This book reminded me of a Coen Brothers movie. Very bizarre and perverse as the title implies. The story is about two couples and three brothers. One couple has a very perverse sex life - participating in sadomasochistic fantasies because genital warts have prevented them from a once normal sex life. The other couple has a healthy relationship and in their apartment (which is downstairs from the first couple) is the titular Willard, a papier-mâché bird, and his bowling trophies. These trophies were found by the couple in an abandoned car. Three brothers were once the owners of the bowling trophies and have spent the last 3 years looking for them and the culprits who stole them. Bowling was their way of life. In search of the trophies, they have gone from upstanding citizens to small-time thieves and eventually to murderers. They are out to recover their trophies, no matter what the cost.
This was a very quick read (167 pages) basically about how fate can arbitrarily devastate the lives of people. I thought it was a simple, sometimes humorous, story as Brautigan's short precise language draws you along to the climax of the story. Overall, I would recommend this one.
About the Author Richard Brautigan's comic genius and countercultural vision of American life made him a literary idol of the 1960s and early 1970s. He wrote ten novels, nine volumes of poetry, and a collection of short stories entitled REVENGE OF THE LAWN. His books became required reading for the beat generation, and TROUT FISHING IN AMERICA sold more than two million copies throughout the world. Brautigan committed suicide in 1984 at the age of forty-nine.
Bloody hell, a real warts and all peverse mystery. I can certainly see that "The Big Lebowski" subconsciously references it. A very short and very strange addition to the 1001 books. Thanks again to perryfran for sharing. Pming Danielle for her address.
Journal Entry 8 by davemurray101 at Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Released 11 yrs ago (7/1/2009 UTC) at Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases
Crazy! But I loved it!! I just couldn't put it down! I've always been interested in reading some of Brautigan's books, and will definitely look out for some in the future! Thanks perryfran! I will be posting this on to EmgeeNL on Monday.
Journal Entry 17 by Jozebedee at -- Controlled Release, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom on Monday, January 04, 2010
Released 10 yrs ago (1/4/2010 UTC) at -- Controlled Release, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom
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Now in the post! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
I finished this a few days ago - it really is WEIRD. I quite enjoyed it though, and it was good to read something that wasn't strange in a really heavy, dense way (Thomas Pynchon, this is aimed at you!)
Thanks for sharing, should be sending onto the next person on Friday.
Journal Entry 28 by kingfan30 at Corby Glen, Lincolnshire United Kingdom on Thursday, May 27, 2010
Sorry for the delay this arrived with me two days ago but for some reason the new site was not finding it. Finally it has. I have a few rings/rays to get through so will get to this as soon as I can.
17 June 10 - Catching up with the rings/rays at last and this one was great as I read it one evening! Very weird, but I quite liked it. Although it jumps backwards and forwards between the stories it is not confusing at all. Would be interested in reading more by this author. Have sent a PM to the next person so will pop it in the post as soon as I get it. Thanks for sharing.
Journal Entry 29 by kingfan30 at Colchester, Essex United Kingdom on Friday, June 18, 2010
Released 10 yrs ago (6/18/2010 UTC) at Colchester, Essex United Kingdom
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On its way to platypussj
Journal Entry 30 by platypussj at Colchester, Essex United Kingdom on Monday, June 21, 2010
What a peculiar looking book - I like Willard already (judging the book by the cover, of course).
I'm in the middle of a book the size of a brick at the moment, but will crack on with this one as soon as it's finished. This one looks like a quick read so looking forward to getting stuck in, also, I like the Coen brothers so this should be an enjoyable, if slightly dark, read!
Thank you kingfan30 for sending this little book so promptly.
Journal Entry 31 by platypussj at Colchester, Essex United Kingdom on Friday, July 02, 2010
What an incredible book! I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this very peculiar and yes, rather perverse little tale. Willard is a touch of genius, I would have liked to have known more about him...
Thought I was missing journal entries - turns out I didn't scroll down far enough..... (it's late). I've written to TracyW, next on the list and will post as soon as I get her address.
Journal Entry 32 by TracyW at London, Greater London United Kingdom on Monday, July 26, 2010
Arrived last week while I was on holiday, looking forward to reading it.
Journal Entry 33 by TracyW at UK, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Wow, a month has gone by very fast! I've read this, and I'm not quite sure what I make of it. The ending I anticipated ahead of time, in roughly that form, except I was expecting the question of the mysterious phone caller to be resolved. It reminded me somewhat of the book "A Void", that being the famous one that was written without the letter "e" (and then translated from French into English, for extra difficulty). It had the same sort of absurd meandering plot. Some good humour in it, and I found myself sharing others affection for Willard, which is surprising as he doesn't do much. It's a book that I'm glad I've read, but, on the other hand, sort of feel like, well, so what? Puzzling.
Journal Entry 34 by Simson-Shilitoe at Neewiller-près-Lauterbourg, Alsace France on Saturday, September 18, 2010
The book has arrived safely in today's mail.
At the moment I am reading "Fingersmith" by Sarah Waters, a bookring from "fred45". And because of some holidays I hope to start with "Willard and His Bowling Trophies" at the end of next week.
Thank you "TracyW" for posting. Thank you "perryfan" for sharing.
Journal Entry 35 by Simson-Shilitoe at Neewiller-près-Lauterbourg, Alsace France on Monday, September 27, 2010
Finished this book in one evening. A very fast read with short chapters und some up`s and down`s. Here are some reviews about "Willard and His Bowling Trophies":
Publishers Weekly, 7 February 1977: "There is double perversity in this bizarre thriller. Both the eccentric characters and Brautigan himself sometimes shock, sometimes gently amuse. "Brautigan hasn't developed much as a writer, but he has an irrestible knack of catching his readers unaware," PW observed."
The Kirkus Reviews, 15 July 1975: "When Brautigan is good he is pure magic. But when he is bad he is perverse. Read this book and you'll be taken for a ride—a very short ride. Contrariness and false leads are the operatiave principals of both plot and style. It's a blowzy, bad joke about a lot of San Franciscans whose lives are bad jokes with the usual diverting succession of Brautigan jabs into sad, spun-sugar comic realism—silly, stylized outrageous stuff about the Johnny Carson show and incomplete fragments by dead-poets and love among the incompetents. Not the best Brautigan, just a facsimile thereof."
The Booklist, 1 September 1975: "An unpredictable, marvelously funny satire peopled by oddball characters only Brautigan could imagine. If you've read any Brautigan, you'll understand that there isn't any easy way to describe his books. If you haven't read any Brautigan, this is as good a place as any to start. .... Brautigan is again writing in a style that gives off heavy imitations of [Ernest] Hemingway—had Papa ever gotten around to blowing a lot of grass. The story is slim, but the nuances are all touching. Brautigan has real feeling for small lives that are just going on and going wrong. You'll find yourself liking his characters—and very often he makes you smile."
Posting to "silvia-pco" as soon as I get an address.
Journal Entry 36 by Simson-Shilitoe at Hördt, Rheinland-Pfalz Germany on Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Released 10 yrs ago (9/29/2010 UTC) at Hördt, Rheinland-Pfalz Germany
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Posted to "silvia-pco" in the morning. Happy journey to Portugal and happy reading!
Journal Entry 37 by silvia-pco at Murtosa, Aveiro Portugal on Saturday, October 09, 2010
It got here safe and sound :) Thanks for the delicious chocolate, Smithson-Shilitoe! I'm reading another book at the moment and have yet another one on my TBR pile, but this one will come right up after it. I'll keep you posted!
Journal Entry 38 by silvia-pco at Murtosa, Aveiro Portugal on Thursday, October 28, 2010
This is definitely one of the weirdest books I've ever read. I really liked it, thought! Never thought I could say this about a book that puts together warts and stolen bowling trophies, but it was actually quite enjoyable! There's just one flaw to it: it leaves us wondering about the Logan sisters... and I was so curious to find out what kept them so busy all the time! :)
Being the last one on the list, I'll fulfil perryfran wish and donate this book to the 1001-library. I'll wait until I get an answer from them and then post a thread on the forum to see if there's enough interest to set up a new BRay (I'm guessing you can do that with the books you donate to the 1001-library).
Thanks for sharing!
Journal Entry 39 by silvia-pco at Murtosa, Aveiro Portugal on Monday, November 08, 2010
I decided to keep this one moving and so It'll go out as a bookray - open to 1001-library members, of course.
List of participants: (accepting entries! PM me if you want in!)
1. When you receive book, please make a journal entry. 2. PM the next person on the list for their address. 3. After you read the book, tell us what you thought of it. 4. When you mail the book, make another journal entry to let us know. 5. I'll set the reading deadline as 2 months; I know what it feels like to have a huge Mount TBR and the struggle one does to keep up with the deadlines, so I'll be flexible here. If you are having trouble and need to keep it for a little longer, that's cool: just PM me or make a JE so that we can know it hasn't been forgotten. 6. If you see anyone on this list who is a known staller of bookrings please let me know that too! 7. This being a 1001-library book, I'd like you to keep it moving if you're the last person on the list. Please host a BRay, BRing, or send it out as a RABCK to another fellow library member. 8. Enjoy!
Journal Entry 40 by silvia-pco at Murtosa, Aveiro Portugal on Friday, November 26, 2010
On its way to flewry as of today! Thanks for joining, I hope you'll like it!
Journal Entry 41 by flewry at St. Petersburg, Florida USA on Monday, January 03, 2011
And here it is, thanks so much for sending it -- I'm quite thrilled to be in on such a well-traveled book!
Journal Entry 42 by flewry at St. Petersburg, Florida USA on Thursday, January 06, 2011
Books like this are why I love reading from the 1001 list! Very good book that I never would have heard of otherwise. I don't think I have much to add that previous readers haven't also said -- it's very, very strange, sad but fun to read. This was my first Brautigan experience and I liked his style. His blunt ways of phrasing things were very jarring sometimes. I did find the ending a bit unsatisfying though.
So, it appears that I am the first AND last person on this leg of the ray. It'll go back on the Library "shelf" - I've bumped the bookray thread and will post its availability in the 1001 books reading thread as well. If all else fails, I have a 1001 bookbox coming soon, so it'll be moving one way or another. :)
Journal Entry 43 by flewry at St. Petersburg, Florida USA on Friday, December 02, 2011
This is heading to hyphen8, who selected it in the US/Can 1001-Library VBB. Enjoy!
Good luck to you, Willard. Apparently, you are moving from the saddest city in the United States to the happiest (http://www.menshealth.com/best-life/frown-towns), so you should do well in your new home. ;)
Journal Entry 44 by hyphen8 at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Saturday, December 17, 2011
Thanks for sending this to me - Willard and his trophies arrived today..and I quite like the look of this bird.
The book itself sounds like it could have arrived in the bizarre fiction box, so it's interesting to find it on the 1001 books list.
I'm in the middle of another book at the moment, but I'll try to get to this one soon.
Journal Entry 45 by hyphen8 at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Tuesday, January 10, 2012
What an odd little book: it reminds me of the shaggy dog stories we used to get around the campfire.
Overall, my favorite part is the cover art..which I really like. The artist did a great job capturing Willard. I'd never have met that bird if it weren't for the 1001-library and flewry's box, so thank you very much!
Journal Entry 47 by minesayn at Huron, Ohio USA on Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Received via media mail...thanks hyphen8 for the book for the VBB 1001 library books. I can't wait to read this one...as a bowler myself, the title intrigued me and just thought I had to give it a try. Thanks!
Journal Entry 48 by minesayn at Huron, Ohio USA on Monday, October 22, 2012
1½ stars actually--The perverse mystery is why this novel is considered to be one of the 1001-books-you-must-read-before-you-die list. Odd, quirky characters with sad, pathetic lives abound in this novel from the Logan brothers of the stolen bowling trophies to Constance and Bob who play "Story of O" games and read disparate lines of poetry from the "Greek Anthology". The only redeeming character is Willard, the paper-mache bird who sits among the stolen trophies.
Check this one off the list as read!
Back in the 1001-library; contact minesayn if you wish to read it next.
Journal Entry 49 by minesayn at -- Bookbox, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA on Thursday, December 06, 2012
Released 7 yrs ago (12/6/2012 UTC) at -- Bookbox, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA
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Being sent by media mail in the ABC book box. On its way, at this point, to Grimes, Iowa, but who knows where it will end up. Happy travels, little book!
This is a 1001-BYMRBYD book.
Journal Entry 50 by innae at Aurora, Colorado USA on Friday, February 01, 2013
Arrived in JennyC1230's ABC bookbox, and I am not sure why this book jumps out at me, but -- it does, so it will join my other books on MT TBR at least for awhile.
Journal Entry 51 by innae at Aurora, Colorado USA on Sunday, November 13, 2016
I am clearing out books from Mt TBR -- if I don't immediately (or even after a second or two) think "Oh, I want to read this" I am letting it go.
(but it appears to be part of a VBB 1001 books library...so, I will check to see if it needs to "return" there)
Journal Entry 52 by innae at Aurora, Colorado USA on Sunday, March 19, 2017
Released 3 yrs ago (3/21/2017 UTC) at Aurora, Colorado USA
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Donating to Charity (VVA)
Congratulations!! You have found a rare and unique gift, a travelling book!!
While it is possible I have read and given my thoughts on this book, it is more likely it is a book I found/purchased specifically to send out into the world! In either case, please read what has been said before, where has this book been, who enjoyed it, who didn't -- and perhaps, if you care to, you can add your two cents!
You do not have to join bookcrossing to pick up, enjoy, and journal a book -- however, if you do decide to join us, please consider using me (innae) as your recommending friend, and if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to drop me a personal message (for more info, check out the FAQ).
And again, thank you for saving this book from a life of boredom!