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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific sequel to Burgess' first volume of autobiography
Burgess' extraordinary "Little Wilson and Big God", his first volume of autobiography, excited much comment, not least for the candour of its confessions. It accounts for his education, in the broadest sense, if not quite his full flowering as a writer. The book ends with his acceptance of terminal illness and his determination to write some novels to...
Published on 29 July 1999

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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Anthony Bighead
Anthony Burgess says several times in this second part of his autobiography that he had no friends. This is not surprising as he comes over as a show-off, claiming to read and write more languages and dialects than is humanly possible.

He is also pedantic, arrogant, snobbish and whining and recalls every hostile review and bad meal he has had in his life...
Published on 22 Jan 2008 by John Fitzpatrick


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific sequel to Burgess' first volume of autobiography, 29 July 1999
By A Customer
Burgess' extraordinary "Little Wilson and Big God", his first volume of autobiography, excited much comment, not least for the candour of its confessions. It accounts for his education, in the broadest sense, if not quite his full flowering as a writer. The book ends with his acceptance of terminal illness and his determination to write some novels to provide for his soon-to-be-widowed wife. Burgess survived and wrote many more books, though his wife did not. Her death is one of many moving episodes in this volume, which seems to contain far fewer erotic encounters than the first. It also examines many of Burgess's works in some detail and gives him the opportunity to rectify reviewers' misconceptions. The book details his friendship with William Conrad, various misadventures in the movie industry and his second marriage. Burgess's ability to convey a place or person is fantastic, and his love for words shines through - the title comes from an old Army saying that he found slightly sinister. Martin Amis details a day's drinking with the old master that left him in pieces; he imagined Burgess shrugging off the headache to write, compose and review, and this book shows how right he was.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Confessions Part 2, 23 Feb 2012
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Keith M - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: You've Had Your Time (Vintage Classics) (Paperback)
Anthony Burgess' autobiographical second volume covers the period from 1959 (when he was aged 42) until 1990 (three years before his death). I think overall I found this instalment slightly less interesting and compelling than the earlier section (the book Little Wilson and Big God), but there is still enough here to keep the reader's attention (well mine, at least) for its near 400-page duration. I was actually rather surprised that I did not find this later slice of this literary virtuoso's life more compelling, since it was during this part of his life that Burgess wrote most of his novels (including probably the two most renowned, A Clockwork Orange and Earthly Powers) and started to write film screenplays.

Nevertheless, in You've Had Your Time Burgess remains, as ever, viciously opinionated and spectacularly erudite, but also displays an affecting degree of modesty (particularly regarding the merits of his own artistic creations). This book includes the sad decline and death (principally for reasons of alcoholism) of his long-time wife Lynne, and his subsequent marriage to 'lapsed' Italian aristocrat Liana, by whom he discovers he has a son, Andrea. Burgess continues to expound on his lifetime obsessions with linguistics, religion, James Joyce, Shakespeare, cultural diversity (and its drawbacks) and the vagaries of the literary and music publishing businesses, as his career takes him variously to the US, Malta, Italy, Monaco and finally Switzerland.

Whilst the vast majority of the book is written in Burgess' typical blustering and meandering autobiographical style, it is in the final epilogue where he achieves a somewhat surprising degree of simple coherence. Here, he talks very candidly about his perennial dilemma concerning his true 'national identity', torn between his (perhaps somewhat reluctant?) love of all things American (and, to a lesser extent, British) and his more natural affinity with the more artistic and intellectual cultures predominating in Europe. He also reveals his, clearly still heartfelt, frustration with his own humble Lancastrian upbringing as he laments, in relation to D.H.Lawrence, 'Britain will still not forgive him for being the son of a Nottinghamshire miner who spoke German and Italian without a public school accent'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fact Or Fiction? Who cares when it's this good., 28 Dec 2012
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If you love and 'know' the works of Anthony Burgess, this is a must. Whether you choose to believe the details or accept them as Burgess' view on his life, it's still very entertaining. It's a great insight into how a life is lived.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Anthony Bighead, 22 Jan 2008
By 
John Fitzpatrick (São Paulo, Brazil) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: You've Had Your Time (Vintage Classics) (Paperback)
Anthony Burgess says several times in this second part of his autobiography that he had no friends. This is not surprising as he comes over as a show-off, claiming to read and write more languages and dialects than is humanly possible.

He is also pedantic, arrogant, snobbish and whining and recalls every hostile review and bad meal he has had in his life.

He seems to think we want to know everything about him. Near the end he devotes six pages to a description of his house.

Here is a sample: "On the floor beside my side of the bed are copies of the "Times Literary Supplement" containing nothing by myself, "Our Mutual Friend", Denis Wheatley's "Strange Conflict", a near-empty packet of Ormond junior cigarillos, a cigarette lighter inscribed Kindstrom's, Konfektyr o Tobak, Lineg 9-11, Tel:60 69 56 114 47 Stockholm, a cube of camphor, and a pair of rumpled blue socks."

This reminds me of an episode of Seinfeld when Elaine's manic boss, Peterman, buys ideas from Kramer for his autobiography which Elaine has to ghostwrite. Kramer's stuff is rubbish and at one point she cries in despair that he has just given her a list of the contents of his apartment.

I'm sorry to write a review like this because I have been a great admirer of Burgess the novelist for over 30 years. I believe "The Malay Trilogy", "Earthly Powers" and, to a lesser extent, the Enderby novels are among the best novels written in English in the latter half of the 20th century.

This volume is much better than the first one "Little Wilson and Big God" but it requires a lot of patience and tolerance to get through its 400 pages.

If you're a Burgess fan then it's worth taking a shot at it but if you're not then choose something else.
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You've Had Your Time (Vintage Classics)
You've Had Your Time (Vintage Classics) by Anthony Burgess (Paperback - 3 Oct 2002)
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