James's Reviews > In Watermelon Sugar

In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan
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's review
Dec 20, 11

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites
Read in December, 2011

I tried to read this as a teenager, and put it down midway through, unable to find anything to really hook my attention onto. I can't understand how. It's a real work of art, with an almost stultifyingly simple narrative woven through a world that is simultaneously so ambiguous, so sinister, and so rich with symbol that the whole thing seems prismatic, with every event and every memory simultaneously pastoral and apocalyptic, comforting and nauseating.

Talking tigers. Whiskey made out of forgotten things. Foxfire in the tombs. A girl who carries a lantern late at night and never comes close, and a whole town made out of trout oil and watermelon sugar.

Favorite lines:
inBOIL and that gang of his and the place where they used to dig, and what happened to them, and how quiet and nice things are around here now that they are dead.
and:
I like best tomorrow: the black, soundless watermelon days. When you cut them they make no noise, and taste very sweet. They are good for making things that have no sound. I remember there was a man who used to make clocks from the black, soundless watermelons. The man made six or seven of these clocks and then he died. There is one of the clocks hanging over his grave. It is hanging from the branches of an apple tree and sways in the winds that go up and down the river. It of course does not keep time any more.
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