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Black Coffee Blues (Black Coffee Blues #1)

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  2,113 ratings  ·  97 reviews
'If I lose the light of the sun, I will write by candlelight, moonlight, no light, If I lose paper and ink, I will write in blood on forgotten walls. I will write always. I will capture nights all over the world and bring them to you.'


Henry Rollins, renowned spoken-word performer, musician, actor and author of several books, has a unique, hard-edged view of the world. This
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Paperback, 160 pages
Published March 24th 2005 by Virgin Books (first published January 1st 1992)
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And the Ass Saw the Angel by Nick CaveSee A Grown Man Cry/Now Watch Him Die by Henry RollinsGet in the Van by Henry RollinsThe Consumer by Michael GiraNow Watch Him Die by Henry Rollins
Henry Rollins' 2.13.61
7th out of 63 books — 19 voters
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussBreakfast at Tiffany's by Truman CapoteFried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie FlaggCharlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald DahlThree Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
Morning Things
148th out of 149 books — 29 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Amanda
Henry Rollins is depressed and angry, drinks a lot of coffee, has girl problems, and i love him
Krzyztovph Colli
Oct 21, 2007 Krzyztovph Colli rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Wanna-be intellectual types who think Black Flag is still relevant
Hank may have ruled when he was singing songs about fuckin shit up in the early to mid 80s, but his poetry is fuckin LAME. LAME LAME LAME LAME LAME.

There's this one poem in the back that's like "Hey you. Hangin out in the library with your unfashionable clothes.
I know you.
Hey you, sittin around
listening to music your classmates CANT UNDERSTAND
I know you.
I feel your pain.
Hey
hey you
hangin out on friday night alone at home
pettin your cats and stuff
watchin a lifetime channel original movie
I know yo
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Alex Cunningham
May 29, 2007 Alex Cunningham rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: henry rollins age 15
The problem with this book - the reason it's not the success it so badly wants to be - is not that there aren't moments of depth and prescience here. It's that those moments are hidden beneath layer upon layer of bombast verging on whining. Rollins has the charisma to carry us through and laugh with and at that in his exhilerating performances. Here, naked on the page, the pieces in this collection simply wail like a teenager at a hardcore show, but without the crowd, the music, or the shelterin ...more
Raegan Butcher
Apr 21, 2008 Raegan Butcher rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: punks
This is my favorite of all of Henry Rollins books. Especially good is the first section "124 Worlds". Very dark and provocative yet not without its flashing moments of humor.
Freya
First of all, think it's worth pointing out that this is an extremely testosterone-fuelled book which is very much written from a 'MALE' perspective and I can see some women, particularly ones who aren't into Black Flag's music being quite put off by this, as there isn't much in the way of 'finesse' (bar moments of extremely raw fragility) as in general that's not what Henry is about. As much as I appreciated the first 79 pages, i.e the chapter '124 Worlds', this book didn't grab me properly unt ...more
Jakub
Reason why I decided to read books of Henry Rollins was that I felt his philosophi is similary like mine. So I didnt expect I would have found out any new information for me. And I didnt.

But It was really pleasing to read short stories that can be just invented, taken over from neighborhoods or Henrys himself. To have seen the subtext that says that there are the other ways of life. That satisfaction is not only in married life or in childern. Henry show us his world that can be so copious for e
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Brad
You know how everyone who loves to read has that one book that they talk about that was basically their "gateway drug" into reading? This was that book for me. Rollins is one of the unlikely thought-leader of our time, and this is one of his masterpieces. If you ever get a chance to go to one of his talking shows, don't pass it up!
Matthew
I dare you to read the "124 Worlds" chapter without bursting out laughing.
Paul Barrow
"#91: They took him underneath the stairs. He pleaded with them. One of them punched him in the mouth and told him that he was going to die if he didnt do what they told him to do. He sucked all their dicks. They beat the shit out of him and left. He vomited and somehow got home. It was his fourth week as a police officer. He was found a month later in the same place with a screwdriver in the side of his head and his severed cock in his mouth. He was one of thirteen cops that were killed in that ...more
Lea Patrick
Just re-read this this month. Undeniably easy to identify with the quiet strength of this punk icon. His insomnia, the anger that fules him is the same that used to fuel me. The observations on humanity show his voice and take on society in such a gritty purity. A filthy, bukowski-esque world that he does find ways to love. Or at least a soundtrack to love over it all.
Harvey Harper
A personal tale of travel and sorrow. There's a simple elegance to how Rollins describes the road and longing. He can describe a me-against-the-world sceanario of solitude without sounding petulant. It's very powerful.
Elisa
"Aloin kirjoittaa Mustan kahvin bluesia 1980-luvun lopulla. Halusin kirjoittaa kirjan, joka olisi mukavaa matkaseuraa. Jos lukija olisi jumissa liikkuvassa kulkuneuvossa, kaukana tutuista maisemista, tämä kirja tulisi hätiin." (Kirjan esipuheesta vuodelta 1997)

