My introduction to Richard Brautigan took place when I was twelve or thirteen and read In Watermelon Sugar. Needless to say, I didn't get it and so, unfortunately, I have avoided him ever since. So here I am many years later feeling like I just met him.
This novel was written shortly before Brautigan's death by suicide at age 49. He seems to share many characteristics with the unnamed protagonist in the story. Both are writers, both are 47, both suffer from depression, both have the initials R.B. There may be others but as we know, I'm new to Brautigan. This story is a writer's attempt to write a book where he captures in journal form a short period of time in his day to day life. I know that doesn't sound like much, but it is much. Brautigan's stream of conscious observations are quirky and funny. While the protagonist describes the book as So many inconclusive fragments, sophomoric humor, cheap tricks, detail less details.
His musings can be hysterical. My favorite snippet was when he talks about the tedium of dealing with questions about his broken leg. That's way too long to cite here, but, trust me, it's wonderful. Another which had me smiling: I know that I have felt this way before and things have always changed when I thought that they would never change, but I still find it hard to believe that things will actually change.
I'm so happy that the many positive reviews of Brautigan's work on Goodreads convinced me I may be wrong about him. I may even try In Watermelon Sugar again...who knows!