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The Hawkline Monster

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  4,023 ratings  ·  320 reviews
The time is 1902, the setting eastern Oregon. Magic Child, a fifteen-year-old Indian girl, wanders into the wrong whorehouse looking for the right men to kill the monster that lives in the ice caves under the basement of Miss Hawkline's yellow house. What follows is a series of wild, witty, and bizarre encounters. The book was originally published in 1974.
Paperback, 216 pages
Published September 15th 1975 by Touchstone (first published 1974)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,023 ratings  ·  320 reviews

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Sep 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
i am willing to give second chances.

even if i am angered or bewildered or heartbroken, i am always willing to take stock of circumstances, offer up the opportunity for redemption, and allow someone back into the warmth of my heart. we should all be as emotionally charitable as me. just don't fuck up a second time.

i read this brautigan novel with trepidation. that motherfucker burned me before.

are you distressed that i have already used variants of the word "fuck" twice in the first fifty or so
"It just howls and pounds on the iron door that's between the ice caves and the laboratory. We've kept the door locked ever since our father disappeared."

"What does it sound like?" Cameron said.

"It sounds like the combination of water being poured into a glass," Miss Hawkline said. "A dog barking and the muttering of a drunk parrot. And very, very loud."

"I think we're going to need the shotgun for this one," Cameron said.

...and maybe a bigger boat while you're at it...

This is a freaky acid trip
Vit Babenco
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Whatever Richard Brautigan wrote, his writings, despite their deceptive simplicity, possessed some hidden magic. And so it is with a playful gothic tale The Hawkline Monster.
“They did not look tough or mean. They looked like a relaxed essence distilled from these two qualities. They acted as if they were very intimate with something going on that nobody else could see.” These are the heroes – the goodhearted killers for hire.
“When they were a hundred yards away from the house, the air suddenly
Arthur Graham
Dec 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Just like I always say, whiskey solves everything.
Jakob J.
A Gothic Western?
Really? Pretentious much? What were you Brautigan, one of those writers who said ‘I write so-and-so books, but with a so-and-so twist’? I mean, seriously, give us a bre — oh! Hey, so yeah, a gothic western. Spot on. Who knew one could be so apt in labeling their work. My apologies. Well done.

Having A Go at One of Those Superficially Clever, Show-offy-but-in-reality-rather-hokey-and-stilted-and-at-bottom-irrelevent Mash-up Comparative Descriptions That Critics Tend to Enjoy
Dan Schwent
Feb 07, 2008 rated it liked it
I grabbed this one because it said Gothic Western on the cover. It was a really odd one. The writing is simplistic but has a bit of a hypnotic quality. I'll read more Brautigan if I happen across them.
Jun 14, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit, western

The Hawkline Monster by Richard Brautigan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A Gothic Western

'This sure is a weird place,' Greer said.
'It ain't any weirder that Hawaii,' Cameron said.
As it turned out, Cameron was wrong.

Blurb: It is the beginning of the 20th century. A huge yellow house stands in a field of frost in the Dead Hills of East Oregon. In the basement of the house are The Chemicals.

The Chemicals were Professor Hawkline's lifework - but the Professor has disappeared and his lifework must
Sep 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
My first experience with Richard Brautigan was not a positive one. I disliked A Confederate General from Big Sur. Karen a similar bad Brautigan reaction to her first book, but she was convinced to give him another try with this book, and I was given the task of taking it out of the library for her. She read it and gave it four stars. Since it's my job to return it to the library, and because she asked me to, I give Brautigan a second chance.

