- Paperback: 222 pages
- Publisher: Ward Six Press (February 1, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0984013016
- ISBN-13: 978-0984013012
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,978,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Haymarket Square Paperback – February 1, 2012
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"Beautiful, bombastic and brilliant." -Martin Olson author of "Encyclopaedia of Hell"
"John Kolchak is one of a dying breed: a poetic mind of the back-alley variety that Decent Society works hard to ignore into extinction...Kolchak is a thought-criminal after your own heart." - Cintra Wilson
About the Author
John Kolchak is a poet, translator, screenwriter and novelist currently residing in Los Angeles. He is a native of Moscow.
Top Customer Reviews
"How are we to live, when we have never
lived as humans
but as wolves and hares instead?"
HAYMARKET SQUARE begins in the spring of 1993 with Alex Bobrov, formerly a pimp, being released from prison after serving ten years for stabbing one of his whores to death. He tries to stay clean, but without much success. Everyone in the new Russia, it seems, is a criminal, either petty or grand. ("He who made pennies as a snitch / is making millions and now's filthy rich.") Alex shares apartments with a series of women, and while he does not actively pimp, several of his bedmates turn tricks so they will have enough to eat. It is an empty, ugly, and ultimately violent life.
HAYMARKET SQUARE is ambitious, but I think the execution falls short of aspirations. To me, the "free verse" is not attractive; I sense that at bottom it is a lazy and quick way of telling the story. Supposedly the novel was inspired by Alfred Döblin's "Berlin Alexanderplatz", which I have not read (if I had read it, perhaps I would be more impressed with HAYMARKET SQUARE). The author, John Kolchak, suggested in an email to me that his book was somewhat like Erofeev"s "Moscow Circles", a classic of samizdat literature that highlighted the surreal alcoholic fog in which average Russians lived during the Brezhnev years.Read more ›
The book flows prettily from the second chapter, maybe that is when I get my eye in or maybe it is johns doing, intentionally or otherwise. But for me I would like the book to start there. I would like the next book to flow prettily all the way through. I love the verse style and love the factual snippets that jar is such an appealing way. You could think of it referencing dostoevsky but maybe miller is a better. Miller had Picasso Paris to play with , but other environments are good, 1980s punk Berlin would do, or any other desperate place. In haymarket square life is scratching it's self. Nobody is starting from a good place, whores and informants scrape a new life. Landlords and crooks but who will make it? We know now that it was those that made it before, that made it in the new world , and they are killing each other off now. The book seems to express all this.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read HS amidst the implosion of my own life ( very near, of all places--- St. Petersburg ( FL, USA ) Ha! Read morePublished 23 months ago by Cynthia Santiglia
What a great book. I love the way Kolchak writes. Most definitely entertaining.Published on August 11, 2014 by Dennie Hausen
If you are looking for what this book is about, the summary and other reviews do a great job at that. Read morePublished on December 17, 2013 by Shawn Leonhardt
What would Raskolnikov (Crime and Punishment) be like in modern Russia and what would he be like without remorse, or absent of any neuroses or trepidation? Read morePublished on August 6, 2013 by Jack Weinstein
BUT not a grand slam due to my lack of understanding regarding some of the basis.
If I had read B. Alexanderplatz perhaps I'd give it 5 stars. Or 3 stars. Read more
It was hard for me to put this one down, as I found myself transported right into a place not quite suited for the monumental shifts occurring, with all the accoutrements of the... Read morePublished on September 5, 2012 by Rala Ivy
Using an inventive plot and vivid verse, Kolchak takes the reader on a wild ride through the mad adventures of Alex Bobrov, a hopeless and hapless character just sprung from... Read morePublished on July 20, 2012 by Book Baby
Haymarket Square is a romantic and dirty examination of fate, the need for love, and money; of free market gangsters and anti-heroes struggling for survival in the underbelly of... Read morePublished on June 16, 2012 by Pat Arnao