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Out of Sheer Rage: In the Shadow of D. H. Lawrence (Canons) (The Canons) [Paperback]

Geoff Dyer , Maggie O'Farrell
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
RRP: 10.00
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Book Description

2 Feb 2012 The Canons
Dyer was a talented young writer and determined to write a study of D.H.Lawrence. But when he sat down to write the book, he found himself distracted by ...everything! Welcome to the world of Dyer! Gripped by indecision at every turn, he agonises over where to settle down to write, whether or not he should move in with his almost-girlfriend, and even which edition of Lawrence's poems to pack in his rucksack. In Out of Sheer Rage Dyer travels the world, providing fascinating insights into Lawrence's life and the continuing value of his work - and into the myriad anxieties that define the life of a writer.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Canons; Main - Canons Imprint edition (2 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857862340
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857862341
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 93,945 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


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

If there was a prize for the year's funniest book then it would win hands down. --Independent on Sunday

Marvellous . . . a glorious truant from study . . . gives a better picture of (Lawrence) than any biography I know. --James Wood, Guardian

A potently distilled treatise on literature. --New Yorker

Painfully funny . . . sheer pleasure. --David Lodge, The Times

Extraordinarily imaginative . . . a vivid account of not writing the life of D. H. Lawrence. --Michael Holroyd

An intriguing, magnetic, genre-rattling book. --Sunday Times

An entertaining and highly original portrait of the inner life of a D. H. Lawrence addict. --Alain de Botton

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible and enjoyable 16 July 1998
By A Customer
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer Joy 18 Jan 2011
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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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Out of Sheer Wonder: The Pleasures of the Elusive 26 July 2000
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Geoff Dyer 'Out of sheer rage'. 13 Mar 2012
By Gillian
A wonderful read. However, if you're looking for a straightforward, biography of Lawrence this perhaps is not the book for you. The text is a compilation of indiosyncratic and hilarious insights into one man's procrastination. A must for anyone who has ever attempted to avoid settling down to a task. Don't be fooled however into labelling this text 'comic', as it contains a host of erudite references and some very insightful comments about the great, albeit flawed, DHL himself.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not so funny 24 May 2012
By Sue
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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5.0 out of 5 stars out of sheer enjoyment 17 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ah, Mr Dyer - too many points of connection... Written with disarming fragility, Dyer puts his critical mirror at an odd angle. There is no genre to define this mix of autobiography, biography, humour and literary commentary. Sets the hyphen in creative-critical writing in bold face. I'm off to read *But Beautiful*!
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