Noh, olin jumissa esseeni kanssa ja luin tämän kirjoittamisen lomassa. En ollut aiemmin tutustunut Rollinsiin muutoin kuin jonkun verran musiikillisen tuotantonsa kautta. Kirjassa on kokoelma, huh, aika brutaaleja ja väkivaltaisia lyhyitä
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Joe
“Black Coffee Blues” is the first published book of Henry Rollins. It’s a great little collection of poetry and journal entries from Rollins’ days in the 80’s touring with his band, Black Flag. I loved the hell out of this book and often come back to it just because the writings are so quick and easy to jump in to. The themes of depressing urban life, aloneness and exhaustion are very well crafted and fun to read about even if, like me, you can’t really relate to it most of the time.

If you’re a
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abatage
Some fans of Rollins's spoken word tours might be a little surprised by this book, myself included. I thought I was going to be in for the same sort of thing that you hear Rollins perform on stage, but there are many differences that may be interesting to some and turn off others completely.

This is not the grown-up Rollins who has come to grips with his own place in the world and managed to escape from his own narcissistic angst. This is the late-twenties Rollins who is angry at the world and s
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Daniela
I felt like it was a mixture of emotions, which indeed it is, but I feel like I've learned about myself in the process, through the eyes of someone who I've never met. So I find strange how minds work, how two people, who would've otherwise never have known of the others existence, can have corresponding thoughts about different things.

I think this is a book, that without a doubt, is meant for someone who has been through a lot. I can definitely see how someone who hasn't had many 'hardships' in
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Jenna
yes I think I know you
you couldn't figure out what they saw and the way they lived
home was not home
your room was home
a corner was home
the place they weren't- that was home
I know you
you're sensitive
and you hide it, because you fear getting stepped on one more time
it seems that when you show a part of yourself that is the least bit vulnerable
someone takes advantage of you
one of them steps on you
they mistake kindness for weakness
but you know the difference
you've been the brunt of their weakness for
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Timo
Tylyä ja niin mustaa huumoria, että ei voi kuin rakastaa.
Kokonaisuus pikkaisen kyllä kärsi kun mukaan astuivat päiväkirjat, joissa Hank valittaa, kuinka on kurjaa ja toinen ryppy kuvaan tuli runoista, joita kirjaan oli ripoteltu. Kuitenkin, jollei viimeisenä olisi ollut runoa "Minä tunnen sinut", niin voi olla, että kirja ei olisi ollut niin täydellinen kuin se nyt on.
Mutta huomio, ihmiset! En osaa täysin puolueettomasti suhtautu Henry Rollinsin tekemisiin. Hank kuitenkin on toinen niistä henkil
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Devi
May 08, 2012 Devi rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: essays
Black Coffee Blues is one of those books that is often painful, depressing, and exhausting to read. Its the time reflecting on the book which gives the greatest rewards.

Here Rollins masturbates or exorcises his inner Holden Caulfield. Its often difficult to tell the difference. The journal entries are plagued with doubts, loneliness, and above all depression. Its a glimpse into the life of a man struggling through his darkest days to take small relief from the night. Impossible not to identify w
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Aaron
It is a great read, it is dark and raw. That's what I like about it. It is one of those books that gives you a glance in to different aspects of humanity. Especially the first part. I'm not saying this is some great philosophical work but it is still quite interesting .

It is a book full of brutal honesty, and really makes you question some of things you do and why you do them.

Every time I travel I bring this book along. It provides some sort of messed up comfort and reminder of home, despite t
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fried( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) chicken
this book changed my life ok
henry rollins is a great man
don't go into reading with expectations with what its going to be like
format is kind of weird i didnt really get what the first part was at first... was it flashbacks from his life? random stories? still not really sure what they are but it doesnt matter because they're great.
the poem at the end, i know you, is one of my favourites.
henry writes like how he talks; no bullshit, no flouncy language just straight, to the point, honest and pass
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Cameron
A very very intense book and another lesson in not judging a book by it size.

