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Stories > Revenge of the Lawn

First published in 1971, Revenge of the Lawn: Stories 1962-1970, a collection of sixty-two stories, was Brautigan's first published collection of stories.

Brautigan began this work as a novel about his grandmother, Elizabeth "Bessie" Cordelia Ashlock ("Moonshine Bess") (1881-1950), in the spring of 1965. The idea came from an unfinished short story he called "Those Great American Dogs," a chronicle of the lives of his boyhood pets. From this inspiration, Brautigan wrote a story about his grandmother's dog, Mark, who was poisoned by a neighbor. In his story, Brautigan's grandmother poured kerosene into her neighbor's basement and burned down her house. From this start, the idea for a new novel developed.

As he had done with both A Confederate General from Big Sur and Trout Fishing in America, Brautigan expanded his initial idea first as a series of short stories he titled "The Family Tree," "The Neighbor," "The Jewel," "The Children," a chapter about the Native Americans who lived on the land before his grandmother's house was built, "Indian Ghosts," "Washington House Ghosts," "The Ghosts belonging to my Grandfather," "Feuds and Feats among the Ghosts," "Chocolate Cake," and "The Magic Power of the Lawn."

Brautigan incorporated the ideas behind these chapter titles into a single story, "The Revenge of the Lawn." He included family history, his grandmother's lover, Frank Campana and his fear of bees, the pear trees in his grandmother's front lawn. This single story, originally intended as the last, became the first, and gave its title to the book. The idea for a novel gave way to a collection of short stories.

The front featured a photograph of Sherry Elizabeth Vetter, alone, sitting at a table in front of a cake, a reference to Brautigan's grandfather watching his mother bake a chocolate cake, an account included in the title story. Vetter, from Louisville, Kentucky, moved to San Francisco in 1970, following a Peace Corps posting in Ivory Coast. She taught fifth grade at Notre Dame, a private girl's school in San francisco during the academic year 1968-1969. The photograph was taken in Vetter's apartment in Noe Valley, California.

Brautigan and Vetter first met in January 1970. Their relationship, as lovers and friends, lasted for the next ten years. When she married, Vetter settled with her husband in Port Royal, Kentucky.

Brautigan, and the book, were awarded the Washington Governor's Writing Award for 1972.

Online Resources
"The Girl With the Cake: Thirty Years Later", an article by Kevin Sampsel about meeting Vetter at Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon, 22 September 2011.

Dedication
Dedication reads:
This book is for
Don Carpenter
Don Carpenter and Brautigan were good, long-time friends.

Front Cover New York: Simon and Schuster, 1971
5.75" x 8.25"; 174 pages; ISBN 0-671-20960-4; First printing 1 October 1971
Hard Cover, with dust jacket
Front cover photograph by Edmund Shea of Sherry Vetter, a San Francisco school teacher from Louisville, Kentucky
No back cover illustration or photograph
Advance review copies featured green topstain

Inscribed Copies
This Copy is for Bob Briggs
Richard Brautigan
September 29, 1971

Signed and dated by Brautigan.
Edition inscribed is the Simon and Schuster first edition hardback, 1971.

Promotional Materials
Rolling Stone advertisement Quarter-page advertisement
Black and white
5" x 7"
Rolling Stone 1972

Hard Cover
UK Front Cover London: Jonathan Cape, 1972
176 pages; ISBN 0-224-00696-7; First printing 13 July 1972
Hard Cover, with dust jacket
First United Kingdom Edition
Green spine with black titling. Green background of front dust jacket extends to spine. White titling on front and spine of dust jacket.
Front dust jacket photograph by Edmund Shea of Sherry Vetter as used on first American edition.

Wrappers
London: Jonathan Cape, 1972
5.5" x 8"; 174 pages; ISBN 0-224-00728-9; First printing 13 July 1972
Printed wrappers
Issued concurrently with Hard Cover version

Proof Copy
Front cover United Kingdom proof cover, with pasted on cover label
Front cover Edinburgh, Scotland: Canongate Books Ltd., 2006
200 pages; ISBN 978-1-84195-866-8; First printing 30 March 2006
Front cover Boston: Houghton Mifflin/Seymour Lawrence, 1995
ISBN 0-395-70674-2
Printed wrappers

Collects, as facsimile reprints, Revenge of the Lawn, The Abortion, and So The Wind Won't Blow It All Away in the manner of their original editions, including front cover photographs and title pages. See the Collections node for more information.
Front cover London: Picador-Pan Books Limited, 1974
172 pages; ISBN 0-330-23869-8; First printing February 1974
Printed wrappers.
Front cover New York: Pocket Book/Simon and Schuster, 1972
173 pages; ISBN 0-671-78209-6; First printing September 1972
Printed wrappers.
Back cover includes a repeat of the front cover photograph, lists Brautigan's other works, notes this book "is the first collection of Brautigan's short stories," and includes the quote " . . . one of Brautigan's best books, and at his best he is a writer of surprising talent and vision" from the review by Larry Duberstein.

Slipcase edition
Front cover Front cover Back cover Also included in a slipcase with The Hawkline Monster and The Abortion
Front cover Edinburgh, Scotland: Rebel, 1997
224 pages; ISBN 0-862-41723-6; First printing October 1997
Printed wrappers

Reprinted
Front cover Edinburgh, Scotland: Rebel, 2000
152 pages; ISBN 1-841-95027-0; First printing 27 June 2000
Printed wrappers
Introduction for both printings by Gordon Legge

READ the full text of this introduction.
Front cover New York: Simon and Schuster, 1971
5.25" x 8"; 174 pages; ISBN 0-671-20961-2
Printed wrappers

Slipcase edition
Front Cover Also included in a slipcase with The Hawkline Monster and The Abortion
616 pages total; ISBN 0-671-20872-1

Front Cover Trávník se mstí: Povídky z let 1962-1970. Trans. Olga S Pilarová. Prague: Volvox Globator, 1998.
Front Cover Apparatur (18) 29 January 2009: 50-55.
A Danish literary journal.
Three Brautigan stories translated into Danish by Martin Aitken:
  • "Det litterære liv i Californien/1964 [The Literary Life in California/1964]" (52-53)
  • "Jeg forsøgte at beskrive dig for nogen [I Was Trying to Describe You to Someone]" (54)
  • "Partnere [Partners]" (55)
Includes an introduction by Aitkin which provides basic biographical information for Brautigan, localization and characterization of Brautigan's writing style, and a mention of previous Danish translations of The Hawkline Monster (1976) and In Watermelon Sugar (1978).

Online Resource
The Apparatur website.
Front Cover Den Blå Port (81) 26 May 2009: 61-64.
A Danish literary journal.
Two Brautigan stories translated into Danish by Martin Aitken:
  • Kaffe [Coffee]" (61-63)
  • "Ernest Hemingway's skrivedame [Ernest Hemingway's Typist]" (64)
The front cover features an illustration by Riccardo Becchio of Hemingway's typist.

Online Resource
The Den Blå Port website.
Front Cover Kloos, Hans. Voor Mevr. en Mr. Naaktgeboren. uitgeverij Perdu: Amsterdam, 1988.
A collection of poems, short stories, and translations by Kloos.
Includes translations of two Brautigan stories:
  • "Homage to the San Francisco YMCA"
  • "Women When They Put Their Clothes On in the Morning"

Online Resource
Kloos maintains Dutch translations of some of the stories in this collection at his website.

"Homage to the San Francisco YMCA," in Dutch, at Kloos' website

Also included in this book is the poem by Kloos, "Een van de dagen van 11 september—28 oktober, Bolinas, Californië, Verenigde Staten, Noord-Amerika, Aarde, Zon, Melkweg, Heelal [One of the Days between September 11 and October 28, Bolinas, California, United States, North America, Earth, Sun, Milky Way, Universe]," a tribute to Brautigan that, according to Kloos, "focuses on the circumstances of his lonely death."

