Geronimo Rex by Barry Hannah Online

Geronimo Rex
Title : Geronimo Rex
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780802135698
Language : English
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 384

Geronimo Rex, Barry Hannah's brilliant first novel, which was nominated for the National Book Award, is full of the rare verve and flawless turns of phrase that have defined his status as an American master. Roiling with love and torment, lunacy and desire, hilarity and tenderness, Geronimo Rex is the bildungsroman of an unlikely hero. Reared in gloomy Dream of Pines, LouiGeronimo Rex, Barry Hannah's brilliant first novel, which was nominated for the National Book Award, is full of the rare verve and flawless turns of phrase that have defined his status as an American master. Roiling with love and torment, lunacy and desire, hilarity and tenderness, Geronimo Rex is the bildungsroman of an unlikely hero. Reared in gloomy Dream of Pines, Louisiana, whose pines have long since yielded to paper mills, Harry Monroe is ready to take on the world. Inspired by the great Geronimo's heroic rampage through the Old West, Harry puts on knee boots and a scarf and voyages out into the swamp of adolescence in the South of the 1950s and '60s. Along the way he is attacked by an unruly peacock; discovers women, rock 'n' roll, and jazz; and stalks a pervert white supremacist who fancies himself the next Henry Miller.


Geronimo Rex Reviews

  • Jeffrey Keeten

    ***This is a mature review not for the kiddos.***“I knew she was too much woman for me, for one thing, and for another, no man could look on her without becoming a slobbering kind of rutting boar; she did not enchant you: she put you in heat.”Now, really, truth be known any woman is too much woman for Harry Monroe. He grew up in Dream of Pines, Louisiana and decided to go to school at Hedermansever College in Mississippi mainly because the acceptance letters from Columbia, Harvard, Yale, Pri [...]

  • Bert

    A raucous stinkin mess of a novel. The writing knows it's good, and it will bully you into falling for it, but it's as if Barry Hannah didn't want to stop writing and everything just keeps piling up. Ol' Bert just got tired, there's a lot of pages. Geronimo Rex is a great novel of marching bands, adolescence and The American South, it's spiky and funny, it's got that heightened surreal/disturbing Robert Crumb-type feel, and there's no getting around the misogyny, and the hipster-racism, but it's [...]

  • Mike

    not recommended for teenage males who already have a natural inclination to hate women. validates misogyny through hilarity. a good bildungsroman, actually--there aren't many, are there? maybe too much penis (in the abstract sense) for my taste.

  • Erica

    Solid semi-autobiographical coming of age novel set in the mid-century south. The narrator is a dude's dude; he spends his time shooting at things that are beautiful and having sexual encounters with poorly developed girl characters. The other main points are John Phillips Sousa's marches, and his interactions with a white supremacist writer of smut letters to a long dead Northern Quaker. All in all it's well written, totally ridiculous and a lot of fun.

  • keatssycamore

    Not really my bag. i know it is an early book of promise by a young guy figuring it out, but certain of the author's pre-occupations just ground me down. Some of it is probably that this is a "coming of age" story and, as a man who is forty, I came already.

  • Julie

    If misogyny is not your thing, don't read this book. I know there are terrible things that go on this world, but frankly, I don't want to spend my time reading about them and then reading about others' praise of an author writing about them. I've slogged through half the book for a book club that meets in two weeks. I'm going to have a hard time finishing it unless (here's a shred of hope) the second half is better, as a couple of other reviewers have said. I have my doubts, but we'll see

  • Jeff Randall

    I am a big fan of Barry Hannah's work. This book is a gem, that few I know have read. If you write or just enjoy great writing it is worth picking up Hannah's short stories or this novel (autobiography?). There are moments of pure brilliance and story that keeps giving start to finish. Sad like Dubus there is no more forthcoming from this man.

  • Sean Lovelace

    Really does meander, but the language keeps everything tight. A romp.

  • Ron Smith

    I finished this book a week ago, and it's still difficult to get my mind around. I may come back later to change my rating. The nicest thing I can say about Harry Monroe, the protagonist in Barry Hannah's first novel, is that he is a product of his times. The story takes place in the fifties and sixties -- in Louisiana and Mississippi -- a time and place when it must have been more acceptable to be a misogynist. Harry calls girls "roaches," and I don't think he respected any female in his life. [...]

  • Eraserhead

    God bless Hannah. This has been halfway finished for three years now. The writing is fine, great in places, and the opening brilliant---the main problem is that the book is pushing 400 pages when it should be around 200. There is considerable bloat here, and a lot of scenes that, more or less, tell the same thing. My attention wanes, even with Mr. Hannah's verbal firecracks going off every page or so.When correcting an early draft of A SUN ALSO RISES, Fitzgerald said that Hemingway should cut en [...]

  • Jonathan

    It took me weeks to read this, I plodded through the first half and then demolished the second half. I'm not from the south, but I have a feeling I should assume that his stories would seem as outlandish as they do accurate. Hannah tells a thousand stories, plenty of them begin an end in one paragraph, and the protagonist goes through the book like some sort of Don Quixote of the '60s and '70s south. By the time you finish reading this book, you'll think you have an appreciate for marching band [...]

