Synopses & Reviews
Among the most enjoyable of literary critics, Michael Dirda combines erudition with enthusiasm, a taste for the outr and the forgotten, and a playful, understated wit. Like George Orwell or Gore Vidal, Dirda delights in popular genres, such as the detective novel and the ghost story, without neglecting the deeper satisfactions of sometimes-overlooked classics. This new work features scores of Dirda's most engaging essays, never previously collected in book form, all intended to introduce readers to wonderful writers, from the anecdotal Herodotus and James Boswell to the sensuous Colette and Steven Millhauser to such European masters as Joseph Roth, Flann O'Brien, and Penelope Fitzgerald. With his trademark enthusiasm, Dirda also explores The Arabian Nights, the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone, the crime novels of Chester Himes and K. C. Constantine, and the worlds of Tarzan, Cormac McCarthy, and Proust. Bound to Pleaseis a glorious celebration of just how much fun reading can be.
"A concentrated compendium of all that has delighted us in Western civilization and literature." Carolyn See
"Dirda consistently demonstrates the power of books to change lives." Henry L. Carrigan
This new work features scores of Dirda's most engaging essays, all intended to introduce readers to wonderful writers, from the anecdotal Herodotus and James Boswell to the sensuous Colette and Steven Millhauser and European masters including Joseph Roth, Flann O'Brien, and Penelope Fitzgerald.
Surveying the dizzying universe of classic books, Michael Dirda, the Pulitzer Prize-winning literary essayist, proves himself to be one of the most engaging critics of our time--and great fun to read. Opening with an impassioned critique of modern reading habits, he then presents many of the great, and idiosyncratic, writers he loves most. In this showcase of one hundred of the world's most astonishing books, Dirda covers a remarkable range of literature, including popular genres such as the detective novel and ghost story, while never neglecting the deeper satisfactions of sometimes overlooked classics. Short-listed for the Book Award for criticism, is a glorious celebration of just how much fun reading can be.
"Michael Dirda may be as close to the ideal critic as we are likely to get."--Annie Proulx
About the Author
Michael Dirda, who won a Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism at the