Feedback from Hans Kloos
Hans Kloos. Email to John F. Barber, 18 November 2005.
Online Resources
An English translation by David Colmer of this poem at Kloos' website

This poem in its original Dutch at Kloos' website
Bourgois editions
Front cover La Vengeance de la Pelouse: Novelles, 1962-1970. Trans. Marie-Christine Agosto. Paris: Bourgois, 2002.
ISBN: 2-267-01660-5
Printed wrappers
Front cover La Vengeance de la Pelouse: Novelles, 1962-1970. Trans. Marie-Christine Agosto. Paris: Bourgois, 1983.
First French edition
Printed wrappers

Additional Resource
Lottman, Herbert R. "France: A Growing Taste for Anglo-American Authors." Publishers Weekly 4 September 2000: 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62-63.
An overview of the publishing industry in France and its interest in American writers. Notes that publisher Christian Bourgois says
"there's a new generation of French critics&mdasah;and book buyers—curious about what comes out of America and prepared to embrace it." Bourgois . . . is one of the rare publishers in France (or anywhere for that matter) publishing under his own name—and independent. Not being able to afford the greats, Bourgois began with writers of his own generation, such as Richard Brautigan. (62)
Bourgois published several French translations of Brautigan's works including Trout Fishing in America, In Watermelon Sugar, The Hawkline Monster, Willard and His Bowling Trophies, Sombrero Fallout, Dreaming of Babylon, The Tokyo-Montana Express, So the Wind Won't Blow It All Away, and Revenge of the Lawn.
10-18 editions
Front cover La Vengeance de la Pelouse: Novelles, 1962-1970. Paris: 10-18, 2004.
ISBN: 2-264-03854-3
Printed wrappers.
Front cover La Vengeance de la Pelouse: Novelles, 1962-1970. Paris: 10-18, 1992.
Printed wrappers
Front cover illustration is a detail from Edward Hopper's painting "Cape Cod Evening"
La Vengeance de la Pelouse: Novelles, 1962-1970. Paris: 10-18, 1988.
Front cover Die Rache des Rasens. Geschichten 1962-1970. Trans. Günter Ohnemus. Epilogue by Günter Ohnemus. Regensberg: Kartaus Verlag, 2007.
164 pages; ISBN 978-3-936054-08-8
Printed wrappers

Features a new Epilogue by Ohnemus in which he notes that in the English edition he used as the basis for his translations the last sentence of one story slipped into another story. It was, he says, many years before anybody noticed the mistake.

Online Resource
Der Kartaus Verlag website
Front cover Wir Lernen uns Kennen: Stories. Trans. Günter Ohnemus. Reinbek by Hamburg: Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag (rororo 22054), 1996
122 pages; ISBN 3-499-22054-7
Printed wrappers.
Selected stories from Revenge of the Lawn
Front cover Wir brauchen mehr Gärten: Stories. Trans. Günter Ohnemus. Reinbek by Hamburg: Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag (rororo 22008), 1996
125 pages; ISBN 3-499-22008-3; Paperback, with printed wrappers.
Selected stories from Revenge of the Lawn
Front cover Die Rache des Rasens: Geschichten. Trans. Günter Ohnemus. Reinbek by Hamburg: Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag (rororo 13125), 1993.
150 pages; ISBN 3-499-13125-0
Printed wrappers
Front cover Die Rache des Rasens: Geschichten. Trans. Günter Ohnemus. Frankfurt am Main: Eichborn Verlag, January 1989.
202 pages; ISBN 3-821-80158-1
Printed wrappers and end flaps
Cover illustration by Henri Schmid
Front Cover Die Rache des Rasens: Geschichten. Trans. Günter Ohnemus. Epilogue by Patrick Anderson. München: Ohnemus, 1978.
196 pages; ISBN 3-921-89501-4
Printed wrappers
Reviews
Winter, Helmut. "Ein leiser Autor [A Quiet Author]." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (9) 11 January 1979: 18.

READ this review.
Front Cover A Gyep Bosszúja. Trans. László Gy. Horváth. Budapest: Cartaphilus Kiadó, 2001.
183 pages
Hard cover with dust jacket
Online Resource
Information at the Cartaphilus website
Front Cover 102 Racconti Zen [102 Zen Stories]. Torino: Einaudi Editori, 1999.
A collection of 102 Brautigan stories, 34 from Revenge of the Lawn and 68 from The Tokyo-Montana Express. Also includes an 8-page essay about Brautigan and his life.

Reviews
Nirenstein, Susanna. ***?***. La Repubblica 25 July 1999: 27.
Appearing in the Culture section, this article noted the publication of this book and included the story "Coffee."

Online Resources
"Lint," "A Complete History of Germany and Japan," "Coffee," "An Unlimied supply of 35 Millimeter Film" (all from Revenge of the Lawn) and "Beer Story" (from The Tokyo-Montana Express), available in Italian
Front cover Shibafu no fukushu. Trans. Kazuko Fujimoto. Tokyo: Shobunsha, 1986.
213 pages
Front cover Otobooseh Pir, va dastanhayeh digar. [The Old Bus, and other stories]. Trans. Alireza Taheri Araghi. Tehran, Iran: Nashreh Markaz, 2005.
193 pages; ISBN: 964-876-511-1
Printed wrappers
Front cover illustration by Ali Ammeh-kan
Includes a Preface by the translator
Three stories: "An Unlimited Supply of 35 Millimeter Film," "The Pretty Office," and "A Long Time Ago People Decided to Live in America" are omitted.
Front cover Karnameh. Ed. Hafez Moosavi. Tehran, Iran: 28, 2002. 24-27.
A monthly cultural, societal, and ethical publication. Includes three stories translated by Nima Malik Mohammadi: "Old Man Working the Rain" from The Tokyo-Montana Express, translated as "Old Man under the Rain", "I Was Trying to Describe You to Someone" from Revenge of the Lawn, and " What Are You Going to Do with 390 Photographs of Christmas Trees?" from The Tokyo-Montana Express, and one story translated by GholamReza Goodarzi: "A Complete History of Germany and Japan" from Revenge of the Lawn.
"The Ghost Children of Tacoma," "Coffee," and "The Cleveland Wrecking Yard." Golestaneh 14, 15. 2000.
Trans. Assadollah Amraee. Published in Tehran, Iran.
First two stories from Revenge of the Lawn; chapter from Trout Fishing in America

"Corporal." Sudden Fiction. 2000.
Trans. Assadollah Amraee. Published in Tehran, Iran.

"I Was Trying to Describe You to Someone," "A Need for Gardens," and "A Complete History of German and Japan." Noghte Sar_e Khat [Period, Fullstop]. 28. 2000.
Trans. Idin Nazzari. Published in Tehran, Iran.
Front Cover Trout Fishing in America, Revenge of the Lawn. Moscow: ***, 2002.
376 pages
Hard Cover, with dustjacket
Collects Trout Fishing in America and Revenge of the Lawn.
Front Cover Gräsmattans Hämnd. Trans. Jonas Elleström. Lund: Bakhåll, 2009.
Online Resource
Gåtfulla samband med Richard Brautigan och dags att ta farväl av Alberte. A 20-minute program aired 4 May 2009 and again on 5 May 2009 under the heading "Biblioteket" (The Library) by Swedish Radio's Programme 1. Program consists of interviews with Swedish readers, writers, critics, and translators in response to the publication of the Swedish translation of Revenge of the Lawn.

Unless noted, stories first published here. The stories in order of their appearance:

"Revenge of the Lawn"
First Published
"Two Stories by Richard Brautigan." TriQuarterly 5 Winter 1966: 55-59.
Published in Evanston, Illinois. Featured two stories: "Revenge of the Lawn" and "A Short History of Religion in California."

Recorded
Album Front Cover "Listening to Richard Brautigan" Harvest Records.

On one track of this album, entitled "Revenge of the Lawn," Brautigan reads the title story

"1692 Cotton Mather Newsreel"
First Published
"Three Stories by Richard Brautigan." Mademoiselle (71) July 1970: 104-105.
Featured three stories: "1692 Cotton Mather Newsreel," "Sand Castles," and "Pacific Radio Fire."
"1/3, 1/3, 1/3"
Front cover
First Published
Ramparts 6(5) December 1967: 43-45.
Published in San Francisco, California.

Included a photograph by Baron Wolman of Brautigan, one of several he took in 1967 for publicity. Also included was a review by Stephen Schneck of Trout Fishing in America. Schneck participated on the Creative Arts Conference program with Brautigan in August 1969.
"The Gathering of a Californian"
"A Short Story about Contemporary Life in California"
Front Cover
First Published
Rolling Stone (36) 28 June 1969: 38.
Published by Straight Arrow Publishers, San Francisco, California.
Recorded
Album Front Cover "Listening to Richard Brautigan" Harvest Records.

On one track from this album, titled "Short Stories about California," Brautigan reads "A Short Story about Contemporary Life in California," "The Memory of a Girl," "The View from the Dog Tower," and "Pale Marble Movie." Listen to this track below


or, listen only to "A Short Story about Contemporary Life in California"

"Pacific Radio Fire"
First Published
"Three Stories by Richard Brautigan." Mademoiselle (71) July 1970: 104-105.
Featured three stories: "1692 Cotton Mather Newsreel," "Sand Castles," and "Pacific Radio Fire."
"Elmira"
Front Cover
First Published
Rolling Stone (30) 5 April 1969: 28.
Published by Straight Arrow Publishers, San Francisco, California.
"Coffee"
Front cover
First Published
Change 1963: n. pg.
Published in San Francisco, California. The only issue of Brautigan's own literary journal, edited with Ron Loewinsohn, Change. Also called Change, the Fastest Car on Earth (Peter Manso and Michael McClure 65). Mimeographed sheets (8.5" x 11") with a photograph of Loewinsohn and Brautigan on the front cover.
"The Lost Chapters of Trout Fishing in America: 'Rembrandt Creek' and 'Carthage Sink'"
Front cover
First Published
Esquire (74) October 1970: 152-153.
Published in Chicago, Illinois. Featured a full-page color illustration of Brautigan by Richard Weigand.
"The Weather in San Francisco"
First Published
Vogue (154) October 1969: 126.
Written while living with Janice Meissner on 2830 California Street, San Francisco
"Complicated Banking Problems"
Front cover
First Published
Evergreen Review 84 November 1970: 41.
Published in New York, New York, 1957-1973. Edited by Barnet Lee "Barney" Rosset, Jr. (1922-2012) and Donald Merriam Allen (1912-2004) (numbers 1-6 only) with the backing of Grove Press.
"A High Building in Singapore"
Front Cover
First Published
Rolling Stone (48) 13 December 1969: 40.
Published in San Francisco, California. Featured two stories: "Ernest Hemingway's Typist" and "A High Building in Singapore."
"An Unlimited Supply of 35 Milllimeter Film"
"The Scarlatti Tilt"
"The Wild Birds of Heaven"
Front Cover
First Published
Parallel 1(3) July-August 1966: 10-12.
Published in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Edited by Peter Desbarats. Illustrated by Morris Danylewich.

Inspiration for this story came from Brautigan's reimagining of what folksingers call a "floater verse," a lyric easily transposed into different songs. For example, the lines "I'd rather live in some dark holler / where the sun refused to shine . . ." were used in at least two Appalachian folk songs: "Little Maggie" and "Hard, Ain't It Hard." Brautigan noted these lines in his notebook, and then changed them to "where the wild birds of heaven / can't hear me when I whine." These lines became the basis for his story.

Desbarats notes Brautigan on "The Editor's Page, saying,
The West Coast below Vancouver is also the home of Richard Brautigan, a young American writer, whose short story "The Wild Birds of Heaven" appears in this issue. His first novel is being published by Grove Press in New York.
Feedback from Denis R. Robillard
Denis R. Robillard. Email to John F. Barber, 28 October 2008.
"Winter Rug"
First Published
Vogue (156) 1 August 1970: 98.

Brautigan sent this story, based on an anecdote he heard from friend Bill Brown, to Jory Sherman at Broadside, a men's magazine published in North Hollywood, California, who rejected it saying, "As it stands, there is no way in hell that I can buy this. What you have here is more of a slice of life with very little point as it turns out."
"Ernest Hemingway's Typist"
Front Cover
First Published
Rolling Stone (48) 13 December 1969: 40.
Published in San Francisco, California. Featured two stories: "Ernest Hemingway's Typist" and "A High Building in Singapore."

Background
The woman referred to as Ernest Hemingway's typist was Valerie Hemingway (nee Valerie Danby-Smith), an Irish reporter, who met Hemingway and his wife, Mary, in Spain in 1959 and traveled with them as Hemingway's personal secretary for the next two years through France and Spain and lived with them in Cuba. Five years after his death in 1961, Valerie married Hemingway's estranged son, Gregory.

Valerie Hemingway's book, Running with the Bulls: My Years with the Hemingways (New York: Random House, 2004), tells the story of her time with Papa Hemingway and her eventual marriage to his son, Gregory.

Robert F. Burgess includes an interview with "a matronly friend [Valerie Hemingway] who was only 19-years-old when Hemingway hired her in Pamplona to work for him as a researcher/typist in Cuba after they met at his last fiesta in 1959" in his book Hemingway's Paris and Pamplona, Then and Now: A Personal Memoir (Lincoln, NE: iUniverse. 2000).

The identity of the "friend" who hired Valerie as a typist in New York and then told Brautigan prompting him to write his story is more difficult. He might have been Irish playwright Brendan Behan (The Hostage), or playwright Samson Raphaelson.
"Homage to the San Francisco YMCA"
First Published
Vogue (158) July 1971: 96-97.
Appeared there under the title "A Homage to the San Francisco YMCA."
"The Pretty Office"
Front Cover
First Published
R. C. Lion 2 1966: 4-5.
8.5" x 11"; 26 pages; Mimeographed sheets; stapled; Cover same stock as interior pages;
Published by the University of California, Berkeley Rhymers Club, Berkeley, California. Subtitled "The Magazine That Submerges Periodically" and called variously Our Sea Lion or Ah, Sue Lyon. Only three issues. Edited by David Bromige, Sherril Jaffe, David Schaff, and Ron Loewinsohn.
This issued featured work by Anselm Holle, Richard Brautigan, David Schaff, Jo Marsten, Ted Berrigan, David Bromige, Ross Angier, Sherril Jaffe, Bob May, Red Baren, David Schaff (again), Johannes Amicus, Jim St. Jim, and Ron Loewinsohn, in that order.
"A Need for Gardens"
Front Cover
First Published
Rolling Stone (24) 21 December 1968: 24.
Published in San Francisco, Californina.
Featured three stories: "Crazy Old Women Are Riding the Buses of America Today," "Fame in California," and "A Need for Gardens." The title of "Fame in Califorina" modified to "Fame in California/1964" for this collection.
"The Old Bus"
First Published
Vogue (157) February 1971: 192.
"The Ghost Children of Tacoma"
Front Cover
First Published
Rolling Stone (25) 4 January 1969: 30.
Published in San Francisco, California. Featured two stories: "The Ghost Children of Tacoma" and "Lint."
"The Ghost Children of Tacoma" is an autobiographical accounting of the early years of World War II in Tacoma, Washington. Brautigan writes,
The children of Tacoma, Washington, went to war in December 1941. It seemed like the thing to do, following in the footsteps of their parents and other grown-ups who acted as if they knew what was happening. (73)
He recounted killing imaginary enemies and playing airplane in the house with his sister.
"Talk Show"
First Published
Kaleidoscope-Milwaukee 3(9) 12 October 1970: 1, 10.
Published biweekly Box 5457, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53701.
"I Was Trying to Describe You to Someone"
Front Cover
First Published
Rolling Stone (27) 15 February 1969: 10.
Published by Straight Arrow Publishers, San Francisco, California. This issue focused on Groupies, females (generally) who followed and attempted to attract the attentions of rock musicians.
"Trick or Treating Down to the Sea in Ships"
"Blackberry Motorist"
"Thoreau Rubber Band"
"44:40"
"Perfect California Day"

READ the full text of this story.
"The Post Offices of Eastern Oregon"
Front Cover
First Published
Kulchur 13 Spring 1964: 51-55.
Published in New York, New York spring 1960 (issue #1) through winter 1965 (issue #20) and offered serious commentary or criticism about literature, film, politics, and music.
This issue (13) was edited by Lita Hornick, Frank O'Hara (art), and Leroi Jones (music). Contributing editors: Charles Olson, Gilbert Sorrentino, A. B. Spellman, and Bill Berks.
Other contributors: Allen Ginsberg ("The Change: Kyoto-Tokyo Express July 18, 1963"), Gilbert Sorrentino ("The Art of Hubert Selby"), Pauline Kael ("Film Review"), Warren Tallman ("Robert Creeley's Portrait of the Artist"), Allan Kaplan, and Joe LeSuer.
The front cover photograph was taken from Andy Warhol's movie The Kiss (1963, 54 minutes).

