The Fun Stuff: And Other Essays

The Fun Stuff: And Other Essays


By (author) James Wood

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  • Publisher: Picador USA
  • Format: Paperback | 339 pages
  • Dimensions: 138mm x 210mm x 20mm | 200g
  • Publication date: 22 October 2013
  • ISBN 10: 1250037832
  • ISBN 13: 9781250037831
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 370,604

Product description

Author of "How Fiction Works "James Wood has long established himself as the leading critic of his generation. With "The Fun Stuff," he confirms his preeminence not only as a discerning judge, but also as one of fiction's most ardent appreciators. In these twenty-three sparkling dispatches, Wood offers a panoramic look at the modern novel. He effortlessly connects his encyclopedic understanding of the literary canon--casting his eye upon such crucial writers as Thomas Hardy and Leo Tolstoy--with an equally in-depth analysis of the most important authors writing today, including Cormac McCarthy, Lydia Davis, and Aleksandar Hemon. From the brilliant title essay on Keith Moon and the lost joys of drumming to Wood's incisive piece on the writings of George Orwell, "The Fun Stuff" is indispensable reading for anyone who cares about contemporary literature.

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Author information

James Wood is a staff writer at "The New Yorker "and a visiting lecturer at Harvard University. He is the author of "How Fiction Works," as well as two essay collections, "The Broken Estate "and "The Irresponsible Self," and a novel, "The Book Against God."

Review quote

"Wood is one of the best readers writing today. Devouring these pieces back to back feels like having a long conversation about books with your most erudite, articulate, and excitable friend. To read his essays on the works of Norman Rush, Aleksandar Hemon, Leo Tolstoy, or Lydia Davis is to relive the specific brand of joy created by a particular work of genius. Wood's reviews are never just evaluations; more often they are passionate, sensitive discourses on the variations of authorial voice, the nature of memory, or the burden of biography. ... Wood's veneration of virtuosity reminds why we're reading at all--because we still believe that it's possible to find transcendence in great art. Isn't it fun to think so?" --Publishers Weekly (starred review)"Wood is now unquestionably one of the most influential voices in contemporary literary criticism." --The Millions "Literary criticism sometimes takes itself too seriously, so it's a pleasure to see that preeminent literary critic Wood's very title reminds us what literature is really about: fun. Here he offers his heartfelt views on writers ranging from Thomas Hardy, Leo Tolstoy, and Mikhail Lermontov to Cormac McCarthy, Lydia Davis, and Michel Houellebecq. . . Get ready for some bracing delights." --Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal