Drunken Driver Has the Right of Way: Poems

Drunken Driver Has the Right of Way: Poems

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by Ethan Coen
     
 

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From the fabulously creative filmmaker who wrote and produced movies such as Fargo, Barton Fink, and Blood Simple, this is a provocative, revealing, and often hilarious collection of poems that offers insight into an artist who has always pushed the boundaries of his craft.

In his screenplays and short stories, Ethan Coen surprises and delights us with a rich

Overview

From the fabulously creative filmmaker who wrote and produced movies such as Fargo, Barton Fink, and Blood Simple, this is a provocative, revealing, and often hilarious collection of poems that offers insight into an artist who has always pushed the boundaries of his craft.

In his screenplays and short stories, Ethan Coen surprises and delights us with a rich brew of ideas, observations, and perceptions. In his first collection of poems he does much the same. The range of his poems is remarkable–funny, ribald, provocative, sometimes raw, and often touching and profound.

In these poems Coen writes of his childhood, his hopes and dreams, his disappointments, his career in Hollywood, his physically demanding love affair with Mamie Eisenhower, and his decade-long battle with amphetamines that produced some of the lengthier poems in the collection. You will chuckle, nodding with recognition as you turn the pages, perhaps even stopping occasionally to read a poem. Handsomely and durably bound between hard covers, this is a book that will stand up to most readers’ attempts to destroy it.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The co-creator (with his brother Joel) of such terrific, offbeat movies as Fargo and Barton Fink here turns his attention to rhymed self-mockery, dirty limericks and deliberately offensive, versified tall tales in his debut book of poems; the results can be entertaining, though they can also seem juvenile and self-indulgent. Coen's best efforts appear near the front of this longish collection; they belong to a worthy tradition of witty, metrically perfect, light verse aimed at adults a tradition whose exemplars past and present include Edward Lear, Dorothy Parker and Sophie Hannah. Coen in this mode likes to make fun of himself, and his readers, and poetry in general: "O!/ I love a poem that starts with an O!" a three-page work begins. Kiplingesque quatrains laud "booze, and coke, and sluts"; other poems focus tightly on toilet humor, while a longish set of stanzas defends laziness "Let my good friends the masses/ Get up off their asses/ While I stay at home with a smirk." The smirk continues, alas, throughout the volume, which seems designed to provoke both chuckles and disgust. One highlight is a very long collection of inventively obscene limericks ("there are those who insert/ Their own amative parts in a yurt"); low points arrive in some first-person narrative poems, one of which follows the poet's detachable penis. Despite his notable metrical facility, Coen (who has also published a book of short stories, Gates of Eden) seems to regard verse largely as a way to blow off steam, rather than as a serious second vocation; devotees of his movies should be amused, but will likely be disappointed as well. (Oct.) Forecast: The Coen brothers' moviemaking prominence should guarantee someattention. Sales volume, however, will depend heavily on media attention to what is partly a genuine book of light verse, but partly a novelty item. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
"The loudest has the final say,/ The wanton win, the rash hold sway,/ The realist's rules of order say/ The drunken driver has the right of way." Coen has proven himself a brilliant and original filmmaker; he is responsible, with his brother Joel, for Fargo; O Brother, Where Art Thou?; and Miller's Crossing, to name just a few. He has also published a collection of short stories, Gates of Eden, which received good reviews. So it should come as no surprise that we now have his first collection of poems. Sadly, to call it poetry is to be kind. These are, at best, sophomoric rhymes, bawdy jokes, and off-the-wall nonsense. They are perhaps the equivalent of marginalia or doodles mindlessly jotted at the bottom of film scripts. Observations and reductions that are more fitting to standup comedy, these pieces are often funny but are seldom anything more. Mr. Sands is a boarder who, after setting off a bomb in his room, can no longer knot his tie. "Tale of the Yukon" tries to retell a Jack London tale in four lines. There is the analysis of dreams, a parody of Bukowski, and a few dozen limericks (including a handful of "clean limericks" under the title, "What, Then, Is the Point?"). There is even a "Lament" in which Coen compares his poems honestly to those of Shakespeare, Sophocles, and Keats. It is enough to make one look back fondly on Jewel and Suzanne Sommers. Maybe it's I, but I just don't get it. Louis McKee, Painted Bride Arts Ctr., Philadelphia Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307462749
Publisher:
Crown/Archetype
Publication date:
04/07/2009
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
144
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

With his brother, Joel, Ethan Coen has produced, written, and directed films such as Raising Arizona, Miller’s Crossing, The Hudsucker Proxy, The Big Lebowski, and O Brother, Where Art Thou? Their latest film is The Man Who Wasn’t There. Ethan’s first book, a collection of short stories, is Gates of Eden.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Drunken Driver Has the Right of Way 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago