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Bohemia: Where Art, Angst, Love, and Strong Coffee Meet

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  79 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
This book, in the grand tradition of Hemingway's A Moveable Feast, looks at the extraordinary world of ideas known as Bohemia. It takes the reader to a party on the Rive Gauche of 1950s Paris to meet William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, to sit in a Tel Aviv coffee-house just after the Six Day War, sipping expresso and arguing politics and stumble across a troupe of LSD-in ...more
Hardcover, 253 pages
Published April 1st 1993 by Simon & Schuster
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Dec 12, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, memoir
The thing about Herb Gold is he comes off like one of those "...and I was there!" types. Yeh, I knew Kerouac. Yeh, I bought Ginsberg a beer. Yeh, I did this. And then I did that. And along the way, we the misfit, outcast, self-respecting ne'er do wells; we created this iconoclastic, rebellion of nonconformist conformity... and bla bla bla. Hep cat Daddy-O Herb Gold, weighing in on what counts for authenticity in hipness. Mainly by observing "how it's done" in Paris, Haiti, and supposedly, a San ...more
Ian Forsyth
Feb 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bohemians, historical
There's some good passages and quotes, (chapter 1, 2, 3, 7, 8) but it didn't all keep my interest. Also Gold obviously hated the Linklater movie "Slacker" which I think is genius, even if it's about a lack-luster sort of bohemian of austin texas 1989 according to his standards. Good video to watch that I got the hint to read this book from is on youtube: Rebel, the Journey Underground, him and joanna richardson (who wrote about parisian bohemian circa 1830-1914) talk on it, and it's a series goi ...more
James Holloway
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Not a bad book by any means, some really solid chapters here and there, but overall a pretty ineffectual read.
Mar 31, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was alright, though I found it a bit unbelievable (and not in a good way.) The book was an examination of Bohemian culture from the 40s to the 90s through the eyes of the writer. My first problem was that "everything was wonderful with full on rose colored glasses" way of describing the entire scene. Calling everyone "gypsies full of love for life" does not cover it all. What about the drugs? The poverty?
Also, there were so many people that the writers knew and every one of them was an eccent
Jun 17, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in the Kerouac/Ginsberg/beat set.
Recommended to Cari by: J. Martin
In Bohemia, a book of essays describing Gold's own adventures in bohemianism with the beat generation, Gold acts as a fly on the wall, collecting stories, ideas, philosophies, and theories of some great and memorable minds. Each part ranges from so-so to excellent, depending much upon the reader's interest in the current topic. The writing is excellent, as is the humor and insights Gold puts forth, although at times, especially to a younger generation, the subjects themselves seem a bit dated.

Mar 25, 2015 rated it liked it
"Janice" Joplin ?!? Much like the Barry Miles book read recently, I had to hold myself back from taking a pencil to several pages to make necessary corrections. Do writers hire editors anymore? Note this book was published in the early 1990's.

That being said, I did enjoy this book once it became less scholarly and more conversational. The writer has some good stories to tell, and he tells them in a non-linear fashion as we jump from one country/city/neighborhood/scene to the next.
Reese Forbes
Jul 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The author knew everybody and lived the Bohemian life - I only vaguely recognized his name from some old Playboy articles.
From Henry Miller and Anais Nin to William S. Burroughs and Ginsberg, from Paris to North Beach to Soho and everywhere else the Beats congregated - Herb gold was in the middle of it all.
His writing is clever and this is a highly enjoyable read.
Jan 16, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Although I liked the grouping of various counter-cultural movements under the "bohemian" label, I didn't find as much of the connecting tissue between the variants (Beats, Hippies, Anarchists) as I was hoping would be revealed. A bit too much name dropping, albeit very interesting names...
Aug 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prose poetry about Bohemian culture in the fifties and sixties.
Dec 20, 2012 added it
Excellent writing. Herb was my literature professor at Cornell and he writes about me and my back from the future ideas in this book.
Jun 22, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this a while ago...I remember being very excited about it at first...but then losing enthusiasm as things wore on...still, overall, I have fond memories of it...
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Herbert Gold is a Jewish-American novelist.
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