From Library Journal
Leeds (English, Central Connecticut State Univ.; The Structured Vision of Norman Mailer) is an unabashed Mailer fan. The present book, which is more subjective than his earlier volume, treats the themes of women and heterosexuality, politics, and ritualized violence in Mailer's work. Leeds focuses on the writer's later works, but he returns repeatedly to An American Dream, a novel he deems central to Mailer's artistic vision. Leeds's ideas are engaging, his enthusiasm infectious, and his prose mercifully free of critical jargon. His generous use of quotations may draw readers back to Mailer's works, something Leeds no doubt intends in a book that is more celebration than literary critique. Leeds's 1987 interview with Mailer and a brief review essay on books about Mailer are included. A chapter titled "Mailer and Me" tells more about Leeds than Mailer, a fault that might leave the author open to a charge of self-indulgence. Nevertheless, the book provides a useful introduction to Mailer and his work. Recommended for contemporary literature collections. William Gargan, Brooklyn Coll. Lib., CUNY
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I enjoyed reading this book immensely; it is a fine addition to the Mailer critical canon. -- J. Michael Lennon, Mailer Archivist and co-author of Norman Mailer: Works and Days
Insightful, incisive, witty, compelling - the volume suggests provocative ways of looking at a major writer in his own time. -- Barbara Lupack, author of Insanity as Redemption in Contemporary American Fiction
Leeds' ideas are engaging, his enthusiasm infectious, and his prose mercifully free of critical jargon... Recommended for contemporary literature collections. -- William Gargan, Library Journal, December 2001