Mile Marker Zero: The Moveable Feast of Key West
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Plus, some somewhat odd and data funny parts, like the little crew down there getting members only jackets with fake name to wear as the walked around getting drunk and partying. There is a just an interesting mix of writers, musicians, and artist, you have to wonder why it never really got the popularity of some of the other historical places for such people. Maybe because it was at the bottom of the country, inhabited by nomadic Southerners so forgotten than the US Army once accidentally invaded the island; but probably mostly the commercialization tha followed.
Dec 11, Fred Forbes rated it really liked it. I arrived in Florida in the early 80's from California and decided to head down to Key West with my wife just to check out that portion of our new state. We loved it - party town! From the sunset watch at Mallory Square to the drunken revelry at the local jazz spots it was great.
MORE BY WILLIAM MCKEEN
Food was great with lots of options and party times on Duval street were crazy. Yes, body paint was all some were wearing. Not unusual to stumble back in the early a. Of course, one of the best stories was the rise of Jimmy Buffet and all the happenings around him. Ever wondered about his T shirt that said "Where is Bum Farto? They have all moved on. Some to Alabama, some to Montana, Central Florida, etc. Now of course, the place has been cleaned up, the tourists pile in, the prices are up dramatically and major "yuppie conversion" has occurred upon places that once had great character.
Still, if you want a sense of what it was like and frankly, some of that spirit lives on, this book is a great tour guide. Dec 16, Christina rated it it was ok.
Mile Marker Zero
I live in south florida and work in the keys. I enjoy Key West and make it a point to get down there once or twice a year, which is more than enough for me, since i am not a heavy drinker and that is what is promoted there these days. I have always been fascinated about its history and its attraction for literary types and artists. I have to be honest, I didn't know a lot of the people the author wrote about, which made those parts of the books boring and uninteresting to me Much of the book was also very repetative.
But the parts of the book that I liked I really enjoyed Tom Corcoran's storyline and i loved when the book referenced the keys culture.. It was also fascinating to see how key west has changed over the years. I have only every known the tourist side of key west.. May 18, JP rated it liked it.
I read finished this on the ferry bound for Key West, which made for a perfect intro to the Isle of Bones. So many writers and artists have followed Hemingway's wake to arrive on Duval Street: Most of them also followed his wake to exit the island, often with similarly tragic ends. What I most enjoyed about this book was how it introduced me to new writers about whom I hadn't yet heard enough to b I read finished this on the ferry bound for Key West, which made for a perfect intro to the Isle of Bones. What I most enjoyed about this book was how it introduced me to new writers about whom I hadn't yet heard enough to be intrigued.
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The island is a relaxed oasis of live-and-let-live. The lucky make that work for them, while the rest eventually let their own ambition counterbalance it. Most ultimately escape it, sometimes leaving behind the peak of their lives; others to finally find that place. This book is always engaging, sometimes dirty, and apparently honest. A truly great read about Key West, from its history as the island of bones, through Hemingway, through the 70s and Jimmy Buffett, up to almost now.
Jun 24, Katherine Freniere rated it did not like it. Are you kidding me?? One day I may pick this book up again and give it another shot but I stopped reading it because it was just pissing me off. How is this guy a journalism professor? Thompson, Tom Wolfe, writers, stories of drinking, drugs and excess but I couldn't get past so much that was horrible about this book. The author talks about things without explaining. A lot of tim Are you kidding me?? A lot of times you can figure out what he's talking about but the way he writes is unnecessary and confusing.
He also seems to be trying too hard with his language. I was in the middle of a flight and had to throw this book down because I was just becoming so angry at the writing. Don't bother with this one Feb 09, judy added it Shelves: There are people who will adore this book. That is a NO both counts.
MILE MARKER ZERO by William McKeen | Kirkus Reviews
If McGuane is a name you don't recognize and haven't read you should probably know that he's "this generation's Hemingway". As a rule I'm considered very literate but I didn't know who Tom was or most his writing buddies. Turns out they hung out in Key West in the 70s. Would love to read this guy's bio of Hunter S.
Thompson whose time in Key West probably gave birth to this book. I'm going to guess that McGuane is a writer's writer which is why I don't know him even though I was in several book groups at the time. Didn't finish the book but major points for a great title.
Jan 18, Paultc rated it really liked it. I liked this a good deal, but I suspect one's reaction to the book will have a lot to do with how interested you are in a group of writers and artists who frequented Key West in the s. This is not really a literary history of the island at all. It is a snapshot of a place in time. If you could care less about these folks, tha I liked this a good deal, but I suspect one's reaction to the book will have a lot to do with how interested you are in a group of writers and artists who frequented Key West in the s.
If you could care less about these folks, than the book is not for you. To give you an idea of how limited the focus is, consider that Thomas Sanchez spent time in Key West a decade later and produced the wonderful "Mile Zero.
Nov 27, John Cunningham rated it really liked it. This is a great opportunity for insights into literary and musical Key West in the 's. I moved there right as the period that McKeen documents was ending, and he's right, things got a lot uglier in town then, thanks to the violence that escalated when pot smuggling was overshadowed by cocaine smuggling. But it was still a blast and really established my creative roots on the island with a long pedigree of literary history.
Fun to see more about writers like McGuane, Harrison, Buffett, Thompso This is a great opportunity for insights into literary and musical Key West in the 's. Fun to see more about writers like McGuane, Harrison, Buffett, Thompson and Corcoran from that period, but I'm also hoping McKeen continues to tell the tales that followed, with the next generation of writers there. Oct 31, Gramy rated it did not like it Shelves: I have lived in Florida most of my life.
I only visited Key West for a weekend and did not observe the behavior portrayed in this book. I would never had stepped foot near it if I had read this book prior to the trip. The drunken and stoned people that are referred to may have created their own illusions. I really didn't appreciate the expletives in the book. It's a real turn-off.
No matter what inspired the trip, Key West in the seventies was the right place at the right time, where and when an astonishing collection of artists wove a web of creative inspiration. Mile Marker Zero tells the story of how these writers and artists found their identities in Key West and maintained their friendships over the decades, despite oceans of booze and boatloads of pot, through serial marriages and sexual escapades, in that dangerous paradise.
He is the author or editor of nine books, including the acclaimed Hunter S. Thompson biography Outlaw Journalist. The Stars in Our Eyes. The Secret History of Magic. Jim Steinmeyer and Peter Lamont. Can You Tolerate This? I Will Be Complete. Conan Doyle for the Defense.
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