  • George Thomas

    I really liked his Yonder Stands Your Orphan, though it might be the oddest book I have ever read. Geronimo Rex is odd but not compelling like Yonder. I really didn't care about the main character and for a coming of age book, that is deadly. The characters continually commit violent or disgusting acts for reasons that escaped me. If the point is that humans are violent, disgusting, and act randomly, well, one can make that point in fewer than 381 pages. Leave this one alone. Read Yonder Stands [...]

  • Charles White

    Great book with one of the most dynamic narrators I can remember. Stunning Deep South picaresque.

  • Chase Dearinger

    Good book. Would have rated it another star or so but sometimes the misogyny was a bit much.

  • Phil Overeem

    I am sorry, tedious.

  • Brendan

    The writing in the first third of the novel (i.e. Book 1) was absolutely spectacular and had me highlighting every third sentence (while having to restrain myself from highlighting even more). I'd discovered a new favourite author. Then, despite no change in narrator or anything, the writing became suddenly ordinary, the story senseless and boring, and in the ensuing slog to the final page I only highlighted one more sentence and thought multiple times about giving up. So weird.

  • Scott Smith

    What a great book. If you are a writer, keep a highlighter ready. There are so many wonderful lines in this book. If you want a primer on how to write in the first person, I dare you to find a better novel than this. Humor, violence, and heart all here in this classic novel about coming of age. One of my all time favorites.

  • BillyGuy

    What a great book about Harry Monroe growing up in Louisiana and going threw adolescents in the 50s and 60s and the power that the love of music can bring to you!! It's a book that does not draw a straight line but meets up at the end!!!

  • PR

    This was long, and there were parts that were not compelling, but good god, the language here is some of the laugh-out-loud funniest I've ever heard. Pure southern id, by way of like Pynchon.

  • J.K. Grice

    I don't like to quit on books, but this book went absolutely nowhere fast. I'm just not a big fan of Barry Hannah's writing.

  • wally

    This is the 2nd from Hannah, the 1st and only other story I've read: The Tennis Handsome. I liked the description of this one, enjoyed the other story I read, have read good things about him, etc etcThis one starts out:Blue SpadesIn 1950 I'm eight years old and gravely beholding, from my vantage slot under the bleachers, the Dream of Pines Colored High School band. This group blew and marched so well they were scary.The white band in town was nothing, compared--drab lines of orange wheeled about [...]

  • Christian

    It's been a little over a month since I finished this book, but I liked it quite a bit. I'm a big fan of Hannah's writing style; very few authors can so accurately and distinctively portray the South while writing in a style that almost sounds like it's from the viewpoint of an outsider looking in. Hannah also has a way of describing mundane or everyday events, actions, and/or moments using words or phrases that come out of leftfield, that would never occur to most writers, but still create a cl [...]

  • Dan

    Spoiler alertrt ofMeh, eh. Not a great book IMHO. It was like a more readable "adventures of Augie March". That book, while considered a classic American Bildungsroman was booooooring, couldn't finish it. This one kept me interestedr some reason. Some of the situations in this book were so strange and difficult to believe that they must have been based on reality. Shooting at the piano player, the entire Whitfield Peter Catherine thing I don't know maybe I'm missing the point of these situations [...]

  • Bryan

    There are brilliant moments here. Truly great moments of absurdist comedy and dazzling language. However, the main drama of the second book I just could not get into, and nothing stuck. Each time I went back to reading it, I felt like I had skipped forward in the book accidentally, when I didn't (I don't think I did at least.) I feel bad giving it only three stars because the moments I liked, I absolutely loved, but that second book dragged on and on.

  • robert

    A coming of age novel by Barry Hannah, Geronimo Rex is a pretty fun read - I admit to being a little biased since Hannah was raised outside of my hometown and the book discusses some settings of nostalgia for me. Nevertheless - the book has some hilarious scenes and a discussion of music intertwines the entire narrative.overall, a worthy read.Also check Hannah's acclaimed short story collection, Airships.

  • Kate

    though less polished, maybe, than Hannah's short story collections or Yonder Stands Your Orphan Geronimo Rex was one of the best spun yarns I've come across in awhile. soulful, poetic and hilarious - darkly and otherwise. LOVE THIS GUY. a weird bildungsroman. friendship, lust, ambition. marching bands. loony-bin poet of erotica. go forth!

  • Barry Jude

    Harry Monroe kinda bored me throughout this story, though his crew of discombobulated associates seemed to be somewhat awkward enough to carry the tune--especially band-leader Harry. Couldn't really get into the dramatic dilemma with perverted Peter, as it just seemed trifling, but guessing that the white supremacist subtext was more of a lynchpin in the time of its publication.

  • Bill Householder

    Long, (over 300 pages), bildungsroman. Secondary character Fleece more interesting and likable than main protagonist, Harry. Other secondary characters interesting, but are kept far in the background. Harley Butte should have had equal time as Harry, but then it wouldn’t have been a coming-of-age novel. Very different in style than what Hannah would later produce.

  • Jay Wood

    Dizzying, off-kilter. This book spirals outwards and inwards. A bit of editing wouldn't have hurt, because it's certainly too long, but an interesting take on the sexual bildungsroman. The prose is electric, but can become overwhelming.

  • Josh

    Very good book. Some of the odd things the Harry did in the story are probably just a reflection of that time in his life. Most of us can look back on thAt time in our lives and think of things and say, what in the world was I thinking?