- Hardcover: 403 pages
- Publisher: Grove Pr (March 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0802114059
- ISBN-13: 978-0802114051
- Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 6.5 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,989,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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You've Had Your Time: Second Part of the Confessions Hardcover – March, 1991
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From Publishers Weekly
Burgess returned home to England from Malaya in 1959 to a medical diagnosis that he had less than a year to live. He turned himself into a "busy hack" to earn royalties for his wife Lynne, whose suicide attempt and subsequent death from alcoholic cirrhosis left him with deep-seated guilt. His hectic writing life, "an agony mitigated by drink," was uplifted in 1968 when he married his Italian mistress Liana Macellari, who had borne him a son five years earlier. With disarming candor and coruscating wit, the prolific novelist-critic discusses his distaste for the Beatles and the swinging '60s, the writing and filming of A Clockwork Orange , his peripatetic existence from Singapore to Manhattan, the ordeal of teaching and a roller-coaster career that often left him "too much in the paws of producers and directors." While it lacks the soul-searching urgency of his first autobiographical installment Little Wilson and Big God , this self-portrait is nevertheless a joy to read.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Although this is the second volume of Burgess's autobiographical confessions (with an authorial nod to St. Augustine and Rousseau), it stands on its own. (The first volume was Little Wilson and Big God , LJ 2/15/87.) Covering the years from 1959 to 1982, Burgess has his say on life as a language-obsessed novelist and critic and also takes the opportunity to respond vociferously to his critics. He moves around the world at a blurring pace, writing and translating fiction, drama, and poetry while experiencing the machinations of an alcoholic marriage and the appearance of a former lover/future wife seemingly out of nowhere with his heretofore unknown son. Especially fascinating and lively are his accounts of the creation of the book and the film of A Clockwork Or ange and his translation of Cyrano de Ber gerac . Highly recommended.
- Janice Braun, Medical Historical Lib., Yale Univ.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
After the death of Lynne he marries his second wife Liana with whom he had a illegitimate child he did not know about from an earlier fling.
We have explained the circumstances of how his novels were written and his stage and musical work compiled.
This is all fascinating especially how he compiled his novels. Everyone of them are written on several levels - I believe to "get all" of what he was trying say you would have to have been as clever as he was.
Again there are great anecdotes regarding people he meets as his celebrity grows.
At a dinner with Groucho Marx:
......It was on this occasion that a lady was mentioned who had ten children because she loved her husband. "I love my cigar," Groucho said " but I take it out sometimes"
Burgess was elitist in his writing and his music, I don't think this is a bad thing because he was a genius but there is a sense of grievance in a lot of this writing when he doesn't get the recognition that he believes he deserves.
This is most apparent when he relates how novelist Shirley Cronan receives a million dollar advance for a novel, which is many hundreds of times more than anything he received in his life time.
There is also bitterness when Stanley Kubrick garners all the praise for " A Clockwork Orange". Burgess is forgotten as the author - and Kubrick does little to dispel peoples perception that the entire concept was his creation.
This volume still has major soul baring but nothing on the scale of volume one. This is explained by his second marriage making him happy, so we have none of the infidelities and behaviour that were quite striking in part one.
Again, highly recommended , get both volumes together and read as one would be my suggestion and then you could happily start again and be just as happy.
It is certainly worth a read.
The other reason it was a pain was because it's exclusively devoted to cerebral/writerly matters. And after the success of the movie, "A Clockwork Orange", his life gets taken over with showbiz and scholarly matters which are very dull to read about. He also explains some of his novels which becomes perversely fascinating for the reader to see how much will power and vigor go into constructing these bizarre, abstract, non-human works.
Burgess makes a point of describing his time devoted to his true avocation, the writing of music. And he also has a great love for the minutia of linguistics and phonetics. But his prose isn't musical or mellifluous or euphonious. These activities come across as the exertions of someone with Asperger trying to understand normal human experience by dissecting and rationally analyzing aspects of it. It seems kind of harsh but I really feel that the greater portion of his creations were really just pathologically perverse and misguided. Just a new-style of freak show.
He says at one point that perhaps his only real gift was one of concentration. He has a point. He also had a great mental capacity for scholarship, but I guess his spirit was too playful and anarchic to submit to the discipline and constraints of that. For me he really represents an example of the "new breed" of successful people, ones with a strong personality combined with an obsession with a technical specialty. And that kind of life becomes a kind of bloodless, acceptable social thuggery akin to Alex and his droogs.
The last 100 pages of this were sheer torture. I'd read the preceding volume so at that point I'd read 750 pages of this guy's one-sided story and I couldn't wait to get it over.