Lita Hornick, editor, recounts the contents of Kulchur magazine saying that in Kulchur 13,
Richard Brautigan, then a relatively unknown writer, contributed a characteristic piece of fiction called "The Post Offices of Eastern Oregon."
(Hornick, Lita. "Kulchur: Memoir." TriQuarterly 43 (Fall) 1978: 280-297.)
"Pale Marble Movie"
Front Cover
First Published
Rolling Stone (42) 20 September 1969: 25.
Published by Straight Arrow Publishers, San Francisco, California.
Recorded
Album Front Cover "Listening to Richard Brautigan" Harvest Records.

On one track from this album, titled "Short Stories about California," Brautigan reads "A Short Story about Contemporary Life in California," "The Memory of a Girl," "The View from the Dog Tower," and "Pale Marble Movie." Listen to this track below


or, listen only to "Pale Marble Movie"

"Partners"
First Published
Jeopardy (6) March 1970: 90.
Published in Bellinghman, Washington, by the Associated Student Body of Western Washington State College.

Also included work by Keith Abbott, Greg Kuzma, Anselm Hollo, Noritoshi Tachibana (translated by Yozo Shibuya and Ron Bayes), Stephen Dunn, Richard Eberhart, James Den Boer, Charles Bukowski, Joyce Odam, William Stafford, Louis Ginsberg, Ann Mennebroker, John Stevens Wade, Stanley Cooperman, Stanley Plumley, Collete Inez, Terry Stokes, and Grace Butler.
"Getting to Know Each Other"
Front Cover
First Published
Rolling Stone (67) 15 October 1970: 22.
Published by Straight Arrow Publishers, San Francisco, California.
"A Short History of Oregon"
Front Cover
First Published
Rolling Stone (26) 1 February 1969: 26.
Published by Straight Arrow Publishers, San Francisco, Californina.
"A Long Time Ago People Decided to Live in America"
Front Cover
First Published
Rolling Stone (34) 31 May 1969: 37.
Published by Straight Arrow Publishers, San Francisco, California.
"A Short History of Religion in California"
First Published
"Two Stories by Richard Brautigan." TriQuarterly 5 Winter 1966: 55-59.
Published in Evanston, Illinois.

Featured two stories: "Revenge of the Lawn" and "A Short History of Religion in California." The latter was inspired by meeting a group of Christians while Brautigan was camping with his 3.5-year-old daughter, Ianthe.

Reprinted
Front Cover Rolling Stone (37) 12 July 1969: 37.
Published by Straight Arrow Publishers, San Francisco, California.
"April in God-damn"
"One Afternoon in 1939"
"Corporal"
Front Cover
First Published
"Little Memoirs: Three Tales by Richard Brautigan." Playboy December 1970: 164-165.
Featured three stories: "Corporal," "The Literary Life in California/1964," and "Halloween in Denver."
"Lint"
Front Cover
First Published
Rolling Stone (25) 4 January 1969: 30.
Published by Straight Arrow Publishers, San Francisco, California.
Featured two stories: "The Ghost Children of Tacoma" and "Lint."
"A Complete History of Germany and Japan"
Front Cover
First Published
Rolling Stone (33) 17 May 1969: 12.
Published by Straight Arrow Publishers, San Francisco, California.
Appeared here as "A Complete Movie of Germany and Japan."
Title changed to "A Complete History of Germany and Japan" for this collection.
"The Auction"
First Published
Vogue (155) January 1970: 179.
A story about Brautigan's impoverished childhood in the Pacific Northwest
"The Armored Car"
First Published
Nice 1(1) 1967: n. pg.
Published in Brightlingsea, Essex, England, 1966-1967. Edited by Thomas Clark. Nice is the tenth in a series of issues, each described as "a one shot magazine," each edited by Clark and published as "Vol. 1 No. 1." Each issue had a different cover title: "Once," "Twice," "Thrice," "Thrice and 1/2?," "Frice," "Vice," "Spice," "Slice," "Ice," and "Nice." All were collected in The Once Series and reprinted by Krause Reprint Company (New York, 1970).

Clark apparently solicited this story for his magazine. In a letter to Clark, dated September 7, 1965, Brautigan thanks him for his postcard (the request for a submission?) and says, "I have enclosed a short story called "The Armored Car" that I hope will interest you." Brautigan asks for "two copies of the issue that it [the story] is printed in" and that the copyright notice is printed with the story, "if you decide you want to use the story." Brautigan concludes his letter, "Anyway, your magazine sounds like fun." LEARN more >>>

The dedication for this story reads: "For Janice."
This was Janice Meissner with whom Brautigan lived with from November 1964-May 1966. The couple lived together at three different addresses: 533 Divisadero Street (apartment 4), 544 Divisadero Street, and 2830 California Street. Photographer Erik Weber photographed them together.

Online Resources
Brian Nation lived nearby and provided an account of his relationship with Brautigan and Meissner
"The Literary Life in California/1964"
Front Cover
First Published
"Little Memoirs: Three Tales by Richard Brautigan." Playboy December 1970: 164-165.
Featured three stories: "Corporal," "The Literary Life in California/1964," and "Halloween in Denver."
"Banners of My Own Choosing"
First Published
Now Now 2 1965: n.pg.
Counterculture magazine published in San Francisco, California, by Ari Publications from 1963 (issue #1) to 1965 (issue #3). Edited by Charles Plymell who said,
I sat with Richard Brautigan in some of the new head shops and discussed the scene. He had a sense of what the new generation liked to hear. I took some of his poems to publish in an issue of Now magazine (289). . . . It was the time of nude parties and free love, when women's bodies were painted on. The last time I saw Richard Brautigan was at such a party. (Plymell 292-293)
Plymell also printed the first issues of Zap comic with illustrations by Robert Crumb.

Other contributors included Philip Whalen, Bruce Conner, Wallace Berman (collage), Allen Ginsberg, Lew Welch, Michael Bowen (collage), George Herms, and Dennis Hopper.

Textual Note
Brautigan began this piece in March 1964. It deals with his general sense of lack of attachment in his life at the time. Interestingly, there is no self-pity.
"Fame in California/1964"
Front Cover
First Published
Rolling Stone (24) 21 December 1968: 24.
Published by Straight Arrow Publishers, San Francisco, California.
Featured three stories: "Crazy Old Women Are Riding the Buses of America Today," "Fame in California," and "A Need for Gardens." The title of "Fame in Califorina" modified to "Fame in California/1964" for this collection.
"The Memory of a Girl"
Front Cover
First Published
Rolling Stone (39) 9 August 1969: 37.
Published by Straight Arrow Publishers, San Francisco, California.
Recorded
Album Front Cover "Listening to Richard Brautigan" Harvest Records.

