The Fun Stuff and Other Essays

The Fun Stuff and Other Essays

Book - 2012
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Contains twenty-three essays that look at the modern novel and analyze some of the most important authors writing today, including Cormac McCarthy, Lydia Davis, and Aleksandar Hemon.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780374159566
Branch Call Number: 824.92 WOO 2012
Characteristics: viii, 339 p. ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Fun stuff & other essays


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Jan 07, 2014

New Yorker book critic James Wood, who also wrote "How Fiction Works," is unapologetically highbrow, which isn't to say that he's showy or arrogant. Even as a former lit major, I sometimes had trouble following him in this collection of essays, which covers contemporary writers like Ian McEwan and Cormac McCarthy, as well as classic authors like Tolstoy, Hardy and Orwell. The only negative essay here is about Paul Auster, whom he lambastes for being shallow and a "fake realist." There are a number of pieces that seem included just to show that he's read obscure authors you'll never read. Laszlo Krasznahorkhai anyone? Or how about "Ismail Kadare was born in Gjirokaster"? He could've totally made up that author and I wouldn't know. I did find it a little frustrating that his taste is so uniformly "literary," with no interest in genre or anything remotely pop. The title essay is about Keith Moon's drumming and may be included to show that he has more common interests, but he approaches the subject in a technical and dry manner at odds with Moon's unhinged drumming and madman persona.

ser_library Jun 29, 2013

insightful essays on books and writers, best appreciated if you have read the original authors. I read and learned from essays on Tolstoy, Edmund Wilson, Lydia Davis, the Bible... and now have much more reading to do. It does not include essays on James Joyce or others that i should have read. Jane Austen and Henry James are mentioned often.


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