- Paperback: 136 pages
- Publisher: C&R Press (September 15, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1936196530
- ISBN-13: 978-1936196531
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,192,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Free Boat: Collected Lies and Love Poems
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
HYPE There's something dangerous here ... As a married person, I find myself very affected by the thorny feelings expressed in these sonnets. I'm asking: Is this sonnet about an adulterous husband? Or an adulterous wife? Or neither partner is adulterous, and that's the agony. Do they wish they were adulterous, but they're just too scared? These blurry betrayals frighten me. -Elizabeth Trundle, The Brooklyn Rail John Reed's wonderful new book Free Boat: Collected Lies and Love Poems gives me that ... love and quirkiness that I crave, while being a more interesting and fulfilling artistic experience. ... Love poems with built in lies and upside down truths, in which you can find a story of your own- and how you think about relationships. -Susan Marque, Tin House John Reed exploded my concept of a sonnet. - Erika Anderson, Electric Literature This may be what it takes to get people to read poetry. - Vice Magazine Reed is a heartthrob of a writer. - Molly Peacock A wicked illusionist. - Graham Reed, Los Angeles Journal A swift and satisfying read, viciously funny. - William Georgiades, New York Post We haven't experienced this much haughtiness since college! - Timeout New York A proven Thomas Edison ... sophisticated fun. - Allan Jalon, Huffington Post A dizzying feat of writing and... constant trouble. - Lynne Tillman Reed has brought music's remix culture to literature with stunning results. - David Gutowski, largeheartedboy John Reed excels in the realm of the strange. - San Francisco Examiner
Collected Lies and Love Poems, selects from a sequence of sonnets written from 2008-2015. Reed, the author of five previous books (three novels and two "stunts") lends his voice and eclectic abilities to this singular work, which, in addition to being a book of sonnets, is part love letter, part literary ode, and part delusion. Evolving the classical sonnet, a form which still captures our spirits, Reed summons our contemporary yearning: sugar sweet to splash of acid. "Come to me," writes Reed in sonnet #6, "like tomorrow to a child." Sonnet #41, in contrast, offers the lyrical confession, "All I want to do is stab people." With his plaintive lines, Reed gives expression to the inner ghost of the Twenty-First Century; sonnet #65, a valentine, wonders "Momma, are there other wooden children?" Free Boat spans 54+ sonnets, and that's a lot of sonnets, but Reed's stylistic ease guides his audience through an experience more akin to reading a photo essay. Indeed, of the 23 images in Free Boat, 9 are photographs by the author. Rhapsody, serenade, picaresque, Free Boat would be as comfortably tabled with Nadja by Andre Breton, as it would be with The Dream Songs by John Berryman, Delta of Venus by Anais Nin, or Under the Net by Iris Murdoch.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I like poetry, but poems by themselves. To dissect them is hard work for me, so a whole book is not necessarily appealing. So, one at a time or, if a bunch of them, I just try to enjoy them for what they are on the surface level--without context (historical, authorial, etc.). I can't say I've actually read a book of poetry before. Unless a textbook counts? This book gives an approachable means to a book of poetry--it is framed by maybe fictional (?) emails to his literary agent ex-girlfriend. I can't be certain, as this book demands a re-reading that I'm not sure it's earned. But once is enough. The first read-through is to understand what animal you are dealing with. The second is to actually understand what it's trying to say--though I'm not certain that is anything. The point is, if you're going to read poetry, this is an excellent way to do so. I chose to review this book because of the "essay" aspect embedded in the work. It made it less scary, as I do not have the stamina to judge poetry. Even now, you can see in this review, I do not know much about the author or care to learn too much more to take this work as it is. I am not active in the poetry world, and even the titles mentioned in the various synopses of this book (depending on where you look) don't give much interpretive insight for me (though one mentions Pale Fire by Nabokov, which did help).
The emails are just as ridiculous as the poetry itself--open to interpretation and maybe not to be confused with the real author(?), but the persona of the author? I'm not sure how literally I'm to take them. The author/author-narrator gives context for his other works throughout the book, which are discoverable/verifiable on Amazon. So there is truth to the narration, making the 'Death of the Author' hard to employ in this review. I DO NOT KNOW. I always find poets hard to trust, regardless:
"A book of poems, by me, which I'm fairly sure I've written."
There are photos and references which act as if they are to give context to the poems, but instead give breathing room just as the poems give respite from trying to comprehend the narcissistic nature of the entire work. Read it for the poems only, if that's your thing. Read it for the statement on literature it's making. Read it because I've never seen anything like it before. I'm sure you'd get something out of it. There's apparently 54+ sonnets, but I didn't count them.
"What do you think of 52 sonnets? We could still call the book 47 Sonnets, which rolls off the tongue so beautifully, and so elegantly references the Berryman. I suppose it's something of a betrayal, to call the book 47 Sonnets, and then include 52 sonnets, but it's a failing of a failed world. We'll just drop in a note with the awards submissions. '47 Sonnets consists of 52 sonnets.' Doable, no? And as far as the reading public, they'll never notice."
I think I'd rather read his novels.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
The sonnets are ethereal, memories of past relationships, slipping and gone. Free Boat is a look at relationships, husbands, wives, mistakes, lies and regrets. This is a more grown up view on love and it is delightfully zany.
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review)