Wednesday 29 June 2011

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Review: Broetry by Brian McGackin

broetry by brian mcgackinBroetry by Brian McGackin - Why don't more guys read poetry? Because it doesn't speak to them. As contemporary poets tackle subjects like incest, menstruation, and pine cones, regular guys are left scratching their heads. Who can speak for Everyman? Who will give voice to his passions, his fears, his dreams? Who can articulate his love for Xbox 360, for Mama Celeste's Frozen Pizzas, for virtually any movie starring Bruce Willis?

Enter "Broetry" - a stunning debut from a dazzling new literary voice. Broet Laureate Brian McGackin gives voice to the trials and tribulations of today's man. He goes where no poet has gone before - to Star Wars conventions, to frat parties, to video game tournaments and more. His poems include: "Reflections on Taylor Swift"; "Ode to That Girl I Dated for, Like, Two Month Sophomore Year"; "My Friends Who Don't Have Student Loans"; "Song of Mama Celeste"; "Haikougar"; and, many more. As the poems progress, we follow our Bro from high school graduation and college through a quarter life crisis and beyond. Packaged in a small gifty hardcover and illustrated with tasteful black and white illustrations, "Broetry" is a funny and sly study of modern masculinity.
From Amazon UK

I don't normally review poetry on this blog, and I try to keep it strictly YA, but when I heard about this book, I knew I had to review it. Poetry for the modern guy? It sounded hilarious! And as it starts through the teen years, I figured I could review it here. So I read it. And I loved it!

There are certain types of poetry that I really enjoy, but I'm the type of person who normally needs a translation to understand what is going on, which is half the reason Broetry appeals to me - poetry I can actually understand! The other reason, it's for the modern day guy, and sometimes I swear I shoul have been born a boy, because guy humour is my humour! So not only could I understand the poetry, it really made me laugh too!

I'm not a poetry buff - as I've said, I have trouble understanding poetry - so I can't really comment on how well most of these poems are written. They could be really good, they could be really bad. This actually doesn't matter to me; I really enjoyed what I was reading, so does it really matter if it was brilliantly written? To some, maybe, but this isn't something I can really comment on. Sorry.

However, there are two poems I absolutely need to mention. The first is Haikougar, which is what it says; a series of haiku poems - poems that are three lines long, where the first line is a total of five syllable, the second line a total of seven, and the third a total of five again - about cougars. As a teenager, I dabbled in writing some really awful poetry, and the one thing I hated - yet thought was a brilliant in other poems - was structure. I couldn't do it. I've never been able to. Writing about something with rules on how it has to be written just never worked for me. Haiku poetry is one I find awesome, and Haikougar is just so funny! Getting poem to work, make sense, and also be really funny within those rules is just awesome!

The other poem is Not Another Teen Movie. It tells the story of a teen relationship - using just movie titles. It is complete genius! I absolutely loved it! It's just so clever! So good, that I have to share the beginngin with you.


Les Misérables.
The Opposite of Sex.

Thirteen. Chain Reaction.
One Fine Day. The Arrival. Savior.
The Girl Next Door. She's All That.
Lovely & Amazing. The Object of My Affection.
Mission: Impossible. Fools Rush In. Whatever It Takes.

Brilliant, huh? To find out if he actually gets anywhere with the girl, you'll just have to read the book!

There were some problems though. It's written by an American author, so there are some things in referred to that, as a Brit, I just didn't get. I'll Take "Crazy Bitches" for $200, Alex. That poem went right over my head. There are other things mentioned that I think are guy things I just didn't get. So sometimes I was a little lost, but most of the time, I was smiling and laughing.

Broetry is a really awesome book! I absolutely loved it, and I look forward to reading what McGacking releases next. The only thing I would say is I'd probably recommend it for older teens and adults. Some topics may not appeal to the younger teen.

Thanks to Quirk Books for sending me a review copy.

Published: 5th July 2011
Publisher: Quirk Books
Buy from Amazon UK
Buy from Amazon US
Brian McGackin's Website


  1. I can't wait to read this one! As soon as I read the play on William Carlos Williams' This Is Just to Say, I knew I had to read it. Thanks for the review--now I'm even more excited for it. :)

  2. Haha! The titles of the poems alone made me want to read this. Thanks for the rec! Can't wait to read the whole book!


  3. I'm not normally a poetry person - especially trying to write it, I just get confused. Like you, I don't like rules.

    I do like Not Another Teen Movie. Obviously Brian McGackin has a sense of humour, which is a good start to making poetry easier for me to get into!

  4. Sorry for the late responce! I hope you all enjoy it! :)