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Memoirs of a Dilettante - Volume One

4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Helena Hann-Basquiat dabbles in whatever she can get her hands into just to say that she has. She’s written cookbooks, ten volumes of horrible poetry that she bound herself in leather she tanned poorly from cows she raised herself and then slaughtered because she was bored with farming. She has an entire portfolio of macaroni art that she’s never shown anyone, because she doesn't think that the general populous, or, “the great unwashed masses” as she calls them, would understand the statement she was trying to make with them. Helena writes strange, dark fiction under the name Jessica B. Bell Find more of her writing at www.helenahb.com or connect with her via Twitter @HHBasquiat
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (March 22, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1495366464
  • ISBN-13: 978-1495366468
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,967,135 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not only does Helena Hann-Basquiat write with a style I am addicted to, she writes in a way you can't help but visualize everything as if it is happening first hand. She covers many relate-able truths using humor and is a master at capturing you in the moment. She has a whole lot more coming our way and I can't wait to get my hands on them.
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Format: Kindle Edition
A creative, delicious romp through the life of your favorite dilettante. I loved the use of footnotes, not to be missed for their hilarious snark. The pictures added a lot to the story as well. Even though the book appears to be a disjointed series of tales on its face, it wraps up with a poignant point that you realize was there all along. Helena lives life. She teaches her niece to do likewise. That she never met a situation that she wouldn't try is invigorating. Her self-deprecation is funny. Her roundabout methods of storytelling are endearing.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes to smile when they read. To anyone who loves Star Wars and John Hughes. Especially to anyone who wants to hum along while they read. (Morrissey, Jeff Buckley, the list is endless. This book should have a soundtrack.)
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Format: Kindle Edition
Reading Memoirs of a Dilettante is like being let in on a series of inside jokes. The flamboyant language and often ridiculous scenarios are told in a rollicking style that is a pleasure to read in itself. The stories range from humorous to heartfelt and it's hard to choose which one Helena Hann-Basquiat does better.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I spent a good part of a vacation reading this book and enjoyed every word of it! Helena tells stories of her California years: rubbing elbows (and sometimes more than elbows) with musicians, crossing paths with sociopaths, having her world turned upside down by men who loved her too much and men who didn’t love her enough. There’s Wyoming and the funny but dramatic series of tangles with an “Accidental Plagiarist” and Cheyenne, his girlfriend “exotic dancer.” Helena even delves into her early adult years when she lived with a strange religious cult that she had joined only to be close to a boy she had fallen in love with. And music! Always music, most of which I had never heard of before. The Postal Service has a new meaning for me, and it didn’t have anything to do with mail.

There’s quite a bit of tragedy in these stories, for both Helena and her niece Penny, but their relationship pulls them through. I thoroughly enjoyed Helena’s saber-sharp wit, her alliterations, her annotations which were as much fun to read as the stories. Whether the Memoirs are fact or fiction is irrelevant, especially in the face of such entertaining and insightful writing. I highly recommend the paperback version of Memoirs: the cover is beautiful and the whole design is pleasing to the eye. The ebook version works very well with the annotations; you never lose your place. I am truly looking forward to Volume Two.
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Format: Paperback
Reading this book really felt like drinking tea and absorbing a whole vibrant world while doint. This book is perfect to read in any weather and at any place, it feels like a funky, soul, jazzy background music.
The book abounds in educational references and it is one of the main reasons why I like this book so much, because it touches upon a broad individual and sociality character pallete and it often feels like a time capsule, commemorating and paying tribute to one of the best things that graced society.
I would recommend this book to people who are not affraid to come out of the mainstream mould and who are willing to take the dare and meet Helena, Penny and a plethora of other characters face to face and be sucked in into the adventure.
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