From Library Journal
William Gaddis's Recognitions (1955), now generally recognized as a landmark of modern fiction, was initially panned by reviewers, who criticized its length, complexity, and innovative style. Fire the Bastards! originally appeared during 1962 in three issues of newspaper , Green's underground magazine, to refute these negative reviews and to launch an assault on book reviewers and the publishing establishment. Green scrutinizes these reviews and delivers a tirade (printed without capitalization or punctuation) on mediocre standards, plagiarism, the use of shopworn cliches, and the superficial reading and analysis employed by allegedly overpaid reviewers who wouldn't recognize genius if they fell over it. An introduction by Steven Moore provides fascinating background information on Green, Gaddis, and the "disturbing questions about the book-review media that are as pertinent today as they were thirty years ago." Recommended for college/research collections and thick-skinned reviewers.- Jacqueline Adams, Carroll Cty. P.L., Westminster, Md.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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"Green not only names reviewers and publications; the prose is meticulously cross-referenced, peppered thoroughly with direct quotations, dates, and bibliographical data. Vicious and hilarious, these issues of newspaper initiate a culture war worthy of Swift." -- The Stranger Jan 17-23 95
"That writers whose work is even a little outside the norms of the mummified familiar are almost invariably ill-served by reviewers afflicted with profound reading disabilities is a truism familiar even to cats and dogs. What a pleasure it is, then, to have Fire the Bastards! . . . A witty, devastating, and justly contemptuous assault launched against the zombie reviewers who triedout of, variously, malice, stupidity, ignorance, sloth, and a vast incompetenceto destroy The Recognitions, this relentlessly detailed reply razes all things idiotic." (Gilbert Sorrentino -- Gilbert Sorrentino
"This dissection of a body of contemporary criticism remains a challenge to critics and readers in its exposure of critical shorthand which serves deadline and cant rather than the work in question." -- Book/Mark 8-94
"[Green] gives to his project a pure, focused energy. It's beautiful to witness. Hey, Jack Green, you were alive, man!" -- Curtis White, Exquisite Corpse 11-92
"[The reviewers] deserve to be scathed, just as Green's little book deserves to be reprinted, both for its insights into The Recognitions and for the disturbing light it sheds on today's reviewing establishment, with which the novel would have probably fared worse than it did in 1955." -- St. Louis Post-Dispatch 4-11-93
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