The Fun Stuff

And Other Essays

James Wood

Picador

Download Image James Wood The Fun Stuff

Available Formats

BookeBook
Author of How Fiction Works

James Wood has long established himself as the leading critic of his generation. With The Fun Stuff, he confirms his preeminence not only as a discerning judge, but also as one of fiction’s most ardent appreciators. In these twenty-three sparkling dispatches, Wood offers a panoramic look at the modern novel. He effortlessly connects his encyclopedic understanding of the literary canon—casting his eye upon such crucial writers as Thomas Hardy and Leo Tolstoy—with an equally in-depth analysis of the most important authors writing today, including Cormac McCarthy, Lydia Davis, and Aleksandar Hemon. From the brilliant title essay on Keith Moon and the lost joys of drumming to Wood’s incisive piece on the writings of George Orwell, The Fun Stuff is indispensable reading for anyone who cares about contemporary literature.

Connect with the Author

James Wood

Related Links


Sign Up for
Author Updates

Macmillan Newsletter


Sign up to receive information about new books, author events, and special offers.

Sign up now

Book Excerpts

Read an Excerpt

THE FUN STUFF: HOMAGE TO KEITH MOON
 
 
I had a traditional musical education, in a provincial English cathedral town. I was sent off to an ancient piano teacher with the requisite halitosis, who lashed with a ruler at my knuckles as if they were wasps; I added the trumpet a few years later and had lessons with a younger, cheerier man, who told me that the best way to make the instrument “sound” was to imagine spitting paper pellets down the mouthpiece at the school bully. I sang daily in the cathedral choir, an excellent grounding in sight-reading and performance.

Read the full excerpt

Back

Reviews

Praise for The Fun Stuff

“No critic gets closer to the text....Exhilarating.”—The New York Times Book Review

“James Wood has been called our best young critic. This is not true. He is our best critic; he thinks with a sublime ferocity.”—Cynthia Ozick

Praise for The Fun Stuff:

“A captivating collection...Wood enlightens and excites, informs and ignites disagreement. He sends readers back to novels with a heightened awareness of what makes fiction live and breathe.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Stirringly intimate...The fun of Wood’s caliber of criticism is his shared enthusiasm. The thrill of these essays is the joy of vivid, intellectual collaboration.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Wood passes a crucial test of criticism: He is unfailingly interesting to read....He opens up new dimensions of the novel he’s reading in a way that strands other critics in Flatland.”—Chicago Tribune 

“Nabokov famously recommended that ‘as a reader, one should notice and fondle details,’ and Wood is something like the critical embodiment of this ideal....An excellent and necessary critic.”—Slate
 


Reviews from Goodreads

Back

About the Author

James Wood

James Wood is a staff writer at The New Yorker and a visiting lecturer at Harvard University. He is the author of How Fiction Works, as well as two essay collections, The Broken Estate and The Irresponsible Self, and a novel, The Book Against God.

James Wood

©Miriam Berkley
James Wood

Back

Buy the Book

Available Formats and Book Details

The Fun Stuff
And Other Essays
James Wood

Award

The Independent (UK) Best Books of the Year

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
October 2013
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781250037831
ISBN10: 1250037832
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 352 pages
$17.00

Hardcover

Hardcover
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
October 2012
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780374159566
ISBN10: 0374159564
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 352 pages
$27.00

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
October 2012
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9780374709068
ISBN10: 0374709068
352 pages
$9.99
Back

From The Publisher

Picador

Latest on Facebook

Latest on Twitter

Back