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Showing 1-3 of 3 reviews(2 star).show all reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2012
I have heard people rave about Dyer's writing for years. He is beloved by many, many people I know who write and read passionately. Since DHL is one of my favorite writers I decided to start reading Dyer's work with this book and took it on vacation. I kept reading, page after page, waiting for it to start. Dyer's persona is unpleasant - but that's not a criticism - some of the best ever characters in books are unpleasant so I didn't worry too much. His complaining, his boredom, lethargy, his super un-Lawrentian taken on life - I kept expecting that it was going to lead somewhere unexpected. Remembering how many people love Dyer's work I kept going, sure that a meaningful, pleasurable, intense, or even just fun reading experience was waiting for me on the next page. I waited for Dyer to engage (to "wrestle") with Lawrence's work, sentences, politics, poetry, influence, biography, marriage, death - anything that would explain why there was a big picture of DHL on the cover of the book. In the end all the book did was make me regret that I didn't bring along some DHL to read. Lawrence's work is so full of life - passion, anger, humor, curiosity, sensual delight, reverence for history, beauty and feeling - that Dyer's book - mild, de-fanged, "nice" in the English sense - felt like a disservice to the coal miner's son who exhorted us to be alive with all of our senses, to become who we are meant to be.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon July 12, 2010
Out of sheer honesty, I did not enjoy this book very much. The descriptions were tedious, and I thought a lot of supposedly humorous situations were overworked, becoming very repetitive. For example, near the middle, when Ciccio kept calling Renata in the restaurant. One or two times, okay. After that, it was just...extraneous, and didn't add to the writing at all. (At least for me.)
There were parts that I liked. Some of Dyer's adventures were interesting. Once you got past the first forty or so pages of 'should I stay or should I go or stay or go or stay,' etc., and the author really let himself become immersed--with some pit stops and road bumps along the way, of course--in his study of Lawrence, I began to actually see who Lawrence was.
Another thing I liked about the book was its keen observations into human nature. The little habits that a lot of people share, but never really realize how universal they are until someone points them out and you realize, 'Hey, I do that, too!' Some examples: when Dyer is complaining about how he could not sneeze or sleep on his side, and that he never really appreciated the values of these things until he could no longer do them; when Lawrence describes "suffering one of those strange losses of purpose that come over one from time to time"--seemingly without cause.
The writing in some parts is very insightful and interesting; but just when I think that maybe it will keep my interest, I am once again lost in seemingly trivial details. I can't say that I hated the book, because there were exceptions; however, overall, it was hard for me to get through, and difficult for me to sympathize for the narrator, who seemed to have such great opportunities spread before him but spent 90% of the book whining, or "shaking [his] fist at the world" (153). I felt throughout that he didn't earn the cynical perspective he adopted throughout the book.
So no, I didn't like the book, and I do not consider it worth keeping. However, I can see how someone who appreciates this brand of humor would wholeheartedly disagree with me.
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1 of 8 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 27, 2004
I had high hopes for this book. I sit disappointedly writing this brief review, as there is not really much to say, precisely because the author does not say or do much. In fact, he makes the whole point of the book his failed attempts at writing two actual books: one a novel, the other a book about DH Lawrence. "Rage" is used appropriately in the title, as kind of a double entendre for the author's rage at his own inabilities, but it also references DH Lawrence's own quote regarding his attempt at writing a book on Thomas Hardy. While the author's writing style appeals to me, it is drudgery to get through this, unless you're a crazy, procrastinating, lazy, neurotic nut like the author. I read books to be swept along, and my disappointment here lies in the fact that the book sweeps you into the life of the author, which is depressing and weird. Plus, it's pretty hostile in there. If you can read detatchedly and you enjoy frustration and hostility, go for it.
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