A showcase of one hundred of the world's most astonishing books, Bound to Please is an extraordinary one-volume literary education.Among the most enjoyable of literary critics, Michael Dirda combines erudition with enthusiasm, a taste for the outré 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 Please is a glorious celebration of just how much fun reading can be.
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In the opening of this marvelous collection of book reviews, Dirda declares that his book ""intentionally resembles a cocktail party more than a work of criticism: it's meant to be entertaining, sometimes provocative, above all a way to catch up with old friends and make new ones."" The author hi...| Read Full Review of Bound to Please
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