Bound to Please

An Extraordinary One-Volume Literary Education: Essays on Great Writers and Their Books

By Michael Dirda
(W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393057577, 525pp.)

Publication Date: December 2004

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Description
Among the most enjoyable of literary critics, Michael Dirda combines erudition with enthusiasm, a taste for the outre 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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