Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Some of the Dead are Still Breathing by Charles Bowden (a review)

Some of the Dead Are Still Breathing: Living in the Future
3 out of 5: Some of the Dead are Still Breathing is a collection of journalistic musings about the troubled state of the world and humanity's (mainly negative) impact on it. Bowden is a study in contraries. He lives in the world of drugs, whores, crime, and seedy motel rooms, but at the same time, he carefully observes the habits of a pair of cardinals living in his yard and worries about elephants in captivity. Bowden is an ecologically sensitive Hunter S. Thompson with a poetic bent:

I am part of a species where many find it forbidden to cross religious lines. Or race lines. I want to cross blood lines. I was to risk my life for another organism, I want to shed my culture and join another culture, to meld with the beasts, to destroy the notion of parks and zoos and reserves and flow in a river of blood off some Niagara and be pounded into another life in the red pool below, the pool that churns and roars with spray and licks one's being with an overwhelming undertow.
Readers who like structured essays or stories will be frustrated by Bowden's free-flowing, and sometimes self-indulgent, style. Those who embrace free association and haphazard thought experiments are likely to find Bowden to be a charming, if eclectic, tour guide to today's complex world.


Anonymous said...

This is a great review.....

Zibilee said...

I am not sure if I would like this book given it's style, but I found the quote you posted very beautiful. I may take a chance on this one. Thanks!