Thursday, July 3, 2014

Review - Literary Rogues by Andrew Shaffer

Today I'm reviewing Literary Rogues: A Scandalous History of Wayward Authors by Andrew Shaffer.

More after the jump!

Summary from Goodreads: In Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love, Andrew Shaffer explored the romantic failures of some of the great minds in history. Now, in Literary Rogues, he turns his unflinching eye and wit to explore our love-hate relationship with literature's most contrarian, drunken, vulgar, and just plain rude bad boys (and girls) in this very funny and shockingly true compendium of literary misbehavior.

Vice wasn't always the domain of rock stars, rappers, and actors. There was a time when writers fought both with words and fists, a time when writing was synonymous with drinking and early mortality. The very mad geniuses whose books are studied in schools around the world are the very ones who fell in love repeatedly, and either outright killed themselves or drank or drugged themselves as close to death's door as they could possibly get. Literary Rogues turns back the clock to celebrate historical and living legends of Western literature, such as: Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Dorothy Parker, Hunter S. Thompson, and Bret Easton Ellis.

Part nostalgia, part serious history of Western literary movements, and Literary Rogues is a wholly raucous celebration of oft-vilified writers and their work, brimming with interviews, research, and personality.

Review: Next to the biography I recently read about William Sherman, Literary Rogues has got to be one of my favorite nonfiction histories. It is at once shocking (I'm looking at you, de Sade) and hilarious. What also makes this a great read, is its accessibility for those of us who are not literary history buffs but are still curious to know more about these famous authors. Shaffer does an excellent job of presenting their history in an entertaining fashion, I highly recommend this book!

Rating: 5/5 Stars

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