Working the Room: Essays and Reviews: 1999-2010 Paperback – 4 Aug 2011
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"Dyer is becoming a character just as arch and seductive as that professional self-effacer from the previous generation, Alan Bennett." (Observer)
"Shrewd, funny, original . . . very good company on the page." (Andrew Motion Guardian)
"A national treasure." (Zadie Smith)
"A seductively straightforward writer . . . like Orwell. Dyer writes engrossingly on everything from love of doughnuts to his sequestered working class childhood in Swindon." (Will Self Financial Times)
"One of my favourite of all contemporary writers. I love his sense of the absurd, his pessimism mixed with robust good cheer, his beautifully crafted sentences, his jokes and his intelligence." (Alain de Botton)
"Languid, elegant, brilliantly conversational." (Tim Adams Observer)
"A true original - one of those rare voices in contemporary literature that never ceases to surprise, disturb and delight . . . Dyer is a must-read for our confused and perplexing times." (William Boyd)
"Insightful, humorous, and . . . exemplifies his passion, wit and ability." (Rob Sharp Independent)
"An irresistibly funny storyteller, [Dyer] is adept at fiction, essay and reportage, but happiest when twisting all three into something entirely his own." (New Yorker)
"It's this ability to develop such passions that gives the literary flaneur his curious edge, a gift for turning both acute spasms of obsession and long-rumbling preoccupations into writing, a highly strung take on the journalistic necessity of burrowing into a subject like a worm in an apple, then moving on to a new fruit" (Victoria Segal Guardian)
"Dyer's musings provide an intensely personal view of the world" (The Times)
"It's this ability to develop such passions that gives the literary flaneur his curious edge, a gift for turning both acute spasms of obsession and long-rumbling preoccupations into writing, a highly strung take on the journalistic necessity of burrowing into a subject like a worm in an apple, then moving on to a new fruit." (Guardian)
"Essays and journalism, often very funny, from the author of Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi." (Sunday Telegraph)
"Dyer's musings provide an intensely personal view of the world." (Times)
'Dyer is becoming a character just as arch and seductive as that professional self-effacer from the previous generation, Alan Bennett.' Observer
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Top Customer Reviews
As well as the gags, I think he has also shown a new way to respond to art that, not unlike his mentor John Berger, but in a way that is wholly his own, manages to find the universal and even timeless in what is subjective and particular.
So as Amazon would say "treat yourself!" and get Anglo-English Attitudes while you're at it. And thank you, Geoff.
Dyer's essay on The Moral Art of War name-checks many of the non-fiction works that have attempted to make sense of recent conflicts. It is a reading list and a summary, and I now want to read some of these books, especially Dexter Filkins, The Forever War: Dispatches from the War on Terror.Read more ›
There can be no doubt that Dyer has range. In fact, it is quite remarkable. Working the Room houses a veritable hotchpotch of subjects, and the pieces oscillate between art and music, literary criticism and memoir. Although the book is divided into sections - 'Visuals', 'Verbals', 'Variables', and 'Personals' - there is a 'fair bit of seepage between the various categories'. And so, in a foreword on Enrique Metinides, Dyer will bring in Don DeLillo (an obvious touchstone) to make a point. This is a successful (and subtle) tactic, and one that illuminates Dyer's lithe handling of the various art forms.
It is, however, as a memoirist that Dyer ultimately succeeds. 'On Being an Only Child' acknowledges the estranging effects an Oxford education had on his relationship with his parents, while 'On the Roof' recounts his Brixton days on the dole, a blissful scene deepened by a 'quality of study' missing at university. For all their greatness, though, it is 'Of Course' that represents the collection's stunning denouement. A short account of how Dyer met his wife, it is a lovely homage, and one that describes their marriage as feeling 'like doing something right without being sure why'.Read more ›
This book would be great for any student looking for inspiration.