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The Right to an Answer

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  89 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
The playground of Mr. Burgess’ humor is a city to which his hero, Denham, J. W., businessman, forty, British, returns on leave from the Far East to find the face of England hardened into a standardized grimace. He is appalled by his observations in all quarters of cheapness, shallowness, vice. He is appalled also by monotony. But monotony reigns only briefly. Soon Everett, ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published May 17th 1978 by W. W. Norton Company (first published 1960)
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MJ Nicholls
A condescending old-colonialist Brit with bags of money returns home to patronise the vulgar working-classes, condescend to a hopeless friend, dangle his money in front of a hopeless poet, leer at a cardboard femme fatale, insult and debase his sister, and condescend to a bumbling oversexed Indian immigrant named (quelle surprise!) Raj. He sets off on his travels again, watching the crazy world from his wry detached English colonial perspective, hopping into bed with his Japanese mistress (despi ...more
Brian Fagan
Feb 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Burgess is a writer I have more respect for than most others. His dedication to the craft wa unmatched and his output was so great that in one year in the early 1960s he published more books than James Joyce did over his entire career.

Outside of A Clockwork Orange Burgess is a writer that does not get his due. He was unfairly put down for being too prolific. Because he published so much, by merely looking at the statiscical odds, many of his books had to be less than great, mediocre and even fo
May 04, 2016 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I believe that this is Anthony Burgess's fourth book.
May 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-fave-bangers
I think Burgess may be accused of having written only minor novels, and many of them, quickly, at that. Still, I think his brilliance is never really obscured. This is one of his better (best?) early novels.
Jan 27, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Emily
This is a book that I have read several times before. This is a pre-Clockwork Orange novel that has many of Burgess' themes such as modern English society, the relationship between East/West and Shakespere.
May 02, 2007 rated it liked it
interesting comic look at the emptiness of modern english life (circa 1960's) and race relations at the time. bonfiglioli-ish.
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Jun 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Great prose.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

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 Eng