The casual Barnes & Noble browser is unlikely to have ever purchased one of these books — almost nobody does ...Inside, the books follow a well-worn formula, lacing lofty talking points and vaguely drawn policy proposals with a sanitized personal narrative that reads as though it has been vetted by a thousand political operatives and stripped down to a fourth-grade reading level.
Churches and PACs buy them by the palette to hand out.
"the conservative literati"
Afficionados of the modern American novel have learned to look to Philip Roth for complex literary constructions that play wittily with narrative voice and frame. One thinks of such Roth works as My Life as a Man and The Counter Life. Now Saul Bellow has demonstrated that among his other well-recognized literary gifts is an unsuspected bent for daring satire. What Bellow has done, quite simply, is to write an entire corruscatingly funny novel in the form of a pettish, bookish, grumpy, reactionary complaint against the last two decades. The "author" of this tirade, one of Bellow's most fully realized literary creations, is a mid- fiftyish professor at the University of Chicago, to whom Bellow gives the evocative name, "Bloom." Bellow appears in the book only as the author of an eight-page "Foreword," in which he introduces us to his principal and only character. The book is published under the name "Allan Bloom," and, as part of the fun, is even copyrighted in "Bloom's" name.
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