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." And a further quote from Lawrence about getting to the core of one's own capabilities (or lack thereof) "Let a man fall to the bottom of himself, let him get to the bottom so that we can see who he really is." Dyer pulls us back into the past, then headlong into the present with beautifully written observations about the self, coping with depression, Nietzsche and the vagaries of his relationship with his girlfriend, Laura; " For Laura it is always 'together forever', for me it is always more like 'together whenever." (For arts' sake ? the reader can only guess). On falling in and getting out of depression; "All I felt was: I am depressed. I am depressed. And then, this depression generated its own flicker of recovery. I became interested in depression." And some Nietzschean philosopy to ameliorate despair; "Nietzshe wrote that the thought of suicide had got him through many a bad night, and thinking of giving up was probably the one thing that's kept me going." And inevitably, insights on the uselessness of giving up, of recognizing that what makes life so unbearable is that those things which seem so unbearable are in fact bearable; " The only way to give up totally is to kill yourself but that one act requires an assertion of will equal to the total amount that would be expanded in the rest of a normal lifetime. Killing yourself is not giving up, it's more like a catastrophic fast-forwarding." Out of Sheer Rage is an ultra-vivid mosaic whose parts can only be glimpsed whole from a distance; one could read, re-read and write endless reviews and still not quite grasp its' true essence on either an individual or general level (which may in fact be its' true essence). But a few stray thoughts may yet be relevant when considering Out of Sheer Rage; to paraphrase Dyer: "One is really one's true self when believing that one is not one's true self." And this final, uplifting endnote; "One way or another we all have to write our studies of D.H. Lawrence. Even if they will never be published, even if we will never complete them, even if all we are left with after years and years of effort is an unfinished, unfinishable record of how we failed to live up to our ambitions. The world over, from Taos to Taormina, from the places we have visited to countries we will never set foot in, the best we can do is to try to make some progress with our studies of D.H. Lawrence." Out of Sheer Rage is both a gift to the reader and a virus that needs to be spread; once read, it begs to be re-read and passed along to anyone with the ability for even momentary self-reflection.