The Executioner's Song | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by Joan Didion

This literature criticism consists of approximately 5 pages of analysis & critique of The Executioner's Song.
This section contains 1,296 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Joan Didion

Critical Essay by Joan Didion

SOURCE: "Let's Do It," in The New York Times Book Review, October 6, 1996, p. 94.

In the following review, Didion offers high praise for The Executioner's Song, which she describes as "an absolutely astonishing book."

It is one of those testimonies to the tenacity of self-regard in the literary life that large numbers of people remain persuaded that Norman Mailer is no better than their reading of him. They condescend to him, they dismiss his most original work in favor of the more literal and predictable rhythms of The Armies of the Night; they regard The Naked and the Dead as a promise later broken and every book since as a quick turn for his creditors, a stalling action, a spangled substitute, tarted up to deceive, for the "big book" he cannot write. In fact...

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This section contains 1,296 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Joan Didion