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Complete Enderby: Inside Mr. Enderby, Enderby Outside, the Clockwork Testament, and Enderby's...

(Enderby #1-4)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  440 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Collected here for the first time under one cover are the four novels featuring Anthony Burgess's greatest comic creation, the perdurable poet F.X. Enderby. "With the most offhand, scurrilous charm, Burgess illustrates (how Enderby the artist) is the man who expresses for all men their unbuttoned true selves".--Time. ...more
Paperback, 631 pages
Published January 1st 1996 by Carroll & Graf Publishers (first published February 1st 1963)
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 ·  440 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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Jan 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Burgess was an elitist bastard, but he wrote brilliant satire, especially about the counter-culture. For example, to avoid any gender bias in English, Burgess suggested contracting the subject pronouns: she, he and it, into one subject pronoun: shit. It's been a couple of decades since I read the Enderby series, but the misadventures of Enderby, steeped in the classics, baited but unhooked by modernity, stay with me. ...more
Justin Evans
Feb 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
As you'd expect from a collection of four novels written over a period of twenty years or more, this is uneven. The first two novels hand together quite well. In the first, Enderby tries to avoid engaging with the outside world; in the second, he is forced to do so. As with anything by Burgess, it's funny, wordy, and vocabulary-expanding. Enderby himself is a very ambiguous fellow. He's a truly horrific human being, but also strangely appealing to anyone who has elitist/artistic tendencies.

Mar 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 20-ce, fiction, uk
Inside Mr. Enderby 4 stars - I thought this was a wonder when I read it in 1997. Burgess is for word lovers. One of the things that makes him funny is his insertion of the perfect overwrought word at the right moment. His gift very much reminds me of Martin Amis's work, though they are strikingly dissimilar in other ways.

Enderby Outside 3 stars - Reading this in 2013, I was disappointed. I lost interest in the narrative toward the middle. And the last scene where Enderby meets his muse I did not
Eric T
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A clever and hilarious series is to be found in the Enderby novels. Enderby himself is one of Burgess's finest achievements. A bumbling dyspeptic rude impotent elitist poet whose personal life always seems to fall apart in service to art, for better or for worse, so to speak. He is an outcast, much like Burgess, finding it hard to make a home of anywhere. All he has is his muse and his love of art, and he must betray both to connect with the outside world.

Burgess's key themes make an appearance;
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very funny. The involuntary adventures of a poet who would much prefer to be left alone. The stories become more and more fantastic and 'over the top' as do the locations: from Brighton to London, Rome to Spain, Tangier, Indiana and outer space to a version of earth in a different universe. ...more
Doug Hart
Aug 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
Enderby's Dark Lady is worth it alone, still one of the funniest books I've ever read ...more
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The first two books of the series are good, Enderby is not a typical protagonist, and he deals with issues, humourous as it may be, of dealing with stomach noises, and catching fleeting thoughts to paper, as after all, it is the profession. He is ageing, he is awkward with people, and for what it's worth, for the first couple of books, I enjoyed the poetry.

The last couple of books were garbage. It was difficult to relate to Enderby, he became more obscene, his poetry and Burgess's prose were in
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you like Evelyn Waugh(like I do) you’ll love this.
Aug 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: lovers of the light-hearted and the absurd
Recommended to h. by: Someone with a great sense of humor
Enderby is a delightful character. I'd actually forgotten all about him until landing on goodreads and starting to think seriously about what good books I've read over the years.

If you like A Hitchhiker's Guide, The Importance of Being Earnest,Bucket of Face, A Confederacy of Dunces, or any of PG Wodehouse's Bertie Wooster/Jeeves novels, I can confidently recommend Enderby.

You'll find a bit of Charles, Ignatius, Jack,and Bertie in Enderby. And you'll love all the secondary characters, too. Ende
Lee Belbin
Dec 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
There is no doubt that Burgess can write but he didn't manage to engage me. Enderby oscillates between generating sympathy to downright horror due to his lack of sensitivity. Burgess is a wordsmith by today's standards so I enjoyed expanding my vocabulary, but the philosophical asides didn't add to the story. Let's face it that a 'professional poet' is going to have his problems, regardless of skill. Maybe I would treat him more differently depending on what I last read. There are just too many ...more
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
While I liked the first of the four books contained here I did find myself of necessity having to put it down, but equally eager to take it up again as soon as possible. it is very funny. Burgess likes to pride himself apparently on use of obscure words, but that's a part of what is interesting about him. Enderby seems an extemporizing of his own (Burgess's) personality to a great degree, but he scores in a lot of ways when he skewers trends in pop culture prevalent at the time he was writing it ...more
As someone who alternately imagines himself to be Robin Hood one moment and then a schlemiel, the next, this book appeals to my schlemiel self. And, yet for all those disgusting moments (think of Confederacy of Dunces), where our "hero" warms himself before the electric fire while seat on the throen, he does stumble into some exciting dramas. The world tends to hate him and hunt him, although he is oblivious to their venom. ...more
Aug 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is hugely entertaining. Profoundly, deeply, English. The stuff for geeks who enjoy sophisticated wordplay. The series have 'aged' somewhat, though the character - poet unable to cope with the modern world - makes for a classic theme and in some ways remains of enduring relevance. However awful Enderby actually is, one can't help finding him very endearing. ...more
Mar 16, 2010 rated it liked it
so my version actually didn't have "enderby's dark lady" which is apparently one of the best. there were moments of genius in the first three books, but then also parts i wasn't that into. the character reminded me a lot of ignatius from a confederacy of dunces which is quite possibly the best character ever. a good read but not on par with "a clockwork orange." ...more
Feb 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
I'm not keen on Dark Lady, I think Burgess should have ended with Clockwork Testament as he originally intended.

If can stand the bit of vulgarity (no more than A Clockwork Orange) Burgess likes to indulge in, then the first two in the trilogy are definitely worth the read.
Marguerite Kaye
Mar 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
The sort of book stacked full of lines you wish you'd written. Funn and moving and clever, as you'd expect, only much more so. A book to read lots and lots and still pick up on things you hadn't before, and still laugh out loud too. ...more
Dec 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anthony Burgess Fans, Confederacy of Dunces fans
For me, F. X. Enderby is one of those memorable characters. He is just as memorable as A Confederacy of Dunces. Enderby is a strange poet who has dyspepsia and writes all his poetry on the toilet. In fact, he was so memorable and funny, I named my cat Enderby.
Jan 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Love Enderby
Edward Creter
Dec 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Enderby is a poet whose rhymes are often unappreciated by the outside world. He's a guy anyone can relate to. If you're not an Anthony Burgess fan, this book should give you a good start. ...more
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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

Other books in the series

Enderby (4 books)
  • Inside Mr. Enderby
  • Enderby Outside
  • The Clockwork Testament, Or, Enderby's End
  • Enderby's Dark Lady

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