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Writers Gone Wild: The Feuds, Frolics, and Follies of Literature's Great Adventurers, Drunkards, Lovers, Iconoclasts, and Misanthropes
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Writers Gone Wild: The Feuds, Frolics, and Follies of Literature's Great Adventurers, Drunkards, Lovers, Iconoclasts, and Misanthropes

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  293 ratings  ·  66 reviews
Truth is stranger than fiction.

If you've imagined famous writers to be desk-bound drudges, think again. Writers Gone Wild rips back the (book) covers and reveals the seamy underside of the writing life.

Insightful, intriguing, and irresistibly addictive, Writers Gone Wild reveals such fascinating stories as:

* The night Dashiell Hammett hired a Chinese prostitute to break u
Paperback, 257 pages
Published November 2nd 2010 by Tarcherperigee
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Average rating 3.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  293 ratings  ·  66 reviews

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Bill Peschel
Aug 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I'm a bit biased since I wrote the book, so even though it's not out until November, I'm happy to recommend it to all of my Goodreads friends who are interested in true, strange, sad and sometimes funny stories drawn from the lives of famous writers. ...more
This was a crazy book about what authors have done in their lives. Some was good, gunny, bad and pretty ugly. An interedting book to read all the short tell all stories.
Dec 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
I have been decking those halls and ringing those bells trying to get ready for Christmas so I haven't had a lot of spare time to read. This book is perfect. The short anecdotes about famous writers are in turn hilarious, amazing, sad, and a touch scary. Even great writers couldn't make up some of these episodes. One of my favorites was Virginia Woolf dressing up as an "Abyssinian potentate" and tricking the Royal Navy into giving her, and several friends, a VIP tour of a warship--complete with ...more
Kevin Johnson
May 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I appreciated all of the research that went into writing this book. the bibliography is rather long on a book this short. It does a very good job of showing the humorous and often dysfunctional relationships of many historical authors. The author does reference his initial view that seemed to indicated he had writers on too high a pedistool before and liked that they were flawed which taints some of the writing.
May 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: literature buffs, writers
Everybody knows that skeletons of the past fill up an average person’s closet, usually up to the brim. When I got my hands on this gossipy compendium of anecdotes centering mostly on the foibles of a bunch of well-known, well-loved wordsmiths, I was given a peep through the keyholes of their closets. That’s when I realized that some people’s closets are not only choked with ghosts of yesterday, they also provide portals to places that are way crazier than Wonderland or Narnia.

But this is non-fic
Terry Cornell
Feb 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
An amusing work of some of histories greatest writers and their exploits. It doesn't have to be read from cover to cover, as each writer's story stands alone in chapters collecting that particular type of antic--whether it be drinking, affairs, war stories, etc. Incredible amount of research went into Peschel's work. Most writer's chronicled seem to be from the distant past, some from more recent history (1950s, 1960s) very few present day. Does this mean more current writers aren't as crazy? Ma ...more
Sarah Bradley
Nov 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Not quite as entertaining as I thought it would be, mostly because of the author's storytelling style. However, the stories of authors misbehaving did make me want to read and reread many of their works, so that's a good thing! ...more
Mar 31, 2011 rated it it was ok
I wish this book were as good as the title. I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you want to read dish about your favorite drunken authors doing the craziest shit imaginable, please skip this title and go straight to A Drinking Companion by Kelly Boler. I'm afraid I've spoiled myself forever on authors' drunken antics by having read ADC first. Only Hunter Thompson continues to impress me post mortem with his lunacy. And I get the feeling that if I read more about Mailer, he'd surprise m ...more
Jan 29, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own-it
Fun and funny! A perfect complement to my prior read, "Love Letters of Great Men and Women." This confirms earlier glimpses into Shelley's manias, Byron's enigmatic allure and Wilde's depraved sense of dedication, among other by-products of genius. And it's aptly sandwiched with my current book, an even more compelling "The Oxford Book of Essays," which forgives them their nasty nuances and restores your consideration, if not esteem, for genius at any cost. ...more
I didn't read this start to finish; I more scanned the table of contents and went to a section that sounded interesting but I also skipped around a lot too. It was a fun read, for what I did read, kind of interesting (and unusual) facts and details about various authors "behind the mask". I wouldn't mind going back to read more of it at some point.

