This is the second and last volume of Burgess's autobiography, covering the period of his life as a professional writer. There are fewer personal revelations (other than the discovery of a son he had not known of) and little literary gossip, although Burgess does not hesitate to offer opinions: "Here I was bowing down to Hemingway, the author of two good novels but a bad man. I could not forgive him for his treatment of Ford Madox Ford, the greatest British novelist of the century." "There was not much point in envying the rich writers of America, Saul Bellow and Norman Mailer for instance, since all their money went into alimony." Barbara Cartland is "one of the most dangerous women in the world." He disliked the Beatles, "but, in the spate of trash that has succeeded them, I am inclined now to find there a sort of twilight merit -- shaped melodic lines and a modicum of literacy before analphabetic recitative took over." (Burgess composed a number of symphonies, and works for the harmonica, but sadly never finished an opera he wanted to write on the life of Freud.) After he wrote the script for Zeffirelli's "Jesus of Nazareth," the Monty Python crew took over the sets for "The Life of Brian"; Zeffirelli was outraged, but Burgess admits he saw the comedy about ten times on video and found it a fair representation of the lot of the Jews under Roman rule. "I wish I had written the script for it." Great company, this Burgess fellow.
The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus