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Godlike

3.47  ·  Rating Details ·  123 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
“[Hell’s] every move and word reveal a naked, impassioned intelligence in the throes of the only truly rock and roll artistic convulsion.”—Lester Bangs

Godlike, Hell's second novel, is a stunning achievement, and quite likely his most important work in any medium to date. Combining the grit, wit, and invention of Go Now with the charged lyricism and emotional implosiveness
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Paperback, 150 pages
Published July 1st 2005 by Akashic Books
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(showing 1-30)
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poopdoggy ballsdotcom
i dont like poetry and i hate books about poets. that being said, the characters in this book had enough self loathing that i could jump on the hate boat and feel better about myself
Eddie Watkins
Oct 27, 2008 Eddie Watkins rated it really liked it
Shelves: american-fiction
The first Richard Hell I've read and it won't be the last. This is a novel that's also a fictional memoir within a novel that tells the love story of Rimbaud and Verlaine but set in early 1970's Manhattan which is a story that mirrors somewhat Richard Hell's actual experiences at the time.

It might sound convoluted but it's told in such an off-hand, off-kilter, yet engaging and searching way, with a uniquely loopy use of words, that the pages just flow by.

Something I particularly liked was the fi
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Mark
Sep 25, 2009 Mark rated it liked it
Shelves: own
This review does not contain spoilers as far as I can tell, but it does contain several incidents of what supposed adults will often describe to children as "bad words." Because Punk Rock. If that sort of thing offends you, move along nothing here you want to see.

Just once I'd like to write a Goodreads review that I don't obsess over. I'd like to avoid dozens of revisions. Just push one sentence into another without looking back. Here it is and damn you anyway. This might be that time. It's not
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Jason
Nov 03, 2007 Jason rated it really liked it
The complete review is at my blog.

As soon as we let ourselves love another person we are forever wounded, because we are dying and everyone we love is already dead. It’s that certain. Life is just so much unfolding of time and spatial relationships. The wound of our mortality is with us if we dare to look honestly and directly at our lives. Godlike by Richard Hell not only looks but picks at the scab.

There is much packed into the slim book. Many of the images are inexplicably unforgettable like
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Leah Mayes
Nov 06, 2011 Leah Mayes rated it it was ok
An engaging idea — what if Rimbaud and Verlaine (well, characters meant to represent them) were in New York City in the early 1970s — is let down by a belabored story-within-a-story conceit that just becomes confusing and tiresome. The language alternates between overly precious and dreadfully clunky, and the egregious typos and homophone errors in the edition didn't help the prose. Furthermore, while the unpleasantness of the characters may have been plausibly representative of the real poets o ...more
Dana Jerman
Jan 09, 2010 Dana Jerman rated it it was amazing
A slim novel who's poetic premise almost outweighs the plot. It's like Hell has all these poems that didn't fit together, so he just incorporated them into the structure of a loose storyline revolving mostly around the young lives of 2 lover poets R.T and Paul.
Surreal and bittersweet, they move thru friendship groups and drug experiments, New York to Florida (on a bus) and lastly age and death. "T" going first. Death next to mania and Paul's memoir in a mental hospital.
I should probably read mor
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Tait
May 29, 2008 Tait rated it really liked it
Another punk turned poet and author, Hell was most famous for his song "Blank Generation" with the Voidoids. His work offers a curious modern updating of several literary traditions that inspired his life. "Go Now" corrupts the Beat spirit of Kerouac and Clellon Holmes, while "Godlike" re-imagines the life of Rimbaud and Verlaine as gay New York poets on acid, all the while retaining a grasp on the frailness or pointlessness of humanity.
Tosh
Oct 25, 2007 Tosh rated it really liked it
Richard Hell is a remarkable writer. I never read anything bad from this iconic "punk" rocker. Incredibly talented. "Godlike" is about the poetry scene in NYC circ. 70's and it is really an amazing novel where you can feel the city via his writing. I am hoping for more Hell on the printed page!
Joe B.
Aug 15, 2013 Joe B. rated it liked it
Richard Hell is pretty smart, and he's well aware of that fact. He could stand to leave punk aesthetics in the past, but then again, so could I. Therefore, I enjoyed this book pretty good.
Lanny
Jan 20, 2008 Lanny rated it it was amazing
Saw Richard Hell read from this!
amy tamola
Dec 15, 2010 amy tamola rated it really liked it
pretty standard punk-raunch-prose, still awesome
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Born in 1949, Richard Meyers was shipped off to a private school for troublesome kids in Delaware, which is where he met Tom (Verlaine) Miller. Together they ran away, trying to hitchhike to Florida, but only made it as far as Alabama before being picked up by the authorities. Meyers persuaded his mother to allow him to go to New York, where he worked in a secondhand bookshop (the Strand; later he ...more
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