The Wild Party

The Wild Party


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"Spiegelman's drawings are like demonic woodcuts: every angle, line, and curve jumps out at you. Stylishness and brutishness are in perfect accord."
-- The New York Times

Art Spiegelman's sinister and witty black-and-white drawings give charged new life to Joseph Moncure March's Wild Party, a lost classic from 1928. The inventive and varied page designs offer perfect counterpoint to the staccato tempo of this hard-boiled jazz-age tragedy told in syncopated rhyming couplets.

Here is a poem that can make even readers with no time for poetry stop dead in their tracks. Once read, large shards of this story of one night of debauchery will become permanently lodged in the brain. When The Wild Party was first published, Louis Untermeyer declared: "It is repulsive and fascinating, vicious and vivacious, uncompromising, unashamed . . . and unremittingly powerful. It is an amazing tour de force."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375706431
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/23/1999
Pages: 120
Sales rank: 871,129
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Joseph Moncure March was a poet, journalist and screenwriter best known for his two verse narratives, The Wild Party and The Set-Up, the story of a washed-up black boxer. An editor for The New Yorker in the 1920s, he died in 1977.

Art Spiegelman is the author of Maus, A Survivor's Tale, for which he received a special Pulitzer Prize in 1992. He was co-founder and editor of Raw, the acclaimed magazine of avant-garde comics, and is currently a staff artist for The New Yorker and comix editor at Details magazine. He is currently working on Crime Doesn't Pay, an opera libretto about the history of comics. He lives in New York City with his wife, Françoise Mouly, and their two children, Nadja and Dashiell.

What People are Saying About This

William Burrows

The Wild Party?...It's the book that made me want to be a writer.

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The Wild Party 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
psycheKK More than 1 year ago
According to the introduction by Art Spiegelman, this is the book that made William Burroughs want to become a writer.  It was also written in 1926, when March was 26, and it was "too hot for publication" for two years.  When it finally was published, it was banned in Boston. The first thing I noticed about this "lost classic" when I opened it was the red velvet end-papers.  They alone made me want to buy this book.  The writing itself is Jazz Age brilliant.  It is a poem -- William Burroughs said it is -- "it rhymes".  But a poem with a staccato rhythm, not unlike a machine gun.  It's a nursery rhyme hopped up on bathtub gin.  And the descriptive lines come so fast my head spun.  I'm pretty sure this is the first time the word "ambisextrous" was used in literature.  Like most things hopped up on bathtub gin, this story doesn't end well. Clearly, Art Spiegelman loved this poem when he illustrated it.  Not only does he say that he fell in love with the poem within his introduction that comes a few pages after the red velvet end-papers, he shows that he fell in love with the poem with every wonderful and sometimes decadent illustration.  This edition is almost as much about the artwork as it is the writing. Almost.  It's hard to beat "so dumb that it hurt".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A beautiful representation of basic human tendency. The illustrations are welded perfectly to the text, and the writing style is amazingly magnetic. One of my most favorite reads.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago