Review: The Life and Times of Richard Musto by Joe Lamport (Melissa’s review)

the life and times of richard mustoThe Life and times of Richard Musto
written by Joe Lamport
published by Roll Your Own Press, 2013

Disclosure: received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
I don’t typically review poetry, especially not poetry interspersed with photography, but the story intrigued me, so I thought I’d give it a go. I made it all the way to the end of Chapter One before I started skipping around looking for the prose. I like prose. I neeeeeeed prose. I get confused about lines like this:

You will have to continue reading/Into the next chapter/Which continues forthwith

Well, sure. That’s usually how it works: one keeps reading if one wants to know what comes next. But . . . but why did it have to be in a stanza?

And really, why did you need to tell me at all?

I sought advice from my Husband.  “Husband,” I said, “It sometimes rhymes.”

“I like rhyming poetry,”  he replied.

“But he uses the word ‘ephemeral’ on the first page,”  I whined.

“I like the word ‘ephemeral.'”

“But I feel like it would just work so much better as prose.”

And that, friends, is when I decided I am the absolute completely wrong person to review this book. I don’t like poetry. It’s not Lamport’s fault. I can’t give him a “DNF” or a low star review, because he might very well have written a lovely book of poetry. It might be the rarest, tastiest, most delicious poetry steak in all of history, but friends, I’m a vegetarian.

Would I recommend it: Like I said, I’m not a fan of poetry and though I’d like to think I can identify a good photograph when I see one, I have no expertise in the area. If you’re into either poetry or photography, perhaps you’ll enjoy this more than I did.

About the book – from Goodreads: 
The biography of an eighty-nine year old man living on the streets of New York City, told through free verse and arresting photographs, this books provides a journalistic investigation into the art of survival in America today.



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