On one track from this album, titled "Short Stories about California," Brautigan reads "A Short Story about Contemporary Life in California," "The Memory of a Girl," "The View from the Dog Tower," and "Pale Marble Movie." Listen to this track below


or, listen only to "The Memory of a Girl"

"September California"
Front Cover
First Published
Sum (3) May 1964: 23.
Subtitled "A Newsletter of Current Workings."
7" x 8.5"; 33 pages counting insisde front and back covers; Mimeographed, folded and stapled.
Published in Albuquerque, New Mexico, December 1963 (issue #1) - April 1965 (issue #7). Edited by Fred Wah of the English Department at the University of New Mexico. Ron Loewinshohn, John Keys, and Ken Irby were contributing editors. "Notes," on the inside front cover say, "Richard Brautigan is copyrighting his prose from San Francisco."

This issue included works by David Bromige, Robert Duncan, John Wieners, Frank Davey, Drummond Hadley, George Bowering, Carol Berge, David Cull, Jim St. Jim, Denise Levertov, Alan Kimball, Ken Irby, Steven Slavik, Sam Abrams, John Keys, Richard Brautigan, a review of Louis Zukefsky's Found Objects by Fred Wah, Ed Sanders, Paul Blackburn, Sylvester Pollet, Pat **?**, Gael Tunbull, and Fred Wah, in that order.

Reprinted
Poster A Poetry Folio: 1964. San Francisco: East Wind Printers, 1964.
A single story, printed in broadside. LEARN more >>>
"A Study in California Flowers"
Front Cover
First Published
Coyote's Journal 5/6 1966: 81.
116 pages
Published in Eugene, Oregon, and San Francisco, California. Edited by James Koller and Edward van Aelstyn.
Also included work by Gary Snyder, Robert Duncan, James Koller, Paul Blackburn, Joanne Kyger, Allen Ginsberg, Larry Eigner, Anselm Hollo, Richard Duerden, Tom Pickard, Philip Whalen, and Clark Coolidge.
Imprint varies. Number 1-4 published in Eugene, Oregon; number 5-8 in San Francisco, California by City Lights; Number 9- in Berkeley, CA by Book People; Number 11 in Brunswick, Maine by Coyote Books; Number 12 in Brattleboro, Vermont by Coyote Books.

Reprinted
Grosseteste Review 1(3) Winter (March) 1968.
Published in Lincoln, England. This 48-page issue also featured work by Joanne Kyger, David Chaloner, John Newlove, Curtis Zahn, Peter Riley, and Man Wright.
"The Betrayed Kingdom"
First Published
Evergreen Review 76 March 1970: 51.
Published in New York, New York, 1957-1973. Edited by Barnet Lee "Barney" Rosset, Jr. (1922-2012) and Donald Merriman Allen (1912-2004) (numbers 1-6 only) with the backing of Grove Press.
"Women When They Put Their Clothes On in the Morning"
Front Cover
First Published
Rolling Stone (41) 6 September 1969: 30.
Published by Straight Arrow Publishers, San Francisco, California.
"Halloween in Denver"
Front cover
First Published
"Little Memoirs: Three Tales by Richard Brautigan." Playboy December 1970: 164-165.
Featured three stories: "Corporal," "The Literary Life in California/1964," and "Halloween in Denver," which was written about an experience shared with Valerie Estes in her apartment at 1429 Kearny Street in San Francisco, California.

Reprinted
Front Cover International Times 119 16-30 December 1971: 16.
London underground magazine started by Barry Miles. Featured an illustration by "Yellow Pig." Cover shows Fat Freddy as Father Christmas. Contents include a pullout paranoia board game, a full-page photograph of Jim Morrison, and a review of a Yoko Ono film.
"Atlantisburg"
Front Cover
First Published
Rolling Stone (61) 25 June 1970: 11.
Published by Straight Arrow Publishers, San Francisco, California.
"The View from the Dog Tower"
Front Cover
First Published
Rolling Stone (31) 19 April 1969: 8.
Published by Straight Arrow Publishers, San Francisco, California.
Recorded
Album Front cover "Listening to Richard Brautigan" Harvest Records.

On one track from this album, titled "Short Stories about California," Brautigan reads "A Short Story about Contemporary Life in California," "The Memory of a Girl," "The View from the Dog Tower," and "Pale Marble Movie." Listen to this track below


or, listen only to "The View from the Dog Tower"

"Greyhound Tragedy"
Front Cover
First Published
Rolling Stone (63) 23 July 1970: 15.
Published by Straight Arrow Publishers, San Francisco, California.
"Crazy Old Women Are Riding the Buses of America Today"
Front Cover
First Published
Rolling Stone (24) 21 December 1968: 24.
Published by Straight Arrow Publishers, San Francisco, California.
Featured three stories: "Crazy Old Women Are Riding the Buses of America Today," "Fame in California," and "A Need for Gardens." The title of "Fame in Califorina" modified to "Fame in California/1964" for this collection.
"The Correct Time"
"Holiday in Germany"
Front Cover
First Published
Rolling Stone (28) 1 March 1969: 30.
Published by Straight Arrow Publishers, San Francisco, California.
"Sand Castles"
First Published
"Three Stories by Richard Brautigan." Mademoiselle (71) July 1970: 104-105.

Featured three stories: "1692 Cotton Mather Newsreel," "Sand Castles," and "Pacific Radio Fire."
"Forgiven"
Front Cover
First Published
Rolling Stone (29) 15 March 1969: 25.
Published by Straight Arrow Publishers, San Francisco, California.
"American Flag Decal"
"The World War I Lost Angeles Airplane"
First Published
New American Review. Number 12. Ed. Theodore Solotaroff. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1971. 123-126.

The inspiration for this story came in a telephone call to Virginia Alder, Brautigan's first wife, in the fall of 1960 regarding the death of her father, Grover Cleveland Alder, in Los Angeles, California. Virginia was not in the apartment and Brautigan took the call. When she returned, Brautigan told her of her father's death that afternoon. Nearly ten years later, in the last weeks of 1969, Brautigan wrote of that afternoon in 1960, and chronicled the life of his father in law in thirty-three short, numbered passages.
In addition to the specific reviews detailed below, commentary about this book may also be included in General Reviews of Brautigan's work and his place in American literature, or reviews of his Collections.

Anonymous. "Brautigan, Richard." The Booklist 1 January 1972: 380.
The full text of this review reads
Using a tone of sophisticated amusement, Brautigan combines elements of autobiography with fictional characters and situations in a montage of slight but diverting pieces set in the Pacific Northwest and California. Reprinted from Playboy, Ramparts, TriQuarterly, Esquire, and other periodicals the tales vary in length from one to several paragraphs to a few pages and narrate youthful hunting experiences, explore daily anxieties of living, and depict a wide variety of unique individuals; Brautigan's last work, a novel, was The Abortion: an Historical Romance 1966.
—. "Brautigan, Richard." Kirkus Reviews 1 August 1971: 824.
The full text of this review reads
This book is a sort of general sweeping up after the other books—the stories, such as they are, were written between 1962 and 1970—and might have been better titled, sequel-fashion, "Little Abortions" since none really seems to come full-term even by the loose standard Brautigan sets. There are some nice ideas, like the children of Tacoma, Washington, going to war in 1941, or the amours of his grandmother the bootlegger, or his childhood association of a slaughterhouse and "winning the war," but they function more as pretext than a reason for writing—for laying out little plots of mood with a stake here and there to hitch up a wag-tailed simile. Okay so long as the fey inspiration lasts, but this is Brautigan at his most puppy-mannered and inconsequential, the sun-dazed crickbank raconteur who'd perhaps do better to nap and begin afresh.
—. "Novels in Brief." The Observer [London] 16 July 1972: 30.
Reviews Truth Game by Douglas Hurd, Charlotte by Norah Lofts Hodder, The Coming Out Party by Glen Petrie, and Revenge of the Lawn by Brautigan.

