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Reviews and Essays

The reviews listed below were chosen because of: 1) representative quality; 2) intrinsic interest; 3) reviewer’s reputation and/or relationship with Mailer; or 4) subsequent comment by Mailer. Obviously, some reviews meet more than one criteria. The essays, written a later time, were selected for their cogency and contextual value.

The Naked and the Dead (48.2)

Geismar, Maxwell. “Nightmare on Anopopei.” Saturday Review, 8 May 1948, 10-11. Positive. See 48.3.

Lardner, John. “Pacific Battle, Good and Big.” New Yorker, 15 May 1948, 115-17. Positive.

“Men in War.” Newsweek, 10 May 1948, 86-87. Positive.

“No British Action against Naked and Dead.” Publishers’ Weekly, 4 June 1949.

Prescott, Orville. Books of the Times. New York Times, 20 December 1948, 23. Positive. Rpt: Lennon (1986).

Pritchett, V.S. “Kinsey’s Army.” New Statesman and Nation (London), 14 May 1949. Positive.

Smith, Harrison. “Sizing Up the Comers.” Saturday Review, 12 February 1949, 9-11. Negative.

Aldridge, John W. “Mailer, Burns, and Shaw.” In After the Lost generation: A Study of the Writers of Two Wars. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1951. Reprint, with Mailer’s introduction. New York: Arbor House, 1985, 133-56.

Dickstein, Morris. “War and the Novel: From World War II to Vietnam.” In Leopards in the Temple: The Transformation of American Fiction, 1945-1970, 21-52. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002.

Eisinger, Chester. “Introduction” to The  Naked and the Dead. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1968, vii-xxv.

Gordon, Andrew. “The Naked and the Dead: The Triumph of  Impotence.” Literature and Psychology 19 (1969), 3-13.

Glenday, Michael K. “The Hot Breath of the Future: The Naked and the Dead.” Norman Mailer, 46-63. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995. Rpt: Bloom (2003).

Horn, Bernard. “Ahab and Ishmael at War: The Presence of Moby-Dick in the Naked and the Dead,” American Quarterly 34 (autumn) 1982, 379-95. Rpt: Mailer Review (2016).

Pizer, Donald. “Norman Mailer: The Naked and the Dead.” In Twentieth Century American Literary Naturalism: An Interpretation, 90-114. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1982.

Barbary Shore (51.1)

Howe, Irving. “Some Political Novels.” Nation, 16 June 1951, 568-69. Negative. Rpt: Lennon (1986).

[Gissen, Max], “Last of the Leftists?” Time, 28 May 1951, 110. Negative.

Rolo, Charles. “A House in Brooklyn.” Atlantic, June 1951, 82. Mixed. West, Anthony. “East Meets West, Author Meets Allegory.” New Yorker, 9 June 1951, 106-9. Negative. Rpt: (partial) 59.13.

Swados, Harvey. “Fiction Parade.” New Republic, 18 June 1951, 106-09. Mixed.

Adams, Laura. Existential Battles: The Growth of Norman Mailer, 39-43. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 1976.

Bufithis, Philip H. Bufithis. “Apocalyptic Politics: Barbary Shore.” In Norman Mailer, 31-38. New York: Ungar Publishing Co., 1978.

Leigh, Nigel. “Marxisms on Trial: Barbary Shore.” Radical Fictions and the Novels of Norman Mailer, 33-41. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1990.

Wenke, Joe. “Barbary Shore: Bureaucracy and Nightmare.” Mailer’s America, 37-46. Stamford, CT: Trans Űber, 2013.

The Deer Park (55.4)

Chase, Richard. “Novelist Going Places.” Commentary, December, 1955, 581-83. Mixed.

Cowley, Malcolm. “Mr. Mailer Tells a Tale of Love, Art, Corruption.” New York Herald Tribune Book Review, 23 October 1955, 5. Positive.

