Blood Transparencies: An Autobiography in Verse

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Verse is a style of writing that some can argue is one of the most difficult to perfect. This is why it is interesting when an author chooses to tackle the genre of autobiography using poetry. This is just what Randy White did in his poetic autobiography /Blood Transparencies. His book opens with a prologue introducing White to his audience, and what follows is a series of poems that chronicle, describe, and share intimate moments of his life from childhood to adulthood. Some verses are easier to read than others. Overall, an intriguing way of writing an autobiography.

Choosing to use verse to write his autobiography Blood Transparencies, as opposed to prose, was both interesting and risky. When writing an autobiography in verse, it can be difficult to read and truly grasp the concepts and life of this person. This was the case for me. The introduction by Joshua McKinney is long and drifted in and out of having a clear focus, making for an unusual opening. I enjoyed reading individual verses by White, such as “Wearing the Bear,” “Dante’s Children,” and “I Dream of Jeanie,” being that they formed a visual picture from the author’s past to the mind’s eye. However, the collection as a whole is difficult to keep a clear focus on when you must continually reread verses, not just for enjoyment but to understand the overall flow, nor simply stop and start due to time. Very seldom does a person have time to sit down and read an entire book, and this book is one that really needs to be read in one sitting so that readers can appreciate the story of his life. I found the times I was able to read for longer periods, I enjoyed the book more. Despite having difficulty following this book as a true autobiography, it is obvious that White is a gifted writer, and should I come across more of his work, I would consider taking a peek. However, while, overall, an interesting format, I’m giving this book 3.5 stars due to the difficulty with flow and because it is best read in one sitting, which is atypical for readers.

Reviewed By:

Author Randy White
Star Count /5
Format Trade
Page Count 128 pages
Publisher Blue Oak Press
Publish Date 2016-07-01
ISBN 9780997504002 Buy this Book
Issue September 2016
Category Biographies & Memoirs


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