Nobody's Perfect: Writings from the New Yorker by Anthony Lane
In almost ten years as a critic for" The New Yorker, Lane has not only written an indispensable column on the latest movie releases, great and small. He has also turned his gaze upon subjects as various as Evelyn Waugh, Shakespeare, the glory of cookbooks, and the fine art of the obituary. Whether he is examining Alfred Hitchcock or astronauts, to read him is to be carried along on a current of urgent inquiry ("What is the point of Demi Moore?"), wry reflection, and penetrating wit. An essay on "The Sound of Music leads him to consider not only singing nuns but the comedy of our cultural memories ("For all our searchings and suppressings, the past comes unbidden or not at all"); his now infamous pieces on the best-seller lists both celebrate the exultantly bad prose of Judith Krantz and deride the "marshes of the middlebrow, where serious novelists lumber around with too many ideas on their back." His writings on the poetry of Matthew Arnold, A. E. Housman, and especially T. S. Eliot showcase his erudition, dispensed with a piercing insight into human folly.
Alfred A. Knopf, 2002.
ISBN: 9780375414480. 752 pp.
Hardcover. Very good in a very good jacket.