Reviews

The Journal of Albion Moonlight by Kenneth Patchen

caracabe's review

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2.0

Patchen wrote experimental  literature and this  is a failed experiment, nowhere near the brilliance of Patchen’s Sleepers Awake.

breadandmushrooms's review

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challenging dark reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.0

chillcox15's review

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5.0

It’s always good when a poet decides to go all in on an experimental prose work!

unboxedjack's review

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challenging slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.0

freewaygods's review

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challenging dark emotional mysterious reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

A wild, ecstatic victory over death, over fear, over War & hunger & capitalism & fascism. Truly visionary prose & poetics, this anti-war book will unmake you and put you back together again over and over. 

kingkong's review

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3.0

a little too abstract for me, especially when he started with the lists

sunn_bleach's review

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challenging dark mysterious slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

A book whose influence I respect more so than I enjoyed reading it itself. With prose like the cut-up beat generation to come decades after, this is a bizarre allegory or war and the author as murderer. Though way more abstract and therefore disjointed compared to “Sleepers Awake”, it’s a hell of a book whose actual prose might be more attractive than any of its discursive content. Also interesting to read a book written during WWII but before the USA’s declarations of war. Beware of 1930s/1940s views on women, even if the violence “is the point” - it’s still its own host of problems.

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taitmckenzie's review

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5.0

A major influence on the Beats and collaborator with jazz musicians, Patchen somehow taps into the collective horror of World War II, penning a disjointed and surreal journal of a group of people fleeing and raging against a ubiquitous army of wolves. Phenomenal and chilling, this is the 40s, an emotional intensity never reached in the work of Pynchon, including the ballsy move of making both Jesus and Hitler misunderstood minor characters to his plot. A must read.

daviddavidkatzman's review

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3.0

​Disturbing, experimental and brutal, The Journal of Albion Moonlight is a post-apocalyptic novel before such a thing was invented. Patchen doesn't require an invented fantasy apocalypse to tell this story, war is the apocalypse that ends life, morality, and rationality, War is madness. The story is nominally set during World War II but it really takes place in a mind at war. The Journal of Albion Moonlight felt like the pre-cursor to Naked Lunch, perhaps it influenced Burroughs. Patchen combines abstraction and cruelty, literary flights of insightful philosophy and unexpected humor. At times, the violence toward women was too much for me. Yet I reminded myself, this is what war does. It makes the book hard to like but as relevant now as it was then. And it squarely lays the blame for war on Capitalism. I can't recommend this avant-garde, brilliant work, but I'm glad that I read it.
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