It was ok. I found it enjoyable and it read quickly
Dec 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A miniscule, oddball masterpiece. Essentially functioning as one extended deadpan joke, "The Hawkline Monster" is a strange story told straightforwardly. Structured in Brautigan's characteristic fragmentary chapters (which average about two pages and sometimes contain little more than one singular thought), the plot begins with contract killers Greer and Cameron being approached by a stranger named Magic Child. She has a job for them: come to Hawkline Manor, a house in eastern Oregon but near ...more
Rick Slane
How many gothic westerns are there? I read this long ago and remember it fondly.
Mattia Ravasi
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Video review

A postmodern House on the Borderland. If you thought Cortazar's "House Taken Over" was already that, hey you're good, and also, that's intellectual postmodernism; this is the crazy hippy variety.
Guns, laughs, random sex and an actual monster: what else you need?
Jun 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Maureen by: Ben Loory
a phenomenal book i keep carrying around with me and dipping into over and over again. i read it twice the first time i read it which is always the hallmark of my great favourites.

the simple story really sort of sketches in a lovely series of scenes that play out in a matter of fact way that always hints at poetry, and engages my imagination so that i can see everything so vividly. i love everything about these characters: they are so real to me, natural and uttterly charming.

though it's
Ben Loory
Feb 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i can't even really begin to think about understanding why this book is so great. on the one hand, it's simplicity itself; on the other, it's a big shimmering cloud of mystery that floats through your eyes and into your brain and then turns to diamonds when you close the book. so, yeah, i liked it.
Ian "Marvin" Graye
"An Early Twentieth Century Picnic"

In 1902, the two Miss Hawklines live in a large Victorian house in eastern Oregon, originally built by their father, a Harvard professor who experimented with chemicals in a laboratory in the basement, which in turn sat on top of an ice cave.

One day, he went downstairs and disappeared. His twin daughters believe he disappeared because of a monster that he inadvertently created with his chemicals, while trying to fabricate something beneficial for all of
Jun 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People with active imaginations who appreciate situational and deadpan humor
I read The Hawkline Monster as part of a collection of three of Brautigan's short works, but we're having our book club meeting about this tonight, so I want to put some thoughts down now.

The Hawkline Monster is a book that the enjoyment of which depends a lot on what you read and why. This can be said of a lot of works, sure, but in particular a book like this is going to disappoint or satisfy based on what you come into a book looking for.

When I read, I want to be entertained, first and
Aug 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first exposure to Brautigan, although I have one of his trilogy collections in my stack. I wasnt ready to dig into that so when I came across this little volume I snatched it up. A very light read, its only about 150 pages or so and Brautigan uses a very minimalist, trimmed down language in this dark story. You could easily put this down in half a day. Not only does this style make it extremely easy to read, it aptly sets the mood for the story through the eyes of the stark, simple, ...more
Aug 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"It was very apparent that Cameron was not going to be converted by the geniality of tea drinking. It was, you might say, not his cup of tea." 84

A slight, absurd story of two assassin cowboys hired to kill the monster in the ice caves underneath a Gothic mansion sitting in the Dead Hills of Eastern Oregon. The Hawkline Monster is not for everyone, you probably have to be in the right mood for it as well.
Hákon Gunnarsson
I think I’ve read some 100 westerns over the years, but this is like none of the ones I’d read before, but I was expecting that. After all, this is a Richard Brautigan western. It was bound to be a little strange.

In Hawkline Monster he takes two elements, the western, and gothic fiction, and combines it into a Brautiganish weirdness. It’s got hired guns, sexy twins, mad science, big mansion in the country, a missing scientist, a monsters, a thinking shadow, and so on. It’s also got a plot that
Sep 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, oregon, 1970s
Hawkline Monster - Purchased this book with tax payer dollars soon after becoming director,
("chief, cook and bottle washer") of a then 12,000 population "Cowboy" county library. I enjoyed Brautigan's creativity. Sometimes felt it justifiable to buy other books by him, for a limited audience of local readers. Trout Fishing, anyone?

It is mountainous timber and ranching territory with a single small city, located about 35 miles northeast from Bend, Oregon. Near Bend, one of the places I enjoyed
Sep 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, western
A book I bought by chance after seeing it in the display cabinet of one of my favourite used book stores. It happened that Sep was Western genre month so this being a 'gothic western' and liking the cover, I decided to give it a chance. A very easy, flowing read and a quirky interesting story. The gist being that two gunslingers are hired by a young woman to come to Oregon to kill a monster that resides in the ice caves below their house in Oregon. Many, many strange occurrences, which I'll let ...more
Hannah Rials
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
So weird, but I couldn’t put it down... woah!
Nov 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Hawkline Monster Blues





Thud Whack Ping.

