I recently finished “Writers Gone Wild: The Feuds, Frolics, and Follies of Literature’s Great Adventurers, Drunkards, Lovers, Iconoclasts, and Misanthropes” by Bill Peschel. This book was interesting in that it contains numerous little facts about various western writers and poets. Most notable literary figures that are highlighted multiple times in this book include Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, Oscar Wilde, and James Joyce among many others.
I found this book to be funny and pleasant to read after a long day. And the little fact snippets are very short making for easy and fast reading. Some snippets are just a paragraph while others are a couple of pages. The book is divided up into three parts, “On the Job”, “Off the Job” and “Everything Else”. The facts are not all ‘facts’ since most of the time possible rumors and hearsay at the time of their creation are discussed. Which I think makes this little collection all the more fascinating.
Bill Peschel writes with a humorous tone and fluid style that allows for enjoyable reading. And at the end of each little section, there is often bullet points of facts related to the story. I would say that anyone with a love for the modern classics of western literature should give this book a go. It would be enjoyed by the avid reader and book geek that finds themselves getting lost in a trail of Wikipedia pages in search of interesting speculations about their favorite authors. I recently conducted a two-hour meander on Wikipedia and online sources about one of my favorite writers, Bram Stoker. I was amazed to learn about his prevalence in the Irish Theatre scene and the fact that he was a personal assistant to the then-popular actor Henry Irving. Of course, I don’t consider Wikipedia trustworthy but good for light curious reading now and then. “Writers Gone Wild” goes on my shelf as a good reference book that I may pick up again and skim through on a rainy day. It has an average rating of 3.3/5 stars. I honestly think it deserves better.
I hope that whoever reads this takes a little time to research the book and give it a chance. Thank you for reading my review and I hope that you will return in the future!