My literary taste in fiction writers has run to Joseph Conrad, William Burroughs, Nelson Algren, Graham Greene, John Le Carre, and Cormac McCarthy. I have also loved reading Frank Harris, whose word portraits of artists and writers are too little known. But their books are not necessarily what I’ve been reading lately. As a former theater reviewer, I’ve lost my taste for theater. As a biographer of William Wyler, a great Hollywood director, I’ve been spoiled by his best movies. As a former film reviewer, I don’t know why most of today’s film critics bother. But if I had to pick a daily movie reviewer to read, it would be David Elliott — not because I agree with him, although he is immensely knowledgeable, but because he is the best wordsmith of the lot. Favorite literary critic? Clive James, though I don’t agree with his political views. Favorite television critic once upon a time? Same guy. Favorite music critic? Martin Bernheimer (now retired).
New U.S. edition of The Z Collection
Blue Wind Press has published a new American edition of The Z Collection: Portraits & Sketches . It is on sale now at Amazon (where you can have a “Look Inside.”) There are eight 5-star reader reviews and — pardon me for saying — they are magnificent. Here’s one by G.N. Dishotsky: “If you come upon this book, seize it! Or better yet, give it to yourself as a gift. Jan Herman brings together an outstanding collection of pieces written over his years as a reporter, essayist and commentator. If you’re thinking this sounds like a lit class assignment, it’s not at all that, and you’ll be delighted by his style. He can capture foibles and mannerisms with a light touch and along the way you are given a tour of the important writers who created our view of the world. Start anywhere, and Herman will conduct you along the main streets and byways of how we all learned what the world is all about. Highly recommended!” G.N. Dishotsky is not my mother. Ok, she is a friend. Anyone who wants to buy a signed copy of the book is welcome to contact me.
New European edition of The Z Collection