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‘This is, in many ways, a dirty book. It is full of bowel-blasts and flatulent borborygms, emetic meals (‘thin but over-savoury stews’, Enderby calls them) and halitosis. It may well make some people sick, and those with tender stomachs are advised to let it alone. It turns sex, religion, the State into a series of laughing-stocks. The book itself is a laughing-stock.’
(Anthony Burgess, review of Inside Mr Enderby in the Yorkshire Post, 1963)
Burgess’ attempted practical joke of unfavourably reviewing his own work was sadly unsuccessful. Summarily dismissed from his position at the Yorkshire Post, he gained temporary fame as a literary villain. ‘I was even invited to sit at the high table of a Foyle’s literary luncheon and wondered if this would be a kind of pillory and I a target for bread rolls. Ah well, Daniel Defoe had been in the pillory too.’ (Anthony Burgess, You’ve Had Your Time, 1990)