The Book of Prefaces (Paperback)
|Format:||Paperback 640 pages|
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This book is not a monster created by a literary Baron Frankenstein, but a unique history of how literature spread and developed through three British nations and most North American states. The result of a lifetime's reading and creative labour, intellectual and artistic, "The Book of Prefaces" will delight, amaze and inform both casual browsers and students. Its like will not be seen again for at least another millennium.
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publisher and industry reviews
'A house in Britain that does not have a copy of this book is a house bereft: it will afford you great wisdom in the afternoon and many an enlightened smile after dark' Daily Telegraph 'Superb... eloquent... there is no disputing the enormous knowledge, the sheer love of books that is gathered here' Scotland on Sunday 'He is our nearest contemporary equivalent to Blake, our sweetest-natured screwed-up visionary. Buy the book!' Evening Standard
UK Kirkus review
As readers of this publication will know, there are more good books all the time, but the book as a physical object - something to handle and enjoy - has sadly declined over the last 100 years. This book is against the tide of the times. Distinguished Scottish novelist Gray reprints a usual-suspect round up of some 200 prefaces (fruit of a lifetime's cultivated reading), from Beowulf's opening lines, through Shakespeare, Johnson, Scott, to Wilfred Owen's pathetically incomplete preface to his poems - cut off by one of the last bullets of World War One. Alongside the prefaces, Gray uses shoulder-notes as engaging literary commentary donated by 33 of his literary friends. He also includes his own illustrations, which lend idiosyncratic charm to the anthology. Gray cheerfully suggests that the best place for his book of prefaces is the lavatory, as something to dip into in one's contemplative moments. Wherever you deposit it, do buy this book. It's very good. Review by JOHN SUTHERLAND (Kirkus UK)
About the author
Alasdair Gray has spent sixteen years on this project though he has written and illustrated other books in the meantime, not least the prize-winning novel POOR THINGS and the story-collection, TEN TALES TALL AND TRUE.
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