Sunday, June 09, 2013

Dreaming of Babylon : Richard Brautigan

Dreaming of Babylon
By Richard Brautigan

I get a kick out of inanity and Brautigan writes it as well as anyone.  Here's how the novel kicks off:
   January 2, 1942 had some good news and some bad news.
   First, the good news: I found out that I was 4F and wasn't going off to World War II to be a soldier boy. I diidn't feel unpatriotic at all because I had fought my World War II five years before in Spain and had a couple of bullet holes in my ass to prove it.
   I've never figure out why I got shot in the ass. Anyway, it made a louse war story. People don't look up to you as a hero when you tell them you were shot in the ass...
The novel is a humorous rendition of a hardboiled detective story.  The detective has gone dirt-poor, because he constantly daydreams ridiculous scenarios of himself in Babylon.

The novel does end up following a more traditional detective plotline, which is somewhat conventional and transparent, but really the absurd humor of Dreaming of Babylon is more than enough to make it an enjoyable read.

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