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Burn Collector: Collected Stories from One Through Nine

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  553 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews

A compilation of the first nine issues of the author’s sporadically published and widely acclaimed personal zine, this volume reflects the do-it-yourself attitude of the 1990s punk music scene and includes humorous anecdotes, philosophical musings, and nuanced descriptions of odd locales and curious characters, all of which were taken mostly from outside of the punk milieu

Paperback, 280 pages
Published March 28th 2000 by Buddy System (first published March 2000)
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Aug 10, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: boys
Shelves: memoir
As I read this collection of shorter zines, I kept thinking a couple things.

First, I kept Cometbus in mind, comparing the two zinesters. Both share an extreme loyalty, affiliation and alligance to particular physical locations - Cometbus to Berkeley; Al Burian to Portland. The two share some basic ideas about society, DIY ethics, punk rock, and self-imposed poverty. Both are from middle class families (perhaps both with academic fathers? Not sure about Cometbus). But there are some marked diffe
Feb 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: zinesters, punks, anarchists, atheists, philosophers, travelers
Al Burian will always remind me of the dark charm of certain cities- cities no one really wants to live in all that much. Providence, Cleveland, New Jersey. Jobs no one really wants to work- the late shift at Kinkos, the loading dock off truck yard, tying fliers for a shitty deli to fence posts. He writes about these types of places and situations with a dark humor and reverence, an observer and reluctant member of the spurned working class. Yet somehow, Al Burian does not make excuses, perhaps ...more
William Strasse
Feb 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can I say? The fucker is brilliant and funny. This book (as well as "Natural Disaster", which is a continuation of the Burn Collector material) is another one I've been reading lately that frightens me with how much it resonates. I think there's a little Burian in all of us, but mine has been acting up something fierce lately...that is, before I started reading these books and now especially after reading them. It's very hard to say anything about Burian's writing without resorting to clich ...more
Aug 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
the only book i've reviewed so far.

al is an acquaintance, so i'm probably biased, but i love this book.

i buy copies of it to leave with friends who inspire me.

i'm always excited when i see copies of it are selling for inordinately high prices on amazon.

he's the kind of person we can all relate to. read his stories, and you to can relate and understand where he is coming from. everyone can, cause he's writing about life.

he lives. he writes. he is.

be it embarrassing, be it proud, he still puts i
Dec 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Zine lovers! Punk rockers! Revolutionaries!
Recommended to Maureen by: Bob Clark
This book was recommended to me by a fellow Cometbus lover, so I couldn't help but compare. Al reminds me of Cometbus only because of his love for punk rock and the hobo/crust punk lifestyle, but their personalities are so completely different. It was strange reading all 9 zines at once... I felt like I should have put some time between them, let each one simmer a little, like I cheated by consuming each one in succession. Al made me laugh out loud at times, with his ridiculous assumptions and o ...more
Aug 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who are curious about zines
Shelves: favorites
Al Burian is my favorite living writer. I see his outlook on life as being dead on while still managing to be hilarious (laugh out loud funny). His writing is insightful and profound while somehow still coming across casually. He has a great sense of narrative and is able to translate his real life experiences into highly entertaining writing, which is quite difficult to do (read 90% of the other 'zines out there). This collection starts out a bit rough but gets better as it goes along. At the b ...more
Oct 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Having read and enjoyed of the more recent issues of Burn Collector, I sort of knew what I was getting into with this collection. That said, I was pleasantly surprised by how good the early issues of this zine were. Granted, this is a collection that seems to cherry pick the best of the best, but that's exactly what I want. There's very little filler in this collection and enough variety in the form of each issue to keep me interested.

There are definitely times when it gets repetitive in theme
Chris Jones
Dec 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Burn Collector is the quintessential personal zine. Most of the work that is put out by the zine community is petulant, narcissistic, redundant, or obnoxious by any other reason. But Al Burian in this collection remains relatable, very funny, very smart, and very stylish. I think he could be considered something of a trail blazer in the genre, and as a result the work remains fresh as a literary snapshot of 90's Americana. This is ESSENTIAL reading for anyone into the zine genre or in general is ...more
Margaret Adams
Picked up a loaned copy of this collection from my friend Nathan while in Colorado. I realize this is a bit of a zeitgeist that I'm picking up two decades too late, per usual, but I don't care, I unabashedly love this and I'm so glad someone printed it, not to validate it, but because it's increased the chances that this will continue to survive in hard copy form and people will keep reading it. I thought the quality of the work got better and better as the author went. Hoping to find more of th ...more
Apr 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is seriously the book that got me through being an angst-ridden teenager. Burn Collector sure won't make you feel any better about your life, but it will leave you with a strange sense of calm in the face of a screwed up world. Al's writing is like the quiet voice in the back of your head at your darkest hours telling you not to worry, cause at the end of day, we're all in this shit together. Absolutely recommended.
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