Book Ten of 2013: LITERARY ROGUES by Andrew Shaffer



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.

I recieved this First Reads Goodreads Giveaway book for an honest review.

Nonfiction tends to be the bane of my existence. It never fails, I am always lagging behind in a nonfiction book and become disinterested. That was until this book. Though it did take longer than a fiction book for me, LITERARY ROGUES was an interesting enough read to keep me going.

I love looking into the lives of writers and seeing a part of them that not many people usually think about. I used to sit for every Biography channel special that had to do with a writer I liked. LITERARY ROGUES played with the darker part of those famous authors. It showed the scandals and vices of a handful of writers, and I’m sure there are more out there in history that even the author didn’t think about.

Most of the scandals had to do with drugs and alcohol, which isn’t all that unusual, but occasionally you will read about someone you really were shocked about. Shaffer writes like a person talks and it feels more like someone having a good conversation about writers instead of reading like a typical nonfiction. He twists fact with dark humor; which makes it hard for me not to laugh when an especially crazy moment is described.

If you like history, writers, or just a good scandal here and there; LITERARY ROGUES would be a good addition to your reading list.

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