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My Life of Absurdity Paperback – Import, 1990


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 391 pages
  • Publisher: Paragon House; 1st Edition(PB) edition (1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557783071
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557783073
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.8 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,500,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By L.A.S. on August 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
Chester Himes is a truly remarkable and amazing writer who has largely been forgotten by the reading public. Along with 'The Quality of Hurt,' the first part of Himes' two volume memoir, no where in American letters has a writer so captured the life of an expatriate American artist then Mr. Himes. From his days serving prison time and learning to write, to his final days in Spain where finally he was able to live as the artist he wished to be, this story is as amazing and 'American' as any yet produced in some 300 odd years of our country's literature.On a personal note, I first read this book while living in New York City as a very poor young man myself. It made me laugh on cold nights, at, yes, the absurdity of it all, and I recommend it to anyone who has dared the Gods and tried to make a living by his pen or laptop.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By BbP on September 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love chester

ABSURDITY-means - a ludicrous folly.

CHESTER HIMES 7/29/09 to 11/12/84
Died from -Parkinsons (in Spain)...
wife - LESLIE HIMES.

This is--the 2nd volume of auto bio. Good personal photos.

Moves to the heart of Paris-1950's. There he became an
internationally known author. Himes loved Paris and the
expatriate cafe society. He was very popular.

America broke Himes heart--never forgave.

Wrote-PORTRAITS of lovers-life on 3 continents and friends.

Became friends with-Oliver Harrington,Richard Wright,James
Baldwin,Wm Gardner Smith,Ralph Ellison, and Langston Hughes.

Married Leslie Packard (white) journalist.

He wrote 18 books and novels.Very sensuous. Life as it is.
Passion-outrage-loneliness-frivality. Courage.

Himes was an animal lover and had many sweet dogs and cats.

..........Must read-the part 2 bio-
..........THE QUALITY OF HURT-THE EARLY YEARS.

This is the story of a life only Himes could have lived. It is said of
him
....."HE LIVED ON THE EDGE OF REALITY-3 STEPS SHORT OF FANTASY
AND 3 GENERATIONS OUT OF SLAVERY." .....

I have most All of Himes's book. I got them here on AMAZON.

bbp okc ok 63 retired
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There's a lot of biographical detail here charting Himes's rise to notoriety as a detective writer. Interestingly, he did not set out to have such a career--an editor in France suggested that he write for a series in the editor's publishing company: the advice was something like, make up whatever you want; it doesn't even have to make sense. It will all get straightened out at the end. Integrated into the autobiography is the story of Himes's life with a German woman who became increasingly outrageous and burdensome to him. After they had parted, he worked on a novelistic narrative of their relationship. This section has a particular verve to it. The book could get slow because a lot of amounts to, we went here, we went there; not terribly consequential information, and not much to hang ideas about his books on--except that he was more and more disillusioned with America. One irony of the Harlem novels is that, as he says, he knew so little about Harlem--he had never lived there, and hardly ever visited. The Harlem characters and milieu are figments of his own absurdist imagination, and they read like caricatures. One reads the stories and thinks of surrealists rather than realists. But in that way, the stories are unique approaches to detective fiction.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Bridges on August 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
By the time I got about half-way through this volume, I found that I disliked Himes so much, that I could not finish it. His arrogance and distain for women was more than I cared to continue to read about.
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