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Out Of Sheer Rage: In the Shadow of D.H. Lawrence Hardcover – 3 Apr 1997


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Hardcover, 3 Apr 1997
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown; First Edition edition (3 April 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316640026
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316640022
  • Product Dimensions: 22.3 x 2.4 x 14.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,328,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Geoff Dyer is the author of four novels and six other nonfiction books, including But Beautiful, which was awarded the Somerset Maugham Prize, and Out of Sheer Rage, which was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. The winner of a Lannan Literary Award, the International Centre of Photography's 2006 Infinity Award for writing on photography, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters' E. M. Forster Award, Dyer is a regular contributor to many publications in the UK and the US. He lives in London. For more information visit Geoff Dyer's official website: www.geoffdyer.com

Photographer: Jason Oddy

Product Description

Review

The kind of book that gives literary criticism a bad name. Hilarious! (John Berger)

An intriguing, magnetic, genre-rattling book (THE TIMES)

If there was a prize for the year's funniest book then it would win hands down (INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)

A masterpiece. (MAIL ON SUNDAY) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

*An hilarious study of obsession (Dyer for Lawrence), jealousy (Dyer of Lawrence) and procrastination (Dyer's inability to get anything done about his book on Lawrence). --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 July 1998
Format: Hardcover
Geoff Dyer has written a book that seems to create its own categories. Literary criticism, travellog, and a ranting confessional weave in and out, and the reader is swept into the writer's world. The minutae and day to day aggravations of the writer's life are given the spotlight, and one gets an intimate picture of how this incredibly creative mind can be frozen by the dizzying choices of the late 20th century world, grapple and struggle furiously and often compulsively with them, and ultimately produce something highly and hilariously original. I heard the author on a radio interview and went immediately to the nearest bookstore to pick up a copy. Before reading this book, ostensibly about D. H. Lawrence, it occurred to me that the fact that I had never read a word of D. H. Lawrence might detract from my enjoyment of the book. It didn't. Incidentally, I still have no inclination to read books by D.H.Lawrence, although I do want to read more books by Geoff Dyer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Invisible Man on 16 Mar 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Plagiarism is never a good thing, and this is exactly what Dyer has done in this book. I know he admires the work of Thomas Bernhard and so do I, so that is why I can say with some assurance that I think that he has plagiarised Bernhard's writing style in this book. The same traits are there: the sense of impending chaos, the knockabout humour, the absurd situations and the tortuous and repetitive prose style are all reminiscent of Bernhard. Time and again I felt I was reading a poor imitation of Bernhard. But I didn't want to read Bernhard, I wanted to read Dyer, because I also admire the work of Geoff Dyer. When he writes in his own style Dyer is as good a writer as anyone, as in works such as 'The Ongoing Moment' and 'But Beautiful'. In this book however, although it is an interesting study of Lawrence and worth reading on that account, the obvious plagiarism of Bernhard's style of writing spoiled it for me.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Eric J. Steger on 26 July 2000
Format: Paperback
I suppose one could only write a really decent, insightfulreview of Geoff Dyers' genre-defying Out of Sheer Rage by followingthe same wonderfully tortuous path taken by the author himself: procrastinate, delay, evade and travel to the far-flung places as Mr. Dyer once did, while constantly examining and re-examining one's own unique array of neuroses. Perhaps, like Geoff Dyer, by failing to write a solid review, one succeeds by taking a circular route, never diving straight to the heart of the matter and recognizing the triumph inherent in such a futile enterprise. Having said all that, one must keep ones' day job after all and what follows will have to pass for a circular route. Geoff Dyer's Out of Sheer Rage: Wrestling with D.H. Lawrence is a book within a book about trying, failing and succeeding at writing a biography of D.H. Lawrence (in a roundabout way) while simultaneously (quite by accident) employing one's personal and literary failures to gain access to one's own true self. Dyer leads the reader on a dizzying ride, we travel along with him and his long-suffering, multilingual girlfriend Laura in an effort to gain inspiration by way of the ritual of movement and a sense of place. We visit Italy,(Taormina, Rome)New Mexico, (Taos) Mexico (Oaxaca) and Oxford, all places where Lawrence once worked and lived. Nothing tangible realized there except some brilliant discoveries about the author's interior life. Observations usually unearthed by quoting Lawrence himself; "Freedom is a gift inside one's soul, Lawrence declared, you can't have it if it isn't in you." Dyer observes in a moment of self-awareness; "A gift it may be but it is not there for the taking. To realize this capacity in yourself is a struggle.Read more ›
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sue on 24 May 2012
Format: Paperback
The cover announces this book as 'the funniest book I have ever read' and the author 'quite possibly the best living writer in Britain'. Perhaps without these superlatives I'd have been less disappointed.
Geoff Dyer does have great style and flashes of wit, but not enough to outweigh the sheer pointlessness of the protagonist and his exploits. I read much of the book waiting for something to happen, or at least for his girlfriend to wake up and kick him out! Very easy to read, it left me nevertheless wondering why I had.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. Stark on 18 Jan 2011
Format: Paperback
This clever, hilarious book somehow captures life, in all its frustrations and distractions, with acute precision. It is not an acute and precise book, however. It is rarely about D H Lawrence, of course, and more about Dyer. Well, it's more about me, actually, and possibly you. Six stars.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 26 Sep 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Or out of sheer lassitude, I suppose. Dyer is possessed by ennui to an almost terminal extent during a good half of this book. Funny - yes, but also endemically dispiriting. Really, I thought, I should be falling asleep, reading this endless tirade against not getting what one wants the instant one wants it, or not being able to work because the light is wrong or something equally, transparently, feeble, but I wasn't. The truth is, Geoff Dyer is one of the few people writing today who, although he rarely says anything very memorable, is, fundamentally, in tune with the times. He calls a halt to the business of fiction to say - what is it that's really important about writing? It's not truth, it's not drama, it's - the problem of existence.

Well, so I felt having read this book and thought, yes, it was quite funny about Dyer, supposedly writing a book about DH Lawrence, going to Oaxaca but not visiting any of the places where DHL lived or wrote about and afterwards wondering why when he got back to Rome he felt such regret (cue little tirade about regret in all its forms). The truth is, though, this book is a mess. It's neither about Dyer traipsing about with his bit of stuff looking for the truth about DH Lawrence, nor is it about depression and the thousand and one ways a writer can prevent him/herself from writing; nor is it about the joy of having the freedom to just toss about bits of Europe having a good time (which might have been much more entertaining). There are pet hates - children, for instance and the misery they create by being born and thus preventing one from writing/painting/composing one's masterpiece, and he's pretty astute about how failures use the pram in the hall as an excuse for continuing to fail.
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