The tour notes, essay "Monster" and the poem at the end the are the most coherent pieces - this is a guy struggling with and beating some seriously heavy stuff. The collections of "lives" was pretty unpleasant (but compelling). The "dreams" were a bit odd - but whom am I to say what Henry should write in his own book!

I am not sure if I am looking forward to reading more of his books but I will be reading them.
Chris
Apr 23, 2012 Chris rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Misanthropes, angry young men
I really feel like I should have read this back in my 20s, when I was angry all the time. I mean, it's good, but I just couldn't connect with it, despite the fact that most of the time I could relate to what he was saying. A lot of it felt like silly, immature, macho posturing, as though Rollins were trying really hard to shock the reader. Either way, I liked it for the most part, but I feel like I am well past the age when I could really appreciate something like this.
Morgan Rector
What I loved about this book was the honesty. Rollins is this musclebound tough guy but in this book he tears open his chest and confesses to feelings of depression, insecurity and other dark feelings. I think this book would especially appeal to outcasts because so much of the content is devoted to expressing feelings of alienation. Rollins has insinuated that this is his best book, and I would have to agree.
Jody
I suppose this review is true of all the rollins books i have read. For the most part, I can take or leave his poetry...my official review would be "Meh--"
but i really like to read about dreams he's had, stories from the road, or his crazy adventures like eating a burger while on LSD so he thought it was a baby head (and ate it anyway)....those stories are usually pretty great.
Jamila
After listening to "Get in the Van" I decided to actually read “Black Coffee Blue.” When I first started reading it I definitely enjoyed it but found that I got bored because the writing was repetitive and I started to cringe more than laugh.

Although I didn’t really enjoy this book as much as I would have liked to I still believe Rollins is an important voice in our time.
Keith
A good collection of Rollin's writings. The main reason I picked it up to start reading is because i was interested in his travel journals. The travel journal portion of this book is smaller than I expected, but the rest of his writing is exactly what I expected. Dark, violent, angry and very very honest. Now on tothe 2nd volume - "Do I Come Here Often?"
GoMonroy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Phillip Goodman
I love rollins' brutal terse poetry, there is much here that is just shear genius, close enough to the bone that you're left with no skin, and the next piece acts as a salvo of salt, like salt on a slug.

a brilliant and honest to heck and a half book by a muscled creative of a writer.

henry rollins should be taught in school.
Jeremiah
I'm a huge Henry Rollins fan and this book has been one of my favorites since I bought it in high school.

This is a book best understood by someone who knows alienation and solitude. I still relate to parts of this book like "Monster" and "I Know You". I love this book and love to revisit it from
to time.
dom
exploding with hurt, clarity, masculinity, and conviction. an outstanding chronicle of anguished hurt and alienation in a brutally pointless world of violence, abusive sexuality, emptiness, insufficience, and shattered human relationships. i had no idea i would like it so much; brave and nihilistic.
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Henry Rollins (born Henry Lawrence Garfield; often referred to simply as Rollins) is an American singer-songwriter, spoken word artist, author, actor and publisher.

After joining the short-lived Washington, D.C. band State of Alert in 1980, Rollins fronted the Californian hardcore punk band Black Flag from 1981 until 1986. Following the band's breakup, Rollins soon established the record label and
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More about Henry Rollins...

Other Books in the Series

Black Coffee Blues (3 books)
  • Do I Come Here Often?: Black Coffee Blues Pt. 2
  • Smile, You're Traveling: Black Coffee Blues Part 3
Get in the Van: On the Road With Black Flag The Portable Henry Rollins Solipsist Do I Come Here Often?: Black Coffee Blues Pt. 2 See A Grown Man Cry/Now Watch Him Die

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“You have to get away from them. You have to get as far away as you can otherwise they'll kill you with their lives. They don't know what they do. They are careless with themselves and they take too much for granted. They make their shortcomings your problem. The only way to keep your head above it and heal your wounds is to crawl away.” 123 likes
“How memories lie to us. How time coats the ordinary with gold. How it breaks the heart to go back and attempt to re-live them. How crushed we are when we discover that the gold was merely gold-plating thinly coated over lead, chalk and peeling paint.” 73 likes
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