Thud Whack Ping.

Thud Whack Ping.

Thud Whack Ping.

Thud Whack Ping.

Thud Whack Ping. rest.
(view spoiler)
La da da-da-da da.

Thud Whack Ping. rest.

Thud Whack Ping.

La da-da-da Da.

Thud Whack Ping. rest.

Thud Whack Ping.


Thud Whack Ping. rest.

Thud Whack Ping.


Thud Whack Ping. rest.

Thud Whack Ping. rest.




Thud Whack
Kent Winward
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My favorite Brautigan novel so far. The Hawkline sisters, the two western hit men, the shadowy presence, the giant/dwarf butler, and the elephant foot umbrella stand. It deserves to be a Cohen brother's movie.
jj aitken
May 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
This little gem is is for all of you who love pure imagination accompanied by a wickedly dark sense of humor. Its a metaphorical masterpiece.
Jul 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
Great meditation on psychedelic fantastical realism. Couldn't put this one down.
Aug 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A brilliantly hilarious and strange 'weird Western' from Brautigan. A short books, as are all his books, it nevertheless inhabits its own length perfectly. It is the fifth Brautigan I have read so far and probably the best (I can't decide between this one and Sombrero Fallout). The story is absurd and clever and has a lunatic charm. The eponymous monster really is something new and delightful in a world of fiction where monsters have become somewhat bland. This monster is unlike any other and it ...more
Jan 09, 2013 rated it liked it
The bottom line here is that I really want an elephant foot umbrella holder.

This is another of Brautigan's parodies and is more absurdist than, say, Dreaming of Babylon and The Abortion. It's a good ride, though, if you suspend any concept of reality you may have and sort of let the story take you along. There are many darkly comic elements throughout - on one end of the spectrum, you have the Frankenstein-ian tale of the monster overtaking its creator, while on the other end, you've got two
Graham P
Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this one. A sardonic Gothic Western with a monster hiding in a mansion built over ice caves? I'm so in. But after being introduced to the two idiosyncratic gunslingers, Cameron and Greer, the novel spikes downward in a flailing bore of short-changed jokes and bland deviations of what makes a Western novel - all the Brautiganisms are void of their usually vibrant charm. No doubt, there's interesting stuff in here. At first I imagined it as a 'hippy western' that could of ...more
Jul 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Sarah by: the author photo
Unbelievable. All I thought was, when can I read this again? Brautigan may have been crazy, but his writing is concise and simple - counteracting the weirdness of his story.
I had thought at first that I’d accidentally picked up another juvenile novel or something, because of the style this author had written this in. But then he started using the word “fuck” quite a lot, so this wasn’t right...... So I spent the novel confused until the ending. Thank goodness it is short.
It turns out this novel was published in 1974, so maybe that’s why it “sounds” like it does...? I’m not sure, not having read Brautigan before. And being this is the only audiobook my library has,
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something differetn 1 8 Oct 01, 2013 09:30AM  
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. short: scifi, western, missing father [s] 6 36 Sep 15, 2009 09:03PM  

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Richard Brautigan was an American novelist, poet, and short-story writer. Born in Tacoma, Washington, he moved to San Francisco in the 1950s and began publishing poetry in 1957. He started writing novels in 1961 and is probably best known for his early work Trout Fishing in America. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1984.

“The voyage from San Francisco to Hawaii had been the most terrifying experience Greer and Cameron had ever gone through, even more terrible than the time they shot a deputy sheriff in Idaho ten times and he wouldn't die and Greer finally
had to say to the deputy sheriff,
"Please die because we don't want to
shoot you again".

And the deputy sheriff had said, "Ok, I'll die, but don't shoot me again".

"We won't shoot you again", Cameron had said.

"Ok, I'm dead", and he was.”
“…those doughnuts are a lot better than having a mule kick you in the head,"

There was no argument there.”
More quotes…