Gill, Brendan. “Small Trumpet.” New Yorker, 22 October 1955, 173-75. Mixed. Rpt: Lennon (1986).

Lindner, Robert. Review of The Deer Park. Village Voice, 9 November 1955. Positive. See 56.9.

“Love among the Love-Buckets.” Time, 17 October 1955, 122, 124. Negative. Rpt: 59.13.

Nichols, Dudley. “Secret Places of the Groin.” Nation, 5 December 1955, 393-96. Negative.

“Norman Mailer’s Despair.” Newsweek, 17 October 1955, 122-23. Positive. Rpt: 59.13.

Spatz, Jonas. Hollywood in Fiction: Some Versions of the American Myth, 67-132. The Hague: Mouton, 1968.

Balbert, Peter. “From Lady Chatterley’s Lover to The Deer Park: Marriage, Renewal, and the Dialectic of Erotic Risk.”  D.H. Lawrence and the Marriage Matrix, 244-73. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 2016. Rpt.: Mailer Review (2016).

Gutman, Stanley T. “The Deer Park: An Ethic of Growth.” Mankind in Barbary: The Individual and Society in the Novels of Norman Mailer, 45-65. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1975.

Merrill, Robert. “The Deer Park: The Rare Tenderness of Tragedy.” Norman Mailer Revisited, 31-60. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1992.

Advertisements for Myself (59.13)

Davis, Robert Gorham. “Norman Mailer and the Trap of Egotism.” Story 33 (spring 1960), 117-19. Negative.

Kazin, Alfred. “How Good is Norman Mailer?” Reporter, 26 November 1959, 40-41. Positive. Rpt: Kazin (1962), Lucid (1971).

Krim, Seymour. “A Hungry Mental Lion.” Evergreen Review, January-February, 1960, 178-85. Positive. See 61.23.

Steiner, George. “Naked but Not Dead.” Encounter, December 1961, 67-70. Positive. Rpt: Lennon (1986).

Tynan, Kenneth. Review of Advertisements for Myself. Village Voice, 18 November 1959. Positive. Rpt: Wolf and Fancher (1962). See 56.156.17.

Vidal, Gore. “The Norman Mailer Syndrome.” Nation, 2 January, 1960, 13-16. Mixed. Rpt: Lucid (1971), Bloom (1986), Vidal (1993). See 60.3.

Adams, Laura. “Phase One: Advertisements for Myself.” Existential Battles: The Growth of Norman Mailer, 27-66. Athens, Oh: Ohio University Press, 1976.

Baldwin, James. “The Black Boy Looks at the White Boy.” Esquire, May, 1961, 102-6. Rpt: Baldwin (1961), Lucid (1971), Braudy (1972). See 57.1.

Ehrlich, Robert. Norman Mailer: The Radical as Hipster, 3-19. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1978.

Lounsberry, Barbara. “Health as Metaphor: Advertisements for Myself.” The Art of Fact: Contemporary Artists of Nonfiction, 141-52.  New York: Greenwood Press, 1990.

Schaub, Thomas Hill. “Rebel without a Cause: Mailer’s White Negro and Consensus Liberalism.” American Fiction in the Cold War, 137-52. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1991.

Solotaroff, Robert. “The Formulation Expanded: Mailer’s Existentialism.” Down Mailer’s Way, 89-99. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1974. Rpt: Lennon (1986)

Deaths for the Ladies (and Other Disasters) (62.3)

Macdonald, Dwight. “Art, Life and Violence.” Commentary, August 1962, 169-72. Mixed.

Rodman, Selden. “Fast Footwork, Low Blows, and Beating the Reader to the Punch.” New York Times Book Review, 8 July, 1962, 7. Positive.

[Simmons, Charles]. “Running Down.” Time, 30 March 1962, 84. Negative. Rpt: 71.31.

Swenson, May. Poetry, May, 1962, 118. Negative.

