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Why Not Catch-21?: The Stories Behind the Titles Hardcover – 15 Oct 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln; 1st UK edition edition (15 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0711227969
  • ISBN-13: 978-0711227965
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.9 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,559,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

These are fascinating, pithy chunks of literary history. (Good Book Guide)

A splendid and enjoyable piece of work. This Christmas... if no one buys this book for you, buy it for yourself. No literary lavatory will be complete without a copy. (Spectator)

This is one literary curio that's worth having... A brilliantly unique buy. (Easy Living)

Gary Dexter's gift is not only to uncover the stories behind the titles… but actually to shed light on the mysteries of literary creation. Dexter's tone is consistently, and never irritatingly, droll. There are a few books that try to be funny about literature and don't ever really get it right; Dexter always does. He has a fondness, and a gift, for the right kind of anecdote. And that is the chief joy of the book: its meticulousness in chasing down alternative histories of literature. He does not pretend to give us definitive answers where none exists, he allows us to revel in a multiplicity of suggestions, all of which are plausible; learning about them is a delightful way of undermining our certainties. Life is often rather more complicated than we imagine it to be. And as for Catch 22 - when one learns how close that came to being called something else - well, that's just spooky. (Nicholas Lezard Guardian)

Covering everythingfrom Plato's Republic to A Clockwork Orange, this provides both a fresh literary insight and even the occasional giggle. (Maxim)

Gary Dexter's highly enjoyable book of curios makes perfect bedtime reading and will enable you to amaze and impress everyone you meet with your erudition. (www.new-classics.co.uk)

About the Author

Gary Dexter is the writer of a long-running column for the Sunday Telegraph.


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21 October 2007
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