The full text of this review reads
Short pieces, some no more than stray clippings and pairings. The shortest reads "'It's very hard to live in studio apartment in San Jose with a man who's learning to play the violin.' That's what she told the police when she handed them the empty revolver." The longest concerns a mad dream-peddler and some geese that quaf themselves insensible on mash from an illicit still and wake with terrible hangovers to find they have been taken for dead and plucked. As in Trout Fishing in America, the mood is a fey free-wheeling in which old history, lost landscapes and the ghosts of writers as disparate as [Edgar Allan] Poe and [William] Saroyan float in iridescent bubbles that burst with a melancholy pop. There's dross too, for Brautigan can be tricky as well as unique.
—. "Revenge of the Lawn." The New York Times 4 June 1972: BR12.
The following list has been selected from titles reviewed since the Christmas Issue of Dec. 5, 1971. Such a list can only suggest the high points in the main fields of reader interest. Books are arranged alphabetically under subject headings.
The full text of this review reads
Stories from 1962-1970 by the gentle poet of small souls in torment. "The Brautigan magic" is a everywhere apparent as his characters sink into a healing coolness in the face of outrages life inflicts upon them.
Reprinted
The New York Times Book Review 3 December 1972: 78.
—. "Revenge of the Lawn: Stories, 1962-1970." Publishers Weekly 9 August 1971: 48.
The full text of this review reads
A collection of short stories and brief sketches (some of them published before in various magazines) this book is like an album of snapshots. Richard Brautigan, author of The Abortion, has keen observing eyes and he records life like a camera. His stories are very short, vivid and honest. Most of them are biographic, including some reminiscences of his Pacific coast childhood. The title story is a very funny anecdote about his grandmother. In "Elmira" and "Forgiven" he recalls times when he used to go fishing as a child and in "1/3, 1/3, 1/3" he tells of the time when he was hired by an illiterate writer as a typist. But most of the stories are thoughts about and glimpses of everyday life. This is a delightful collection, simple, honest, and charming.
Blackburn, Sara. "American Folk Hero." Washington Post Book World 28 November 1971: 2.
Says this collection demonstrates why Bautigan has become an American folk hero.

The full text of this review reads
Here is a collection of short stories to delight Brautigan fans and demonstrate why his status has changed from writers' writer to American folk hero. Some of the subjects here are a childhood in the Pacific Northwest; hunting and fishing; the down-and-outness of the unheralded writer's life in San Francisco during the Fifties; relationships with women. But, as in all his work, these are only settings for his perceptions about how it feels to be alone in America, as child, lover, husband, writer, and person-in-residence in a vast world made more specific and less lonely by small madnesses and imagined affinities.

The stories, many of them only a paragraph or two long, are characterized by that Brautigan-blend of simplicity, humor, surrealism, nostalgia, and bittersweetness that endeared Saroyan to an earlier generation of Americans. The simplicity is sometimes cloying and the nostalgia sometimes veers into the sentimental, but these are small faults if you enjoy Brautigan, as I do, enormously; if you don't, they'll madden you and make him seem dead-pan precocious and wildly self-indulgent. If you're a woman, you will also be maddened by the exaggerated Beat Generation attitudes toward women. (Many of Brautigan's books come embellished with a photograph of a different and dazzlingly beautiful woman as the front of the jacket. How would Brautigan feel about a woman writer who reversed this custom—peculiar, no?) The last is a serious reservation, but this review is meant to be an endorsement. My own favorite in this collection is "Complicated Banking Problems," in which anyone who has ever felt the apolitical need to bomb his local bank as a perfectly individual response to insanity rendered will find immense consolation. The prose is of a spareness that can be mistaken for slightness or fragility, it's neither: Brautigan is hardly a "heavy" writer, but he's no lightweight. If you haven't read him yet, this collection is a good place to start.
Broyard, Anatole. "Weeds and Four-Leaf Clovers." The New York Times 15 November 1971: 39.
Says some of the "easy vignettes" do not work. But some "make some of us feel he's found a better answer to being alive here and now than we have."

READ the full text of this review.
Dietrich, Richard F. "Brautigan's 'Homage to the San Francisco YMCA': A Modern Fairy Tale." Notes On Contemporary Literature 13(4) September 1983: 2-4.
Notes that poetry is generally not considered "real" unless it is materially useful. Says Brautigan implies the whole country has "become so confused about what's real that it has not only lost the ability to distinguish reality from illusion, but it trades on their confusion."

READ the full text of this review.
Duberstein, Larry. "Revenge of the Lawn: Stories, 1962-1970." Saturday Review 4 December 1971: 43, 49-50.
Comments on the style and themes of Brautigan's various works. Says Brautigan, whether writing poetry, novels, or short stories, is essentially an anecdotist, pushing bizarre indicents and eccentric people to the brink of caricature. Says the stories in Revenge of the Lawn exhibit considerable range and variety.

READ the full text of this review.
Farrell, J.G. "Brautigan Briefs." The Listener [London] 88(2259) 13 July 1972: 57.
Reviews The Bone House by William Butler, Josh Lawton by Melvin Bragg, The Demon Flower by Jo Imog, A Cry of Absence by Madison Jones, and Revenge of the Lawn by Brautigan.

Says many of the pieces in this collection are "extremely delicate in what they manage to convey, and leave you with the impression of having read a poem rather than a page or two of prose."

The full text of the reference to Brautigan reads
One of the many good things that reading fiction can do for you is to provide an escape from the oppressively familiar limits of your own imagination. Richard Brautigan's prose is perfectly suited to this purpose. Revenge of the Lawn is a collection of stories which mixes fantasy (a man who replaces the plumbing in his house with poetry, for example) with autobiographical reminiscences. The reminiscences, whether imaginary or not, have a genuine ring to them and yet at the same time often defy reality with complete success. This combination works better than the unalloyed fantasy of one of Mr. Brautigan's earlier books, an exhausting fairy-tale called In Watermelon Sugar: in particular, it allows his sense of humour full scope. The best of these pieces record some trivial event, going to visit a girl or standing in line at the bank: what Mr. Brautigan can do with such material is a revelation.

Many of the pieces are extremely delicate in what they manage to convey, and leave you with the impression of having read a poem rather than a page or two of prose. One of them records a meeting with a hippy girl whom the narrator might have made a pass at if he had been able to decide he wanted to more quickly — that is all there is to it, and it is quite enough. Revenge of the Lawn seems to me to have more good things in it than the earlier Trout Fishing in America which it resembles, but perhaps one needs time to get accustomed to Mr, Brautigan's original and charming view of the world.
Galloway, David. "Richard Brautigan, 'The World War I Los Angeles Airplane.'" Die amerikanische Short Story der Gegenwart: Interpretationen. Ed. Peter Freese. Berlin: Schmidt, 1976. 333-339.
Argues that Brautigan is "essentially a miniaturist—seizing small and often isolated moments of experience which illuminate for him some central truth of humanity or inhumanity." If this is true, then Brautigan's real talent is as a short story writer. But it is questionable whether his stories should be called stories or something else, like "vignette, anecdote, tale, parable, impression, sketch." Says the concluding story in Revenge of the Lawn, "The World War I Los Angeles Airplane," takes the form of a reminiscence and provides a profoundly moving sentiment, "with scarcely a trace of sentimentality."

READ the full text of this review.
Hendin, Josephine. "Revenge of the Lawn." The New York Times Book Review 16 January 1972, Sec. 7: 7, 22.
Says that "from the brillant novels" A Confederate General from Big Sur, Trout Fishing in America, and In Watermelon Sugar to "this first collection," Revenge of the Lawn, Brautigan writes about characters who are trout fishermen "fishing for cool, freezing away every psychic ache, or looking for that cold, hard alloy Brautigan calls 'trout steel'." Says Revenge of the Lawn
is really one vision of people who have drowned their feelings and live underwater lives. . . . Some of these stories are serene accounts of misery, others are shallow nothings, still others show people in the throes of learning that living can be nothing but losing. But every one of them is an encounter with an imagination so radical, so powerful, it can fade the very experience of anguish into a sweet mirage. . . . Suffering makes Brautigan people gentle and cold; humiliation turns them harder than trout steel and meek as fish. . . . For Brautigan people fade away from competitive strife, from those psychic battles, those wars for power and position that churn out losers ever more cruelly. And withdrawal and protection are their only answers to America's bad report cards and worse vibrations. . . . Going underwater, underground, inside, Brautigan people live with no passionate attachment to anyone or any place and never permit themselves to feel a thing. . . . Brautigan's rebels always revolt by creating an insulated world of their own. . . . But they can alchemize themselves into trout people and live with steely passions and diluted hopes. Brautigan makes cutting out your heart the only way to endure. Revenge of the Lawn is not Brautigan's best book. But it has the Brautigan magic—the verbal wildness, the emptiness, the passive force of people who have gone beyond winning or losing to an absolute poetry of survival.

