Crooning: A Collection

John Gregory Dunne, Author Simon & Schuster $19.45 (287p) ISBN 978-0-671-67236-2
In his first collection of nonfiction since Quintana and Friends , Dunne returns to four themes familiar from his fiction: the casual violence to be found in Los Angeles; the arrogance of the rich, famous and/or powerful; the vulgarity of Hollywood; and his firm belief that ``writing is manual labor of the mind: a job, like laying pipe.'' Dunne is a tough-minded journalist in the first three areas--he coolly details the ``festival of death'' in an L.A. morgue, savages the Kennedy ``cult of personality'' and the deceit of Washington ``war wimps,'' and punctures the inflated self-importance of scriptwriters, dealmakers and film studios. But Dunne's essays on the art of writing--which requires ``a ninja's stance toward the world''--often display the ``macho posturing'' he criticizes in other professions: he is convinced that ``writing is an aggressive act'' and that ``a failure of nerve is the best definition I know for writer's block.'' Though a fine writer, Dunne perhaps has taken his two-fisted persona as far as it can go. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 287 pages - 978-0-671-74031-3
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