Plagued by Fire: The Dreams and Furies of Frank Lloyd Wright

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Plagued by Fire was a tough read for me. Hendrickson is the author of acclaimed Hemingway’s Boat and I am a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright’s work, so I was interested in this book. I’ve read articles on FLW’s personal life and knew him to have lived an unconventional life for his time and to have a big ego to match his artistic brilliance. I was curious to dig in and learn more. This book was not the fit for me though. It reads more like research notes…. extensive research notes… hundreds of pages of research notes. The author spends an enormous amount of time and words telling the reader all about the inaccuracies of other published works on FLW. It lost my interest and I found myself wishing that he would get onto the things that he found to be true about FLW and telling them in a reasonably succinct and interesting way. For example, he mentions many times in the book that Julian Carlton’s (the servant who burned down FLW’s home and murdered his family and students) name is misspelled in other publishings. I would gladly trade that level of minutiae for something more readable. That being said, the author is a very well educated man and has won awards for several other books. If you are looking to dive really deep into the details of what’s been written about FLW and contrasting it with what this author has found to be true, you may enjoy this book. To me, this one reads more like a compilation of research notes that haven’t yet been woven into a story for others to enjoy.

Reviewed By:

Author Paul Hendrickson
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 624 pages
Publisher Knopf
Publish Date 2019-10-01
ISBN 9780385353656 Buy this Book
Issue January 2020
Category Biographies & Memoirs


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