Adams, Laura. Existential Battles: The Growth of Norman Mailer, 67-69. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 1976.

Leeds, Barry. “Poet.” The Structured Vision of Norman Mailer, 207-221. New York: New York University Press, 1969. Rpt: Adams (1974).

The Presidential Papers (63.37)

Decter, Midge. “Mailer’s Campaign.” Commentary, February 1964, 83-85. Positive. Rpt: Lucid (1971).

Galbraith, John Kenneth. “The Kennedys Didn’t Reply.” New York Times Book Review, 17 November 1963, 6. Negative.

Gilman, Richard. “Why Mailer Wants to Be President.” New Republic, 8 February, 1964, 17-24. Mixed. See Gilman (1969).

Miller, Jonathan. “Black-Mailer.” Partisan Review, winter 1964, 103-07. Mixed.

Wills, Garry. “The Art of Not Writing Novels.” National Review, 14 January 1964, 31-33. Negative.

Leeds, Barry. The Structured Vision of Norman Mailer, 223-46. New York: New York University Press, 1969.

Merrill, Robert. “Mailer’s Miscellanies: The Art of Self-Revelation.” Norman Mailer Revisited, 83-104. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1992.

Solotaroff, Robert. Down Mailer’s Way, 137-43. Urbana, University of Illinois Press, 1974.

An American Dream (65.7)

Aldridge, John W. “The Big Comeback of Norman Mailer.” Life, 19 March, 12. Positive. Rpt: 65.9 (partial); in an expanded form in: Aldridge (1966), Braudy (1972).

Bersani, Leo. “The Interpretation of Dreams.” Partisan Review 32 (fall 1965), 603-8. Positive. Rpt: Lucid (1971), Braudy (1972).

Didion, Joan. “A Social Eye.” National Review, 20 April 1965, 329-30. Positive.

Epstein, Joseph. “Norman X: The Literary Man’s Cassius Clay.” New Republic, 17 April 1965, 22, 24-25. Negative.

Hardwick, Elizabeth. “Bad Boy.” Partisan Review 32 (spring 1964), 291-94. Negative. Rpt: Lucid (1971). See 65.9.

Poirier, Richard. “Morbid-Mindedness.” Commentary, June 1965, 91-94. Rpt: Lucid (1971). Positive.

Wolfe, Tom. “Son of Crime and Punishment, or: How to Go Eight Fast Rounds with the Heavyweight Champ and Lose.” (Washington Post) Book Week, 14 March 1965, 1, 10, 12-13. Negative. Rpt: Lucid (1971).

Broer, Lawrence R. “Meta-Modernism in An American Dream.” Mailer Review (2016), 99-116.

Fetterley, Judith. “An American Dream: ‘Hula, Hula,’ Said the Witches.” The Resisting Reader: A Feminist Approach to American Fiction, 164-78. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1978. Rpt. Lennon (1986)

Gordon, Andrew. “An American Dream: A Vision of Madness.” An American Dreamer: A Psychoanalytic Study of the Fiction of Norman Mailer, 129-71. Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, 1980.

Leeds, Barry. The Structured Vision of Norman Mailer, 125-177. New York: New York University Press, 1969.

McKinley, Maggie. “Violent Liberation and Racialized Masculinities: Norman Mailer’s “The White Negro” and An American Dream.” Masculinity and the Paradox of Violence in American Fiction, 1950-75, 67-90. New York: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015. Rpt: Project Mailer (2015).

Solotaroff, Robert. Down Mailer’s Way, 130-78. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1974.

Tanner, Tony. “On the Parapet.” City of Words: American Fiction 1950-1970, 344-71. New York: Harper & Row, 1971.

Cannibals and Christians (66.11)

Alvarez, A. “Dr. Mailer, I Presume.” Observer, 15 October 1967, 27. Postive.

Fremont-Smith, Eliot. “A Nobel for Norman?” New York Times, 22 August 1966, 31. Positive.

