More Collected Couteau: Essays and Interviews

Rob Couteau. Dominantstar, $24.95 ISBN 978-0-9966888-1-9
Couteau’s second collection, after Collected Couteau, includes essays on topics such as Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer and the work of Hubert Selby Jr., as well as conversations with various figures, many of them literary biographers. Couteau’s essays are informal, fervent, and well-versed examinations of the work or author at hand. At their best, they include fascinating insights into the significance of a writer like Selby. In Couteau’s essay on Tropic of Cancer, however, his thoughtful examination of Henry Miller as a man and writer is overshadowed by a weak defense of the book against charges of misogyny. The interviews are uniformly strong and include conversations with Michael Korda on T.E. Lawrence, Justin Kaplan on Walt Whitman, and Robert Roper on Vladimir Nabokov. Not all of them focus on literature: author Jeffrey Jackson covers the 1910 flood of Paris and why it’s relatively forgotten, and Robert De Sena, in one of the best interviews, discusses his life as a gang member turned community activist. Couteau’s passion and wealth of knowledge are obvious throughout the book, if sometimes to the point of overindulgence, and should appeal to many readers. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 02/08/2016
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