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American Noise Paperback – August 1, 1994

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In his second book of poetry, McGrath ( Capitalism ) writes about "America, the thing itself" and about coming of age in a world where there are "versions of Armageddon / cast up like driftwood on the shallow bar of my youth." His style draws on the Beat energy of the '50s; Jack Kerouac's spirit, in particular, hovers over the book. In "Wheel of Fire, The Mojave," McGrath drives across America "to find myself." And in "Blue Tulips and Night Train for Jack Kerouac's Grave," he travels on a bus, glimpses a blue light, "a manifestation of something deeper, a greater spirit," and wishes Kerouac "could have been there to take courage from it." His best writing bursts with ambition, as in "Nagasaki, Uncle Walt, the Eschatology of America's Century," with its "millennial hootenanny of ludic glee" and the links suggested between art and the destruction of figures (Jackson Pollock, Anne Sexton) from the poet's youth. Still, McGrath is often too much the observer. His life is "a favorite film with multiple endings" with his wife "the star of each." And sometimes verbal brilliance becomes an end in itself: "stroke the music's / cobbled skin, scaled like fifth notes / and luckless armadillos / flayed to stitch your honky-tonk vestment."
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Sly, passionate, funny and smart, and not in alternation but all at once, Campbell McGrath's poems are genuine, accurate, American, eccentric."-- William Matthews"What a wild, intense, and gifted poet Campbell McGrath is! American Noise is one of the best books of poetry I have read by anyone of his generation."-- Thomas Lux"Campbell McGrath writes big, roughhousing, tender, visionary, reckless, purely American poems. He's a passionate democrat, the Whitman of our spoiled world. This is a brilliant, disturbing book."-- Chase Twichell
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco; Reprint edition (August 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0880013745
  • ISBN-13: 978-0880013741
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,789,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By miriam on April 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
On a personal level, American Noise is the one book I take with me for vacations or long trips, it is poetry of personal escapism, and inspiration for my own writing. The book itself is composed of travel poetry and of poetry that offers precision and emotion, that paints a vivid picture of the southwest, of nonexistant wild horses in a travel guide and of standing in the shadow of the rock of gibralter without noticing, so overwhelmed with youth and exhuberance. furthermore, in my opinion, American Noise far outranks Capitalism and McGrath's newer book (Road Atlases? I forget) in terms of easily accessible beauty. This is a purchase I wholeheartedly recommend.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So good I couldn't keep it to myself so now I'm out of a copy and have to replace it fast.
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