Book Acquired Recently: B.S. Johnson’s The Unfortunates

Johnson, B.S. The Unfortunates. 1969. New York: New Directions, 2007.

This is one of my favorite books. I already have a copy, but just received a desk copy from the publisher (New Directions is great!) because I’ll be using it in one of my classes this fall. It is more of an art object than a book: it comes unbound in twenty-seven separate sections in a box that also has writing (more of the “book”) on it. Aside from the first and last sections, each chapter is unnumbered, thus one may read it in whatever order one wishes. The structure of the book fits with its theme, the randomness of memory, which is not chronological, but is set off via random reminders instead. It is like a print version of a hypertext story. Well worth reading.


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