Those of you who’ve been regular visitors to Mannionville over the years know how much I owe to James Wolcott.
Basically I don’t exist without Jim.
I’ll bet most of you found your way here thanks to Jim and his blog at Vanity Fair. Whenever I pick up new readers, it’s almost always the case it’s because they followed a link from Jim. In short, this blog is pretty much a chapter of the James Wolcott Fan Club and Mighty Marching Society. So, if you haven’t heard it already, you''ll be happy to hear now that Jim’s memoir, Lucking Out: My Life Getting Down and Semi-Dirty in Seventies New York is in the bookstores.
It’s in the ether too. There’s a kindle edition.
I’ve got my copy but I’m looking for a whole day to put aside to read it in one sure to be happy and rewarding go. Meanwhile, Tom Watson, another blogger who owes much to Jim’s generosity---and there are many of us---has raced his way through his copy and posted a review.
Updated because the Merry Marchers keep marching along beating their drums and clanging their cymbals in praise of their guy:
Film critic and novelist Tom Shone says he “tore through” Luckin Out and was “gobsmacked” by Wolcott’s command of a sentence and his subjects:
What stops his writing from descending into mere Fine Writing — or, since Wolcott is too energetic a talent for silver-birch finery, the hyper-caffeinated rock-press equivalent, distracted by its own snarl in the bath-room mirror — are his sure, unfakable rhythms, frequently reserving the most delightful sealion flips for the point at which most writers would be taking a well-earned cigarette break, and the simpatico match-up between his prose and his subjects. In each case, he locks into some obstreperous vitality in his subjects — a gnarly, wriggling life force — and then proceeds to write like a man possessed.
I cherish this book. It isn't nostalgia, that tattered paper valentine that arrives sometime around St. Patrick's Day. It's a chance to visit another world with a critic supreme, who's as generous here as he's always been to struggling writers.