1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
a very enjoyable collection of essays and criticism,
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This review is from: The Ecstasy of Influence: Nonfictions, Etc. (Paperback)
I found the opening pages a bit offputting - as Lethem explains that he always puts on a 'Lethem persona' before writing anything - but once I'd overcome my reluctance to continue, i found I enjoyed this collection of essays and criticism a great deal. Not that I read every word of every piece. But I was moved to read the great bulk of it, whether or not the subjects previously interested me. And I left with some highly memorable images of Lethem as a clerk in a bookstore for many year, of the Brooklyn in which he grew up and his parents (he wants originally to be an artist like his father and joins his father's life drawing class in his teens), of Brooklyn novelists (he leaves me feeling I should check some of them out having read his prefaces to their books), his enthusiasms for SF writers (I have the pieces about comics and superheroes a miss) and his interests in film, in music (long pieces on James Brown and Bob Dylan) and of course the ideas in the title essay, which are about how we just take things of others and make them new and that's the way it is...I expect I will try his fiction before too long...