The Unpunished Vice: A Life of Reading

Bloomsbury USA. Jun. 2018. 240p. ISBN 9781635571172. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781635571189. LIT
OrangeReviewStarIn this blend of memoir and literary criticism, author White (A Boy's Own Story; Inside a Pearl: My Years in Paris) writes about his lifelong love of reading. In the book's postface, he relates being chastised as a young child for not yet having learned to read, a skill he equated with freedom. Using his life and experiences, the author creates a literary memoir about this "lonely and intensely sociable act." His tastes are eclectic and wide ranging; he argues that Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina is "the greatest novel in all literature," placing this and other works within the context of his own life and the time and place in which the book was published.
VERDICT A lovely and thoughtful memoir about reading, books, and life. [See Prepub Alert, 1/8/18.]
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