Top positive review
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Mean spirited and not to be trusted..like Anthony Burgess
on 15 February 2011
This book, which I found entertaining, is not meant to be a balanced appraisal of Anthony Burgess. It is instead deliberately egotistical, vindictive, overwritten, pompous, lacking warmth and strewn with arcane pointless footnotes. I think Lewis fibs quite a lot.
I think the author's intention was to create a portrait of Burgess that echoed Burgess's character as he understood it. I can understand why some fans of Burgess do not like this approach, and would suggest that this book be read in conjunction with a more conventional biography. Thats's what I'm going to do anyway!
I think it obviously Lewis has tremendous respect for Burgess's productivity, his technical brilliance and his knowledge, but feels that something - the something that true genius has - was missing, and Lewis shows how this happened. The Burgess he presents is sad, lonely and disconnected from the world. Burgess used his talent to distance himnself from the world and not to engage with it. That's the impression I got anyway. I also felt that Lewis despite the style felt immensely sorry for Burgess, but rather that write something that was anaemic and conventional, discharged both barrels, this in order to get something about Burgess in the world that would be noticed. I think in some apparently perverse way it's a tribute to the man.
The book will enable me to get more out of rereading Clockwork Orange, A Dead Man in Deptford , Abba Abba......