Devil of a State: A Novel by Anthony Burgess

Devil of a State: A Novel by Anthony Burgess

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this had all of the elements to make it a book for the ages: British imperialist polyglot humor, set in an Islamic African kingdom, and humorous (although I'll admit no matter how vintage or tongue-in-cheek still racist) portrayals of Italians and Chinese. I was bowled over by M/F and thought some of the sentences were as beautiful as they were hilarious. I have never heard people speak of Burgess in the same reverent way they do Nabokov or Heller, and from the vintage softcover copy writing it sounded like he was more pulp than pomp. I thought maybe I was stumbling on a vastly under-appreciated author misknown for his one book turned into an unfaithful movie, just like Charles Portis. Turns out he had his own cult in his time. Maybe I should be petty and be glad he's not as widely read these days since he was a reactionary misanthrope who called socialism ridiculous.

This book is just as well-written and funny, but the characters are flat and the plot doesn't go anywhere. It doesn't have the structural and symbolic support that M/F had, but still genius in some places. a guilty pleasure.
Life is too short to live without the Devil of a State: A Novel by Anthony Burgess. Be happy. Be Content. Be Satisfied.

Inventory Last Updated: Oct 18, 2021

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