Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I must get my hands on this one

Silly me, I have been away from the Washington Post book reviews for the most foolish of reasons. I lost my RSS feeds and neglected to add them. Thanks to Omnivoracious, I caught this Dirda review of a NYRB Classics release of William Lindsey's 1946 novel Nightmare Alley. The man knows how to sell a book:

While I've known for a long time that William Lindsay Gresham's "Nightmare Alley" (1946) was an established classic of noir fiction, I was utterly unprepared for its raw, Dostoevskian power. Why isn't this book on reading lists with Nathanael West's "Miss Lonelyhearts" and Albert Camus' "The Stranger"? It's not often that a novel leaves a weathered and jaded reviewer like myself utterly flattened, but this one did.

How can you not want this book right now?

On the "huh, isn't that interesting tip" we have this:

Still, the most notable factoid surrounding him involves his wife, Joy Davidman, the dedicatee of "Nightmare Alley." She left Gresham, traveled to England and there met, and ultimately married, the novelist, scholar and Christian apologist C.S. Lewis. Did Lewis, I wonder, ever read "Nightmare Alley"? His books frequently address the problem of human pain, of temptation and sinfulness, of damnation.

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