The Anthologist

The Anthologist

Book - 2009
Average Rating:
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The Anthologist is narrated by Paul Chowder -- a once-in-a-while-published kind of poet who is writing the introduction to a new anthology of poetry. He's having a hard time getting started because his career is floundering, his girlfriend Roz has recently left him, and he is thinking about the great poets throughout history who have suffered far worse and deserve to feel sorry for themselves. He has also promised to reveal many wonderful secrets and tips and tricks about poetry, and it looks like the introduction will be a little longer than he'd thought. What unfolds is a wholly entertaining and beguiling love story about poetry: from Tennyson, Swinburne, and Yeats to the moderns (Roethke, Bogan, Merwin) to the staff of The New Yorker, what Paul reveals is astonishing and makes one realize how incredibly important poetry is to our lives. At the same time, Paul barely manages to realize all of this himself, and the result is a tenderly romantic, hilarious, and inspired novel.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2009
Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed
ISBN: 9781416572442
1416572449
Branch Call Number: FICTION Baker
Characteristics: 243 p. ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Anthologist : a novel

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johnholderness
Jan 14, 2014

Pretty good, a stream-of-consciousness style that made me impatient quite often. I learned a lot about the narrator's views on poetry, though I don't think they are necessarily widely accepted. It seems like a long way to tell the under-story, which is really the main story.

t
toadrules22
Nov 09, 2011

I stumbled across this by accident...and I loved it. It helps to have been a lit major and to enjoy fussing about meter...but it is a touching and very amusing read even without that. Can't say that I would read it again and again, or take it to a desert island...but I'm sure glad I read it once.

e
EmilyEm
Sep 20, 2011

A book that starts, ?Hello, this is Paul Chowder, and I'm going to tell you everything I know' must be a bit tongue in cheek. After all Paul is a second-rate poet writing the introduction to a poetry anthology and he lives in Maine.

I spent years waking to Garrison Keillor's 'The Writers' Almanac' and now get my poem of the day online. So, Paul's procrastination, his hoping to win back former girlfriend Roz and his musing on poets and poetry are just plain fun. I'm glad books like this still get published! It's a gem.

melwyk Nov 26, 2009

This is a funny, engaging novel about a lacklustre poet and professor who is suffering writer's block over writing the introduction to a poetry anthology. It's so bad his girlfriend has left him because of it. This entertaining novel is the best way I can think of to learn about poetic style while reading fiction.

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