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Killing the Black Dog: A Memoir of Depression Paperback – March 15, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

. . . equipped with a fierce moral vision and a sensuous musicality . . . [Murray] writes subtly about post-colonialism, urban sprawl and poverty and, in his most intimate poems, reminds us of the power of literature to transubstantiate grievance into insight. (His admirers have argued he ought to be considered for a Nobel.) But he is equally capable of writing emotionally simplistic and strangely soured poems in which the enraged adolescent emerges all but unmediated. This mercurial doubleness can make his work hard to categorize or describe: this is a mind at once revolutionary and reactionary. Or maybe just a poet who's willing to show more id than most. (Meghan O'Rourke, The New York Times Book Review)

Mr. Murray's verse wears, from the waist up, a cosmopolitan, Philip Larkin-like wit. From the waist down, it dresses in worn dungarees and mud-caked boots. There's a sense of rural astringency . . . Mr. Murray employs both rhyme and meter, but variably--he's like a man walking a large, randy, omnivorous dog on a retractable leash. He can cinch his words tightly in an instant; he owns one of poetry's most sensitive verbal choke collars . . . (Dwight Garner, The New York Times)

In the ever-diminishing world of contemporary poetry, Les Murray is one of the few undeniable titans. (Emily Colette Wilkinson, The Washington Times)

About the Author

Les Murray is the author of twelve books of poetry. His collection Subhuman Redneck Poems received the T. S. Eliot Prize, and in 1998 he was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry, presented by Queen Elizabeth II. He lives in New South Wales, Australia.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Reprint edition (March 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374181063
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374181062
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,298,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Arlenerichards89 on April 10, 2011
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Conveys the sense of how it feels to be depressed in a clear, engrossing and honest narrative free of whining or self pity. Shows how much knowing the causes helps, how much medication helps and the ultimate vulnerability to recurrence remains. Great read for a depressive person and for whoever loves one. The combination of poetry and prose allows the reader to know the facts and feel the emotions.
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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful By AgnesaB. on January 31, 2013
Format: Paperback
This tiny book has two parts: the short essay on author ' s depression - vague, full of unimportant details and the second part are poems. I know something about depression myself, so i know little piece of writing tells almost nothing valuable about it. Vague and useless.
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