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Words, Words, Words

A catalog of my comments and thoughts on books, reading, and writing as well as anything I come across that seems interesting. I used to sell other people's words at an independent bookstore but now I hope to get by on selling my own.

Tropic of Cancer - Henry Miller


I enjoy to read about bohemian types. Thompson's evocation of Horatio Alger at the end of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is pretty spot on. My adventure novels involve  irresponsible artist types blowing all their money on drugs and women in exotic locales. I am not especially proud of this but a dose of conviction is important in a form that leans heavily toward introspection.


Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer is particularly good in this realm because he makes you look at the outcast life for its ugliness as well as its appeal. He doesn't have Kerouac's interesting friend's or Thompson's budget to make things colorful and interesting. He has wild nights but he also has STIs, he has problems securing lodging and food at points, when he does have money he spends it on money and sex workers -- he calls women cunts throughout the novel so its no surprise that he hardly finds any woman to go to bed with him that does not demand payment.


It was mostly good reading as well. He gets carried away at times and can be hard to follow, but largely I enjoyed it. You probably won't love him if you are particularly formal but if you are that hung up on language you will probably be put off by his profanity and willingness to go into detail about anatomy in a less-than-scientific manner.


For all its harshness, I greatly enjoyed the book and would not be surprised if I come back to it again someday.