Handlin, Oscar. Review of Cannibals and Christians. Atlantic, October 1966, 144. Negative.

Sheed, Wilfred. “One-Man Dance Marathon.”  New York Times Book Review, 21 August 1966, 1, 33. Positive.

Tanner, Tony. “In the Lion’s Den.” Partisan Review 34 (summer 1967), 465-71. Positive. Rpt: Lennon (1986).

Wain, John. “Mailer’s America.” New Republic, 1 October 1966, 19-20. Positive.

Bailey, Jennifer. “Cannibals and Christians.” Norman Mailer: Quick-Change Artist, 46-55. New York: Harper & Row, 1978.

Ehrlich, Robert. “Cannibals and Christians.” In Norman Mailer: The Radical as Hipster, 84-94. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1978.

Leeds, Barry. The Structured Vision of Norman Mailer, 237-43. New York: New York University Press, 1969.

Pritchard, William H. “Norman Mailer’s Extravagances.” Massachusetts Review 3 (summer 1967), 562-68. 

Why Are We in Vietnam? (67.15)

Donoghue, Denis. “Sweepstakes.” New York Review of Books, 28 September 1967, 5-6. Positive.

Hicks, Granville. “Lark in the Race for the Presidency.” Saturday Review, 16 September 1967, 39-40. Negative.

“Hot Damn.” Time, 8 September 1967, D12-D13. Negative.

Glenn, Eugene. Review of Why Are We in Vietnam? Village Voice, 28 September 1967, 6-7, 41. Positive.

Lehmann-Haupt, Christopher. “Norman Mailer as Joycean Punster and Manipulator of Language.” Commonweal, 8 December 1967, 338-39. Positive.

The Armies of the Night (68.8)

Gilman, Richard. “What Mailer Has Done.” New Republic, 8 June 1968, 27-31. Positive. Rpt: Braudy (1972).

Kazin, Alfred. “The Trouble He’s Seen.” New York Times Book Review, 5 May 1968, 1-2, 26. Positive. Rpt: Lennon (1986).

Macdonald, Dwight. Politics. Esquire, May 1968, 41-42, 44, 194, 196; June 1968, 46, 48, 50, 183. Positive. Rpt: Macdonald (1985). See 83.57.

O’Brien, Conor Cruise. “Confessions of the Last American.” New York Review of Books, 20 June 1968, 16-18. Positive.

Puzo, Mario. “Generalissimo Mailer: Hero of His Own Dispatches.” (Chicago Tribune) “Book World,” 28 April 1968, 1, 3. Negative.

Simon, John. “Mailer on the March.” Hudson Review 21 (autumn 1968), 541-45. Negative.

Miami and the Siege of Chicago (68.25)

Buckley, Priscilla L. “Seeing It like Mailer Does.” National Review, 11 February 1969, 129-30. Negative.

Fremont-Smith, Eliot. “Family Report.” New York Times, 28 October 1968, 45. Positive.

Richardson, Jack. “The Aesthetics of Norman Mailer.” New York Review of Books, 8 May 1969, 3-4. Positive. Rpt: Lucid (1971), Bloom (1986).

Shaw, Peter. “The Conventions, 1968.” Commentary, December 1968, 93-96. Positive.

Of a Fire on the Moon (71.1)

DeMott, Benjamin. “Inside Apollo 11 with Aquarius Mailer.” Saturday Review, 16 January 1971, 25-27, 57-58. Mixed. See 71.8.

Dickstein, Morris. “A Trip to Inner and Outer Space.” New York Times Book Review, 10 January 1971, 1, 42-43, 45. Positive.

Poirier, Richard. “Ups and Downs of Mailer.” New Republic, 23 January 1971, 23-26. Mixed. Rpt: Braudy (1972); partial in Poirier (1972).

Sisk, John P. “Aquarius Rising.” Commentary, May 1971, 83-84. Positive.

