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Richard Brautigan's Trout Fishing in America, The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster, and In Watermelon Sugar [Kindle Edition]

Richard Brautigan
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)

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Print List Price: $15.95
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The Turner House
The Turners have lived in the same house for over 50 years—a remarkable feat considering the house is in the embattled city of Detroit, surrounded by vacant lots and worth just a tenth of its mortgage. Find out what happens to the house and the offspring brought up in it

Book Description

An omnibus edition of three counterculture classics by Richard Brautigan that embody the spirit of the 1960s


Trout Fishing in America is by turns a hilarious, playful, and melancholy novel that wanders from San Francisco through America's rural waterways; In Watermelon Sugar expresses the mood of a new generation, revealing death as a place where people travel the length of their dreams, rejecting violence and hate; and The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster is a collection of nearly 100 poems, first published in 1968.

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.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2323 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (March 1, 1989)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003WMAAL2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,746 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
80 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Counterculture Classic! December 28, 1999
The late, great Richard Brautigan was one of America's most talented and original writers. An icon of the 1960's counterculture, Brautigan was more than just another hippie writer, he was the Mark Twain of the 60's! A brilliant satirist with the soul of a poet, Brautigan's works were way ahead of their time, and this volume collects three of his best. "Trout Fishing In America", his most celebrated novel, chronicles the life and times of a fellow named, well, Trout Fishing In America, as he wanders across a bizarre landscape in search of enlightenment, a Zen fisherman, so to speak. "The Pill Versus The Springhill Mine Disaster" is a collection of poetry that mixes lyricism with smarmy humor. "In Watermelon Sugar" is a beautiful, lyrical novel about a group of people living in a commune, supporting themselves by making things out of watermelon sugar in a factory they call the Watermelon Works. That's just an abstract description of the plot - you have to read the book thoroughly to enjoy the unique structure of the narrative. Brautigan was indeed a writer far ahead of his time, combining brilliant Vonnegutesque satire with the homey charm of Mark Twain. Treat yourself to a great read and buy this book!
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite book--ever! August 28, 1998
By A Customer
"In Watermelon Sugar" was the first Brautigan I read, and is still my favorite. In fact, it is my all-time favorite novel in any genre! The language is poetic and lulling, the characters are almost heartwrenchingly real, and the story is subtle and bizarre. I (forcibly) lend this book to everyone I know, and they invariably thank me after having read it.
And that's just one story...
Trout Fishing in America is abstract, disjointed, and witty. Excellent excellent stuff, although in a vastly different form than In Watermelon Sugar. And even if you don't like reading poetry, The Pill versus the Springhill Mine Disaster will make you a fan. It's such simple, elegant, writing and it grabs the reader so effectively that you can't not like it.
Any of these three books are easily worth the price of the collection. All of them together is a treasure.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hallucinatory, and Great December 11, 2007
Of the three books in this volume, two are classics: Trout Fishing and The Pill.

The third, In Watermelon Sugar, is surreal (OK, MORE surreal) and interesting as an experiment, but not as interesting as the first two.

Trout Fishing comes in a straight line from Whitman and Ginsberg, as modified by Hemingway and Hammett: spontaneity and absolute lack of inhibition, tempered by gemlike use of language.

Funny and eye-opening by turns, the two books redefine fiction and make poetry approachable, simple, Zenlike, and humorous.

Both are pies-in-the-face of pretension and academia. One of the best poems in The Pill Versus is the one about being Poet-in-Residence at Cal Tech: I'm bored, and there's nothing to do.

Do not expect character development or linear plots (or any plots).

Instead, expect to see and be new things.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great books, bad Kindle editon August 3, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
So I finally decided to try out this Kindle thing and this was the first book I purchased because it's an old favorite. The three books are as good as ever, but the Kindle edition has a lot of typos which I suspect are from a lazy OCR transcription.

Hopefully these things get ironed out eventually, otherwise, going from print to Kindle is like transferring all of your good-quality music CDs to poorer-quality digital files (oh, wait I'm doing that too).

My review of the book: five stars

for the Kindle edition: three stars
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BRAUTIGAN LIVES AGAIN! August 31, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I was thrilled to see that "American Humorist" Richard Brautigan had gone digital. THE PILL VERSUS... was my first introduction to the author's work. When I read his novels, I already knew of him as a poet. A genius with words. Brautigan creates textures and evokes emotions and he does it as economically as Count Basie played the piano. No wasted notes, no wasted words. I'm happy to have it on my Kindle and will always cherish my old, tattered copy.

I guess I should not have been surprised to see the 1 and 2 star reviews, as I am sure Brautigan is not everyone's cup of tea. It's impossible to respond to the criticism of reviewers like "John" who writes:

Everyone who likes this book praises it with as much ambiguity as the text itself. The reviews all say "Mind blowing," "real," "provocative," "revolutionary," and "Satirical." When asked to elaborate on why the text is all these things, no other relevant aphorisms are given.

No relevant aphorisms? How about this: "An aphorism ought to be entirely isolated from the surrounding world like a little work of art and complete in itself like a hedgehog."
(Friedrich Von Schlegel)

The "problem" is that you either get the poetry in his prose, or you don't. John actually searched these reviews and the internet looking for the answer as to why we appreciate this man's talent...

His advice: If you want to read literature that makes fun of the well known absurdity of the modern (postmodern) world then you will be better off reading Vonnegut.

I love Vonnegut. Brautigan was not Vonnegut. The only thing they had in common was a profound sense of humor that permeated their best work. Whether he was writing TROUT FISHING or SOMBRERO FALLOUT, he approached each word as a poet.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars You Are The Camera Lens
I read this book in my early 20s and wanted to revisit the manuscript. The book came in excellent condition, but more importantly the writing style of Brautigan is still very... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dr. Evan Fiedler
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I thought Thai it was only Trout Fishing in America but it was more. This was a delightful surprised.
Published 2 months ago by Carla Comarella
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Came in good condition
Published 2 months ago by Jaquan Long
5.0 out of 5 stars Richard Brautigan's Trout Fishing in America, The Pill Versus the...
Writings and poems from the 60's. My husband remembers reading some of these during his hippie days. He had to have another copy to try them out again.
Published 4 months ago by by Mary E. Standard
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite, forgotten, eternal, literary God!
It has been far too many years between readings. I just plain forgot how delightfully genius he is. I sure wished I still had my first editions of these books... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Essehayes
5.0 out of 5 stars Different.
Good stuff.
Published 7 months ago by Bill Duncan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
such an amazing book, if you're on the fence just click buy!
Published 8 months ago by benji
2.0 out of 5 stars dont like it
brautigan's a boring tool. his work is windy and dry and i just dont care for it. doesn't anyone want to read something that isn't the same as sitting with some tow-truck driver in... Read more
Published 10 months ago by will crow
5.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB MIND CANDY!!!
Braugtigan's writing will (probably) only be appreciated by "Boomers) or others who grew up in our era and experienced the '60s & '70s with all their oddities. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Jim Doster
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Brautigan
Long ago someone said "Someday they won't write books, they'll write Brautigans. In this world of instant, brief, electronic communication this prophesy may be coming true. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Frank I.
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