The Complete Enderby
Enderby is a poet, social critic and Catholic. He may be found hiding in the lavatory where much of his best work is composed, or perhaps in Rome, brainwashed into respectability by a glamorous wife, aftershave and the dolce vita. Whether he is pursuing revenge and inspiration in Morocco, expounding on his notorious sex film on a TV chat show, or writing a hit musical based on the life and work of Shakespeare, Enderby emerges triumphant.
- Paperback | 672 pages
- 129 x 198 x 34mm | 484g
- 02 Feb 2012
- Vintage Publishing
- Vintage Classics
- London, United Kingdom
Back cover copy
Collected for the first time under one cover come the four novels featuring Anthony Burgess's greatest comic creation, the perdurable poet F. X. Enderby. Inside Mr. Enderby introduced to a captivated audience Burgess's dyspeptic poet, whose uniquely idiosyncratic, scatological brand of verse even won the genuine approval of T. S. Eliot. In his first clash with the outside world, Enderby is extracted from his lavatorial sanctuary by the professional widow Vesta Bainbridge in a most peculiar romance. Returning in Enderby Outside, Enderby must deal with incongruous plagiarism from the pop star Yod Crewsley and a visit from an apparent personification of his Muse. Relocated to New York for The Clockwork Testament, or, Enderby's End, Enderby has to defend himself and his first film scenario, which he based on a poem by Gerald Manley Hopkins but - shades of Burgess's A Clockwork Orange - was transmogrified into an X-rated movie. Resurrected by popular demand in Enderby's Dark Lady, the poet must reluctantly play the role of Shakespeare to woo an African-American nightclub singer. Despite his farcical personal life and slightly sordid living habits, Enderby has delighted readers as one of the last dogged individualists, a quiet rebel living in everyone and affirming the creative impulse.
"Ferociously funny and wildly verbally inventive"
"The Enderby series are even finer comedies than those by Evelyn Waugh" -- Gore Vidal "Ferociously funny and wildly verbally inventive" * The Times * "Burgess is at his most inventive in these books, especially when he gives us the full text of Enderby's songs and sonnets (many of which are laughably bad). Poetry, Burgess seems to conclude, is rather like shitting: it's really about purging oneself of dead matter" -- Andrew Biswell * Observer * "Burgess is the great postmodern storehouse of British writing-an important experimentalist; an encyclopaedic amasser, but also a maker of form; a playful comic, with a dark gloom" -- Malcolm Bradbury "No less an authority than Harold Bloom rates the Enderby books among the great comic fictions of our time. Certainly Anthony Burgess, that dizzying polymath and flamboyant novelist, never created a more engaging hero than this hapless poet... All in all, these four books, though diverse in tone and character, strikingly exhibit the narrative gusto and linguistic sprezzatura of Anthony Burgess at his best" * Washington Post *
About Anthony Burgess
Anthony Burgess was born in Manchester in 1917. He served in the army from 1940 to 1954 before becoming a colonial education officer. It was while he held this post that doctors told him he would die, and he decided to try to live by writing. A prolific and respected author, Burgess died in 1993.