The Prisoner of Sex (71.20)

Brophy, Brigid. “Meditations on Norman Mailer, by Norman Mailer, against the Day a Norman Mailest Comes Along.” New York Times Book Review, 23 May 1971, 1, 14, 16. Negative. See 71.22.

Broyard, Anatole. “Norman Writes a Dithyramb.” New York Times, 27 May 1971, 41. Positive.

Lodge, David. “Male, Mailer, Female.” New Blackfriars (London), December 1971, 558-61. Mixed.

Oates, Joyce Carol. “With Norman Mailer at the Sex Circus I: Out of the Machine.” Atlantic, July 1971, 42-45. Mixed. Rpt: Adams (1974), Bloom (1986).

Pritchett, V.S. “With Norman Mailer at the Sex Circus II: Into the Cage.” Atlantic, July 1971, 40-42. Positive.

Existential Errands (72.7)

Buchanan, Cynthia. “We Read Him because He Is Our Genius.” New York Times Book Review, 16 April 1972, 27-28. Positive.

Oberbeck, S.K. “Like an Ahab Hunting Many Whales.” Washington Post Book World, 30 April 1972, 5. Positive.

St. George and the Godfather (72.17)

Solotaroff, Robert. “The Glop of the Wad.” Nation, 15 January 1973, 87-89. Positive.

Wills, Garry. “Aquarius Returns to Miami.” New York Times Book Review, 15 October 1972, 1, 22. Positive.

Marilyn: A Biography (73.30)

Bengis, Ingrid. “Monroe according to Mailer: One Legend Feeds on Another.” Ms., October 1973, 44-47. Mixed. Rpt: Lennon (1986).

Fuller, Edmund. “Mailer’s Sexploitation of Marilyn.” Wall Street Journal, 24 September 1973, 14. Negative.

Kael, Pauline. “A Rip-Off with Genius.” New York Times Book Review, 22 July 1973, 1-3. Mixed. See Mailer’s comment on Kael in 73.12.

The Fight (75.12)

Higgins, George V. “Another View of Foreman-Ali.” Boston Globe, 3 August 1975, Sec. A, p. 15. Positive.

Wood, Michael. “Mohammad Ali versus George Foreman via Norman Mailer.” New York Times Book Review, 27 July 1975, 1-2. Positive.

Genius and Lust: A Journey through the Major Writings of Henry Miller (76.12)

Crews, Frederick. “Stuttering Giant.” New York Review of Books, 3 March 240 1977, 7-9. Negative.

Gilman, Richard. “Norman Mailer Searches the Tropics—‘Mr. Miller, I Presume.’” Village Voice, 4 October 1976, 43-44. Positive.

The Executioner’s Song (79.14)

Balz, Douglas. “Gilmore Story Shows Mailer at His Finest.” Miami Herald, 21 October 1979. Positive.

Didion, Joan. “‘I Want to Go Ahead and Do It.’” New York Times Book Review, 7 October 1979, 1, 26-27. Positive. Rpt: Lennon (1986).

Lodge, David. “From a View to a Death.” Times Literary Supplement, 11 January 1980, 27-28. Positive.

Lucid, Robert F. “A Man Sought Death and, Too Late, Found It.” Philadelphia Inquirer, 21 October 1979, Sec. M, p. 14. Positive.

McMurtry, Larry. “Review of The Executioner’s Song.” New West, 22 October 1979, 82. Positive.

Stern, Richard. “Where is That Self-Mocking Literary Imp?” Chicago, January 1980, 108. Mixed.

Pieces and Pontifications (82.16)

Feeney, Mark. “Not Mailer’s Best, but Brilliant Anyway.” Boston Globe, 25 June, 84. Positive.

Leonard, John. Books of the Times. New York Times, 3 June 1982, 25. Positive.

