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"An ex-editor laments the death of the book - by writing a wonderfully observant novel about an editor whose career and way of life are both coming to an end. Having been a senior editor at Pantheon for 15 years, unsurprisingly, has given Engelhardt an easy command of the tone and texture of the publishing world, but the graceful abilities he also demonstrates in bringing character, place, and mood achingly to life must be the gifts of the man alone.... A brilliantly realized cri de coeur, pulsing throughout with life, sorrow, and thought." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "A satisfyingly virulent, comical, absurd, deeply grieving true portrait of how things work today in the sleek factories of conglomerate book producers.... [A] skillful novel of manners - of very bad manners.... The scenes are vividly set, and this writer, made of stem scuff, was laughing through his tears. Engelhardt tells us that the love of literature persists even in these frantic times. It is essential to good reading to recognize that novels are true lies - truer and more philosophical than history, as Aristotle said about history. The episodes in Engelhardt's account emit a sense of autobiographical anguish, seasoned with an ironic notch at one corner of his mouth." - Los Angeles Times Book Review "The first thing to notice about The Last Days of Publishing, this interesting new novel about a gifted editor during the death throes of publishing as we've known it, is that it comes to us from a university press rather than a commercial house.... If you have any curiosity about the state of affairs in the publishing world, and, beyond that, the world of ideas, you should read this book." - San Francisco Chronicle "An engaging, at times bitterly funny lament for what [Engelhardt] sees as an endangered industry." - Business Week "Maintains a detached, bemused tone throughout, ultimately making the loss at its center all the more bitter. Engelhardt's unflashy observational style and rueful lit-geek koans ("To be a good editor has... nothing more to do with being a good person than saying "Polly wants a cracker" does with being a good parrot') are a treat for bookish types, and his Armageddon fixation is sure to strike a chord with middle-aged readers." - The Village Voice "Engelhardt has written the rarest of books: a truly intellectual novel. This faux memoir uses the decline of quality book publishing both as landscape and metaphor to explore in ways that are often heartbreaking the failure of the sixties to drastically change the world and the devastating moral and cultural consequences of that failure." - Ariel Dorfman"
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