READ the full text of this review.

Reprinted
Contemporary Literary Criticism. Vol. 1. Ed. Carolyn Riley. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1973. 44-45.

A "Letter to the Editor" from Robert James Toye (The New York Times Book Review 27 February 1972, Sec. 7: 27) disputes Hendin's review.

There's just one way to approach Brautigan, and that's to float along with his prose. Don't waste your time trying to be involved—with what he does or doesn't do.
 
Front Cover
Hicks, Jack. "Sweet Wine in Place of Life: The Revenge of the Lawn." In the Singer's Temple: Prose Fictions of Barthelme, Gaines, Brautigan, Piercy, Kesey, and Kosinski. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1981. 12, 140, 151-161.
Chapter 4 discusses Brautigan as a "counterculture" writer drawing examples from Revenge of the Lawn. Says there are two Richard Brautigans. One is commercial property and a created cultural hero, directly connected to "the discovery of underground youth culture by private business and later by the American public." The other is "a unique writer of narrow but very distinctive talents." Says the second Brautigan emerges more clearly in Revenge of the Lawn.
The book contains sixty-two freshly conceived fictions, in which the main theme is how imagination, especially in children, can directly reconceive and recreate the world. Innocence runs like a stream through this book and is almost always deflected off some modern discomfort or horror. The horrors take many forms. . . . But whatever forms appear, a note of death and loss pervades. . . . Brautigan's . . . style, with its lucid, intentionally simplified landscapes dotted by occasional metaphors, [provides] a strategy for filtering insanity and chaos out of the world. . . . More than anything else, what unifies Richard Brautigan's work and gives it appeal is his sensibility. With Revenge of the Lawn, his sensibility suggests that life is brief and bittersweet, happiness is ephemeral, and fiction, therefore, should bear witness to this condition. Furthermore, fiction should go beyond incorporating this condition; it should strive to resist it and attempt to arrest entropy and the forces of attrition. Thus his fictions become brief capsules in which one, two, or three instants of perception, mental metaphorical leaps, can permit beauty to hold the forces of death temporarily at bay. . . . It is exactly this tone and sensibility that make Brautigan a unique writer and one of special attractions for younger readers. His particular contribution to the incipient counterculture is to offer instances of evasion, examples of how a harsh world can be held at a distance or transformed.
READ excerpts from this chapter pertaining to Brautigan.
Betts, Richard A. "In the Singer's Temple: Prose Fictions of Barthelme, Gaines, Brautigan, Piercy, Kesey, and Kosinski." College Literature 10(2) 1983: 228-229.
Hicks' chapter on the writers associated with the counterculure, however, is much less successful, in part because, as he admits, relevant examples are few and undistinguished. His case here is further undermined by his own reservations about the works of Richard Brautigan and the novel of Marge Piercy which he chooses to examine in detail.
READ the full text of this review.
Fogel, Stanley. "Recent Books on Modern Fiction." Modern Fiction Studies 28(2) Summer 1982: 306-309.
Jack Hicks contends there is no consistent or dominate style in contemporary American fiction; rather, there are separate communities in the country, each with its own mode of fiction.
Klinkowitz, Jerome. "In the Singer's Temple: Prose Fictions of Barthelme, Gaines, Brautigan, Piercy, Kesey, and Kosinski." Studies in American Fiction 10(1) 1982: 118-119.
One gets a good composite picture of contemporary American fiction from this broadly synthetic book. (119)
READ the full text of this review.
LaHood, Marvin J. "Criticism." World Literature Today 56(2) Spring 1982: 344.
Hick's insights into the works are sharp. . . . His brief tracing of each author's life in relation to the works suggests understandings otherwise unattainable. . . . This critical work clearly accomplishes what it sets out to do. . . . It should not be missed.
Morton, Brian. "Reviews." Journal of American Studies 16(3) December 1982: 489-492.
Says Brautigan emerges as a "moralist of post-modernism."
Samet, Thomas. "Book Reviews." American Literature 54(2) May 1982: 306-308.
[A] seriously flawed book. It has little to say that is new or fresh; its judgements are open to question; it lapses often into a banality and repetition. But its chief failure involves what can only be regarded as a form of surrender, a refusal to test it own assumptions and the implicit claims of the material it surveys—a refusal, that is to say, of the function of criticism at this or any other time.
Tiefenthaler, Sepp L. "Recent Kosinski Criticism." Arbeiten aus Anglistik und Amerikanstik 10 (1-2): 311-315 1985.
Reviews four recent critical studies focusing on Jerzy Kosinski, including In the Singer's Temple: Prose Fictions of Barthelme, Gaines, Brautigan, Piercy, Kesey, and Kosinski. Says, in his only mention of Brautigan,
Hicks attempts to discuss what he perceives as the dominant voices in contemporary American fiction, particularly in works by writers who have come to prominence since 1965. He argues that four distinct elements can be singled out: (1) metafiction, the story of postmodern consciousness, as exemplified by the fiction of Donald Barthelme; (2) the Afro-American fiction of social and historical imagination, as represented in Ernest Gaines's writing; (3) countercultural fiction that envisions alternatives to mainstream America, as demonstrated by Richard Brautigan, Marge Piercy and Ken Kesey; (4) "the contemporary meditations on public power and private terrors" in the novels of Jerzy Kosinski (17, 269). While this general splitting up of recent American fiction and the choice of authors are rather debatable and certainly unbalanced, Hicks's chapter on Kosinski—with almost one-hundred pages by far the longest of his book—is in some ways the most comprehensive, incisive, and stimulating study of Kosinski's work among the four books reviewed here. (314)
Horvath, Brooke Kenton. "Wrapped in a Winter Rug: Richard Brautigan Looks at Common Responses to Death." Notes On Modern American Literature 8(3) Winter 1984: Item 14.
Says "Winter Rug," a story included in Revenge of the Lawn reveals a preoccupation with death central to Brautigan's fiction.

READ the full text of this review.
Iftekharuddin, Farhat. "The New Aesthetics in Brautigan's Revenge of the Lawn: Stories 1962-1970." Creative and Critical Approaches to the Short Story. Lewiston, KY: Edwin Mellon Press, 1997: 417-430.
Says Brautigan, as a postmodern writer, is noted is noted for the vitality and range of his works and uses several stories from Revenge of the Lawn to support this claim. Concludes by saying
Brautigan's genius lies in his ability to portray age old themes of human alienation, social envy, broken dreams, and loneliness in completely new presentations. . . . Almost each story in Revenge of the Lawn works toward awakening us to a recognition of ourselves, but they do not jolt us into that awakening like a huge pill does as it asserts its presence in its slow descent through the esophagus; on the contrary, these stories are coated with the gentle voice of the author and tempered with a human sensibility that, while drawing our attention to the painful world around us, does not drown us in sentimentality. Brautigan accomplishes his task by means of brilliant uncommon images, subtle wit, and magically apt metaphors . . .. [Brautigan's] works cover a variety of styles including parody, self-conscious fictionality, grotesquerie, and fantasy. Uniqueness of images often created with the greatest economy of language is a mark of Brautigan's linguistic fortitude. Brautigan offers the notion that depth of observation, the creation of magical images out of trivial, mundane, everyday objects combined with the frugality of language and presented with stylistic ease within an open-ended free flowing structure are the ingredients of a new aesthetics.
READ the full text of this review.
Langlois, Jim. "Brautigan, Richard." Library Journal 15 October 1971: 3344.
The full text of this review reads
In this collection of 62 short stories written over the last eight years, Brautigan muses over memories of his childhood, weaves strange metaphors through fragments of reality, and searches with often amusing accuracy for the essence of a moment. The memories are of a bootlegging grandmother, drunken geese, games of war, and children huddled in the rain. There are many others. And beneath their surface artlessness is an awareness of the poetry of memory in which hard-edged images are awash with the vibrations of dreams. In other pieces Brautigan drops images and metaphors onto situations and watches them transform the objective into the personal, the ordinary into fantasy. However, it is in the simple capturing of a moment that Brautigan does some of his best and his worst work. Though these brief scenes occasionally sink into sweetness, many have the refreshing clarity and rigorous simplicity that emerge from a poet's just watching something happen. These stories suggest new dimensions in the forms of short fiction and substantiate both Brautigan's widespread popularity and his growing critical reputation.
Lottman, Eileen. "Revenge of the Lawn: Short Stories, 1962-1970." Publishers Weekly 27 September 1971: 68.
The full text of this review reads
These are brief sketches from the notebooks of one of the most exciting writing talents now producing. Some of the stories are as short as three lines; some are carefully detailed and polished works of art. One of these days Brautigan will emerge as a big seller; while this book isn't it, the growing readership will dig it.
Front cover
Malley, Terence. Richard Brautigan. New York: Warner, 1972.
The first critical survey of Brautigan's work through 1971. Chapter 2, "All the Small Victories," deals with Revenge of the Lawn. One of several reference books focusing on Brautigan.
Mclennan, Rob "If you borrow this book you have to return it." We Who About To Die 6 December 2011.
A blog entry by McLennan regarding his connections with Brautigan's Revenge of the Lawn.

