The BURIED Book Club discussion

Travelling People
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message 1: by Nick (new) - added it

Nick Craske (nick_craske) | 6 comments B.S. Johnson's 1963 debut deserves unearthing and reprinting.


message 2: by Stephen M (new)

Stephen M | 5 comments I've only read Albert Angelo and although I had some problems with it, it was great fun. I can't wait to read more of his work.

Didn't Johnson off himself because his books weren't popular enough? Seems like an interesting thing to talk about with this group.


message 3: by MJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 209 comments If Johnson were alive today he wouldn't even get his books published. The thought he offed himself because they weren't popular enough . . . what a waste of life.


message 4: by Stephen M (new)

Stephen M | 5 comments Yeah, I have no source for that; it was something being passed around on a thread around here somewhere.

And maybe it was that he wasn't getting the recognition he wanted, not necessarily unpopularity.


message 5: by MJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 209 comments No no, he did. It's all there in the wonderful Like a Fiery Elephant: The Story of B.S. Johnson. Must read, young man!


message 6: by Nick (new) - added it

Nick Craske (nick_craske) | 6 comments Stephen M wrote: "...I can't wait to read more of his work"

Youneedsthis: www.goodreads.com/book/show/90990.B_S...


message 7: by Stephen M (new)

Stephen M | 5 comments Indeed! I will get to that. I'd like to read the own double entry book also. All my friends on here have raved about it.


message 8: by Declan (new)

Declan | 42 comments A new collection, including some previously unpublished work, has just been published: http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Well-... . Picador have also reissued several of his novels, in some of the worst covers ever seen: http://site.laboca.co.uk/B-S-Johnson . Oh well, at least it means he is unearthed and so, yet again, the books can be exposed to the same level of indifference which drove him to bring to an end a life filled with anger, frustration and an impossible search for the novel form that would truly represent the human predicament.


message 9: by Nick (new) - added it

Nick Craske (nick_craske) | 6 comments Declan wrote: "A new collection, including some previously unpublished work, has just been published"

Spectacular. Thanks for the link.


message 10: by James (new)

James Dyke | 1 comments I have a copy of House Mother Normal on my shelf actually. It was on a university required reading list believe it or not.


message 11: by Declan (new)

Declan | 42 comments There is a piece about B S Johnson in the latest LRB. It's a questioning, considered essay written by Colin Burrow, who isn't always convinced that Johnson succeeded in achieving as radical a departure from fictional narrative as he hoped for. He even makes a comparison between Johnson and Philip Larkin, at one point! He is, I think, quite right to suggest that Johnson's outburst in 'Albert Angelo' ("OH, FUCK ALL THIS LYING" and "telling stories is telling lies") led to "a sort of self-destructive deadlock". But he still managed to write some terrific books, as Borrow acknowledges, with 'Christie Malry' his favorite.


message 12: by Geoff (last edited Jul 29, 2013 11:53AM) (new) - added it

Geoff | 25 comments I recently picked up the Omnibus, so I'll be helping out with some grave-robbing, some exhumation soon. (Oh but I have a thousand pages of Imperial left!) So, not so soon. Autumn-ish.


message 13: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments I've re-filed Johnson, recognizing him as a KNOWN author with BURIED books. At least five of his books, including the omnibus, are NOTburied. BUT please highlight any others of him which require a fresh supply of OXYGEN.

I've got his House Mother Normal on my shelf for a soon-ish rrrreading. [and that goodreads description needs some fixing.]


message 14: by Declan (last edited Jul 29, 2013 12:31PM) (new)

Declan | 42 comments I've just changed the synopsis. You're right Nathan about many of the books having repeated outings, but I don't think either Aren't You Rather Young To Be Writing Your Memoirs? or See the Old Lady Decently has ever been reprinted, so could be considered BURIED. The same goes for the two books of poems (which are difficult to link to as the title Poems seems to occur to a lot of authors/editors).


message 15: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments thnks, Declan.

Links to the BS Johnson poetry ::

Poems
Poems Two

[in 'add book/author' function I entered 'poems b.s. johnson' which narrows it down somewhat.

A few others of his with next to ZERO ratings might be ADD'd. As TOO any and all REE=VIEWS by any and all of our mighty SPADE-wielders, especially of those volumes with paltry rating numbers.

[I could be convinced to return him to the author folders above should we decide that the BURIED books are >= to those with the top five ratings]


message 16: by Nick (new) - added it

Nick Craske (nick_craske) | 6 comments I have a copy of Aren't You Rather Young To Be Writing Your Memoirs? SItting here awaiting my perusal.


message 17: by Geoff (new) - added it

Geoff | 25 comments Oh yeah it does say right up top BURIED books by KNOWN authors~ so much for my observational acumen.


message 18: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments Geoff wrote: "Oh yeah it does say right up top BURIED books by KNOWN authors~ so much for my observational acumen."

We still like Johnson. One could imagine an Endangered Species list; no doubt he'd be on it.


message 19: by MJ (last edited Jul 30, 2013 09:17AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 209 comments The story collection he did with Zulfikar Ghose, Statement Against Corpses is also buried. I added it to the site a few years ago, but it seems to have been removed.


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