- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Counterpoint; Reprint edition (April 7, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1582434948
- ISBN-13: 978-1582434940
- Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.9 x 8.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,104,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
On Writers and Writing Reprint Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Most literary criticism sends me into a coma, but John Gardner talks about literature in a way that anyone who likes books can follow and appreciate. Until his death in a 1982 motorcycle crash at age 49, Gardner suffered from neither a lack of productivity--he wrote more than 20 books--nor for want of opinions about the literary productions of others. In this collection of his essays and lectures, Gardner provides several upper-level English lit seminars' worth of commentary on a number of books and authors--Melville, Roth, Oates, Styron, Calvino, Cheever, to name a few. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Popular novelist, critic, teacher and classics scholar, Gardner, who died in a motorcycle accident in 1982, insisted that fiction should be moral and life-affirming. These 29 essays and reviews, gathered from the New York Times Book Review , Antaeus , Saturday Review and elsewhere, are sprinkled with sharp put-downs. For example, Gardner calls John Updike's characters "hypersensitive whiners," deems Walker Percy's novel Lancelot "typical bad art . . . pompous" and labels Graham Greene's The Comedians as entertainment that "makes a casual pass at art." Gardner is refreshingly unpredictable, admiring such writers as John Cheever, Italo Calvino, Larry Woiwode, William Gass and Lewis Carroll. His high critical standards and gimlet insights shine through. Included are a prickly autobiographical sketch ("Cartoons"), the marvelous essay "What Writers Do" and a short story "Julius Caesar and the Werewolf."
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Mostly, I can see his points, catty as some seem. I believe that arrogance earned, okay. Obnoxiousness can be fun, sometimes. Anything Mr. Gardner wrote I'd read. Herein he picks at well-known writers' styles and approaches, his comments are pretty subjective and often spectacularly blunt. He also applauds many, if not most. That he trashes some is really promotional talk.
He's entertaining, but his style and approach often get in the way of a more mediated, professional approach. If you're a writer/reader/literate person, intellectual invective with a smile. You're smirk and learn stuff cover to cover.
That said, I love Gardner dishing the dirt, kicking sand on his contemporaries. Yes, read this for its pertinence. But think its caustic jibes are a`la a gossip column more than a pedantic study. Enjoy his comment for what they are: entertaining truths, with equal measure on both adjective and noun.
. . . Of course, if you want to 'become' a writer, first read Gardner's
The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers