Make-Believe Town: Essays and Remembrances

David Mamet, Author Little Brown and Company $22.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-316-54340-8
The 24 brief essays, several published previously, in this collection share no overarching theme, but the playwright's fans can find evidence of his interests and obsessions. His purist love for drama is evinced in an homage to director Greg Mosher, a memoir of his youth immersed in off Broadway and his scorn for the decline of screenwriting into the predictable. Mamet displays his strong Jewish identity when lamenting the ""psychic assimilation"" that Jewish audiences and actors undergo and urging self-defense, rather than reason, in response to contemporary anti-Semitism. Playing poker has taught this old gambler lessons (""Trust everyone, but cut the cards""), but so has New Hampshire deer hunting. His take on the sexes veers between a wry memoir of writing captions for pornography and a gnomic meditation on sex and partnership. Most of these pieces evaporate rather quickly and a few sound self-important, but Mamet's writing remains spare and lucid. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
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