Online Resources
Mclennan's blog entry at the We Who Are About To Die website
Minudri, Regina U. "Brautigan, Richard." Library Journal 15 May 1972: 1886.
The full text of this review reads
Striking, breathtaking, and funny images in short stories by a master novelist, whose relaxed and natural attitude toward life finds a responsive YA [young adult] readership.
Norman, Gurney and Ed McClanahan. "Revenge of the Lawn." Rolling Stone 9 December 1971: 66, 68.
A review written as a dialogue between the two authors.

McClanahan was one of the original members of Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters. Norman's "Divine Right's Trip" was originally serialized in the margins of Whole Earth Catalog.

READ the full text of this review.

Reprinted
Contemporary Literary Criticism (Vol. 12. Ed. Dedria Bryfonski. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1980. 57-74).

Front cover McClanahan, Ed. My Vita, If You Will: The Uncollected Ed McClanahan. New York: Counterpoint, 1998.
Reprints McClanahan's review, with Gurney Norman, (see below) of Brautigan's Revenge of the Lawn and provides a new "Endnote" in which McClanahan recounts an afternoon and evening spent drinking and eating with Gurney Norman, Ken Kesey, Richard Brautigan, and Sherry Vetter, the San Francisco school teacher whose photograph appeared on the front cover of Revenge of the Lawn.


READ the full text of McClanahan's "Endnote."

Reviews
Anonymous. "My Vita, If You Will." Publishers Weekly 245(37) 14 September 1998: 47.
His memoirs of his days as a protege and colleague of Ken Kesey, Richard Brautigan, Wallace Stegner, Bernard Malamud and others are devoid of braggadocio and full of bemused affection.
Hopper, Brad. Booklist 95(4) 15 October 1998: 388.
Concludes saying "And try McClanahan's review of Richard Brautigan's Revenge of the Lawn for an example of keen critical discernment."
Pétillion, Pierre Yves. "Des Fjords Pluvieux du Nord-Ouest." Critique: Revue Géneralé des Publications Français et Etrangères. 31(338) 1975: 688-695.
Review of Revenge of the Lawn and The Hawkline Monster from a French perspective.
Sheppard, R. Z. "Easy Writer." Time 1 November 1971: 114-115.
Defines escape literature as "an entrance to some place else" and says Brautigan is "one of the most original, whimsical escape artists in contemporary American literature." Cites the metamorphosis of Trout Fishing in America into a used stream for sale by the foot in a junkyard as an example of how all Brautigan's images, longings, and humor float free (escape) from their moorings, each kept aloft by "the only thing in Brautigan that really counts—his special voice. Says that voice is evident in Revenge of the Lawn.
Loneliness, aloneness and loss are his particular loves. There are occasional notes of tinny sentimentality and studied coyness. But there are also funny fantasies casually conjured out of sad realities. . . . Brautigan, a self-confessed minor poet, exploits his limitations to the fullest. Another original, poet Gary Snyder, has said that Brautigan's work consists of "flowers for the void." Lawn offers plenty of rosemary for remembrance and, if Brautigan harbors any bitterness for a world that now sells used trout streams by the foot, he certainly wears his rue with a difference.
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Shrapnel, Norman. "Peasant Power." Guardian Weekly 22 July 1972: 19.
Reviews Josh Lawton by Melvyn Bragg, The Life of A Useless Man by Maxim Gorki, The Dragon by Yevgeny Zamyatin, and Revenge of the Lawn by Brautigan.

The full text of the reference to Brautigan reads
The stories in Revenge of the Lawn are extremely short—one of them is only fifty words long—yet concrete and at the same time mysterious, like prose poems or modern folk tales. They are curious fragments which will not, I should think, do more for Richard Brautigan's considerable reputation than if an opera star were to tape the bits and pieces she interestingly hums in her bath. Not quite surrealism, though far from plain fun, with a bit of pioneer larkishness and a preoccupation with cinema, dreams, and children.
Strothman, Janet. "Brautigan, Richard." Library Journal 15 December 1971: 4207.
The full text of this review reads
Ranging from four or five pages to several paragraphs or even a few sentences, these short short stories about love, life and people are as charming, fresh, and fascinating as Brautigan's novels. Brautigan has a marvelous feeling for and command of language: his images are striking, breath-taking, funny. And YA's [young adults]—if not their parents—are sure to respond to his relaxed, natural attitude toward life and sex
Uellenberg, Klaus. "Tradition und Postmoderne in Richard Brautigan's Revenge of the Lawn—Stories." Literatur in Wissenscraft und Unterricht. [Kiel, West Germany] 17(1) 1984: 37-52.
Review from a German perspective.
Webb, W. L. "From the Spring Lists." Guardian Weekly January 1972: 19.
Mentions many books coming from Jonathan Cape, including Revenge of the Lawn by Brautigan. The full text of the reference to Brautigan reads
. . . and from Cape there are stories by . . . Richard Brautigan (Revenge of the Lawn—sixty-two of them in 176 pages, a sampler which should allow doubters to make up their minds quickly one way or the other).
Werner, Ryan. "Book Review—Revenge of the Lawn." suite101.com 11 May 2009.
Calls the collection "a diary of sorts."
"These stories seem to work very hard at sounding like they don't work hard at all. These sixty-two stories don't necessarily come off like crafted masterworks as much as a series of fictional journal entries taking us through the eight years it took to write them. . . . Even fans of traditionally plotted stories will have to admit that the end result is feeling and connection, and that's the point of Brautigan's work in Revenge of the Lawn.
Online Resource
Werner's review at the suite101.com website
Whittemore, Reed. "Revenge of the Lawn: Stories, 1962-1970." New Republic 22 January 1972: 29.
Calls the book "the height of fashion right now."

The full text of this review reads
What did one out of three love-smote chicks gift her stud with, this past season? Revenge of the Lawn. It's the height of fashion right now, putting Brautigan right up there with Kahlil Gibran and Rod McKuen. But Brautigan's made of sterner stuff, down under. His basic mode is whimsy, about anything form childhood dreams to crippled old winos, but his laying-on is done with notable skill and control. Since he is better over short stretches than across such Niagaras as In Watermelon Sugar and The Abortion, this book, a collection of some 62 short stretches, displays him in top form. The titles alone will set an aficionado's pulse pounding: "Ernest Hemingway's Typist," "Thoreau Rubber Band," "The Post Offices of Eastern Oregon," "Women When They Put Their Clothes On in the Morning," and "Crazy Old Women Are Riding the Buses of America Today."