13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2010
After pondering buying the first volume of this boxed set, I bought the boxed set on impulse. It's worth every penny! Not only is the boxed set a great savings (each of the four books retails in stores for $16) but I'm so glad I have three other volumes to enjoy after this first one.
The greatest authors of our recent history are thoroughly interviewed and probed regarding their daily life, their writing habits, their struggles and greatest successes, and more. For each author the interviewer also provides a two or three page introductory biography.
The Paris Review Interviews have been a generous academic source for me throughout my educational career, now I'm grateful to have the four volume anthology on my desk.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2010
I completed vol 1 and look forward to the following books for hours of pleasure. What a treasure trove of insight and fly on the wall listening pleasure where two intelligent people discuss literary works, work habits, experiences and a whole bag of things. Wonderfully crafted. Each interview allows the reader to follow the trains of thought in the interviewer's mind as if the subject and the reader are on the edge of their seats waiting for the next question. No trick questions. Some of the contrasts are striking. Hemingway, for example seems very aggressive and paranoid while Borges is magical. Recommended highly...
on February 17, 2013
I ordered this book because I had read a review by Jonathan Lethem that said this volume contained all the advice and wisdom an aspiring writer needs. Bold words, but true. These interviews present the nuances of modernism and postmodernisms greatest scribes. The four volumes are the pinnacle of interview-based journalism and the transcription and presentation of the conversational form is masterful. Add to that the content, which ranges from the wit of Dorothy Parker to the mechanics of Truman Capote and Ernest Hemingway, both of whom detail the hows of their writing process (Capote lay down with the typewriter balanced on his knees and a martini in one hand, Hemingway stood from dawn to lunch at a crowded writing table in his bedroom). I'm only partway through the first volume, but the intense contradictions between writers as to how and what makes great literature ensures I'll continue taking my time - this experience is simply too good to rush.
on September 10, 2013
This collection remains on my main bookcase, front and center. I've read them through in order, then gone back and randomly picked a few interviews here and there. It works either way. An amazing glimpse at writers and their lives and processes. I also like to keep a notebook nearby- the writers reference so many other books that I end up using it to create a "to read" list. Highly recommended- worth every penny to writers and readers.
on May 17, 2013
You want a Phd in Lit for under $60.00. One of the best investments any writer can purchase for themselves. You learn at the feet of the greats. Yes, you can go to the Paris Review and get many of the same articles for free. Yet, with this...you can get it all for free. I love this idea.