Cocktails with a Dead Man, by Joe Albanese: #BookReview.

106 pages


This is a mix of the intensely personal, regarding love and its outcomes; the general as it relates to writers a group; and life in many of its guises.

Poetry, and the reader’s response to it, is always personal. So, my review here can reflect only my experience of reading the collection and my ability, or otherwise, to engage with the different poems in it.

I confess that some of the work either flew over my head or by-passed me due to cultural references that exposed some of my ignorance. However, the bulk of the verses met me halfway and found connections and echoes I recognised.

There is deep emotion here. Irony. Some dark humour. And a deal of grief.

Readers will nod in agreement in many places; in others, they may frown with puzzlement, need to re-read a few times to understand, or simply admit that that particular poem is not for them. That’s an inevitable outcome of putting together poems for a general readership, of course.

This is a brave book and one that wedges humour in between the serious and distressing, keeping the reader moving through in empathy.

I received a complementary copy for review.

[Any review is a personal opinion. No reviewer can represent the view of anyone else. The best we can manage is an honest reaction to any given book.]