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Richard Brautigan: A Confederate General from Big Sur, Dreaming of Babylon, and the Hawkline Monster Paperback – February 4, 1991


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Frequently Bought Together

Richard Brautigan: A Confederate General from Big Sur, Dreaming of Babylon, and  the Hawkline Monster + Richard Brautigan's Trout Fishing in America, The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster, and In Watermelon Sugar + Revenge of the Lawn, The Abortion, So the Wind Won't Blow It All Away
Price for all three: $36.31

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin; Reissue edition (February 4, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395547032
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395547038
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richard Brautigan (1935–1984) was a god of the counterculture and the author of ten novels, nine volumes of poetry, and a collection of short stories.

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Customer Reviews

I had read _A Confederacy of Dunces_ many years ago and absolutely loved it.
IRA Ross
Brautigan creates genuine suspense, and his prose at its best is vivid and crisply poetic.
Michael J. Mazza
I thought they were pretty cool, and unlike anything else ever, which is a good thing.
J. Bosiljevac

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on June 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
"A Confederate General from Big Sur, Dreaming of Babylon, and The Hawkline Monster" is a collection of three separate novels by Richard Brautigan. The three books are bound together in one volume with separate pagination. Together they demonstrate Brautigan to be a witty, wacky, and altogether remarkable writer.
I actually found "Confederate General" to be the weakest of the three. This novel follows the misadventures of the impoverished narrator and his friend in California. It's a story, told with absurdist and satiric flourishes, of people on the fringes of society. I especially liked the narrator's unique approach to the biblical book of Ecclesiastes.
"Dreaming of Babylon" is a hilarious and delightful spoof of a hard-boiled detective novel. Brautigan's anti-hero, C. Card, is a poor, not-too-intelligent private eye working in San Francisco in 1942. Early in the book we learn that he is too poor to even afford bullets for his gun, and is hounded for rent by his landlady. His escape from this harried existence is an anachronistic fantasy life in ancient Babylon. This is a really fun book that effectively satirizes various popular entertainment genres. And despite being a lowlife, Card is a curiously appealing narrator.
The third novel, "The Hawkline Monster," is a remarkable blend of horror, science fiction, western, and absurdist comedy. Taking place mainly in Oregon in 1902, the book follows the adventure of two assassins who are hired to kill the monster of the title. The book is full of quirky characters and bizarre situations. Brautigan creates genuine suspense, and his prose at its best is vivid and crisply poetic.
Brautigan's work in this trio of novels reminds me at times of the writings of Charles Bukowski and Kurt Vonnegut. But despite certain similarities to these two, I believe that Brautigan is a unique voice, and his work is a wonderful addition to the tradition of American fiction.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Bosiljevac on August 30, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was reading stuff on the Internet about Brautigan and someone said that if you like his stuff, you'll have to read everything you can get your hands on. That's me. There's three collections of his that have been released, each one with three books in it. Of those three collections, this is my least favorite.

CONFEDERATE GENERAL, is about two couples, including the narrator and Lee Mellon, a Confederate General who lost his shoes. The book is mostly about them drinking and getting high in a strange house in the middle of nowhere. The surreal house has glass walls and a pond where they keep frogs and alligators. They also have problems with people chopping down their trees. A strange man Lee Mellon once knew visits them. He is crazy. The story has six endings.

DREAMING OF BABYLON is the strangest P.I. novel you will ever read. Likewise, THE HAWKLINE MONSTER is a western, only in the loosest sense of the term. Even if you like Brautigan's writing (which apparently is pretty polarizing), it's hard to guess what anyone will make of these stories. I thought they were pretty cool, and unlike anything else ever, which is a good thing.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bob Juliano (raj@inspace.net) on March 29, 1998
Format: Paperback
It's been a couple of decades since I last read Brautigan. I was surprised to find this collection at all, thinking his stuff way out of print and out of Literary Fashion along with all that other sixties hippie-dippie stuff. Couln't be any good. Wrong! The three stories are a delight, fast paced, and imaginative. Confederate General reads like the best of the beat writers, evoking the relationship between Kerouak and Cassidy. The other two stories are nearly as good, with strong but simple characterizations. I can remember what it was to live like the folks in these books, in a time filled with challenge and promise and new freedoms. Before grey hair, IRA's, and desk top computers. Read these. Let the wind blow through your hair a little! March 29, 1998.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
When I first read Hawkline Monster, the first Brautigan novel I came across, I was taken aback. I'd never read anything as interesting as this tale of two professional killers hired to kill a supposed monster. I became a fan. Confederate General, however, became my favorite. Brautigan takes his readers into another world--goes beyond simple experience in chapters like Lee Melon performing his rights of tobacco at Big Sur. With Dreaming of Babylon--a unique mystery--this is one of the best Brautigan collections around.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bruce P. Barten on May 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
There is a comic genius at work in each of these three novels. The theme of Confederate General at Big Sur must be that we all have been acting like we believe we are descendents of some confederate general, even if a private who was always off stealing chickens or some Yankee's boots would be a more accurate description of our past. Dreaming of Babylon might be the ultimate description, in a detective story, of the results of American intelligence when applied to the question of left and right (whichever one happened to be pointing straight up in the air went click instead of boom). The Hawkline Monster has a college professor working in ice caves until he was turned into an elephant foot umbrella stand. This must be about cold war intellectuals, and it might even be safe to say that, now that the cold war is over, but the intellectuals are still here. Trust me, I am not giving too much away about these books. There are so many jokes packed into these novels that offering a rubric for understanding how anyone could write this stuff and still feed chickens in Montana with his household garbage, the corn cobs of which seemed like skylab to him when one landed on a chicken's head, should not be read as an attempt to impose any limitation that would keep people who know how this stuff goes from thinking that my opinions about this stuff could easily seem as clueless as the thoughts of the detective in Dreaming of Babylon after a major league baseball pitcher practiced throwing fast balls at his head.
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