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81 Austerities

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  127 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Witty, comic, plaintive, touching, acerbic, droll, cavalier, caffeinated, irreverent, stringent: 81 Austerities, the debut from Sam Riviere, seems to achieve the impossible in being all things at once. Initially conceived as a response to the 'austerity measures' implemented by the coalition government in 2011, the poems quickly began taking on a life in kind: 'cutting' ...more
Paperback, 115 pages
Published August 2nd 2012 by Faber & Faber (first published July 31st 2012)
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Average rating 3.55  · 
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 ·  127 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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Jan 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
A lot of people seem to like this collection so I feel kind of bad about hating it, but it came across as a young, sexually frustrated boy who read some poetry and thought he'd have a go, I don't know if Riviere is trying to be edgy or what but frankly it made me cringe.
Chris Henden
Aug 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
"My jury of sunflowers" is worth the price of admission
Mark Ward
Jan 25, 2020 rated it did not like it
No. Nope. Nuh-uh. No way. No. Just No.
Pickle Farmer
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Hipster rubbish. I'm afraid this book had a tough act to follow considering I read it after Morgan Parker and Ocean Vuong, so perhaps that was a bit unfair. There were some lines I thought were godo and funny is this but all in all I wasn't feeling that flat dead affect of this. Quite frankly, I don't think this has aged well at all (it was published in 2012, with the 'rise' of Twitter poetry or whatever; who gives a shit). The poems about porn have ESPECIALLY not aged well (they're not ironic ...more
Feb 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
really like these, i like how the the turn of his phrases, images that are beautiful but are never trite, each feels whole in and of themselves, like a dream sequence

they were all interesting but the ones i liked best were the ones speaking about a relationship/another person, felt like i could strongly relate to those

this is my favourite one


I would like to ruin your life
let it not be said I lack the necessary
imagination to be jealous
I would ask you to tell no-one about us
and if you
Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, 2013-read
These poems were fun to read. More often than not, there was a line or an image that inspired an idea, made me crack a smile, or just got a nod of appreciation. I didn't read this as closely as I sometimes read poetry, but I think the style of poems invite that.

"you do not need to shout / a poem that is pretty much / the definition of a poem"

From "Time Please"
Apr 21, 2016 added it
'sort of chronically depleted noisecore'
Michael Odom
Sep 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
81 Austerities came highly recommended by someone whose opinion I respect so I'll revisit later in case.... But for now, I found is dull.
Aug 22, 2012 added it
Shelves: poetry
unique voice, funny at points, some striking images. lonely and intelligent stuff.
Marina Sofia
Nov 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Young, witty and often profound. A poetry collection that combines everyday observations with a feeling of loss and puzzlement. One to dip into again and again.
Dec 30, 2012 added it
i was eating banana bread when i read this and it was really dreamy i liked 'no touching' best of all
John Feetenby
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
A chaotic riot of poems. Hilarious, nourishing, and deeply contemporary.
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: library, literary, poetry
Accomplished, but I was more often reading it for research than for pleasure.
Sarah Lloyd
I think I'm going to decide not to rate poetry or short story collections any more because what does a rating mean when there is so much diversity between two covers? I suppose it's my assessment of the quality of the compilation? Anyway, I don't feel qualified to rate this collection.

The whole volume reminded me of that part in Fight Club where Brad Pitt asks Edward Norton "How's that working out for you, being clever?"

I learned a lot about poetry.

I read it for an hour on the train and felt
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
funny, ok, but have we had enough about poetry? I mean it will amuse other students of poetry but, to adopt a voice I didn't know I possessed, I doubt it means jackshit out there ...more
Jul 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016, poetry
"this is me having my extremely nuanced feelings / overwhelmed by pop music and kind of enjoying it"

funny, playful, curious poems for the selfie generation, but a little hit-and-miss. can sometimes feel like the reading equivalent of overhearing an in-joke you're not privvy to.
Megan Staunton
Aug 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Social commentary on life, death and modernity, implemented by the coalition government in 2011. Mixture of topical and observational poems.
Siân Round
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Aug 22, 2019
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Erny Melissa
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Oct 28, 2012
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Jul 16, 2013
Lotte Houghton
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May 29, 2015
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Jul 24, 2013
Mugren Ohaly
rated it it was ok
Nov 24, 2013
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Mar 30, 2020
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