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|Print List Price:||$17.95|
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A Confederate General from Big Sur, Dreaming of Babylon, and The Hawkline Monster Kindle Edition
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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.
But that doesn't tell you anything. Should you buy this omnibus edition? Well, here's a good test. When the narrator of A Confederate General from Big Sur describes his movie-going tendencies, he says "I went downtown to see three movies in a Market Street flea palace. It was a bad habit of mine. From time to time I would get the desire to confuse my senses by watching large flat people crawl back and forth across a huge piece of light, like worms in the intestinal track of a tornado."
Now maybe you don't appreciate wild tornado indigestion, but this test is very simple. If you enjoy ludicrous extended metaphors like the one above and/or you love sad, goofy down-and-outers shambling through the 60s and 70s on the West Coast--well, Richard Brautigan is your mustachioed man. Do yourself this one favor.
Of course, Dreaming of Babylon and The Hawkline Monster feel pretty minor compared to A Confederate General from Big Sur, but they still give you little jolts of imagination-enhancing drugs. Also, look at that hat. Guy is cray cray.