Doing It debate

Charles Butler hannibal at
Sun May 4 19:11:17 EDT 2003

> Can the bloke write reasonably good English, Charlie?  I do slightly draw
> the line at ploughing through a lot of ungrammatical stuff just for the
> sake of appearances....

I'm far from being an expert on Burgess, but for what it's worth...

Yes, he can turn a sentence. He's not the most compelling stylist in the
world, but he's at the very least solid - you don't have to worry that
you're going to trip over a cliche every second sentence. In terms of
psychology and human relations, he's better than solid, he's acute - at
least, within his chosen sphere(s) of experience. And while he may have
written Doing It with half an eye on the Daily Mail Shockometer, I'm not too
cynical about the degree of his cynicism. At any rate, I know for a fact
that he has been talking for several years about the ways in which the
subject matter of YA literature might be extended, especially so as to
represent more authentically the real experience of teenage boys. His
beliefs may or may not be flawed, but they're not ones he's made up on the
spur of the moment to defend Doing It.


To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at

More information about the Dwj mailing list