Blake Bailey

The funniest novel you’ve never read. . . . Afternoon Men is a revelation to sophisticated readers of every stripe, but especially to a certain kind of artist manqu on the brink of discovering that life is a more difficult business than he ever had reason to expect. . . . The subject matter is ‘relatable,’ as my students like to say. Better still, though, is what you can learn about the craft of writing from this marvelous book. . . . Indeed, if you’re looking for a funny, nonportentous Hemingway, then the early Powell is your man.

“The funniest novel you’ve never read. . . . Afternoon Men is a revelation to sophisticated readers of every stripe, but especially to a certain … Read More

A damnably readable, streamlined, yet deeply researched work. Skipping the ancestors and aftermath of conventional biography, Max gives us the man, his work, and his times-the niceties of which (so complicated, so exquisitely intertwined) Max articulates with, well, Wallace-like lucidity and wit. Above all this is the story of a touching young man who insisted on being something better than simply the smartest person in the room.

“A damnably readable, streamlined, yet deeply researched work. Skipping the ancestors and aftermath of conventional biography, Max gives us the man, his work, and his … Read More

The funniest novel you’ve never read. . . . Afternoon Men is a revelation to sophisticated readers of every stripe, but especially to a certain kind of artist manqu on the brink of discovering that life is a more difficult business than he ever had reason to expect. . . . The subject matter is ‘relatable,’ as my students like to say. Better still, though, is what you can learn about the craft of writing from this marvelous book. . . . Indeed, if you’re looking for a funny, nonportentous Hemingway, then the early Powell is your man.

“The funniest novel you’ve never read. . . . Afternoon Men is a revelation to sophisticated readers of every stripe, but especially to a certain … Read More