The first book from bestselling literary critic, author and television and radio presenter Clive James CBE, reissued with a set of self-critical humorous footnotes
Clive James is the author of more than forty books. As well as essays, he has published collections of literary and television criticism, travel writing, verse and novels, plus five volumes of autobiography, Unreliable Memoirs, Falling Towards England, May Week Was In June, North Face of Soho and The Blaze of Obscurity. As a television performer he appeared regularly for both the BBC and ITV, most notably as writer and presenter of the Postcard series of travel documentaries. His popular Radio 4 series A Point of View has been published in volume form. In 1992 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia and in 2003 he was awarded the Philip Hodgins memorial medal for literature. He holds honorary doctorates from Sydney University and the University of East Anglia. In 2012 he was appointed CBE.
'This splendid collection of literary essays ... the opening essay on Edmund Wilson is almost like a preliminary schema by which we are invited to judge the rest of the book. He demonstrates over and over again that he shares, in varying degrees, all the high qualities which he admires so much in Wilson ... like any first-rate critic, he much prefers praising to blaming ... Mr James is a very formidable metropolitan indeed' Philip Toynbee, Observer 'His escape from the tyranny of Good Plain English - a long twisting run which has brought him to his present position as one of the most highly readable commentators operating in the British Isles' Sunday Times