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Howl

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  3,745 ratings  ·  234 reviews
Hardcover, issued with dust jacket. First published in 1956, Allen Ginsberg's Howl is a prophetic masterpiece—an epic raging against dehumanizing society that overcame censorship trials and obscenity charges to become one of the most widely read poems of the century. This annotated version of Ginsberg's classic is the poet's own re-creation of the revolutionary work's comp ...more
Hardcover
Published by Arion Pr (first published August 31st 2010)
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Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,745 ratings  ·  234 reviews


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mwpm mwpm
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, do-not-read
Disclaimer: Do not read this edition of Howl.

Drooker may have collaborated with Ginsberg on Illuminated Poems , but he's also responsible for the unspeakably bad animated sequences in the unwatchable Ginsberg biopic Howl .

Unlike the inspired illustrations found in Illuminated Poems , Howl features poorly-rendered screenshots from the movie. They contribute nothing from the text and may discourage the reader from engaging with the text by imposing a dull literal interpretation.

For exa
...more
Richard Derus
Dec 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 4.5* of five

I've shifted my 4.5-star review of this comic book, I mean graphic novel!, to my blog Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud.

This is a case where the addition of pictures made a huge and positive difference to my experience of a work. If, like me, you don't want to decode words and interpret pictures because the combination is almost always less than the sum of the parts, here is an exception to the rule.

Beautiful. I understand the poem far better for having read this.

And someone plea
...more
Elly Zupko
Five stars for the poem, one star for the graphics and typography. This book is patently NOT the way to read this poem. Howl is momentum; Howl is movement; Howl is a wall of words that knocks you down and ties you up. This book was full of stills plucked from an animation and breaks up the wall of words over hundreds of pages. Both choices disservice both the poem and animation. The poem ends up broken into pieces. The pictures are indistinct and poorly composed, because they were never meant to ...more
Inkspill
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first thought in reading Ginsberg’s collection is that it breaks poetical form. On the surface these are angry rambles, with very long lines (not enjambed and from the handful I counted the longest ran to 33 beats), and there is no clear rhyming pattern.

And yet, somehow, in this cocktail of fury and despair poetry is delivered in turbulent harmony.

In places, some of his poems made me think of Walt Whitman’s lilting chanting voice, but it’s a Whitman without optimism. And what stands out is th
...more
Eldan Goldenberg
Nov 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who thinks their disaffection is remotely new.
I read the poem as a teenager, and I've gradually been getting more interested in graphic novels, so when I saw a graphic novel version--with Ginsberg's involvement, so I knew it wouldn't be a horrible hack job--in Powell's recently I couldn't resist.

The poem is just as viciously powerful as when I first read it; though I can only imagine it would have had more impact when it was published, in 1956. The only detail that marks it as in any way dated is the repeated references to typewriters. The
...more
Brian
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The old cliche, "ignorance is bliss," has proven untrue for me. I read a graphic novel version of this and it made me hate the poem, because I didn't appreciate the graphic interpretation. My review of the graphic novel: below.

I gave this another chance, and I'm grateful I did. I read the poem here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem....

Ginsburg isn't showing off, as I accused him in my original, scathing review. The man pours out his feelings. His friend lies dying and he howls his words fro
...more
Sarah
Jul 22, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics-and-gns
I wasn't particularly impressed with this illustrated version. The images were stills from the animation which was created for the movie -- not really GN material. They were nice enough, but didn't translate well to the page, and I wasn't particularly impressed with the way they were laid out. I wonder if they had been pencil drawings I would have liked them better, and found them a more fitting companion to the poem. Eh. ...more
Andy
Apr 26, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
All due respect to the poem encased in this book. My critique comes from the book as a whole.

Images in this graphic novel were quite literal in their adherence to the words of the poem. So much so that I think my wandering brain suffered for that. The changes from page to page jarred me, especially in Part I.

"Howl" is a better read without pictures at this point.

The final part, the epilogue, nixes my critique with a good mix of imagery that doesn't take the reader out of the poem. (Seriously, th
...more
Ashley
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Actual rating: 3.5 stars. An excellent read. Dark, haunting, haunted, alive! Haha!
Mike McDevitt
I have no use whatsoever for poetry unless it's set to music and called lyrics. So, really, for me, three stars out of five is a tour de force. How I got to this stage of my life without reading beat poetry is easy to explain: I quit college too early, never did drugs save booze, and I am a recluse. ...more
Magdelanye

Allen Ginsburg's epic poem was first published in 1956, when I was still too young to notice. Half a decade later, as an aspiring beatnik in the wasteland of my home city, reading it was akin to a rite of passage. Faithful to the occasion, I would toke up and start at the beginning, which I came to know well, because I never seemed to reach the end. It was a good book to carry around because it was small enough to carry in a jacket pocket and I did that for a while. Certainly it was easy to iden
...more
Alyssah Roxas
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5

The poems was dark and the illustration depict every stanza that Ginsberg wrote. I showcase the hardship and negativities that the poetry was expressing to the audience. Beautifully drawn and the theme is captivating to see.
Laura
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this as a graphic novel ❤️
Lauren McDonald
Nov 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this poem made absolutely ZERO sense to me, which is exactly why I loved it, it was so shocking, jarring, and uncensored that I quite literally had to pick up my jaw from the floor several times throughout. would only recommend if you are in an open minded mood for a very odd read
Karen Bovenmyer
My first exposure to this poem. The art style isn't one I usually enjoy--but I could feel the beat movement in the rhythm of Ginsberg's words. ...more
Mimi
Jan 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3½ stars, rounded up for the great illustrations
Anup Joshi
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Resistance to Twentieth Century Capitalism in Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl”

This paper explores how the poem “Howl” by Allen Ginsberg appears as a powerful resistance against twentieth century Capitalism of America. A post world war poem, published in 1956, the poem shows strong distaste for the contemporary consumer culture, warfare and monstrous capitalism. With the rapid urbanization, industrialization and quest to pursue American Dream, working class people started to work hard in America. After b
...more
Althea J.
Aug 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Howl was one of the most influential pieces of writing I've ever read. It's such a prominent piece of my personal history that I would probably enjoy any attempt at re-presenting it.

I also have a fascination with the Graphic Novel as a medium, and am particularly interested in how it can provide another point of access into material, or how it can penetrate material in a new and interesting way. So obviously, when I saw that there was a GN version of Howl, I had to read it.

I really enjoyed the u
...more
Nada Elfeituri
I'm a spatial person. I like picturing in my head the words that I read. Reading Howl as words was not an easy task for me because it comes off abstruse and run-on at times. After realizing there was a graphic novel version I immediately sought it, but I couldn't find it. I did, however, find the video from which the graphic novel emerged, part of the movie adaptation (thankfully available on Youtube).

The content matter itself weaves in and out of numerous subjects, and if you're not familiar wi
...more
Jane
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, inglise-keeles
Um.. I guess poetry really isn't for me... or maybe I was bothered by the fact that a rather short poem was chopped up into parts so that it filled a 200-page book? I liked some of the illustrations.. And I guess that's all that I can actually say about something so short. ...more
Kerry
Jan 15, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
5 stars for the poem and 1 star for using stills from the movie animation add up to a 3 star review. See the movie, read the poem.
Garrison Kelly
It could be that I’m missing something here. It could be that my English degree wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. It could be that Allen Ginsberg is making me feel stupid. But whatever the case, when I tried to piece together the imagery in Howl, all I could say to myself was…”What?!” Sometimes the imagery made sense to me and I could carry on with my reading. Sometimes I had to read it twice or three times and even then my ability to comprehend it was sketchy. The first poem in the book ...more
Mook
Jan 22, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: society, poetry, 2020
Confession - this is not actually the version of the poem I read. I read an online version which I found here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem...

This poem - THIS POEM - you ever read something and feel like you need to be smarter/more informed to actually understand what is happening? There is SO MUCH happening here; Howl is the perfect name for this, it feels like a scream, like a chorus of people howling and yelling and screaming into a void that's swallowing them whole.

I went looking it
...more
Page
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's National Poetry Month so I am trying to fill in a few gaps. I'm familiar with the opening of Howl, but I'd never read/heard the whole thing. It seemed most reasonable to listen to Ginsberg read it himself.

It is iconic, and still pretty damned filthy and heretic in its content. Even in today's world where folks are hard to shock, there are surprising sequences within this work. That said, it's worth listening to and reading just to better understand beat poetry and the anger that fueled so m
...more
Lauren (Cook's Books)
fifty more shocks will never return your soul to its body again from is a pilgrimage to a cross in the void


I think I've tried to listen to readings of Howl in the past but the stupidly let the time stamp and my lack of knowledge turn me away. Split down across pages like this, I could really get lost in the poetry, enjoying the fact there was no consistent rhyme or rhythm, really just focusing on the words and the contradictions and finding a rhythm in it all the same. Teenage me would have love
...more
Cara
I'm choosing not to give this book a star rating because I feel I am too uninformed in poetry to be fair.

This went so far over my head. Although I can recognise Ginsberg's work as hugely important, not only in literature but also to the queer community, I can't say it touched me. This I'm sure is due to my own ignorance.

Although I respect Ginsberg, certainly Beat Poetry is not for me.

Perhaps each of us get only one of the Beats. For me, it's not Ginsberg. (For the record, it's not Kerouac eith
...more
Ann
This graphic novel version of Howl was so beautifully illustrated! Definitely worth reading it this way.
The poem itself is so strange and gritty and the very definition of Beat Poetry.
I’m glad I read it after reading On the Road so that I already knew what the writers of the movement spent their time doing. And the free way they lived.
Madi Badger
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not entirely sure that I understood the work of Ginsberg, but it gave me feelings of urgency, melancholy, and reminded me of the musical Rent, for some reason? As well as the book "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest". Overall I enjoyed it though, because poetry is more about how it makes you feel than actually understanding what the author is trying to say. ...more
Julie Bettina
Not having read the original poem, I felt this was perhaps not the best way to meet for the first time. The format makes it chopped up and honestly a bit hard to follow, and the illustrations... Well. Not my cup of tea.
Milka
I was first introduced to Allen Ginsberg's Howl when in 2010, in my most fervent time of James Franco obsession, I stumbled into the film about the poem with Franco playing Ginsberg. I was immediately taken my the film and the poem, and ended up reading the original text after watching the film. Since then, I have read it multiple times, but it wasn't until I found this graphic novel from the shelves of my local library, that I became to realize that there was a graphic novel (or I guess graphic ...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Book #12: Howl: A Graphic Novel by Allen Ginsberg 1 2 Jan 30, 2013 04:38PM  

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Irwin Allen Ginsberg was the son of Louis and Naomi Ginsberg, two Jewish members of the New York literary counter-culture of the 1920s. Ginsberg was raised among several progressive political perspectives. A supporter of the Communist party, Ginsberg's mother was a nudist whose mental health was a concern throughout the poet's childhood. According to biographer Barry Miles, "Naomi's illness gave A ...more

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