Books: The Poet Who Never Grew Wise the Collected Letters of Dylan Thomas

Edited by Paul Ferris; Macmillan; 982 pages; $45

Dylan Thomas lived 13 days past his 39th birthday and has been dead now for nearly 33 years. Yet the story of his spectacular rise and fall, recounted in several biographies, numerous memoirs and even a Broadway play that starred Alec Guinness, retains an eerie, timeless allure. Dylan's saga combines Orphic myth with cautionary tale. Depending on who does the reading, the hero was either an inspired, fragile bard who fell upon the thorns of life or an overpraised, cadging drunk who finally got what he had been asking for and deserved. Thomas' Collected Letters will fuel such disagreements but hardly...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!