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Sheer fictionUser Review - Book Verdict
West is a literary and cultural critic of extraordinary skill, as evidenced in his earlier volumes of criticism (Vol. 1, LJ 6/1/87; Vol. 2, LJ 2/1/91). In this latest work he has added essays on war, again written with uncommon skill. He penetrates the usual rhetoric by noting, "We will never understand war, or TV, until we are watching ourselves being bombed this very minute, here in America, home of the safe." Devotees of exceptional writing will find the keenest comfort in West's views on Proust ("swing with him"), Mann ("an inexhaustible object of contemplation"), and several famous others. West also assays others who are not so well known but hones his criticism of them with such artistry that each becomes a writer that must be read. In an essay entitled "Judge Not," West writes, "All I ask for is excellence." That he certainly has. Well recommended for literature collections.-Robert L. Kelly, Fort Wayne Community Schs., Ind.