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Inside Mr. Enderby
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Inside Mr. Enderby (Enderby #1)

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  299 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Hardcover, 207 pages
Published January 1st 1984 by McGraw-Hill Companies (first published 1963)
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Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
It is no secret here at goodreads that I am not very fond of sci-fi and dyspeptic novels. This one, however, may be one of the rare exceptions to the latter.

First of all, it has an admirable forthrightness. No long build-up of any imaginary world. Its very first paragraph, going straight into the heart of the matter, simply reads:

"P F F F R R R U M M M P."

followed by someone wishing the principal protagonist Mr. Enderby a happy new year (how apropos that I am reviewing this as 2012 is ending!).

John Vogel
Aug 03, 2007 John Vogel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of A Clockwork Orange (the book) and Irvine Welsh
This is the first of the Enderby Triology and introduces us to the main character, 45-year-old poet Mr. Enderby.

I'm now onto book number two, Enderby Outside, where Enderby (now called Hogg as part of his rehabilitation from this book) loses his Muse only to regain her.

I see some ongoing themes throughout this series and A Clockwork Orange that make me want to read about Anthony Burgess as a person. Both Enderby and Alex go through a period of being delinquint (for Enderby by being a slovenly po
Marguerite Kaye
I read the complete Enderby about 15 years ago, so this was a reread, and it didn't disappoint. Funny the perspective age gives you though, Enderby is 45 in this book and I remember thinking he was old - now I'm thinking how young he was!

Burgess doesn't make his prose an easy read. His vocubulary is extensive, his poetry takes some unpicking, and he loves to play on words and make obscure literary references. I found this a bit difficult to get into as a result, bit it was so worthwhile. Some s
John Yeoman
This is a wonderful example of 'narrative voice', exhibited by a master of dialogue. The first chapter is redolent of word-play and clever metaphors. It has a rolling ludic cadence. This, we feel, is Burgess himself at his most playful. (Yes, its fascination with bodily orifices may offend some but they bring to mind Hieronymus Bosch. Or perhaps that time when we peered too closely in our own mirror...)

The next chapter is written in the pov of Enderby himself, a scrofulous poet. The diction is m
Anne Johnson
Perhaps my favorite book by my favorite author, Inside Mr. Enderby is the epitome of literary humor by and for writers. There is a dark twistedness in the world built for Enderby, yet a sweet oafishness and moving pride in his character. Burgess might be offended by that comment, but I hold it to be true. And most glorious of all is that Burgess language, which stretches into the farthest corners of English on its quest for the perfect expression and perfect wit.
Witty, smart, delightful. It's the book John Kennedy Toole might have written if he were British and, you know, really talented.
I was recommended this book by a friend who’s a big Burgess fan. I have to say to start with I was quite put off by the unpleasant physical details on every page. I was enjoying the style and the way it was written, but not so much the characters. But I decided I'd stick with it. In the end I'm glad I did. By the time I got to the middle section in Rome I found I was laughing out loud in quite a few places. The last section was brilliant, very much the sort of thing I associate with Burgess (eve ...more
Philip Lane
I found this to be a fun read. Enderby is an eccentric and appeared pretty unloveable when we first meet him but I started to warm to him when he gets entangled with a lady. It started out a bit in the vein of toilet humour but when they arrive in Rome I really found it to have become really funny. An enjoyable read.
Austin Sheehan
An enjoyable read. A humorous novel about a not so highly regarded poet, it is somewhere between Burgess' greatest work (IMHO anyway) Earthly Powers and The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole.
I am looking forward to see what the rest of the Enderby series has is store..
Weeb Heinrich
I have gone into an Anthony Burgess mode recently. I haven't read the Enderby series yet and decided to start with book 1.... Wow, what a surprise. This is a word lovers book - lots of talent went into writing overly long sentences and, at times, I smiled at the wit that went into them. Enderby is one of the most messed up characters that I have read in any book. Not a likable guy at all, but a character that you instantly find enduring because his faults mirror parts of our lives stripped away ...more
Stef Smulders
Enjoyable, funny, at times hilarious. Curious about the poets further adventures.
David Guy
I decided to reread the Enderby novels when I recently read a biography of Burgess and the author referred to them as veiled, wildly exaggerated autobiography. I'd never thought of the books that way, since Enderby is such a klutz. But I thought I'd go back and have a look. I've always enjoyed Burgess' verban facility, and it's on full display here. This is probably a book just for a real Burgess fan.
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My wife droveback from Chicago, excited to have her brother visiting us in our new home. Given the conversation was in Serbian, I was left to devouring most of this during the tour, laughing aloud often at the beginning, less so later in the book.
Jan 24, 2008 Rosie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2008
Clever and engaging, with a slightly disappointing ending. I love Anthony Burgess' style and the story was really good, but the ending felt a little disconnected to me, perhaps because of the one year gap in the timeline. Still, it's worth the read.
Comic novel which is dominated by the central characeter, who is unplesant in many respects, but still holds the readers attention to the end. Lots of slapstick, but also some sly commentary on poetry. Turns darker towards the end.
Bill Fletcher
It has been years and years since I've read this book and it was really a joy to reread it. Not the most loveable character you'll ever meet, but a great portrait of a man willing to sacrifice everything for his art.
Great novel and I could see Enderby being one of my favorite characters in all of literature by the time I finished the tetralogy.
Gregory Frye
Great writing and darkly comic. Serious entertainment as Burgess called it. Looking forward to book two in the series.
I found Enderby distasteful. And I didn't see a point to him as a character.
nice in-bus-reading.
Angie marked it as to-read
Sep 01, 2015
Ron Raphael
Ron Raphael marked it as to-read
Aug 28, 2015
Rose dos Santos
Rose dos Santos marked it as to-read
Aug 26, 2015
Alexa marked it as to-read
Aug 25, 2015
Trever Pollack
Trever Pollack marked it as to-read
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Anthony Burgess was a British novelist, critic and composer. He was also a librettist, poet, playwright, screenwriter, essayist, travel writer, broadcaster, translator, linguist and educationalist. Born in Manchester, he lived for long periods in Southeast Asia, the USA and Mediterranean Europe as well as in England. His fiction includes the Malayan trilogy (The Long Day Wanes) on the dying days o ...more
More about Anthony Burgess...

Other Books in the Series

Enderby (4 books)
  • Enderby Outside
  • The Clockwork Testament, Or, Enderby's End
  • Enderby's Dark Lady
A Clockwork Orange The Wanting Seed Earthly Powers One Hand Clapping The Doctor is Sick

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“There she was, welcoming him in, farting prrrrrrp like ten thousand earthquakes, belching arrrp and og like a million volcanoes, while the whole universe roared with approving laughter. She swung tits like sagging moons at him, drew from black teeth an endless snake of bacon-rind, pelted him with balls of ear-wax and snuffled green snot in his direction. The thrones roared and the powers were helpless. Enderby was suffocated by smells: sulphuretted hydrogren, unwashed armpits, halitosis, faeces, standing urine, putrefying meat - all thrust into his mouth and nostrils in squelchy balls. 'Help,' he tried to call. 'Help help help.' He fell, crawled, crying, 'Help, help.' The black, which was solid laughter and filth, closed on him. He gave one last scream before yielding to it.” 2 likes
“At the age of fifteen he had bought off a twopenny stall in the market a duo-decimo book of recipes, gossip, and homilies, printed in 1605. His stepmother, able to read figures, had screamed at the sight of it when he had proudly brought it home. 1605 was 'the olden days', meaning Henry VIII, the executioner's axe, and the Great Plague. She thrust the book into the kitchen fire with the tongs, yelling that it must be seething with lethal germs. A limited, though live, sense of history. And history was the reason why she would never go to London. She saw it as dominated by the Bloody Tower, Fleet Street full of demon barbers, as well as dangerous escalators everywhere.” 1 likes
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