The Fun Stuff by James Wood audiobook

The Fun Stuff: And Other Essays

By James Wood
Read by Simon Vance

Blackstone Publishing 9780374159566
12.33 Hours 1
Format : Digital Download (In Stock)
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A new, far-ranging collection of essays from “the strongest…literary critic we have.” (New York Review of Books) Following The Broken Estate, The Irresponsible Self, and How Fiction Works—books that established James Wood as the leading critic of his generation—The Fun Stuff confirms Wood’s preeminence, not only as a discerning judge but also as an appreciator of the contemporary novel. In twenty-five passionate, sparkling dispatches—which range over such crucial writers as Thomas Hardy, Leo Tolstoy, Edmund Wilson, and Mikhail Lermontov—Wood offers a panoramic look at the modern novel. He effortlessly connects his encyclopedic, passionate understanding of the literary canon with an equally in-depth analysis of the most important authors writing today, including Cormac McCarthy, Lydia Davis, and Aleksandar Hemon. Included in The Fun Stuff is the title essay on Keith Moon and the lost joys of drumming—which was a finalist for last year’s National Magazine Awards—as well as Wood’s essay on George Orwell, which Christopher Hitchens selected for The Best American Essays 2010. The Fun Stuff is indispensable reading for anyone who cares about contemporary literature.

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Summary

Summary

A 2012 Kansas City Star Top 100 Book for Nonfiction

A Publishers Weekly Best Book for Fall 2012

A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week, October 2012

Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

A new, far-ranging collection of essays from “the strongest…literary critic we have.” (New York Review of Books)

Following The Broken Estate, The Irresponsible Self, and How Fiction Works—books that established James Wood as the leading critic of his generation—The Fun Stuff confirms Wood’s preeminence, not only as a discerning judge but also as an appreciator of the contemporary novel. In twenty-five passionate, sparkling dispatches—which range over such crucial writers as Thomas Hardy, Leo Tolstoy, Edmund Wilson, and Mikhail Lermontov—Wood offers a panoramic look at the modern novel. He effortlessly connects his encyclopedic, passionate understanding of the literary canon with an equally in-depth analysis of the most important authors writing today, including Cormac McCarthy, Lydia Davis, and Aleksandar Hemon.

Included in The Fun Stuff is the title essay on Keith Moon and the lost joys of drumming—which was a finalist for last year’s National Magazine Awards—as well as Wood’s essay on George Orwell, which Christopher Hitchens selected for The Best American Essays 2010. The Fun Stuff is indispensable reading for anyone who cares about contemporary literature.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Wood passes a crucial test of criticism: He is unfailingly interesting to read....He opens up new dimensions of the novel he’s reading in a way that strands other critics in Flatland.” Chicago Tribune
“Stirringly intimate...The fun of Wood’s caliber of criticism is his shared enthusiasm. The thrill of these essays is the joy of vivid, intellectual collaboration.” Minneapolis Star Tribune
“A captivating collection...Wood enlightens and excites, informs and ignites disagreement. He sends readers back to novels with a heightened awareness of what makes fiction live and breathe.” San Francisco Chronicle
“Nabokov famously recommended that ‘as a reader, one should notice and fondle details,’ and Wood is something like the critical embodiment of this ideal....An excellent and necessary critic.” Slate
“This collection of twenty-three essays gathered from the New Republic, the London Review of Books, and the New Yorker offers the latest proof that 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 critical writing on Cormac McCarthy, Joseph O’Neill, and Thomas Hardy is bookended by two moving personal essays…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
“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. The twenty-three essays have all appeared in some form in the New Yorker, where Wood is a staff writer; get ready for some bracing delights.” Library Journal
“Simon Vance’s well-known capacity for blending in with a text works to good effect in this mixed collection of essays and reviews…Vance finds in Wood’s eclectic and associative style a natural flow of ideas, references, and fresh insights.…They all meet compatibly in Vance’s measured and seamless delivery, and the result is a highly satisfying and thought-provoking demonstration of the critical mind at work. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.” AudioFile

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: James Wood

Author Bio: James Wood

James Wood is a staff writer at the New Yorker and a visiting lecturer in English and American literature at Harvard. Previously he taught literature with Saul Bellow at Boston University and, in 1994, served as a judge for the Booker Prize. He is the author of How Fiction Works, several essay collections, and the novel The Book against God.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction
Runtime: 12.33
Audience: Adult
Language: English