Simple Book Reviews

Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell
“Fiction is a bridge to the truth that journalism can‟t reach. Facts are lies when
they‟re added up, and the only kind of journalism I can pay much attention to is
something like Down and Out in Paris and London. …But in order to write that
kind of punch-out stuff you have to add up the facts in your own fuzzy way, and
to hell with the hired swine who use adding machines.”

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
“To say what I thought of The Fountainhead would take me more pages than I like
to think I‟d stoop to boring someone with. I think it‟s enough to say that I think it‟s
everything you said it was and more. Naturally, I intend to read Atlas Shrugged. If
it‟s half as good as Rand‟s first effort, I won‟t be disappointed.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
“If history professors in this country had any sense they would tout the book as a
capsule cram course in the American Dream. I think it is the most American novel
ever written. I remember coming across it in a bookstore in Rio de Janeiro; the
title in Portuguese was O Grande Gatsby, and it was a fantastic thing to read it in
that weird language and know that futility of the translation. If Fitzgerald had
been a Brazilian he‟d have had that country dancing to words instead of music.

The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby by Tom Wolfe
“I owe the National Observer in Washington a bit of money for stories paid and
never written while I was working for them out here, and the way we decided I‟d
work it off was book reviews, of my own choosing. Yours was one; they sent it to
me and I wrote this review, which they won‟t print. I called the editor (the kulture
[SIC] editor) the other day from the middle of a Hell‟s Angels rally at Bass lake
and he said he was sorry and he agreed with me etc. but that there was a
“feeling” around the office about giving you a good review. … Anyway, here‟s the

Donleavy “Now that you‟ve taken personal journalism about as far as it can go. and if it does you any good in the head to know that it caused the final severance of relations between myself and the Observer.” . old sport — just giving the needle. I think that I just don‟t express my rightness correctly. Although I‟m already sure the Thompson effort will be better than those However. then at least it will do somebody some good. and After Long Silence (Robert Gutwillig) — and saw enough mistakes to make me look long and hard at mine [Prince Jellyfish]. When that day comes. why don‟t you read Singular Man and then get back to the real work? … I‟m not dumping on you. I had just begun to doubt some of my strongest convictions when I stumbled upon that book.” The Outsider by Colin Wilson “As a parting note — I suggest that you get hold of a book called The Outsider by Colin Wilson. I just wish to shit I had somebody within 500 miles capable of giving me one. after reading that book.” Singular Man by J. I had intended to go into a detailed explanation of what I have found out about myself in the past year or so. you may come closer to understanding just what lies ahead for your Hunter-named son. But rather than being wrong. It took Donleavy‟s book to make me see what a fog I‟ve been in. I will put my manuscript in a box and send it to you. As for myself I am joining the Hell‟s Angels and figure I should have done it six years ago. I‟m looking forward to the day that I can say it will be better than Lie Down in Darkness. P. but find that I am too tired.” Lie Down in Darkness by William Styron “Last week I read two fairly recent first novels — Acrobat Admits (Harold Grossman).

or if you already have it.” but which was understandable in that I recall issuing some physical threats along with the presentation of what they now tell me is a collector‟s item. one of 1000 copies printed “for friends of Henry Miller.“This little black book of Miller‟s is something you might like. You never acknowledged it. … And so be it.” The World of Sex by Henry Miller To Mailer in „65: “Somewhere in late 1961 or so I sent you a grey.” . paperbound copy of Henry Miller‟s The World of Sex. by all means send it back. I don‟t mind giving it away. If not. In your old age you can sell it for whatever currency is in use at the time. I hope you have the book and are guarding it closely. which didn‟t show much in the way of what California people call “class.” in 1941. but I‟d hate to see it wasted.

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