Notes: A collection of essays that offers Gardner's harsh views on the novels of his contemporaries. This is typical: "We find a subtler kind of failure in the most admired of the old-fashioned moderns, Saul Bellow, actually not a novelist at heart but an essayist disguised as a writer of fiction" (p. 91).
He finds slightly more to like with John Updike, "I must admit that on a few occasions, especially in the Centaur, he proves himself an artist."
Edition + Condition: First edition (first printing, with a numberline ending in 1). A near fine copy in a mildly spine-faded dust jacket. This copy is, however, quite extraordinary: Across the front free endpaper there is a drawing by Gardner of a girl (?) riding what seems to be a bull with an udder. I am sure Gardner would have singled this cataloguer out for even harsher treatment than Saul Bellow for his inability to understand the reference. Below the drawing, Gardner wrote, "see p. 100", where alongside the reference to Updike's The Centaur, he signed his name. Your cataloguer has no great expertise in mythical creatures, but the drawing is not of a centaur.
Publication: New York: Basic Books, 1978.
Item No: #140180