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A Preferred Blur: Reflections, Inspections, and Travel in All Directions
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A Preferred Blur: Reflections, Inspections, and Travel in All Directions

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  248 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
2007 was a very busy year for Henry Rollins. He traveled to Iran, Syria, Lebanon, and Pakistan, where he was staying when Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated. While traveling, Rollins performed numerous spoken word shows and worked on films, his IFC television show, and Harmony in My Head, his popular weekly radio show. In short, a quintessentially Rollins-ian y ...more
Paperback, 381 pages
Published August 4th 2009 by 2.13.61 (first published August 1st 2009)
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RandomAnthony
Feb 27, 2011 RandomAnthony rated it really liked it
Shelves: music
Henry Rollins is beyond imitation, and A Preferred Blur exemplifies his voice and niche in American culture. Rollins, in his 2006/7 journals, writes mostly from airplanes, his California home, and anonymous hotel rooms. The book's title describes Rollins's habit of finding calm and safety moving from city to city and tour to tour. Staying still, for Rollins, is dangerous.

This modern-day era Rollins is post-musical in that he's not in a band (except for a brief Ruts reunion gig) and tours exclusi
...more
Heather
Oct 31, 2010 Heather rated it liked it
Equal parts outdated (blame the ridiculously long publishing process) political outrage and depression. Kind of a buzzkill, in fact. I wanted to yell at him to just shut the fuck up and move back to DC if he missed it that fucking much… but then I was afraid that he’d hear me & come fuck my shit up. So I kept my mouth shut. And tried to refrain from thinking it in case he’s got ESP. He probably does. He’s Henry Rollins.

I found myself relating to so much of it when he spoke (tirelessly... end
...more
Drew
Apr 13, 2009 Drew rated it really liked it
Henry Rollins' books of his collected journal entries become both more intriguing and more depressing as the years go on. There's still plenty of awesome travel writing and observations on politics and humanity in this book, as in all of them, but the more personal moments of this book were particularly tough on me. I guess there are two different reasons why that is: one being that I can relate pretty heavily to a lot of Rollins's issues with social interaction, whether it be with friends, girl ...more
Eithne
May 19, 2016 Eithne rated it it was ok
Very repetitive with a distinct lack of charm. Has many editing errors - from basic grammar to the literal repetition of entire paragraphs - which is interesting as Rollins runs his own publishing company. I suppose his philosophy of handling many projects at once - to the point of exhaustion - does indeed result in inferior products. And the amount of times he calls women "females" is disturbing.
K
Apr 12, 2013 K rated it it was amazing
Reading this book is stepping into Henry Rollins' mind, which is awesome if you're into that sort of thing (and I am).
Angela Gale
Mar 04, 2017 Angela Gale rated it liked it
This is really not a book (as in, a finished piece of art with a purposeful/coherent message,) it is more of an unedited journal, but it is still definitely interesting. It's a mindfuck and will definitely pull you into it and make you pretty depressed if you're the least bit emotionally vulnerable.

I can't count how many times Rollins reiterates how lonely he isn't and how little he thinks about women/having a relationship. I can't count how many moments of written poison are in it, poison abou
...more
Ella
Sep 12, 2009 Ella rated it really liked it
Like reading a diary written by someone that has a love for travel but seems to be running on a hamster wheel trying to "travel" away from himself. We've all felt like that at times probably, right?

Reading this book actually showed me that some people identify things they consider flaws, and instead of changing those things, they nuture them, and their flaws become the thing that sets them apart from everyone else.

And that might be cool for a while, but when you write books and publish them for
...more
Marvin Reininger
Jun 01, 2011 Marvin Reininger rated it really liked it
What do I think? I think I love Henry Rollins even more after reading this book. Why do I say that? I say that because he is a very honest writer. The book is in a journal format and he knows that his entries will be going to print and even still, he doesn't hide his beliefs or thoughts on various topics to protect himself. He is open and vulnerable. He also talks a lot about D.C. where he is originally from so there is a lot of mention of Ian MacKaye and others from the early hardcore scene. Th ...more
Patrick
May 23, 2011 Patrick rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
Admittedly, these journals are very repetitive, he is constantly reminding himself of how he needs to keep working all the time, how he can never have a close relationship with a woman, how he loves his hometown of D.C. but can never stay there for long, etc. but I still find the books compelling. It's interesting to hear about all the "vacations" he takes to places like Iran and Pakistan for example. These later works get more political as well. I also strangely enjoy all the emotional blood-le ...more
Glenn Gargiulo
Oct 29, 2010 Glenn Gargiulo rated it it was ok
I have never read a Rollins book I didn't love until now. In this book Hank talks about politics and the war on terror. Do we need yet another political commentary? Rollins travels to do these USO shows to support our troops then goes on to condemn their sacrifices as stupid and pointless. I just didn't like this "Oh my life sucks I give up." attitude in this book. If Rollins has taught us anything it is to take what life gives us and turn it into strength. What happened here then?
Derek
Feb 16, 2012 Derek rated it really liked it
Sadly, it was not as good as A Dull Roar. It was still fascinating - I actually like Henry Rollins's blunt, straightforward writing style quite a bit, to say nothing of the interest I take in the overall psychology behind the things he does - but it lagged in parts. Still well worth a read, though; I always enjoy Rollins's unique perspective on the world, and this is certainly no exception.
Zoli
Apr 20, 2011 Zoli rated it really liked it
As with all of Henry Rollins' journal-based books it was fascinating reading A Preferred Blur. His entries - and, apparently his days - are becoming more and more depressed from year to year, but at the same time his observations and thoughts are just as fascinating. You don't have to agree with his points of view (and I don't always) to find it worth reading. After all, he's Henry Rollins.
Keith Hill
Mar 01, 2011 Keith Hill rated it liked it
Best when he is describing his travel in places far from the United States. More of the same wisdom is espoused regarding the virtues of being a loner and solitary refinement. Some of it is very repetitive though and I would have liked a memoir that spared some of the boring details, but it's not like I have the balls to publish my own diary.
Jeff
Jan 04, 2012 Jeff rated it liked it
The book is 381 pages, not 304 as Goodreads has it. Mr. Rollins needs to move back to DC and be with his friends and stop being such a depressing fuck.
John
Jul 01, 2009 John rated it it was ok
A tough read, as Henry is obviously in a lot of pain.
Steve
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Jul 25, 2011
Ed
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Feb 28, 2012
Krystalle Voecks
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Dec 29, 2010
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Nov 11, 2010
Jennifer Yarbrough
Jennifer Yarbrough rated it it was amazing
Oct 28, 2013
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Dec 18, 2011
Michael Lipford
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Feb 09, 2011
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Marek Jeske
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Apr 17, 2009
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Mar 07, 2012
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Feb 05, 2013
Brian McArtin
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Mar 09, 2014
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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
...more
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