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Latest Readings by Clive James
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Latest Readings

by Clive James

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128594,050 (4)14
  1. 00
    Cultural Amnesia: Necessary Memories from History and the Arts by Clive James (dajashby)
    dajashby: Undeniably erudite, but never intimidatingly so, and shot through with Clive's trademark wit. A large volume, the output of a brilliant man not hampered by illness.
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» See also 14 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
Here’s a book, a slim volume of a book that hooked me right from the start. Oh how I wish they all did! What our Clive James doesn’t know about literature, reading and writing is probably not worth the bother. At times I was a little out of my depth but Clive managed to go easy with this novice and reeled me back in when I got lost, gently taught me new words and delighted me with many a perfectly structured turn of phrase. Mr. James spoke to me as an interested friend and amazed me with a commanding yet easy eloquence. For the first time ever in my reading life I’ve come across a book that I could happily re-read, immediately, and gain more for the doing of it…..I think I will. ( )
  Fliss88 | Nov 13, 2017 |
A delightful slim volume of essays, so full of life and the love of art, made poignant by our knowledge of the author’s mortality.
There is much to enjoy and learn from these very short essays , many revisiting the writer’s favourite authors, such as the novel sequences of Powell or Waugh, but also with new discoveries, such as Olivia Manning, or at a lighter level, O’Brien’s Jack Aubrey novels. As ever with literary essays, part of the pleasure is from affirmation that books that you have enjoyed are praised and part from the promise of new books you should enjoy, as your taste in books is similar (although nowhere near as erudite). There are short essays on Hollywood books, political biographies and the physical shelving problem arising from always needing to buy books (to which one can relate!).
There are also two series of essays scattered through the collection about the books & life of Hemingway and the books of Conrad which share the frustration with or appreciation of those works with us:
Conrad was the writer who reached political adulthood before any of the other writers of his time, and when they did, they only reached to his knee.
The author’s illness and adult family are mentioned, mainly in passing, throughout the book. This might be off-putting for those who have never read the author before, but works for me as someone who grew up listening to his BBC film reviews. I can hear the authorial voice too.
There is much to appreciate and so little time. This book is worth the time, sharing his appreciation to guide you on to make time for those works which are satisfying and enjoyable. ( )
  CarltonC | Sep 8, 2016 |
James has always been able to make me laugh out loud, and he still can... the final third of the book here feels thin and not quite 'him' - is his strength as a writer finally leaving him as his physical state deteriorates? Nevertheless, James at 80% is still more of a pleasure than just about anyone else at the peak of their powers. A wonderful dash read. ( )
  AmberMcWilliams | Jun 21, 2016 |
If the reading part of your life has been on hiatus, this book will help get it restarted. ( )
2 vote heggiep | Nov 9, 2015 |
Clive James, a leading Australian writer, muses on books he has read or reread as his time is running out. This is his last chance to share his views on these books and it is well worth checking out these reviews some of which are very short. None of which are long. This is a rewarding book that can be consumed in a small amount of time. It is worth a detour. ( )
1 vote SigmundFraud | Sep 27, 2015 |
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To my doctors and nurses at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, UK
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Introduction

WHEN I EMERGED from hospital in early 2010 with a certificate to say that I had a case of leukemia to go with my wrecked lungs, I could hear the clock ticking, and I wondered whether it was worth reading anything both new and substantial, or even rereading something substantial that I already knew about. Poetry, yes: I was putting the finishing touches to my Poetry Notebook, and there were still some more notes demanding to be added.
Hemingway in the Beginning

I LAST READ The Sun Also Rises long enough ago to have forgotten all but the odd detail.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0300213190, Hardcover)

In 2010, Clive James was diagnosed with terminal leukemia. Deciding that “if you don’t know the exact moment when the lights will go out, you might as well read until they do,” James moved his library to his house in Cambridge, where he would “live, read, and perhaps even write.” James is the award-winning author of dozens of works of literary criticism, poetry, and history, and this volume contains his reflections on what may well be his last reading list. A look at some of James’s old favorites as well as some of his recent discoveries, this book also offers a revealing look at the author himself, sharing his evocative musings on literature and family, and on living and dying.

As thoughtful and erudite as the works of Alberto Manguel, and as moving and inspiring as Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture and Will Schwalbe’s The End of Your Life Book Club, this valediction to James’s lifelong engagement with the written word is a captivating valentine from one of the great literary minds of our time.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 09 Jul 2015 19:15:09 -0400)

In 2010, Clive James was diagnosed with terminal leukemia. Deciding that (3z(Bif you don?t know the exact moment when the lights will go out, you might as well read until they do,(S3(B James moved his library to his house in Cambridge, where he would (S2(Blive, read, and perhaps even write.(S3(B James is the award-winning author of dozens of works of literary criticism, poetry, and history, and this volume contains his reflections on what may well be his last reading list. A look at some of James?s old favorites as well as some of his recent discoveries, this book also offers a revealing look at the author himself, sharing his evocative musings on literature and family, and on living and dying. As thoughtful and erudite as the works of Alberto Manguel, and as moving and inspiring as Randy Pausch?s The Last Lecture and Will Schwalbe?s The End of Your Life Book Club, this valediction to James?s lifelong engagement with the written word is a captivating valentine from one of the great literary minds of our time.… (more)

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