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Books: Norman Lewis Appreciation Thread

rach2jlc

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Simply the best writer you've never heard of. I love his work, find it refreshing, his writing wonderful and crisp, and with the sort of dark, dry wit that maybe nobody else will find amusing...

Many are wonderful, but stick to the Travel Writing. I particularly like "Voices of the Old Sea." Others include "The Missionaries," "Jackdaw Cake," "Naples '44," and "The Honored Society."

Share your Lewis experiences, or go and buy some of his work immediately, if you don't know him.
 

romafan

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I enjoyed 'In Sicily'. Also, the other day I noticed a new(?) cover for 'Naples 44' - looks like the scugnizzi have been replaced by a scene from a cat house!

Attachment 54016
 

rach2jlc

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Originally Posted by romafan
I enjoyed 'In Sicily'. Also, the other day I noticed a new(?) cover for 'Naples 44' - looks like the scugnizzi have been replaced by a scene from a cat house!

Attachment 54016


Me, too! My copy of Naples '44 has some sort of dismal street scene in it.

To those unfamiliar with his work, in addition to being a wonderfully witty writer, he had a dark sense of humor and sheer delight in the bizarre and the irreverent that is energizing.

For example, he took such hilarious delight in the broken tape played during the midday prayers in a Muslim city that cut off important parts of "There is no god but Allah..." to repeat "There is no God; There is no God; There is no God."

He brings up little things like that in such a crisp, yet dead pan, sort of way...

Just so much fun.
 

rach2jlc

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Originally Posted by LabelKing
He sounds similar to Bruce Chatwin who perhaps had a more absurdist/surrealist bent to his humor.
You'd love him, LK, seriously. Maybe try something like "The Missionaries," "Golden Earth" (about his travels in Burma) or "In Sicily." There is also a decent piece about him in Pico Iyer's "Tropical Classical" that gives a nice overview, called "A Curious Collector of Curiosities."
 

Thomas

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Hmmm, think I'll give this a whirl.
 

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