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Dreaming to Some Purpose: The Autobiography of Colin Wilson Hardcover – 26 May 2004


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 402 pages
  • Publisher: Century (26 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844131882
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844131884
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 422,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"This is the autobiography of a literary superstar…." -- Scotland on Sunday

From the Publisher

Inside the Outsider - Colin Wilson returns to the subject of his million-selling book

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Murray on 5 July 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There is a sense in which Colin Wilson has only ever written one book, many times over and in many different guises, putting forward the same central message whether discussing UFOs, serial killers, literature, sex, psychology, and all the rest of that huge list of subjects he's covered in his long career. Wilson admits this himself, in one interview classifying himself as a Hedgehog in Isaiah Berlin's 'Fox and Hedgehog' terminology (where a Hedgehog knows one thing and knows it very well, whereas a Fox knows many things superficially).
So Wilson's autobiography is all about his ideas, but as seen through the events of his own life which, really, is the most logical context in which to present them. Regarding Wilson's work in general, I sometimes find this constant harping on about one thing can give me a sort of mental indigestion because, when it comes down to it, Wilson's real 'message' is not best communicated by his theories about 'Faculty X' (an unfortunately 50s B-movie term), the 'St Neot Margin', the 'pen technique' for focussing consciousness, and so on - all of which are covered in this (and almost every other) Wilson volume, often by what I find to be an unsatisfactory use of illustrating metaphors - but his essential optimism and fascination with the subjects he covers, something which makes his writing extremely lively and moreish - I knew, buying this book, I was setting myself up for a week of compulsive reading. So really, if you like Wilson's work, you'll know what to expect and find it here in bucketloads, and if you don't know Wilson's work but are intrigued, this will be a good introduction.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Sep 2004
Format: Hardcover
Great auto, full of insight and worth a read to both Wilson fans and readers not aquainted with this versatile and highly revalatory author.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Lump Of Green Slime on 2 April 2005
Format: Hardcover
I just wanted to reassure anyone that this is a thoroughly absorbing and surprisingly frank biography. In any other country Wilson might have received the equivalent an OBE by now given the sheer range and depth of his writing. Perhaps his willingness to engage seriously with flakey theories about lost civilisations, UFO's and the afterlife have done him too much damage, which is a pity as this is also part of his charm.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Robert Lomas on 13 Jun 2004
Format: Hardcover
Colin Wilson has lived a colourful and full life, and he is blessed with a good memory and a candid writing style.
If he had gone through with his implusive decision to commit suicide at the age to 16 what a loss that would have been to the literary world.
Fortunately Colin decided that to study science was less painful than killing himself. As I scientist I feel I should not comment on the wisdom of that choice. But anyway, a short spell of National Service soon knocked all that nonsense out of him, and he decided to become 'a writer'. A very Bohemian choice in the early 1950's.
After years of hard work, and short rations, he became an 'overnight success' with The Outsider. During the next forty years he met many of the more interesting people of his times, Victor Gollancz, Iris Murdock, John Osborne, Francis Bacon, John Braine, Marilyn Monroe, Graham Greene, Aldous Huxley. Abraham Maslowe, Albert Einstein, Norman Mailor... This list is far too long to put in a review but it's a who's who of the period. Colin brings them all to life on the pages of this refreshingly honest memoir.
If you have ever enjoyed one of Colin Wilson's novels or non-fiction books you will love this cheeky story of his life.
Read and enjoy the life of master craftsman of the pen and find out just how he got to be the way he is.
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