The Random Person's Book Club discussion

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Norman Mailer

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message 1: by Robert (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:40PM) (new)

Robert | 7 comments I thought I'd start up a discussion in honor of the late Norman Mailer, one of the sharpest and most significant American voices of the last 60 years. Readers in the far future wondering what American culture was like in the 20th century probably couldn't do much better than checking out "The Armies of the Night", "The Executioner's Song" or any of his collections of political reporting.
Any thoughts on Mailer and/or his work?

message 2: by Jim (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:42PM) (new)

Jim | 5 comments i read that his favorite book was Tough Guys Don't Cry - anybody read it? Any Good?
What order would you read a few of his books in if you think it makes any difference?

message 3: by Robert (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:42PM) (new)

Robert | 7 comments Because so much of Mailer's work is topical/historical, I suppose your introduction could be guided by whatever your interest is... I'd personally place "The Executioner's Song" over everything else, but if you're interested in the cultural wars of the 60s and 70s, "Armies of the Night", "The Prisoner of Sex" and "Advertisements for Myself" are worth a look. And for just plain simple good writing, a lot of his shorter journalistic pieces like "The Fight" stand up very well. I think that I rate "The Deer park" and "Oswald's Game" a little more highly than most people. I haven't read all of Mailer, and have probably read more of his non-fiction than the novels, but the only book of his that I just plain didn't like was "Why Are We in Vietnam?".

message 4: by Paul (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:43PM) (new)

Paul Bryant fantastic anti-Mailer rant here


message 5: by Ann M (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:45PM) (new)

Ann M | 2 comments Thank you so much for that link, Paul. As far as I am concerned, he is The Over-Rated and the Dead.

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