damage of the gambler, the gun moll, the prison inmate, the character actor, the regretful alcoholic, the one-armed man, and the nondescript skinny kid from high school, to name just a few.

How the Losers Love What's Lost contains a handful of truly standout poems but needs the poems around them to attain full power; the hard times of the great poems and the simply good ones work together until the collection turns, finally, into a kind of protest song for social justice, but without ever trying to be--without ever seeming corny or intent on anything but showing how life feels for the cursed.

I would make one recommendation for reading How the Losers Love What's Lost. Read it while reading something else at the same time. Frank's ability to find a varied cast of no-luck cases is impressive, and his style is fantastic--he often writes in formal verse and his rhymes, internal, slant, or conventional, add a nice touch--but despite the different speakers/characters, there is a sameness of mood that would sometimes wear on me if I read more than five or six poems in a sitting. However, when I stepped away for a while, read something else and then returned, I found that what was sameness now became cohesiveness and dropped me immediately back into Frank's landscape.

Coming back to read in shorter bursts also allowed me to see subtle ways in which Frank plays on the expectations he sets up.
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Format: Paperback
Patrick Ryan Frank's poignant, absorbing, often funny and always entertaining book of poems is one of the most refreshing collections of poetry I've read in a long time. A voice to watch, and a live one, indeed.
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