Arthur Rimbaud burst onto the literary scene in 1871 with a startling new voice, transforming himself from an anonymous country boy into the sensation of Paris. His explosive life included a passionate affair with the older (and married) poet Paul Verlaine, and a prosperous career as a trader and arms dealer in Ethiopia. A cancerous leg forced him to return to France, where he died at the age of thirty-seven.
Bruce Duffy takes these astonishing facts and brings them to vivid life in a story rich with humor, exquisite writing, and alarming parallels to our own contemporary moment. Disaster Was My God vividly conveys, as few works ever have, the inner turmoil of this calculating genius, and helps us understand why Rimbaud’s work and life continue to influence protean rock legends, from Bob Dylan to Patti Smith.