There seems to be nothing Anthony Burgess can't write. Over the past decades, he has created a large body of critically acclaimed fiction (A Clockwork Orange, Earthly Powers, etc.), criticism (The Novel Now, Joysprick and book-length nonfiction (Language Made Plain, etc.) that have made him one of the most respected writers in the English language. At the same time, as this 600-page collection attests, he has been producing reams of high-quality journalism covering travel, food, music, people, film, astrology, language and, above all, literature. This collection of his short pieces from the last seven years, mostly book reviews, displays an impressive diversity and acuity. Burgess is a master reviewer: pithy, polymathic without pedantry, quick to find a virtue or fault, often witty and always, at bottom, generous. Many of the pieces (""Grunts from a Sexist Pig,'' ``Yidglish,'' ``What Shakespeare Smelt,'' etc.) are well-known favorites. Less familiar are his interesting considerations of such half-forgotten figures as George Borrow, G. K. Chesterton and Ford Madox Ford. His evaluation of the Frenchtoo much Descartes in their bloodstream, not enough Rabelaisprovokes and amuses. Also included are perceptive essays on American contemporaries such as Noam Chomsky, Gore Vidal and Norman Mailer. This wide-ranging collection is incredibly rich. 25,000 first printing; 25,000 ad/promo. (March 31)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986 Release date: 01/01/1986 Genre:
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