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The Complete Enderby (Vintage classics) Paperback – 5 Dec 2002


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Product details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics; New edition edition (5 Dec 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099442590
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099442592
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 689,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Anthony Burgess (25th February 1917-22nd November 1993) was one of the UK's leading academics and most respected literary figures. A prolific author, during his writing career Burgess found success as a novelist, critic, composer, playwright, screenwriter, travel writer, essayist, poet and librettist, as well as working as a translator, broadcaster, linguist and educationalist. His fiction includes Nothing Like the Sun, a recreation of Shakespeare's love-life, but he is perhaps most famous for the complex and controversial novel A Clockwork Orange, exploring the nature of evil. Born in Manchester, he spent time living in Southeast Asia, the USA and Mediterranean Europe as well as in England, until his death in 1993.

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Review

"The Enderby series are even finer comedies than those by Evelyn Waugh" (Gore Vidal)

"Ferociously funny and wildly verbally inventive" (The Times)

"Burgess is at his most inventive in these books, especially when he gives us the full text of Enderby's songs and sonnets (many of which are laughably bad). Poetry, Burgess seems to conclude, is rather like shitting: it's really about purging oneself of dead matter" (Andrew Biswell Observer)

"Burgess is the great postmodern storehouse of British writing-an important experimentalist; an encyclopaedic amasser, but also a maker of form; a playful comic, with a dark gloom" (Malcolm Bradbury)

"No less an authority than Harold Bloom rates the Enderby books among the great comic fictions of our time. Certainly Anthony Burgess, that dizzying polymath and flamboyant novelist, never created a more engaging hero than this hapless poet... All in all, these four books, though diverse in tone and character, strikingly exhibit the narrative gusto and linguistic sprezzatura of Anthony Burgess at his best" (Washington Post)

Book Description

'Burgess is the great postmodern storehouse of British writing-an important experimentalist; an encyclopaedic amasser, but also a maker of form; a playful comic, with a dark gloom' Malcolm Bradbury

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4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Plom de Nume on 18 Mar 2009
Format: Paperback
First of all, hilarious: Enderby himself (original "grumpy old man," poet, barman, murder suspect, lecturer) is a wonderful creation, old beyond his years, hugely erudite, technically expert yet naturally, instinctively poetic - and absolutely hopeless, a complete innocent when it comes to society, sex and the modern world. These contradictions allow Enderby to be placed in a series of extreme, farcical circumstances which pit him against increasingly exotic situations, places and people - from the sedate English South Coast, via Italy to Morocco and Tangier; from treacherous fellow minor literati to yobbish pop singers (one of whom he is wrongly accused of assassinating), waiters, tourists, students; and the lovers with whom he invariably proves unlucky. A broad, imaginative canvas of human life is here, warts and all.

Our fantastically articulate, bumbling hero finds himself duped, seduced, betrayed, plagiarised, whilst all the time offering us a beautifully ironic commentary on his misadventures. Enderby may be, like Burgess, a master of language, but his character flaws and sheer bad luck put him into rich conflicts, most commonly with the haters of intelligence, creativity and learning: those sneaky, censorious, prurient prudes who, even at the time of Enderby's writing - and even more so since, prophetic Burgess! - had begun to commandeer the media, politics, literature and the high moral ground, to the detriment of all of us who value, as does Burgess, that most blessed of all human gifts, common sense.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A. Reynolds on 15 Jun 2003
Format: Paperback
For those of us who wished to follow the adventures of that bitter old cynic and unabashed poet, Francis Xavier Enderby, we can now indulge in the completed story of his life.
Burgess was a marvellous writer with a playful love of language that is readily apparent in the Enderby novels. Although the story is somewhat laboured towards the final installment, there is a true joy to be found in the cathartic writing of the first two. The near-scholarly tone of the storytelling does not diminish the pleasure to be gained from the slow and careful reading necessary for enjoyment at its fullest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul Tubb poet/humorist on 9 Sep 2010
Format: Paperback
Whilst reading this book in public, I was asked, `That's the same guy who wrote Clockwork Orange isn't it?' I replied in the affirmative and was then asked, `Is it similar to Clockwork Orange?' To which I could reply in the negative as it isn't. I am then glad that he did not ask me what it is comparable to as I'm not so sure... The books are certainly like nothing I've ever read before.

Imagine going to a Publisher today with a similar proposal to the following...

Gifted Poet, Francis Xavier Enderby, has questionable gastronomic and hygiene habits. His grotesque stepmother ruined both his Libido and his Catholicism for him. Now all he wants to do is live a solitary existence which allows him to collect money from investments and to write his poems whilst on his toilet, especially the masterpiece he is currently working on. Unfortunately there are many obstacles preventing him from living the life he wants, including: A friend asking him to write love poems to a barmaid, awards to accept, jealous husbands, the plagiarising of his work, being wrongfully accused of murder and many others but most especially the women...

It may be different, but it is exceptionally funny and full of satirical targets that make for a most enjoyable read... I would strongly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sam I am on 5 Nov 2009
Format: Paperback
I laughed out loud at this sequence of books and thats not something I usually do when i'm reading.Highly recommended."THIS IS BLOODY SHAKESPEAR WOMAN!" -Hilarious
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By Jim B on 7 Nov 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Love Burgess - one of the best black humourists of the last century. Clockwork Orange it's not but then what makes Burgess special is the range of his work. I first read Enderby (vol 1) as a teenager and was delighted to find the complete collection for my Kindle. Great to catch up with the protagonist as he wanders from Morocco to the US creating confusion and destruction in his wake, Comic genius!
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By R. Sims on 2 Mar 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Burgess creates his greatest character, the poet Enderby (or Hogg, depending on his circumstances) who struggles with life, death, resurrection, plagiarism, and women who interrupt his muse - Harold Bloom regarded the original as one of England's most undervalued novels - this four volume set is an absolute delight, written with fire and rapier-wit. Totally recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I discovered Anthony Burgess in the 70s, someone lent me Clockwork Orange and I loved it. Browsing in a bookshop one day I came across Clockwork Testament and bought it straight away read I and was blown away! A few years on, I bought Enderby which contained the first three books, a while later buying Enderbys dark lady. Over the years these have been read and read and read, I still have them but they are now very tattered and fragile. When I got my kindle, I knew that The Complete Ended by had been published so I had to have it. Just finished reading for the millionth time and it won't be the last. I have enjoyed reading most of Mr Burgesses work, but for me, the Enderby series is the best. CLASSIC!
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