Andrew Shaffer's Literary Rogues is an unflinching look at the bad behavior of some of our most beloved authors, from Oscar Wilde and Edgar Allan Poe, to Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, to Hunter S. Thompson and Bret Easton Ellis.
Literary Rogues is a wildly funny and illuminating history and analysis of the bad boys and girls of lit, from the author of Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love
Part nostalgia, part serious history of Western literary movements, Literary Rogues: A Scandalous History of Wayward Authors is a raucous celebration of oft-vilified writers and their work, brimming with interviews, research, and personality.
In this rollicking romp through a gallery of writers whose genius came with a price (alcoholism, drug addiction, depression, and other troubles), Shaffer (Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love) offers a terrific blend of literary history, biography, and witty commentary. With a breezy style full of pithy asides, Shaffer profiles a wide range of writers including the Marquis de Sade, Samuel Coleridge, Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Baudelaire, Dorothy Parker, Dylan Thomas, Elizabeth Wurtzel, and James Frey, exposing both the exuberant and the dark sides of their notorious lives. Shaffer may playfully acknowledge an early romanticized admiration for his rock star writers and their decadent lifestyles, but he does, emphatically, note the grim aspects of their lives (early deaths, debilitating depression, crippling drug and alcohol dependency, dysfunctional relationships). The protagonists may have been self-destructive, but their exploits are always wildly entertaining, and their output is all the more miraculous for what they survived. As Shaffer observes, that these writers achieved anything in their addled states is remarkable.
What an interesting history of literature! Great read!