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The Lives of Norman Mailer: A Biography by…

The Lives of Norman Mailer: A Biography (original 1991; edition 2000)

by Carl Rollyson

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4010285,656 (4.06)6
Title:The Lives of Norman Mailer: A Biography
Authors:Carl Rollyson
Info:toExcel (2000), Edition: illustrated edition, Paperback, 460 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Biography, American Experience, Mailer

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The Lives of Norman Mailer: A Biography by Carl Rollyson (Author) (1991)



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It is obvious that the author has verified his sources which are listed in extensive footnotes and bibliography. Credit is given in the acknowledgment of others research that aided in this work. The book itself is well organized and written in chronological order. It is not only a biography of mailer’s life but of his body of work. I had not known much about Mailer until I read this book and if it was not so well written I would have not finished a book for the first time in my life.

I wanted to read this book because the persona that the public knows about Norman Mailer and his acquaintances. A persona we learn is false and ever changing based on Mr. Mailers narcissist views and his own self-doubt that he over compensated for with aggressive behavior.. Though considered a successful novelist I found him to be a disappointment and a person I am pleased I had never met. I am amazed that he is rated so high as a writer with only his first novel being one I would consider reading. It is a life of a man who never could be a modern Charles Dickson’s or even a decent person. I wonder how his name became so well known!

This is also the first time I have had trouble deciding on a rating. The writing, grammar, et. al. is five star work. The format chosen in telling his life and reviewing his work and process is three star; I felt the author could not write a biography without a detail review of his work. I wanted to read a biography not a review of his work. Perhaps we find in this the reason for the title of the book. I found the subject to be two star and I wish I never read this. I would read another books by Mr. Rollyson on a different subject. ( )
  hermit | Apr 18, 2015 |
This is a very well-written book. The writing flows well and isn't dry. I also found the subject to be interesting, which I did not expect. ( )
  eheinlen | Jun 20, 2014 |
An interesting read. I had heard of Norman Mailer, and of his writings, prior to reading the biography, but had not known much about his background.

The book was laid out in an orderly fashion and puts forth quite a bit of information for the reader.

(Received via Member Giveaways.) ( )
  strogan | Sep 10, 2013 |
This is a well-researched chronological organized look at the life of a complicated, insecure, and irascible writer. As readers work through the years, they will discover that Mailer was not an easy man to understand and yet was unwavering in his desire to write the stories as he saw fit. This interesting profile explains much of the myths and legends and surrounding Mailer's life and loves. ( )
  bemislibrary | Jul 25, 2013 |
the book is fine and written ok, but his life as i was told turns out to be very disappointing and i have to agree. there is alot made of him and alot hype, but when it comes down to it, totally undeserved. i would say if nothing else he failed terribly.
  dekan | Mar 9, 2013 |
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Norman Mailer's maternal grandfather, Chaim Yehudah Schneider, was the unofficial rabbi of Long Branch, New Jersey, renowned for his religious devotion and scholarship.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Carl E. Rollyson is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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