- Hardcover: 120 pages
- Publisher: Notting Hill Editions (14 Nov. 2013)
- ISBN-10: 1907903852
- ISBN-13: 978-1907903854
- Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 1.6 x 18.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,149,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
You Think it Strange (Nhe Classic Collection) Hardcover – 14 Nov 2013
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'Mixing working-class roots and mean streets with college cloisters and Ivy League privilege, Burt is forever trying to make sense of his many-sided identity, though in a commendably unsolipsistic way.' TLS
About the Author
Dan Burt's writing draws on his work as a butcher, sailor, lawyer, public figure, and businessman in, among other places, South Philadelphia; the sea off New Jersey; Washington D.C.; New York; Boston; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; and London. He lives and writes in London, Maine, and St. John's College, Cambridge, of which he is an Honorary Fellow. You Think It Strange is an expanded version of Dan Burt's riveting prose memoir, first published in his collection Certain Windows(2011).
Top Customer Reviews
Not only was it a short book but I found it really dissapointing.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
One senses that relationships are difficult for him, that he has never been married, and this difficulty extends to us readers. We are being told the whole story in the same spirit in which Burt's mistresses have had to hear it - we have to pass this test before becoming intimate with him.
Reading this book is not always pleasant, brief as it is - but its great moment has nothing to do with growing up Jewish and workingclass in 1950s and early 60s Philly, or about Jewish familiy conflicts, or even coming of age. Its truly great pages are about fishing and skippering small boats off the Jersey shore, learning to know the sea and the weather and what human beings are capable of and are incapable of. His father's fishing mentor, a Tarheel transplanted to the Jersey striper party boat business, is the real hero of the book, and a worthy hero. It is hun that I think about long after I finished - while thinking that the most interesting part of Burt's own story is not the story of the tough kid who went to humble LaSalle College (which we are taught to admire) and then wrote a letter to Cambridge and was accepted (this could be Norman Podhoretz in Making It) - but the story of the vastly unread but deeply humanly experienced young man passing through Cambridge and becoming that most acculturated kind of Brit, a barrister. But that part of Burt's story remains untold, and I suspect will continue to do so.
A memorable and affecting bit. As I said, Burt knew many middle class Jewish kids of his generation who were on their way to Penn and Penn State to become professional men. That was not his plan. But through an accident, he found he could after all go to college, and he prepared himself in a way inconcieivable now: "To me, 'college' meant classical music." Though he had never had any interest in it before, Burt forced himself to listen to the Philadelphia classical music radio station, read reviews, borrow records from the library. That's a bright line between pre-60s higher education and that of the post-60s....
Burt doesnt seem to care if you like his book, or his story, or himself. I'm not sure I do - I'm not sure who will - but there is a cold, Lawrencian quality in his writing that you ought to expose yourself to.