Ancient Evenings (83.18)

Bloom, Harold. “Norman in Egypt.” New York Review of Books, 28 April 1983, 3-4, 6. Mixed. Rpt: Bloom (1986).

Burgess, Anthony. “Magical Droppings. “ (London) Observer, 5 June 1983, 30. Positive.

Fiedler, Leslie. “Going for the Long Ball.” Psychology Today, June 1983, 16-17. Negative.

Poirier, Richard. “In Pyramid and Palace.” Times Literary Supplement, 10 June 1983, 591-92. Positive. Rpt: Lennon (1986).

Wolcott, James. “Enter the Mummy.” Harper’s, May 1983, 81-83. Negative.

Tough Guys Don’t Dance (84.17)

Lennon, J. Michael. “Mailer Spins a Spellbinding Tale.” (Springfield, Ill.) State Journal-Register, 26 August 1984, 21. Positive.

Manning, Margaret. “From Mailer, a Little Mayhem in P-town.” Boston Globe, 5 August 1984, Sec. B, p. 11. Negative.

Ricks, Christopher. “Rectum.” London Review of Books, 18-31 October 1984, 15. Positive.

Harlot’s Ghost (91.26)

Burgess, Anthony. “A Secret History of Our Time.” Washington Post Book World, 29 September 1991, 1, 10. Positive.

Koenig, Rhoda. “Devil’s Party.” New York, 7 October 1991, 108-9. Positive. Rushdie, Salman. “God Squad versus the King Brothers.” Independent on Sunday (London), 20 October 1991. Positive.

Sheed, Wilfred. “Armageddon Now?” New York Review of Books, 5 December 1991, 41-48. Positive.

Simon, John. “The Company They Keep.” New York Times Book Review, 29 September 1991, 1, 24-26. Negative. See 91.48.

Oswald’s Tale (95.16)

Aldridge, John W. “Documents as Narrative.” Atlantic, May 1995, 120-25. Positive.

Kakutani, Michiko. “Oswald and Mailer: The Eternal Basic Questions.” New York Times, 25 April 1995, Sec. C, p. 19. Negative. See 95.36.

Massie, Allan. “The Road from Minsk to Dallas.” Daily Telegraph (London), 2 July 1995. Positive.

Stone, Robert. “The Loser’s Loser.” New York Review of Books, 22 June 1995, 7-10. Positive.

Portrait of Picasso as a Young Man (95.38)

Du Plessix Gray, Francine. “Stud Wars.” Los Angeles Times Book Review, 15 October 1995, 1, 15. Negative.

Shattuck, Roger. “Brinksmanship.” New York Review of Books, 11 January 1996, 4-8. Negative.

Taylor, Robert. “Mailer Conjures a Mailer-Like Picasso.” Boston Globe, 25 October 1995. Positive.

The Gospel According to the Son (97.13)

Kakutani, Michiko. “Norman Mailer’s Perception of Jesus.” New York Times, 14 April 1997, Sec. B, p. 7. Negative. See 95.36.

Kermode, Frank. “Advertisements for Himself.” New York Review of Books, 15 May 1997, 4, 6-8. Positive.

Review of The Gospel According to the Son. Publisher’s Weekly, 31 March 1997, 59. Positive. Rpt: On the dust jacket of the second impression and the back cover of the subsequent Random House softcover edition.

Updike, John. “Stones into Bread.” New Yorker, 12 May 1997, 92-94, 96-97. Positive.

The Time of Our Time (98.7)

Denby, David. “The Contender.” New Yorker, 20 April 1998, 60-66, 68-71. Positive. See 98.3.

Menand, Louis. “Beat the Devil.” New York Review of Books, 22 October 1998, 27-30. Positive.

Shapiro, James. “Advertisements for Himself.” New York Times Book Review, 10 may 1998, 16-17. Positive.

Silver, Daniel J. “His American Nightmare.” Wall Street Journal, 6 May 1998, Sec. A, p. 20. Negative.

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