Out of Sheer Rage

Out of Sheer Rage : In the Shadow of D.H.Lawrence

4.03 (1,337 ratings by Goodreads)
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Sitting down to write a book on his hero D. H. Lawrence, Geoff Dyer finds a way instead to write about almost anything else. In Sicily he is more absorbed by his hatred of seafood than by the Lawrentian vibes; on the way to the D. H. Lawrence Birthplace Experience, he is sidetracked by the Ikea Experience; in Mexico to steep himself in the white-hot beauty of the landscape he cannot get beyond a drug-induced erotic fantasy on a nudist beach. Out of Sheer Rage is a richly comic study of the combination of bad temper, prevarication and base appetite that go into a book: if you have ever wanted to write, then reading Out of Sheer Rage may cure you!show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 126 x 192 x 20mm | 199.58g
  • Little, Brown Book Group
  • Abacus
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0349108587
  • 9780349108582
  • 78,098

Review quote

The kind of book that gives literary criticism a bad name. Hilarious! John Berger An intriguing, magnetic, genre-rattling book THE TIMES If there was a prize for the year's funniest book then it would win hands down INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY A masterpiece. MAIL ON SUNDAYshow more

About Geoff Dyer

Geoff Dyer was born in 1958. His book BUT BEAUTIFUL, about jazz, won the Somerset Maugham Prize & was shortlisted for the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize. His essays & reviews appear in the INDEPENDENT, NEW STATESMAN & other periodicals. He writes regularly for the GUARDIAN & is a contributing editor of ESQUIRE.show more

Review Text

Dyer writes two books at once, his own life and a challenging life of D.H. Lawrence, in this unique performance. This wrestling match with Lawrence reveals the author and his subject as finely matched opponents who ultimately shake hands on the nature of life and art. Dyer's record of his time spent exhaustively studying Lawrence is both tormented and comic. He "rages" at his very goals and against the compulsion to write, while also tracing, intermittently, Lawrence's own life's itinerary. In a sense, the project is a doomed undertaking. For could there be any less auspicious literary pursuit than formalizing the process of going "from making notes on Lawrence to making notes for my novel, by which I mean not working on my book about Lawrence to not working on the novel because all of the to-ing and fro-ing and note-taking actually meant that I never did any work on either . . ."? Chagrined by his ambivalence, seduced by his indecisiveness, Dyer aspires to the "floaty indifference of contentment" and comes to prefer Lawrence's manuscripts to the final texts. He longs for freedom, yet his gateway into Lawrence comes in a moment of raging indolence. Convinced that Lawrence's "writing urges us back to the source," Dyer traces the other writer's footsteps. Taos and Oaxaca, Sardinia and Eastwood are important backdrops along the way. Such scenery lures Dyer into a dialogue with Lawrence's mentors and tormentors and into the heat and chill of the arguments they waged. Larkin, Brodsky, and Julian Barnes are poetic referees in the ring. The push-me-pull-me here of the text and the sub-text, of biography and autobiography, turns up the volume on this fascinating symbiosis, which casts a new light on creativity and the importance of destiny. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

1,337 ratings
4.03 out of 5 stars
5 37% (496)
4 38% (511)
3 17% (224)
2 7% (87)
1 1% (19)
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