Light reading.
Roux Stellarsphyr
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Better than I anticipated. A lot of the resources you can check out from your library rely chiefly on anecdotal stories. Peschel's inclusion of a robust and respectable bibliography means that you don't need to take the boulder of salt necessary for other books. This is a fascinating and quick read for anyone interested in the lives of writers without getting bogged down in talking about writing. ...more
David Meyer
May 28, 2017 rated it liked it
This was fun. The book goes through stories (often shocking and vulgar) about famous literary figures. Each story is only about a page or 2, if not less. I read it all the way through, but if you like reading multiple things at once, this is a good book to leaf through a few pages at a time.
Oct 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of the best "fun reads" I've ever picked up! A must-have for any literature lover (or hater). ...more
Deb Salisbury
Nov 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Writers Gone Wild is a brilliant collection of short anecdotes about writers and their odder moments. Funny, astonishing, and occasionally sad, this book lays bare parts of many famous writers' lives. Highly recommended, especially if you only have brief moments to read at one time. ...more
Julie Mendel
Dec 25, 2010 rated it liked it
This is a series of short stories about the beloved writers from years gone by. It is interesting to see what is available on an individual's life and how what appears to be quirkiness is really what makes writers like everyone else. ...more
Jun 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
The wild side of the literary world. The fights, affairs, rivalries, loves, hatreds, drunkenness and debaucheries.

Not surprisingly, Hemingway and Mailer make multiple appearances in the book.

A fun read.
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wow! Everything you wanted to know ~ and some things you didn't ~ about favorite famous and infamous authors.

This reminds me of the book "An Alarming History of Famous and Difficult! Patients: Amusing Medical Anecdotes from Typhoid Mary to FDR" by Richard Gordon.
Nov 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Wonderful book. A blast to read. You will titter and giggle throughout.
Jan 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011-books-read
Seems like the author did a lot of googling and turned it into a book. I was a little surpised how often famous authors interacted (unpleasantly) with each other.
Cindy Cunningham
Apr 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary
What a fun romp through the fun romps of others!
Melanie Richards
May 31, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book could have been a quarter of its thickness. The format is boring, and the vast majority of stories are actually not that scandalous. Good for waiting rooms, but not much else.
Rebekah R
Jun 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
So fun! Lots of crazy stories about writers we love/hate/never heard of. The hard part was keeping track of who had done what. It's fun, pick it up. B ...more
Jun 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Got through the first half of the book okay, but had to force myself to read the last part. The whole book is loaded with interesting information, just best to take in small doses.
Melissa Shmish
Aug 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
Lackluster and ultimately disappointing.
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
Mum bought it for me on a whim, it's hysterical ...more
Dec 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Not that revelatory. If you are at all vaguely familiar with authors most of these stories won't be new or shocking to you. Fun enough. ...more
Feb 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Silly, gossip-filled tidbit's about some of the greatest writer's in history. Good for a giggle. ...more
Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
Pretty raunchy, which put me off, but some authors were hilarious in their personal lives!
It was a fun look at the fact that some people that many of us consider brilliant and would hope that they were above the rest, are in fact, just people!
Ambrose Miles
Sep 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you have writers on a pedestal, this gossipy tell all will have you knocking them off, one by one.
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I was born in a manger, but told to get out as someone had already reserved the creche, which hurt my ego a bit. Went to school to be a reporter but learned I hated asking questions of people with blood all over them, so switched to editing copy for newspapers. Also wrote bits for my website, but when I learned that didn't pay, took the stuff and turned it into my first book, "Writers Gone Wild." ...more

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